blackshoe, on 2011-September-19, 07:32, said:
Depends on what you mean by "planet".
They have defined this clearly (for now at least). Hence Pluto lost its status giving 8 planets in our system.
hrothgar, on 2011-September-25, 09:40, said:
This suggests that there was actually a path to citizenship
I know that in the case of the gastarbeiter program in Germany citizenship/assimilation was never envisioned as a goal of the program.
It does not need to be a goal of the program because every immigrant in Germany is offered an Integration course which is not at all expensive and provides language training up to low-intermediate level, enough for basic conversation.
As for what makes people vote for any political party, well one should never underestimate voting the way of your parents or peers. I once had this exact same conversation with my mother who voted steadfastly for the right-wing party when she could never be in a position to gain from their policies. This was irrelevant to her - she had always voted for that party and always would. I suspect this is essentially the argument level of many the working class folks of The South in America.
For the middle classes something else is at work. Noone actually knows your income level so by voting Republican (and espousing their views in conversation) you are essentially telling your friends and neighbours that your income level is higher than they might think. You are also quite likely to believe that you will rise to this level in time, especially in an aspirational society like America.
Finally, Gerben mentioned the Green party. There are obviously committed Green voters the same as every other party. However, I think the rise of the Greens is primarily based on the fact that they represent an excellent way to protest against the system. Everyone in Germany knows that the government will be made up of the CDU or SDP plus smaller coalition partners. The FDP, Greens, Die Linke, and even the Bayern party fill this role for a protest quite nicely. Protest votes always go away for small parties that form a government too, so the Greens will naturally do well while the FDP are in power (and unpopular). The nuclear meltdown in Japan and the food scares have just been an added bonus. Give it a few cycles and things will probably return to normal.