Author Topic: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight  (Read 5787 times)

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we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« on: August 08, 2019, 12:08:16 AM »

Offline Ogaju

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Imagine you were an alien crew that landed on earth to study political systems, and they were told of this wonderful system called Democracy that is based on one man one vote, rule of law, and the concept of equality of persons before the law. They also tell you that the beauty of this system is embodied in the USA. You decide to soak in this wonderful system by taking residence in the USA.

You observe the system for a number of years, and you notice that the US has 50 states of varying sizes in land area and population yet they each of 2 senators with same voting rights in the Senate. You also notice that this great country has an executive president with great powers but three million more people voted for the woman that ran against  him.

You are trying to understand this then you read that there is one man in the Senate that gets to decide what the other 99 can even consider. Hmmmm

While pondering this you are told not to worry too much about these two matters because you learn that there is a third branch of government that will right these imbalances. You are excited about this and exclaim 'so there is a way for the people to vote on important matters' and you told no no that there is a  body of nine people who get to decide the consequential issues that shape the fabric of the society. You get more excited and ask are these people elected by the popular vote, and you are told no. They are not elected at all. They are appointed for life by that executive and four of them have actually been appointed by executives that lost the popular vote in their election.

Finally, you ask your neighbors to explain this system some more...and they go back to the Constitution which they explain is the foundation of the American experiment and was written in an agrarian society for agrarian times when life expectancy was low. And you ask if this was/is an experiment isnt it time to tweak it some?

This country probably needs a Constitutional Conference.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 12:17:04 AM »

Online Roy H.

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I think the Electoral College works fine.  Overall the Supreme Court does, too.

The problems in our political system are largely related to money and the two-party system.
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Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 12:35:20 AM »

Offline rocknrollforyoursoul

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I'm more concerned about the fact that judges have been gradually rewriting the Constitution for well over a century.
"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'"

"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."

— C.S. Lewis

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 12:53:01 AM »

Offline Ogaju

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I live in California. I do not believe my vote counts in presidential elections. It is reflected in how much time the candidates spend in California.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 12:59:45 AM »

Offline gouki88

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I think the Electoral College works fine.  Overall the Supreme Court does, too.

The problems in our political system are largely related to money and the two-party system.
Yeah, it gets really hard for democracy to function when a system is dominated by two parties who have both catch-all tendencies and both seem to participate in cartel-like activities. It's a similar story down here.

It's really unfortunate that the parties have become so embedded in the system that they're basically the lens through which people see democracy
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Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 01:10:51 AM »

Offline Ogaju

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I think the Electoral College works fine.  Overall the Supreme Court does, too.

The problems in our political system are largely related to money and the two-party system.
Yeah, it gets really hard for democracy to function when a system is dominated by two parties who have both catch-all tendencies and both seem to participate in cartel-like activities. It's a similar story down here.

It's really unfortunate that the parties have become so embedded in the system that they're basically the lens through which people see democracy

the party system is a big time problem. Were there even political parties when the Constitution was written? Did the Constitution contemplate political parties? Did the framers foresee that politicians that will put party over country and constitution. The Separation of Powers was a brilliant idea by the framers but the party system and loyalty to party has hampered the benefits of separation of powers, and if allowed to continue will destroy the concept. With party loyalty placed above country the checks and balances of effect of separation of powers doctrine has been diluted to the detriment of the Constitution. The Separation of Powers is at the very core of our political system there must be a mechanism to make this work. There must be. The framers were great thinkers of their time, we do ourselves a disservice when we do not allow great thinkers of subsequent generations to weigh in on the Constitution in substantial ways.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2019, 01:12:40 AM »

Offline Ogaju

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I think the Electoral College works fine.  Overall the Supreme Court does, too.

The problems in our political system are largely related to money and the two-party system.
Yeah, it gets really hard for democracy to function when a system is dominated by two parties who have both catch-all tendencies and both seem to participate in cartel-like activities. It's a similar story down here.

It's really unfortunate that the parties have become so embedded in the system that they're basically the lens through which people see democracy

Hey gouki88 when did you become a Global Moderator? Congratulations.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2019, 01:42:18 AM »

Offline gouki88

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I think the Electoral College works fine.  Overall the Supreme Court does, too.

The problems in our political system are largely related to money and the two-party system.
Yeah, it gets really hard for democracy to function when a system is dominated by two parties who have both catch-all tendencies and both seem to participate in cartel-like activities. It's a similar story down here.

It's really unfortunate that the parties have become so embedded in the system that they're basically the lens through which people see democracy

the party system is a big time problem. Were there even political parties when the Constitution was written? Did the Constitution contemplate political parties? Did the framers foresee that politicians that will put party over country and constitution. The Separation of Powers was a brilliant idea by the framers but the party system and loyalty to party has hampered the benefits of separation of powers, and if allowed to continue will destroy the concept. With party loyalty placed above country the checks and balances of effect of separation of powers doctrine has been diluted to the detriment of the Constitution. The Separation of Powers is at the very core of our political system there must be a mechanism to make this work. There must be. The framers were great thinkers of their time, we do ourselves a disservice when we do not allow great thinkers of subsequent generations to weigh in on the Constitution in substantial ways.
As far as I'm aware political parties are extra-Constitutional structures that were certainly not envisaged by the Founding Fathers. They really began as a tool for mobilisation that the groups of people need, but now they're seemingly viewed as indispensable to democracy which is annoying, but I think sadly true. I don't think the Founding Fathers could have predicted how large and powerful parties, or the US polity itself, would grow. Actually trying to fix these issues is a pretty frightening task, and I'm not sure how it'd be done.

Quote
Hey gouki88 when did you become a Global Moderator? Congratulations.
Thanks man, it was probably a month or two ago :)
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C: Patrick Ewing / Bob Lanier

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2019, 02:09:55 AM »

Offline Ogaju

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I think the Electoral College works fine.  Overall the Supreme Court does, too.

The problems in our political system are largely related to money and the two-party system.
Yeah, it gets really hard for democracy to function when a system is dominated by two parties who have both catch-all tendencies and both seem to participate in cartel-like activities. It's a similar story down here.

It's really unfortunate that the parties have become so embedded in the system that they're basically the lens through which people see democracy

the party system is a big time problem. Were there even political parties when the Constitution was written? Did the Constitution contemplate political parties? Did the framers foresee that politicians that will put party over country and constitution. The Separation of Powers was a brilliant idea by the framers but the party system and loyalty to party has hampered the benefits of separation of powers, and if allowed to continue will destroy the concept. With party loyalty placed above country the checks and balances of effect of separation of powers doctrine has been diluted to the detriment of the Constitution. The Separation of Powers is at the very core of our political system there must be a mechanism to make this work. There must be. The framers were great thinkers of their time, we do ourselves a disservice when we do not allow great thinkers of subsequent generations to weigh in on the Constitution in substantial ways.
As far as I'm aware political parties are extra-Constitutional structures that were certainly not envisaged by the Founding Fathers. They really began as a tool for mobilisation that the groups of people need, but now they're seemingly viewed as indispensable to democracy which is annoying, but I think sadly true. I don't think the Founding Fathers could have predicted how large and powerful parties, or the US polity itself, would grow. Actually trying to fix these issues is a pretty frightening task, and I'm not sure how it'd be done.

Quote
Hey gouki88 when did you become a Global Moderator? Congratulations.
Thanks man, it was probably a month or two ago :)

political parties may have their uses in terms of formulating policy, but I have toyed with an idea of keeping the parties, but enacting legislation that bars political parties from sponsoring or endorsing candidates for executive offices. All executive offices will be run by independents. That will restore separation of powers.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2019, 07:42:22 AM »

Online Vermont Green

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political parties may have their uses in terms of formulating policy, but I have toyed with an idea of keeping the parties, but enacting legislation that bars political parties from sponsoring or endorsing candidates for executive offices. All executive offices will be run by independents. That will restore separation of powers.

Definitely, three or more parties would be better.  Someone would always have to agree with someone else on an issue.  The idea of legislating some limitations on parties is a good idea.  Right now, you have to "caucus" with one party or the other to be on any committee in the house or senate.  That gives the parties a lot of power.

Of course you would be asking the very people that benefit the most from the parties (legislators) to fix the problem.

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2019, 09:05:41 AM »

Online slamtheking

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I think the Electoral College works fine.  Overall the Supreme Court does, too.

The problems in our political system are largely related to money and the two-party system.
I disagree on the Electoral College functioning well at all.  The original primary justification was to prevent the masses from electing someone that was able to manipulate the voters and become a tyrant.  the other reason was to provide more electoral power to the smaller states. 
https://www.historycentral.com/elections/Electoralcollgewhy.html
At this point, neither reason is bearing up as a valid reason to keep this system in place.  If ever there was a candidate that should have been blocked by the Electoral College, it's Trump.   Totally unfit for the office regardless of winning the electoral vote.   
As an extra point for ending this process, the electoral college has eliminated many states from a candidate's campaign.  Reps rarely campaign on the coasts because they don't figure to win those states and Dems rarely go to the middle of the country for the same reason.   Removing the electoral college puts everyone's votes into play and thus would get the candidates out to more states and voters during that campaign to get as many votes as possible.   The current process tends to suppress Rep votes in Blue states and Dem votes in Red states due to people in those parties and states feeling their votes don't matter.

Regarding the Supreme Court, I suspect your satisfaction with it has changed since it's now been stacked the way you like it.  You've been pretty vocal prior to the Trump administration about your dissatisfaction of how it was leaning. 

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2019, 10:17:51 AM »

Online Roy H.

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You've been pretty vocal prior to the Trump administration about your dissatisfaction of how it was leaning.

I was?

You realize we’ve had a conservative leaning court for decades?  Scalia (a conservative) was replaced by Gorsuch (a conservative) and Kennedy (mostly a conservative) was replaced by Kavanaugh (a conservative).

As for the Electoral College, I think Federalism is a good thing.  Voters in California have different issues than those in Montana. 
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 10:23:34 AM by Roy H. »
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Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2019, 10:48:13 AM »

Online slamtheking

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Quote
You've been pretty vocal prior to the Trump administration about your dissatisfaction of how it was leaning.

I was?

You realize we’ve had a conservative leaning court for decades?  Scalia (a conservative) was replaced by Gorsuch (a conservative) and Kennedy (mostly a conservative) was replaced by Kavanaugh (a conservative).

As for the Electoral College, I think Federalism is a good thing.  Voters in California have different issues than those in Montana. 
you've been pretty vocal about how you viewed the court as one that doesn't strictly apply the constitution as it's written and is more of an activist court.  You've used a different term than 'activist' but I can't recall it off the top of my head but it covers the gist of your prior posts regarding how the court had been ruling.   

I'm not following your point of different states having different issues.  of course they would.  my thinking is that 40 million people with a national issue in California probably should carry more weight than 1 million people having an issue in Montana.  I don't have an issue with that.  I don't see why the Reps in California should have their national votes dismissed because they're outnumbered in their state.  Same for Dems in Texas.  I just don't think that's right and it's caused by the Electoral College. 
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 10:54:01 AM by slamtheking »

Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2019, 11:01:19 AM »

Online Roy H.

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You've been pretty vocal prior to the Trump administration about your dissatisfaction of how it was leaning.

I was?

You realize we’ve had a conservative leaning court for decades?  Scalia (a conservative) was replaced by Gorsuch (a conservative) and Kennedy (mostly a conservative) was replaced by Kavanaugh (a conservative).

As for the Electoral College, I think Federalism is a good thing.  Voters in California have different issues than those in Montana. 
you've been pretty vocal about how you viewed the court as one that doesn't strictly apply the constitution as it's written and is more of an activist court.  You've used a different term than 'activist' but I can't recall it off the top of my head but it covers the gist of your prior posts regarding how the court had been ruling.   

I'm not following your point of different states having different issues.  of course they would.  my thinking is that 40 million people with a national issue in California probably should carry more weight than 1 million people having an issue in Montana.  I don't have an issue with that.  I don't see why the Reps in California should have their national votes dismissed because they're outnumbered in their state.  Same for Dems in Texas.  I just don't think that's right and it's caused by the Electoral College.

Our system is based upon preserving the individual autonomy of the States. Ending the EC would make small states completely irrelevant.
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Re: we do not run a democracy, lets get that straight
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2019, 11:20:20 AM »

Offline Rosco917

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I think the Electoral College works fine.  Overall the Supreme Court does, too.

The problems in our political system are largely related to money and the two-party system.



Perfectly explained. TP

While not perfect. Come to think of it, I can't think of a perfect system off-hand, our system mostly gets it right. (sorry... I meant correct) :-)

 

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