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Political discourse regarding idealistic legislation

DathouenDathouen Registered User regular
I am new, and many of the threads here happen to be several dozen pages long already, making it impossible to insert myself with any degree of accuracy into these discussions. As a result, I've decided to begin a new thread.

Additionally, from what I've seen, many threads have a tendency to discuss politicians, media, and other topics which focus more on the nature of people than the real issues at hand, or they focus in on minutia that has little influence on the overall political mechanism.

Personally, I would like to discuss how the overall political structure can be changed, or how it should be. Allow me to begin.

Voting and the Electoral System
With modern technology, voting should not be as difficult as it is now, and the electoral system currently used for presidential elections is horrifically outdated. The original electoral system was designed in the late 18th century due to the fact that it would take days, and even weeks to bring votes from the more remote states to the place where they were collated. As a result, they would have mini-elections in each state and simply have each state be worth a certain number of votes, and then combine those votes and, as with the Senate and Congress, require a majority to rightly be elected. Unfortunately, with wildly varying population growth and concentration in certain urban regions, as well as varying percentages of voter turnout, makes acquiring the actual opinion of those who are actually of legal voting age very unlikely.

Additionally, given the current voting system, registering and actually going through the process of voting on any matter is an incredible pain in the posterior. As a result, the bulk of the population who are busy, well adjusted and/or have better things to do end up eschewing the process entirely, not voting because it is genuinely difficult. This leads to only the people who have too much time on their hands, or are excessively obsessive about a certain matter, are the ones who speak out and vote consistently.

Simultaneously, this also applies to the current voting system when it comes to legislation. For the most part, Senators and Congresspersons tend to vote based on the opinions of their constituency (those who actually voted for that person). Unfortunately, the most vocal constituents tend to be the most extreme, either liberal or conservative. As a result, Representatives tend to operate under the assumption that their constituents have extreme views. Polling and Voting are two very different things, and while Polling can tell you a great deal about what the population feels is the appropriate response to a bill, these are far to broad to have any functional application with regards to the opinions of a given constituency, but rather refer to specific groups or subgroups, like college students, the elderly, business professionals and the like. The responsibility of a representative is to find the opinion of the people within a specific geographic region, not of a specific background.

This inherently flawed system leads to the election of individuals and approval of bills that have a tendency to appeal to the most vocal and extreme sectors of the population.

With regards to presidential elections, I can't outline a perfect system, however it is clear that we need a more accessible and accurate voting system. The fact that it is even remotely possible that a president can be elected without the popular vote (the numerical majority of individual votes) should be appalling to every single american citizen, but most sadly do not care enough about this, and are instead fixated on less influential portions of the political process, such as campaigning, debates and other public media. Simply put, people are focused on the silliest things, such as what a candidate is like, how their beliefs are likely to influence their voting on certain issues, but for the most part, they rarely make any decisions on their own. Instead, people should be focusing the flaws in the system itself.

Originally, the system of Lobbyism was designed to prevent corruption, bribery and the like, a sort of "if you can't beat them, join and regulate them" policy. Unfortunately this has become a form of corruption in and of itself. I'm not sure if everyone is aware of this, but if one were to donate to a candidate, and they fail to spend that money during their campaigning, they do not give that money back, or to anyone else, it instead stays in a "war chest", that, by default, goes to the candidate when they leave the position for which they originally received the donations to campaign for. If, for example, Senator John Smith receives $100,000,000 in donations over the course of 4 terms to pay for his campaign, but only spends $20,000,000 while campaigning for his seat in the Senate, then retires, the remaining $80,000,000 defaults to Ex-Senator John Smith to function as a sort of retirement fund. In the olden days, that was both its intention and function; however, today it has the potential to serve as a form of delayed effect bribery.

There are far to many issues with the basic structure of the Government, and I would like to hear about your opinions within this vein and your critiques of or compliance with my assessment.

Privacy is for the rich. Regulation is for the poor.
People read into vitriolic and contemptuous yarns inherently searching for obfuscated rhetoric; time has ever replicated
intelligent, idealistic characteristics halfheartedly. Recently, every government ubiquitously legalizes arbitrarily,
tangential implementations of nihilistic ideals, solely for optimized revenue tides, having each person or
organization resign.

Posts

  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    There are a lot of problems with our system, but I don't think the Electoral College is it.

    The purpose of the Electoral College is to prevent 'mob rule' and ensure that all states have a voice in the Presidential Election. While the technical issues of the day were a consideration, they weren't the only reason for the Electoral College. Most of the things people see as 'issues' are features of the system, not bugs.

    When it comes to popular vote, the total population of the 22 least populated states is less than the population of California alone. The least populated 36 states have about the same population as the four most populated states. If you think the rest of America doesn't get any attention now compared outside of swing states, imagine if all that mattered were the interests of California, Texas, New York, and Florida. Good luck getting farm bills passed, etc.

    Personally, I think keeping the Electoral College, but switching to a district system for each vote (Nebraska / Maine) would in theory be a better way to represent the interests of individual voters. At the same time, the system is vulnerable to gerrymandering and in practice it would result in a system that reduces the influence of individual voters.

    At least state lines are (for all intents and purposes) set in stone, and the number of representatives in Congress (thus every electoral vote beyond 2 per state) is based on population. Makes it much harder to game that portion of the system.

    As for the 'war chest' of campaign contributions...yeah, the 'delayed effect' bribery is an issue. But it's far from the biggest one. When people leave public service, their 'retirement fund' is usually being hired by the companies that benefited from their legislation, either to lobby or 'consult'.

    There are a lot of systematic flaws that won't be easily fixed. Citizens United is probably the biggest one at the moment, as is the fact that you've got guys like Clarence Thomas who can rule on cases that his wife is paid to lobby on, as is the fact that you've got media outlets that can present provable lies as fact without having to answer for it. As is the gutting of the education system, undermining of the worth of public service, etc.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    In general I am extremely sceptical of the idea that tyranny of the majority is a problem that is actually solved by disproportional representation. Show me the small town which trends towards a progressive and inclusive society, and I might change my mind but it seems like it's sole purpose is this weird bargain for national cohesion at the price of equality, since the latter is the only place smaller populations seem to ever have any real traction.

    CommunistCow
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    In general I am extremely sceptical of the idea that tyranny of the majority is a problem that is actually solved by disproportional representation. Show me the small town which trends towards a progressive and inclusive society, and I might change my mind but it seems like it's sole purpose is this weird bargain for national cohesion at the price of equality, since the latter is the only place smaller populations seem to ever have any real traction.

    Read up on the battles over water out West.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Yeah, I agree that the voting system needs some work, but you paint with a pretty broad brush, there. For starters, registering and voting is not uniformly difficult. In some states, it's trivially easy (California, for example). In other places, yes, it's a bitch and a half. Some national standards would be really nice, but right now getting standards in place is tough, because elections are one of the few things explicitly listed in the Constitution as being up to the states.

    As to the popular versus electoral vote for president? It's kinda silly, yes, but I think there are a lot of better areas to lay your horror. While we're dreaming, though? Sure, let's move to a popular vote. We'll still have ridiculously targeted campaigning that ignores large swatches of the population, but maybe we can at least stop sucking off corn states and goddamn Florida and start sucking off coastal states. Because, I mean, we're clearly better.

    On representatives catering to their most vocal and extreme constituents? Yeah, welcome to human nature. There's not really getting around that.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
    Dathouen
  • DathouenDathouen Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    zagdrob wrote: »
    There are a lot of problems with our system, but I don't think the Electoral College is it.

    The purpose of the Electoral College is to prevent 'mob rule' and ensure that all states have a voice in the Presidential Election. While the technical issues of the day were a consideration, they weren't the only reason for the Electoral College. Most of the things people see as 'issues' are features of the system, not bugs.
    That is in fact an emergent benefit of the system, but I don't think it should be considered a feature. I will, however, agree that it is the best possible method by comparison to any other recent alternatives.
    zagdrob wrote: »
    When it comes to popular vote, the total population of the 22 least populated states is less than the population of California alone. The least populated 36 states have about the same population as the four most populated states. If you think the rest of America doesn't get any attention now compared outside of swing states, imagine if all that mattered were the interests of California, Texas, New York, and Florida. Good luck getting farm bills passed, etc.
    Unfortunately, this is a major reason why we have yet to find a more effective alternative.
    zagdrob wrote: »
    Personally, I think keeping the Electoral College, but switching to a district system for each vote (Nebraska / Maine) would in theory be a better way to represent the interests of individual voters. At the same time, the system is vulnerable to gerrymandering and in practice it would result in a system that reduces the influence of individual voters.

    At least state lines are (for all intents and purposes) set in stone, and the number of representatives in Congress (thus every electoral vote beyond 2 per state) is based on population. Makes it much harder to game that portion of the system.
    That's very interesting. Perhaps grouping states based on population to ensure a more balanced weight.

    I also think a Checks & Balances system consisting of the popular vote, a geographic state based vote (two electoral votes per state won), then a population state based vote (one electoral vote per 1,000,000 citizens of each state); requiring success in at least 2 of the three methods.
    zagdrob wrote: »
    As for the 'war chest' of campaign contributions...yeah, the 'delayed effect' bribery is an issue. But it's far from the biggest one. When people leave public service, their 'retirement fund' is usually being hired by the companies that benefited from their legislation, either to lobby or 'consult'.
    Indeed, the lobby system gives corporations far too much political influence on legislation.
    zagdrob wrote: »
    There are a lot of systematic flaws that won't be easily fixed. Citizens United is probably the biggest one at the moment, as is the fact that you've got guys like Clarence Thomas who can rule on cases that his wife is paid to lobby on, as is the fact that you've got media outlets that can present provable lies as fact without having to answer for it. As is the gutting of the education system, undermining of the worth of public service, etc.
    I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, a common argument against stringent regulations regarding conflict of interest is similar to the 6 degrees of separation, and too many people in a position to change these policies benefit from it. Even if they're not in it to claim the remains of their war chest, they still want to get reelected (usually), which requires campaign contributions.
    In general I am extremely sceptical of the idea that tyranny of the majority is a problem that is actually solved by disproportional representation. Show me the small town which trends towards a progressive and inclusive society, and I might change my mind but it seems like it's sole purpose is this weird bargain for national cohesion at the price of equality, since the latter is the only place smaller populations seem to ever have any real traction.
    Indeed, they wouldn't call it the popular vote if it weren't popular. That is the purpose of voting in the first place; the foundation of democracy, if you will. Do what the majority of the population wants you to do.
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Yeah, I agree that the voting system needs some work, but you paint with a pretty broad brush, there. For starters, registering and voting is not uniformly difficult. In some states, it's trivially easy (California, for example). In other places, yes, it's a bitch and a half. Some national standards would be really nice, but right now getting standards in place is tough, because elections are one of the few things explicitly listed in the Constitution as being up to the states.
    True, but what's the point of a federal government if it doesn't enforce certain standards?
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    As to the popular versus electoral vote for president? It's kinda silly, yes, but I think there are a lot of better areas to lay your horror. While we're dreaming, though? Sure, let's move to a popular vote. We'll still have ridiculously targeted campaigning that ignores large swatches of the population, but maybe we can at least stop sucking off corn states and goddamn Florida and start sucking off coastal states. Because, I mean, we're clearly better.
    I genuinely laughed aloud when I read this :D

    Dathouen on
    Privacy is for the rich. Regulation is for the poor.
    People read into vitriolic and contemptuous yarns inherently searching for obfuscated rhetoric; time has ever replicated
    intelligent, idealistic characteristics halfheartedly. Recently, every government ubiquitously legalizes arbitrarily,
    tangential implementations of nihilistic ideals, solely for optimized revenue tides, having each person or
    organization resign.
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism, but we can't very well change that now. As such, as much as I hate the electoral college on an intellectual level, I think that we are basically stuck with it for the reasons @zagdrob laid out above. If we are committed to states as relevant political entities, and to a government where law makers are responsible for advocating for their state's and district's citizens, then it seems only fair that we should assure that no state is made completely irrelevant in the legislature (and so we are stuck with even representation in the Senate) and the presidency.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    On representatives catering to their most vocal and extreme constituents? Yeah, welcome to human nature. There's not really getting around that.

    This is also fueled by people running in relatively safe areas, such that their only worry is being taking out in a primary. In that circumstance, you want to cater to your base as hard as possible, since people like that are far more likely to vote in a primary.

    aeNqQM9.jpg
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    The revolving door is actually one of the most serious problems with our system, I think. Very few regulators stay for the long haul, because they know the money will be much better if they leave for the private sector, but noone wants to hire the hard ass regulator, so they all start to think of things from the POV of potential employers, and the result is regulations which are bought and sold without any lobbyist money needing to be used. I know I always beat this drum, but we really need to pay federal employees in decision making positions as well as their private sector counterparts if we want the government to actually stand toe to toe with the private sector as an equal.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...

    AManFromEarth on
    Lh96QHG.png
    Dathouen
  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    The revolving door is actually one of the most serious problems with our system, I think. Very few regulators stay for the long haul, because they know the money will be much better if they leave for the private sector, but noone wants to hire the hard ass regulator, so they all start to think of things from the POV of potential employers, and the result is regulations which are bought and sold without any lobbyist money needing to be used. I know I always beat this drum, but we really need to pay federal employees in decision making positions as well as their private sector counterparts if we want the government to actually stand toe to toe with the private sector as an equal.

    I really can't see the "cut government spending!" crowd (or just regular people) being okay with the multi-million dollar yearly government salaries that would be necessary for this kind of regulator of the financial markets.

    That's probably a pretty conservative estimate anyway.

    KalTorak on
  • DathouenDathouen Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    The revolving door is actually one of the most serious problems with our system, I think. Very few regulators stay for the long haul, because they know the money will be much better if they leave for the private sector, but noone wants to hire the hard ass regulator, so they all start to think of things from the POV of potential employers, and the result is regulations which are bought and sold without any lobbyist money needing to be used. I know I always beat this drum, but we really need to pay federal employees in decision making positions as well as their private sector counterparts if we want the government to actually stand toe to toe with the private sector as an equal.
    This is a huge issue, and the primary source of corruption in the first place. In countries where corruption is prominent and even SOP, salaries are abysmal. The countries with the fewest instances of corruption are often the ones that pay equal to or greater than their private sector counterparts. People being paid well are less likely to jeopardize their secure and ample income for a slightly larger, short term gain.
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I really can't see the "cut government spending!" crowd (or just regular people) being okay with the multi-million dollar yearly government salaries that would be necessary for this kind of regulator of the financial markets.

    That's probably a pretty conservative estimate anyway.
    Unfortunately, cutting government spending doesn't fix any of our financial problems. Raising taxes would. But many of those advocates of budget reduction also advocate tax cuts too.

    The worst part about government spending is the fact that reduced budgets don't merely mean smaller departments. They get that big because they need to be that big. Police departments don't hire new police because they're lazy, it's because the crime rate indicates that there aren't enough cops. What ends up happening is not reduction in size, but cutting of corners. In the end, the quality of service is reduced.

    Dathouen on
    Privacy is for the rich. Regulation is for the poor.
    People read into vitriolic and contemptuous yarns inherently searching for obfuscated rhetoric; time has ever replicated
    intelligent, idealistic characteristics halfheartedly. Recently, every government ubiquitously legalizes arbitrarily,
    tangential implementations of nihilistic ideals, solely for optimized revenue tides, having each person or
    organization resign.
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...

    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...

    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.

    Well, yes it is because there are always going to be checks and balances in a governmental system. Federalism works best when it is backed by a strong central government and the "States' Rights" are only those that give them leeway to act on local issues. Which is how it works when we're not talking about slavery or gay marriage.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • DathouenDathouen Registered User regular
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...

    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.

    Well, yes it is because there are always going to be checks and balances in a governmental system. Federalism works best when it is backed by a strong central government and the "States' Rights" are only those that give them leeway to act on local issues. Which is how it works when we're not talking about slavery or gay marriage.
    Additionally, a single massive government without a collection of smaller governments to hold it in check leads to Fraud, Waste and Abuse.

    Privacy is for the rich. Regulation is for the poor.
    People read into vitriolic and contemptuous yarns inherently searching for obfuscated rhetoric; time has ever replicated
    intelligent, idealistic characteristics halfheartedly. Recently, every government ubiquitously legalizes arbitrarily,
    tangential implementations of nihilistic ideals, solely for optimized revenue tides, having each person or
    organization resign.
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    Dathouen wrote: »
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...
    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.
    Well, yes it is because there are always going to be checks and balances in a governmental system. Federalism works best when it is backed by a strong central government and the "States' Rights" are only those that give them leeway to act on local issues. Which is how it works when we're not talking about slavery or gay marriage.
    Additionally, a single massive government without a collection of smaller governments to hold it in check leads to Fraud, Waste and Abuse.
    Denmark and Norway have unitary governments, and are two of the least-corrupt nations in the world.

    Do you have any sort of research that backs this idea up?

  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Dathouen wrote: »
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...
    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.
    Well, yes it is because there are always going to be checks and balances in a governmental system. Federalism works best when it is backed by a strong central government and the "States' Rights" are only those that give them leeway to act on local issues. Which is how it works when we're not talking about slavery or gay marriage.
    Additionally, a single massive government without a collection of smaller governments to hold it in check leads to Fraud, Waste and Abuse.
    Denmark and Norway have unitary governments, and are two of the least-corrupt nations in the world.

    Do you have any sort of research that backs this idea up?

    I have no idea if his statement is accurate or not, but wouldn't those smaller mostly similar Scandinavian countries be a really hard comparison to the US?

    aeNqQM9.jpg
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...

    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.

    Well, yes it is because there are always going to be checks and balances in a governmental system. Federalism works best when it is backed by a strong central government and the "States' Rights" are only those that give them leeway to act on local issues. Which is how it works when we're not talking about slavery or gay marriage.

    I suspect you and I may disagree on what local issues are, but, regardless the states create a lot of inefficiency through duplication. I am firmly of the belief that we would be better served with a strong central government that has appointees and beaurocrats dealing with regional issues than with our federalist system.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...

    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.

    Well, yes it is because there are always going to be checks and balances in a governmental system. Federalism works best when it is backed by a strong central government and the "States' Rights" are only those that give them leeway to act on local issues. Which is how it works when we're not talking about slavery or gay marriage.

    I suspect you and I may disagree on what local issues are, but, regardless the states create a lot of inefficiency through duplication. I am firmly of the belief that we would be better served with a strong central government that has appointees and beaurocrats dealing with regional issues than with our federalist system.

    Hahaha, nope.

    That system can go straight to hell.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • DathouenDathouen Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Denmark and Norway have unitary governments, and are two of the least-corrupt nations in the world.

    Do you have any sort of research that backs this idea up?
    Research? Not at the moment, but examples? In spades. Many African, Asian, South American and even Central European countries. While not all current, they are often similar. The Philippines and India are two good examples.

    The Philippine government is highly centralized, with provincial governments having little to no influence over national legislation.

    Additionally, the governments of Denmark and Norway are actually quite small, making it easier to benefit from transparency. In countries with larger populations, and therefore larger governments, have cumbersome organizations where, even if transparent, they can easily obfuscate information in the deluge of output.

    Privacy is for the rich. Regulation is for the poor.
    People read into vitriolic and contemptuous yarns inherently searching for obfuscated rhetoric; time has ever replicated
    intelligent, idealistic characteristics halfheartedly. Recently, every government ubiquitously legalizes arbitrarily,
    tangential implementations of nihilistic ideals, solely for optimized revenue tides, having each person or
    organization resign.
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...

    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.

    Well, yes it is because there are always going to be checks and balances in a governmental system. Federalism works best when it is backed by a strong central government and the "States' Rights" are only those that give them leeway to act on local issues. Which is how it works when we're not talking about slavery or gay marriage.

    I suspect you and I may disagree on what local issues are, but, regardless the states create a lot of inefficiency through duplication. I am firmly of the belief that we would be better served with a strong central government that has appointees and beaurocrats dealing with regional issues than with our federalist system.

    Hahaha, nope.

    That system can go straight to hell.

    This is a compelling argument, but perhaps you'd be willing to expound a bit?

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    Knight_ wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Dathouen wrote: »
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...
    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.
    Well, yes it is because there are always going to be checks and balances in a governmental system. Federalism works best when it is backed by a strong central government and the "States' Rights" are only those that give them leeway to act on local issues. Which is how it works when we're not talking about slavery or gay marriage.
    Additionally, a single massive government without a collection of smaller governments to hold it in check leads to Fraud, Waste and Abuse.
    Denmark and Norway have unitary governments, and are two of the least-corrupt nations in the world.

    Do you have any sort of research that backs this idea up?

    I have no idea if his statement is accurate or not, but wouldn't those smaller mostly similar Scandinavian countries be a really hard comparison to the US?
    Well, given that the U.S. is the third-largest country in the world, there aren't a lot of countries that are comparable.

    Russia and India both jump to mind; both of which have relatively strong federalism, and are pretty fantastically fucking corrupt.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...

    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.

    Well, yes it is because there are always going to be checks and balances in a governmental system. Federalism works best when it is backed by a strong central government and the "States' Rights" are only those that give them leeway to act on local issues. Which is how it works when we're not talking about slavery or gay marriage.

    I suspect you and I may disagree on what local issues are, but, regardless the states create a lot of inefficiency through duplication. I am firmly of the belief that we would be better served with a strong central government that has appointees and beaurocrats dealing with regional issues than with our federalist system.

    Hahaha, nope.

    That system can go straight to hell.

    This is a compelling argument, but perhaps you'd be willing to expound a bit?

    If I have to expound how appointees and bureaucrats taking over for state governments is a stupid idea, ripe for corruption, then you're already lost.

    For historical examples, feel free to look at why we directly elect US Senators now.

    AManFromEarth on
    Lh96QHG.png
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    Dathouen wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Denmark and Norway have unitary governments, and are two of the least-corrupt nations in the world.

    Do you have any sort of research that backs this idea up?
    Research? Not at the moment, but examples? In spades. Many African, Asian, South American and even Central European countries. While not all current, they are often similar. The Philippines and India are two good examples.

    The Philippine government is highly centralized, with provincial governments having little to no influence over national legislation.

    Additionally, the governments of Denmark and Norway are actually quite small, making it easier to benefit from transparency. In countries with larger populations, and therefore larger governments, have cumbersome organizations where, even if transparent, they can easily obfuscate information in the deluge of output.
    Japan also has a unitary government, and is less corrupt than the U.S.

    Of course, "data" is not the plural of "anecdote." Which is why I was asking for some form of research backing up what you're saying.

    And from my perspective, I look at the U.S., and while the largest examples of corruption I see are at the federal level, the worst examples seem to be at the state level or lower, or are direct consequences of our strong federal system.


  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Knight_ wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Dathouen wrote: »
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...
    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.
    Well, yes it is because there are always going to be checks and balances in a governmental system. Federalism works best when it is backed by a strong central government and the "States' Rights" are only those that give them leeway to act on local issues. Which is how it works when we're not talking about slavery or gay marriage.
    Additionally, a single massive government without a collection of smaller governments to hold it in check leads to Fraud, Waste and Abuse.
    Denmark and Norway have unitary governments, and are two of the least-corrupt nations in the world.

    Do you have any sort of research that backs this idea up?

    I have no idea if his statement is accurate or not, but wouldn't those smaller mostly similar Scandinavian countries be a really hard comparison to the US?
    Well, given that the U.S. is the third-largest country in the world, there aren't a lot of countries that are comparable.

    Russia and India both jump to mind; both of which have relatively strong federalism, and are pretty fantastically fucking corrupt.

    True true, was just wondering. Suppose there isn't much way to know without looking at Alternate universe US or something.

    aeNqQM9.jpg
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Dathouen wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Yeah, I agree that the voting system needs some work, but you paint with a pretty broad brush, there. For starters, registering and voting is not uniformly difficult. In some states, it's trivially easy (California, for example). In other places, yes, it's a bitch and a half. Some national standards would be really nice, but right now getting standards in place is tough, because elections are one of the few things explicitly listed in the Constitution as being up to the states.
    True, but what's the point of a federal government if it doesn't enforce certain standards?

    I was just pointing out the practical consideration that, if we are to enact stricter uniformity - which I agree is a good idea - we need to get around the fact that the Constitution is standing directly in the way. I think it would basically take a Constitutional amendment to enact meaningful reforms here, which, whether or not it is the bestest idea, is going to be very difficult to accomplish.

    I would love to see a stronger centralized government. The fairy-tale notion that a bunch of largely-autonomous states can most ably solve all of society's problems hasn't been true for ages.

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  • DathouenDathouen Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Japan also has a unitary government, and is less corrupt than the U.S.

    Of course, "data" is not the plural of "anecdote." Which is why I was asking for some form of research backing up what you're saying.

    And from my perspective, I look at the U.S., and while the largest examples of corruption I see are at the federal level, the worst examples seem to be at the state level or lower, or are direct consequences of our strong federal system.

    Of course.

    Also.

    While they often detail the potential for corruption within Federalist Governments that operate using a Federal Government with numerous (at least 2) lower levels within, they also have a tendency to reference corruption in Unitary governments.
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I was just pointing out the practical consideration that, if we are to enact stricter uniformity - which I agree is a good idea - we need to get around the fact that the Constitution is standing directly in the way. I think it would basically take a Constitutional amendment to enact meaningful reforms here, which, whether or not it is the bestest idea, is going to be very difficult to accomplish.

    I would love to see a stronger centralized government. The fairy-tale notion that a bunch of largely-autonomous states can most ably solve all of society's problems hasn't been true for ages.
    That is true, but many fear that the Constitution has been tampered with enough over the last 200 years, and as a result react more to the changes.

    Additionally, we would have to be very careful. The constitution is already flimsy as it is, what with homeland security and all that, so any further modifications that move to strengthen the Federal government need to be approached with boatloads of caution.
    Knight_ wrote: »
    True true, was just wondering. Suppose there isn't much way to know without looking at Alternate universe US or something.
    Hmm, an America-616, as it were? I think that would be fascinating! Let's do that! Ok, ok, ok.... ahem....

    In America-616, the XVIII and XXI Articles also applied to Cannabis and Tobacco, instead of just Alcohol. :D In Addition, Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution instead reads:
    The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature of the Congress; and the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

    The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

    Dathouen on
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  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    We had a thread about abolishing the states once, and I still believe that, if we were somehow able to go back and start from scratch, we would have been much better served by a stronger central government with divisions that address regional issues and local governments which address actual local issues instead of federalism.

    What you have just described is federalism.

    So...

    Having a single overarching government with subdivisions that are just instrumentalities of it (which could be run by appointees, not even elected officials) is very different from independent governments which have rights against the central government. These are not the same system at all.

    Well, yes it is because there are always going to be checks and balances in a governmental system. Federalism works best when it is backed by a strong central government and the "States' Rights" are only those that give them leeway to act on local issues. Which is how it works when we're not talking about slavery or gay marriage.

    I suspect you and I may disagree on what local issues are, but, regardless the states create a lot of inefficiency through duplication. I am firmly of the belief that we would be better served with a strong central government that has appointees and beaurocrats dealing with regional issues than with our federalist system.

    Hahaha, nope.

    That system can go straight to hell.

    This is a compelling argument, but perhaps you'd be willing to expound a bit?

    If I have to expound how appointees and bureaucrats taking over for state governments is a stupid idea, ripe for corruption, then you're already lost.

    For historical examples, feel free to look at why we directly elect US Senators now.

    There are any number of ways that we could organize this system. We could divorce geography from elections entirely, and have the slate of senators and house members you vote for be based on social security number or lottery, and then have committees in charge of large regions. I'm not sure what the perfect system would be, but federalism certainly is not it.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
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