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Senate U.S. Government Reform... now discuss: election/political reform

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. Ghost Jedi Grand Master

    It is almost a universal feeling that the American government, if not broken, needs at least some kind of reform.

    Instead of continuing to whine and complain about how bad it is, let's be constructive, and actually propose some possible solutions!




    I'll get in depth with my own ideas later, but here's a list below to start us off.

    • I don't agree with a lot of these ideas.
    • Some are small steps, some are big steps, some are radically rethinking our government.
    • A lot of them contradict each other.
    • But people have discussed them before, and they're worth mentioning again, to get us brainstorming:
    * decreasing the number needed to break a filibuster in the Senate (it's at 60 now)
    * getting rid of the Electoral College, for a direct popular election of the President & VP
    * giving the President the power to line-item veto
    * getting rid of the Senate, which is by nature an un-democratic institution
    * a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United ruling, maybe even to make it so all elections are 100% publically-funded
    * electing the Cabinet nationwide, like how many state officers (Attorney General, State Treasurer, etc.) are elected statewide
    * getting rid of the Presidency, and moving towards a more Parliamentary system with a Prime Minister (could still be called President)
    * separate "head of state" duties from "head of government" duties
    * splitting up the duties of the Presidency into a small group of Co-Presidents (one elected for military/diplomatic affairs, one elected for economic affairs, one elected for cultural affairs and social issues, etc.)
    * electing nationwide a single "Legislator-in-Chief" to write all the laws, perhaps making Congress responsible for just approving or vetoing this person's laws
    * getting rid of Congress completely, with the President's power only checked by the Supreme Court (who'd be approved by the Governors) and by the People (through elections)
    * getting rid of the Federal system, no more states, and moving toward a Unitary system with provinces instead
    * finding out a way to ban lobbying
    * finding out a way to ban earmarks
    * terms limits on Representatives and Senators
    * streamlining the committee system in both House and Senate
    * combining and pruning the cabinet departments and independent agencies/boards/commissions
    * reorganizing the titles of statutory law and administrative law
    * reforming the process of appointments
    * reforming the process of government oversight

    There are many, many more potential ideas for reforming the U.S. government.


    shanep mod edit: edited title thread to point to current point of discussion
  2. VadersLaMent Jedi Grand Master

    Vote the GOP, all of them, out of the government. Something like 80+% of our problems will vanish.
  3. longvanishedspirals Jedi Grand Master

    term limits for congressional dudes and dudettes.
  4. Ghost Jedi Grand Master

    It's come up a lot before, and I used to agree with it, but it really solves nothing. We'd be stuck with a lot of amateurs. The special interests would have even more power, with a regular turnover rate.
  5. Juliet316 Jedi Grand Master

    Get rid of everyone, and just have pure anarchy for a few years. That'll straighten a lot of things out*.

    *or just send us straight to a nuclear hell.
    shanep and Ghost like this.
  6. Grand Admiral Jello Community and Expanded Universe mod-type person

    * decreasing the number needed to break a filibuster in the Senate (it's at 60 now)
    No.
    * getting rid of the Electoral College, for a direct popular election of the President & VP
    No.
    * getting rid of the Senate, which is by nature an un-democratic institution
    No.
    * a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United ruling, maybe even to make it so all elections are 100% publically-funded
    Maybe.
    * electing the Cabinet nationwide, like how many state officers (Attorney General, State Treasurer, etc.) are elected statewide
    No.
    * getting rid of the Presidency, and moving towards a more Parliamentary system with a Prime Minister (could still be called President)
    God no.
    * separate "head of state" duties from "head of government" duties
    Maaaaybe.
    * splitting up the duties of the Presidency into a small group of Co-Presidents (one elected for military/diplomatic affairs, one elected for economic affairs, one elected for cultural affairs and social issues, etc.)
    No.
    * electing nationwide a single "Legislator-in-Chief" to write all the laws, perhaps making Congress responsible for just approving or vetoing this person's laws
    Insanity.
    * getting rid of Congress completely, with the President's power only checked by the Supreme Court (who'd be approved by the Governors) and by the People (through elections)
    Huge insanity.
    * getting rid of the Federal system, no more states, and moving toward a Unitary system with provinces instead
    Maybe, but difficult to do.
    * finding out a way to ban lobbying
    Speech?
    * finding out a way to ban earmarks
    Representation?
    * terms limits on Representatives and Senators
    No.
    * streamlining the committee system in both House and Senate
    No opinion.
    * combining and pruning the cabinet departments and independent agencies/boards/commissions
    Sure.
    * reorganizing the titles of statutory law and administrative law
    No opinion.
    * reforming the process of appointments
    No.
    * reforming the process of government oversight
    No opinion.

    How about we just ask the Queen to take us back?
  7. Juliet316 Jedi Grand Master

    Actually, considering there are so many committees and sub - committees, that streamlining those would not necessarily be a bad thing depending on what gets committees get removed and/or folded into other committees.
  8. Ghost Jedi Grand Master

    @Grand Admiral Jello, I ninja'd in the line-item veto too :p

    What I don't get is that the committees and sub-committees in the House don't even line up with the committees and sub-committees in the Senate.

    Shouldn't they be mirror images of each other, at the very least? Never mind all the overlap, for a second...

    The U.S. government has grown organically over the decades... but like a garden that hasn't been tended to in years, it's a nonsensical jungle at this point, and needs some serious pruning.
  9. Juliet316 Jedi Grand Master

    Clinton had the line - item veto for, like, a New - York minute and then the Supreme Court took away by ruling it unconstitutional.
  10. Darth Guy Force Ghost

    When the electoral college was established, common voters didn't vote for president at all. Now all it really does is give a victory to the "wrong" person (see: the one who lost the popular vote) in a close race. It puts disproportionate emphasis on "swing" states because they're the only ones that end up mattering. It's also a disenfranchising system because every state except two has a winner-take-all way to award electoral votes and even awarding proportionally has problems. That means, say, the 40% of Californian who vote for the Republican candidate don't have any voice at all nationally. And it's a great way to shut out third parties.
    MrZAP, Souderwan and Ghost like this.
  11. Arawn Fenn Force Ghost

    Yes.
    Ghost likes this.
  12. Ghost Jedi Grand Master

    Would it be worth a constitutional amendment?
  13. Juliet316 Jedi Grand Master

    It would have to get past Congress first (most of which hate the thought of a line - item veto as it would likely get rid of their 'pet projects' in bills), so I doubt it.
  14. Lord_Vivec Jedi Grand Master

    What we need is public financing of elections. Campaign finance reform is probably the most important thing in terms of fixing our political system. Citizens United was the worst thing that ever happened to our electoral system. Rich people shouldn't have more "speech" than the middle class or the poor.
  15. vaderize03 Jedi Master

    Constitutional Amendment instituting public financing of Presidential elections and limiting the campaign season from Labor Day to Election Day.

    Abolish the Electoral College. In the age of the internet, there is no excuse for not having "one person, one vote"

    Open primaries for all offices nationwide at all levels.

    Consider changing the Presidency to one six-year term instead of two four-year terms. Limit one term per person.

    Constitutional Amendment allowing for Supreme Court rulings to be overturned by a direct two-thirds majority popular vote. Consider shrinking Supreme Court tenure to a twenty-year term instead of lifetime.

    Peace,

    V-03
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  16. Darth Guy Force Ghost

    "Open primaries" would just be effectively a general election, and then a later runoff. It defeats the purpose of registered members of a party picking someone to represent them. I think it would break our system even more.
  17. Souderwan Jedi Grand Master

    Funny enough, if you vote the DNC, all of them, out of government, you'd get similar (stupendously bad for the future) results.
  18. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

    That's actually why I think we should keep it. The two-party system is a good thing; since third parties aren't viable, if a political movement starts to attain significant popular support, the major parties have to start absorbing their ideas into their discourse. I think it fosters actual dialogue in a way that countless rival third parties simply shouting at each other would not.

    There was a brilliant House committee report in defense of the Electoral College done back in the 60s, but I'm having trouble tracking it down.
  19. Lord_Vivec Jedi Grand Master

    I'm sorry condition, but did you say that we shouldn't have third parties viable because...they're not viable?
  20. Ghost Jedi Grand Master

    What about getting rid of the Electoral College, but having an automatic runnoff election if one fails to get over 50%?

    Open primaries would definitely weaken parties... but is that a good thing or a bad thing?




    My comments in bold.

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