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Senate is Unfair, MUST REFORM.

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posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 01:05 AM
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reply to post by sligtlyskeptical
 


I've thought of that too, and was getting at that when I made a comment before about a national referendum system...

How about this.. each representative carries the number of votes that they received for office. You could even have a dynamic voting system where instead of yearly elections a citizen can change their allegiance weekly.

Think about how many public servants we lose in the electoral process...instead of electing winners, put a minimum requirement to be able to write legislation. The expand the districts and allow everyone to be truly represented instead of only those that voted for the winner.

It's crazy to me that either Romney or Obama will get 50 million plus votes and have no spot in the government...let the loser have some role.

Of course, the problem is that every citizen would have an electronic identity and avoiding privacy infringement may become impossible. The system would be something comparable to a government facebook which would be mandatory.

Do the Amish vote? They wouldn't be able to in this case...or maybe they'd write in.
edit on 17-8-2012 by MassOccurs because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 01:25 AM
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I don't understand why you are trying to reinvent the wheel here. The House needs a size increase to put it more in line with the people. We are up from one Representative representing around 62k people in 1789 to 210k people in 1911 when the Congress decided to limit the number to 435 to around 650k people presently. The people are not being represented as well as we should be represented. So yes your premise on the ideal we are woefully underrepresented is correct, your overcomplicated solutions are not all that necessary. You simply increase the number of representatives.
edit on 17-8-2012 by KeliOnyx because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 01:33 AM
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reply to post by ctdannyd
 





I agree with Neo. The current system is the best system.


then why isn't it working?? (NDAA was actually proposed BY the congress)

something NEEDS to change ....the congress right now is NOT listening to it's constituents; because the $$$$$ is speaking the loudest of us all....

I've always wondered if those running for congress would do it even though there'd be no direct or indirect money involved; and make the media foot the bill because ...it's what America does for Americans.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 02:01 AM
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reply to post by KeliOnyx
 


Even if the house were expanded, it's bills success would hinge on passing the Senate.

Let's say there's a bill on the table having to do, specifically, with urban communities. This bill would increase funding on inner city education with a small tax on people who own a plot of land exceeding 10,000 acres. Wouldn't most citizens favor that on a selfish level? It might pass the house, but then would go to the Senate where sparsely populated regions have more weight...

If NY had more clout in the upper house, you could also see a decrease in corporate lobbying, though that is highly speculative.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 02:27 AM
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reply to post by MassOccurs
 


You do understand that we are Republic yes? You do understand that is to protect the minority from the tyrannical majority yes? The Congress is meant to work that way. it isn't meant to be easy to just randomly pass tyrannical legislation. The people have their say in the House the States have their say in the Senate. What you are proposing would be a disaster.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 04:28 AM
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reply to post by MassOccurs
 


Are there any other countries that have a similar system to what you propose ?

Is this modeled from somebody else ?

Your thinking seems to resemble more of a centralized government.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 09:14 AM
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reply to post by KeliOnyx
 


Maybe i should clarify some things...

States have lost a lot of power over time, I think that the federal government should stop legislating on matters that the states have the capacity to handle.

The Senate as constructed has not done much to protect the rights of states, the federal gov. has been increasing in size and influence steadily. The Senate has failed as a protector of state rights...these rights need to be better defined in the constitution...the 10th amendment has already been violated and legislative patterns show no sign of reversing.

Since it fails to protect the rights of states all the Senate has done is violate the rights of citizens by giving an advantage to states with lower population.

United States laws clearly need an overhaul...I think that is obvious.

Think of it this way: if the houses serve two fundamentally different functions, then why do the political debates in both follow all the same lines of argument?

My plan of action would be to shift majority of funding to states...give them full jurisdiction over health care, welfare, social security, education. Limit the Fed to defense, international and interstate trade, interstate highways. Then, with states rights clearly defined the upper house as we know it would be redundant and the houses could be reconstructed for better efficiency and fairness.

To make a localized system more affordable, taxes will be paid in direct community work. For example having public college students help teach K-12 as part of their tuition...instead of having so many teachers make education more guest speaking oriented where established proffesionals teach for a few days a year as a tax payment....train more people in social work and allow service as tax payment (trained by professionals as tax payment)...same with health care, train people to be health professionals in public school and have them work as a tax payment...creating a situation where individuals are more active in the governing process and consider themself a government agent, increasing democracy. Have everyone take an active role in building stronger communities...replace the idea of "funding with money" and instead saying "funding with action." A lot of buerocracy could be eliminated...I could clearly go on and on about this aspect of my reform ideas, having the majority of taxes paid in a community oriented service..

These are just preliminary ideas, would love to hear why they wouldn't work...

But claiming the system is fine just doesn't pass....taking the approach that the science of government was mastered in 1789 is no better than saying the same for science of physics.
edit on 17-8-2012 by MassOccurs because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-8-2012 by MassOccurs because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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Originally posted by MassOccurs
I don't see why the states need their own house in the federal legislature at all...

The federal government should be a representative of the citizens, not the states.


No. If you had your way, then the government would be entirely dominated by both coasts, by the big cities. No one would pay the least bit of attention to the flyover states. They might as well not exist. The Senate was designed to give "flyover states" a say in the government. The Senate gives each state equal power.

That does NOT mean "the people" have no say. Even prior to the 17th amendment "the perople" elsected the state legislatures who in turn elected the Senators. That has been eroded, and the 17th amendment is part of the problem.

Prior to the Civil War "The United States of America" was plural. "United States" The states were united.
After the Civil War "The United States of America" became singular. It was seen as a single entity.

Does anyone think a stronger Federal government would give "the people" more power?

Look at it this way: In any state in the Union today you can call up your local representativbe to the State government and talk to him or her. Local legislators are local personalities. Districts are fairly small. Your legislator could easily be your neighbor. I call my local legislator by his first name. My Secretary of State knows me on sight. My father worked in hotels. He changed jobs once. When he governor of our state walked into the new hotel, he said, "Bob! You're in the wrong hotel!"

Can you do that kind of thing and have that kind of access at a national level? I suppose a few well-places people can, but most of us are simply part of the unwashed masses. You have alot more power through your state than through the Feds.
edit on 8/17/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


Okay, as I tried to clarify in my latest post, my entire argument predicates on the states retaining full rights as given in the tenth amendment. I'm not arguing for a stronger central government at all and my reform would have us back to the pre civil war ideology of states being sovereign and the primary governing unit with regard to the citizen.

I wasn't clear about this originally.

And in the current system, the government IS dominated by the coasts anyway. Scratch that, you could say it's dominated by the East Coast, and you could even boil that down to the two cities of NYC and DC when considering money flow.

Montana's economy relies completely on these two cities. So does every small state.

My line of thinking in posting this was that federal legislation (once restricted to national matters only) should be based on completely equal representation. Logic is that the states govern the people, the Fed governs the nation.

I appreciate the debate and find myself reconsidering and am not above reversing position completely...

Read my previous post and tell me what you think of those ideas and I'd have much gratitude.

I'm going to put forward a scenario that may argue my point. Politics is dominated by the two parties and there seems to be no end in sight for that, but its plausible to say a rural based third party could rise and gain a lot of seats in these low population states. Then who threatened? Repub and Dem are corporate based anyway, it seems more likely that a major third party could gain traction away from these strongholds. Let's call it the "woods party." What if the woods party in 2016 managed to take a significant number of seats in the senate. They might be able to get 20-30. The other 70-80 would be evenly split Dem/Rep and now the whole system is jammed. The House would still be 90% traditional and capable of passing legislation that reflects America at large, but the woods party now can block anything they want.

The constitution was drafted when the whole country was rural and a fraction of its current size. At that time small pop states needed some kind of buffer against large. Now, maybe in a legislative sense, the tides have turned.

Although, as I said, coastal cities retain economic superiority. But might that be incentive for the small states to unify?

Looking forward to a response and wanted to thank for helping improve my understanding of the purpose of the Senate.

edit on 17-8-2012 by MassOccurs because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-8-2012 by MassOccurs because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by MassOccurs
 


Actually I interpret your last post much differently than your first. I think we are much more closely aligned. I actually believe that the reason the Senate is much like the House is precisely because they are both direct-elected. The Senators are as beholden (or not) to the people as the House, yet their longer terms allow them to consolidate power. IF they were beholden to the state legislators, they would have a much different role than they do now. Of course, the 17th amendment didn't just appear. It was an attempt at "reform" as well. There was a feeling that Senators bought their seats with favors and also, state deadlocks prevented a timely senate from forming. Personally I see ample corruption no matter how senators are selected, and with both major parties.

This whole issue is really part of the Electoral College debate. Lots of people think it is "unfair!" and ought to be done away with. What it does, however, is make every state important. In a close election. What Montana does with its votes can be crucial, so you must pay attention to Montana.

I'm in favor of moving decision making power toward local levels whenever possible. I see no good reason to pay the Federal government confiscatory taxes only to have them redistribute our wealth with Federal rules, whether it is for highways or Medicaid. Yes, there are some things that only the Feds can do and things where national cooperation makes good sense. I just want the Feds out of my life as much as possible.


edit on 8/17/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


Okay, I edited my last post and wanted feedback on my "woods party" thing.. please, I think it's the best case ive made for the OP
edit on 17-8-2012 by MassOccurs because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 05:17 PM
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Originally posted by MassOccurs
reply to post by schuyler
 


Okay, as I tried to clarify in my latest post, my entire argument predicates on the states retaining full rights as given in the tenth amendment. I'm not arguing for a stronger central government at all and my reform would have us back to the pre civil war ideology of states being sovereign and the primary governing unit with regard to the citizen.


What rights do you want the State's to have? It has been my experience the same people pushing a States rights agenda, are the ones primarily concerned with ensuring the rule of tyrannical majority.


Montana's economy relies completely on these two cities. So does every small state.

How is your economy completely reliant on the larger States? You do understand that your State gets back more in Federal dollars than it receives? So it would seem to me that the larger states are already helping the smaller ones and that the more prosperous ones are assisting the not so fortunate ones.


My line of thinking in posting this was that federal legislation (once restricted to national matters only) should be based on completely equal representation. Logic is that the states govern the people, the Fed governs the nation.


But the Senate is already equally representing the smaller ones by giving each state two Senators. The House is designed to give the larger States their voice. So your argument should be focused on reforms there.



I'm going to put forward a scenario that may argue my point. Politics is dominated by the two parties and there seems to be no end in sight for that, but its plausible to say a rural based third party could rise and gain a lot of seats in these low population states. Then who threatened? Repub and Dem are corporate based anyway, it seems more likely that a major third party could gain traction away from these strongholds. Let's call it the "woods party." What if the woods party in 2016 managed to take a significant number of seats in the senate. They might be able to get 20-30. The other 70-80 would be evenly split Dem/Rep and now the whole system is jammed. The House would still be 90% traditional and capable of passing legislation that reflects America at large, but the woods party now can block anything they want.


This isn't a problem with the actual structure of the Government. This is a problem with the internal mechanisms of Government. A solution to this would be reforming via the Constitution on how campaigns are financed. You switch to a Publicly funded campaign fund that distributes funds equally to each eligible candidate for Federal office, and eliminate private donations and most of these problems go away. You will even begin to see the rise and fall of various political parties.


The constitution was drafted when the whole country was rural and a fraction of its current size. At that time small pop states needed some kind of buffer against large. Now, maybe in a legislative sense, the tides have turned.


This is what the House of Representatives is designed to do. As previously pointed out that we haven't added new members with the increases in population making them less accountable to the people. The fewer people you represent the better you have to know them.

The Senate is fine as it is the 17th Amendment exists for a reason largely stemming from political corruption at the State level. And putting it in the hands of the voter doesn't erode the States voice, it actually increases it because now you are subject to the public will. The only thing eliminated was the middleman.

Fix the House, fix the way campaigns are funded and you fix probably 85% of the problems we have.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by schuyler



That does NOT mean "the people" have no say. Even prior to the 17th amendment "the perople" elsected the state legislatures who in turn elected the Senators. That has been eroded, and the 17th amendment is part of the problem.

Look at it this way: In any state in the Union today you can call up your local representativbe to the State government and talk to him or her. Local legislators are local personalities. Districts are fairly small. Your legislator could easily be your neighbor. I call my local legislator by his first name. My Secretary of State knows me on sight. My father worked in hotels. He changed jobs once. When he governor of our state walked into the new hotel, he said, "Bob! You're in the wrong hotel!"

Can you do that kind of thing and have that kind of access at a national level? I suppose a few well-places people can, but most of us are simply part of the unwashed masses. You have alot more power through your state than through the Feds.
edit on 8/17/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



This has nothing to do with the direct election under the old system you would still have not had that kind of access to your Senator. It is just the nature of the position. I write my Senators all the time and after a few weeks a staffer sends me a response back. And most of the time it is clear that they have actually read and researched their response.

If you want that kind of person representing you at the Federal level that is what the House is for. By design they were intended to interact with the people.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by KeliOnyx
 


These last two posts reflect a quickness to post with an unbending opposition attitude and many of your arguments miss key points in what your responding to. It's like you're scrolling through the thread in ten seconds and convincing yourself that you can tear all these idiots to shreds.


I listed what rights I think State and Fed should have and steps to accomplish it. I'm not from Montana, but if I were I'd be smart enough to know that my state and all states rely heavily on the NY financial complex. There was a little phrase popular in economics a few years back, went something like "too big to fail." Retirement plans consistently hinge on stock market growth, small businesses rely heavily on bank loans as do anyone with a credit card.

And then you saw one sentence about party politics and started ranting and completely missed the point I was making which was the potential for less populous states to control the senate with a rural based third party.

You have two or three talking points that you respond to everything with like a parrot.

I hope schuyler comes backs and continues the spanking.

Why would I be from Montana and be arguing against disproportional representation of citizens in the Senate? That logic shows disconnect.
edit on 17-8-2012 by MassOccurs because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by MassOccurs
reply to post by KeliOnyx
 


These last two posts reflect a quickness to post with an unbending opposition attitude and many of your arguments miss key points in what your responding to. It's like you're scrolling through the thread in ten seconds and convincing yourself that you can tear all these idiots to shreds.


No that would be you. You have failed to be clear from the start and haven't defined anything.



I listed what rights I think State and Fed should have and steps to accomplish it.


No you really didn't. You laid out a myriad of different funding issues the two are not the same thing.


There was a little phrase popular in economics a few years back, went something like "too big to fail." Retirement plans consistently hinge on stock market growth, small businesses rely heavily on bank loans as do anyone with a credit card.


This is not being reliant on State of New York's Representation. This is an economic issue not a flaw in the structure of Government. It is only a Governmental problem in the fact that they control the money, being used to buy the political process. Your solution to this is add more politicians to buy. My solution to this is make it so that they cannot be bought.


And then you saw one sentence about party politics and started ranting and completely missed the point I was making which was the potential for less populous states to control the senate with a rural based third party.


No I didn't miss the point, but apparently I understand the problem that you do not. Publicly funding campaigns on the national stage, encourages the growth of more parties. Because anyone that is eligible to run in the election is qualified to receive funds. It is no longer based on who can kiss billionaire backside best to get funded. There is no law that restricts us to two parties it is corporate sources of money that keeps us stuck in that cycle. No amount of increasing members of Congress will change that.


I hope schuyler comes backs and continues the spanking.

Why you can't do it yourself? Maybe it is time for you to go find mommy so she can put you down for your nap.


Why would I be from Montana and be arguing against disproportional representation of citizens in the Senate? That logic shows disconnect.
edit on 17-8-2012 by MassOccurs because: (no reason given)


I don't know why you would, but then again I don't know why you would go about fixing household problems by burning the house down instead of fixing them one at a time either. The problem isn't my lack of understanding it is your lack of clarity and continually shifting your position.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 07:11 PM
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reply to post by KeliOnyx
 


Alright, I'm not going to waste any more time participating in this type of pure ego argument and I regret and apologize for many elements of my last post.

I do not have a fixed political ideology and often use ATS as a tool to get feedback on ideas I'm not really sure about. Campaign funding and lobbying is a huge problem. So are the two party system, over federalization, lack of corporate ethic, education ineffectiveness, weak communities, high crime/imprisonment, privacy infringement, war mongering, state/fed deficits, economic recession, family deterioration, immigration, health care, drugs, outsourcing, and an endless of things that didn't come right to mind. All of these problems in the context of polarization, attitude bias, and political gridlock.

This particular thread sought feedback on the idea that the Senate might be defunct, isn't accomplishing it's goal of protecting state rights and because of that is just another legislative body indistinct from the House beside a representative bias toward less popular states. The feedback has caused me to reconsider this premise, but i still believe the structure provides a window for a disproportional power grab of rural America.

Now, the larger point of this whole thing is that I feel there should be ground up movement toward mass reform in government. I think the first step toward accomplishing this is getting people talking and having more take a role that surpasses the vote in impact, which is voice. We have the right to demand a better government, we have enough intelligence to design and it will only require a collective push.

I believe we are at a critical point in terms of economics, foreign policy, and general attitude with the possibility of crisis serious. In order to prevent this there should be an impactful movement toward receptive deliberation and the progress that follows.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 08:34 PM
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Originally posted by MassOccurs
reply to post by KeliOnyx
 


Alright, I'm not going to waste any more time participating in this type of pure ego argument and I regret and apologize for many elements of my last post.

No need to apologize, there was no offense taken, Politics is a passionate issue you will get passionate responses.


I do not have a fixed political ideology and often use ATS as a tool to get feedback on ideas I'm not really sure about. Campaign funding and lobbying is a huge problem. So are the two party system, over federalization, lack of corporate ethic, education ineffectiveness, weak communities, high crime/imprisonment, privacy infringement, war mongering, state/fed deficits, economic recession, family deterioration, immigration, health care, drugs, outsourcing, and an endless of things that didn't come right to mind. All of these problems in the context of polarization, attitude bias, and political gridlock.


These are all problems everyone wants to see addressed. But these are policy issues Not really structural ones.


This particular thread sought feedback on the idea that the Senate might be defunct, isn't accomplishing it's goal of protecting state rights and because of that is just another legislative body indistinct from the House beside a representative bias toward less popular states. The feedback has caused me to reconsider this premise, but i still believe the structure provides a window for a disproportional power grab of rural America.

You make valid points on the power grab part but the nature of the Senate doesn't really allow control to dictate policy alone you still have to play politics. Generally the rural states have their own concerns so even if they were to block together they couldn't force policy that they couldn't get the rest to sign on to.


Now, the larger point of this whole thing is that I feel there should be ground up movement toward mass reform in government. I think the first step toward accomplishing this is getting people talking and having more take a role that surpasses the vote in impact, which is voice. We have the right to demand a better government, we have enough intelligence to design and it will only require a collective push.


The discontent is growing already. We just haven't had a centrist party form and accumulate the following to reform just yet. The smaller parties in this country are just simply outspent by the big tent parties.Ron Paul is a good example of this he can't run third party nationally he would just get destroyed. So he does what he can by running Republican. It comes down to reforming the electoral process first.

If your car needed a tuneup you wouldn't go and tear the whole motor down would you? It is the same principle.
We have a Government that was designed to be tuned up as we went along, we have just let that maintenance go undone for awhile.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 10:41 PM
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reply to post by KeliOnyx
 


My view is that the current structure is inefficient in creating policy and ineffective in creating a high quality of life. I can't emphasize enough how I think a simple increase in participation could do wonders to hold the elected officials accountable and build a smarter democracy. This increase could be sparked by a simple debate on whether or not drastic reform is needed, doesn't even need to actually happen if that's the way an educated public feels.

I also differ in the notion that the car is just in need of a tune up. Failure is to the point where we might want to look at a whole different type of car and engine all together. Or, further, abandon the car and work on building hover craft.

Let's say that no ultimate crisis comes in the foreseeable future...how long do you see the original constitution being the governing document of USA. 50 more years? 1,000? Forever?



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 11:05 PM
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reply to post by MassOccurs
 


Honestly if it were followed, and that is a big if given the current abuses The People have allowed. It could last till the sun blew up. The document itself, was made to be adjusted as we needed it to. It isn't a dirty thing to say that there are times changes need to be made.

When it was written we were an agrarian nation now we are a industrial nation. Not everything in the founders time will or can work in ours, any more than we can expect things that work in our time will work as well in 200 years. It was never intended as some believe to be left alone untouched forever.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 11:20 PM
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reply to post by KeliOnyx
 


Right, at some point won't constant amendment become cumbersome and a new draft may be required so people can read the thing in a life time?

The bill of rights is more important than the constitution itself. Is the judicial system operating at maximum efficiency? I don't have the answer there. But they did pass that bill recently which I'm sure you hate about corporations retaining the rights of citizens in campaign donations. Maybe we should elect the supreme court? The judicial seems to get over looked in all of this doesn't it? Shouldn't people be getting smarter and have a better way of working things out as time goes on?

It doesn't necessarily need to be overhauled, but I'd bet a lot it happens in my life time. The murmurs are there now. In 30 years, odds on people will be pretty confident they are more equipped to design their own government than the founders were.




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