3
   

Dissolve Electoral College

 
 
Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 07:37 am
I don't think dissolution of the EC would make a dangerous change in US politics right away. I do think the passage of time, however, would bring about disasterous results.

If my candidate lost the EC vote, but won the popular--I'd be sick--for sure. But, I would never want to repeal the EC.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 07:44 am
Why not just have greater autonomy for the states?

E.g. California, the liberal haven, wants to legalize medicinal marijuana.

Feds be all up in their grill. Why not let Cali make their own bed as far as this is concerned?

I say this because the "tyranny of the majority" is, IMO, much more likely to manefest itself with no give and take.

If the heartland wants gay marriages prohibited and Cali wants them to be mandatory then making a uniform rule makes for a showdown.

Either way there is a loser. With more autonomy there would be fewer losers and Texas could declare California a sponsor of social terrorism and such.

Just to clarify, the last election was no biggie for me. I was in Brazil laughing my butt off that the Brazilians could claim technological superiority in something (voting booths, which in Brazil are all electronic).
0 Replies
 
PDiddie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 07:45 am
I really enjoy joe's opinions, even when they take issue with mine. He sounds like the kind of barrister I'd like to have on my side (if I ever needed one).

Am enjoying the lively exchange, Crave and fish and Sofe.

I'd like to be rid of the College, but as I've previously posted, it ain't hap'nin.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:06 am
Quote:
If the heartland wants gay marriages prohibited and Cali wants them to be mandatory then making a uniform rule makes for a showdown

And, the showdown makes for the fabulous tests of the incredibly astute laws of this land. The Fed and the states have their methods laid out to them-- Let them go at it within the established framework.

We are fifty-- and we are one.

Changes happen-- If they are strongly enough supported through the gauntlet. This is why we survive and excel, IMO. We don't get swept down the drain by schizophrenic trends, because real change must meet stringent tests--designed by the framers.

I think we have it perfectly.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:10 am
Hmm. roger said that dissolving the EC makes perfect sense.. if you are in one of the large states. I guess the converse also applies. If you are in the smaller ones you are more likely to wax poetic about its perfection.

As an aside I think Americans generally get far too carried away with the perceived perfection of our system.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:14 am
...or they just really like it. Very Happy
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:16 am
I'm sure they like it. I still think it's more patriotic than objective.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:23 am
Quote:
As an aside I think Americans generally get far too carried away with the perceived perfection of our system.
...or they just really like it. Very Happy

And, about what Rog said-- I'm not just out for myself. Can't speak for other EC proponents. As I said--if Bush wins the popular, and loses the EC, you won't hear me changing my mind. There are actually some people, who want what they consider to be best for this country in the long-run--not just what suits them at any given time.

No one should be disenfranchised! (tee hee)
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:27 am
Craven de Kere wrote:
Why not just have greater autonomy for the states?


Works for me! It seems like the only time people want the Federal Gov. to get involved is when they can't force people in another state to do what they want.

Let the states do what they want and let them deal with the effects.
0 Replies
 
Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:35 am
Responding to Craven's "patriotic" quote--

Mmmm....NAH!
It's not objective. I would have had to pour over the Constitutions, laws and what not of all the other nations to make an objective judgement--and I haven't done this...

Patriotic? Nah. That would mean no matter how effective, or poorly thought out I determined my nation's laws to be, I'd blindly approve them. Most definitely not true.

I find the checks and balances, divisions of power and the general make up of the US to be very well-thought out, and highly commendable. I think much of our success is owing to our extreme youth, and the resulting ability of our Founders to avoid mistakes of other countries, and build on their successes.

Maybe it is not patriotic, nor objective--but subjective...? I can live with that. (Choosing the definition of subjective: personal.) Very Happy
0 Replies
 
yeahman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:56 am
a report i did years back that may be relevent to this topic
this was a school report so i had to pad it to meet the quota so sorry if it's repetitive at times.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Publius (Hamilton, Madison, and John Jay) set forth two views of the government's function and relationship with the people, which it governs. They are similar in many ways yet differ distinctly in some aspects. Though the defenders of the Constitution were successful in helping to create a stable and unified State, they failed to adequately address the fundamental relationship between the individual to the government. The role of the government is to provide according to the general will, and the general will alone. Government does not function to establish a relationship among the individual states within a nation.

According to Rousseau society should be governed by the general will. "Each of us puts his person and all his power in common under the supreme direction of the general will; and in a body we receive each member as an indivisible part of the whole." (p282) Government, therefore, is guided by the general will and cannot go against it. "The first and most important consequence of the principles established above is that the general will alone can guide the forces of the State according to the end for which it was instituted." (p283)

The authors of the Federalist Papers were mainly concerned with the proposed Union's relationship with the individual states and the many factions within the Union. Rousseau, on the other hand, was more concerned with the state's relationship with the individual and the entire collection of individuals. When people surrender some of their natural freedom to the government in exchange for civil freedom, they place their sovereignty into one government, which rules according to the general will. The government, in turn, cannot forfeit its power to another government that does not rule according to the general will of the people as Publius proposes.

Under the Constitution, which the Federalist Papers tries to defend, the local governments would submit to one centralized government which may or may not rule according to general will, depending on the circumstance. As we have seen in the 2000 presidential elections, many times the general will of the people is overruled by the will of the individual states. The founding fathers tried to unify the states at the cost of the people.

Since sovereignty is granted by the people it is inalienable and indivisible, meaning, it must be according to the general will of those who grant the sovereignty. Therefore, the idea of checks and balances that is supported by Publius is unnecessary. The people of the republic, who are the legislators, need not be in check since this would undermine the whole idea of a government ruling according to the general will. Madison claims that, "In order to lay a due foundation for that separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of governmentÂ… it is evident that each department should have a will of its own." (p343) The government should follow one and only one will, the general will.

Rousseau acknowledges that a democracy is impractical and, though ideal, impossible to maintain. "If there were a people of Gods, it would govern itself democratically, Such a perfect government is not suited to men." (p291) The next step up is an aristocracy. The Constitution is calling for a form of aristocracy combined with a form of monarchy by having representatives that convey the interests of the people and a president to promote stability. However, in an attempt to unify the states, they proposed a division of the legislative body that would provide relative equality among the states but widen inequality among the people. Also, by installing a monarch, however limited the monarch may be, countless biases are introduced. Even an aristocracy may not always legislate according to the general will. By introducing a monarch into the equation, the probability of the governing body to go against the general will is multiplied. The more people that are included, the closer the will of the group will represent the general will. By placing power in one person, the general will is followed at his own discretion. He may pass legislation to benefit those of his social class, race, or religion.

Madison, Hamilton, and Jay were too hasty in trying to unite the states that they showed little regard for the individuals that make up the states. A relationship made up solely of the states and the union cannot exist since the states themselves are a faction and do not represent the general will. If the state/union structure is to be maintained the only relationships that can exist is between the people and the state and the people and the union. Furthermore, the divisions in the legislative body need not exist, and should not exist. They create greater inequality among the people. Rousseau more thoroughly examined the causes and consequences of the formation of the different types of government.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 09:58 am
Quote:
The people of the republic, who are the legislators, need not be in check since this would undermine the whole idea of a government ruling according to the general will.


The Legislators aren't the representatives of the people (at least not in our Federal level government.) They are representatives of the states.


Quote:
Madison, Hamilton, and Jay were too hasty in trying to unite the states that they showed little regard for the individuals that make up the states. A relationship made up solely of the states and the union cannot exist since the states themselves are a faction and do not represent the general will. If the state/union structure is to be maintained the only relationships that can exist is between the people and the state and the people and the union.


How were Madison, Hamilton and Jay "to hasty" when Rosseau himself admits that his concept of a democracy and rule by "the general will" is an impossibility? Should they all have just sat on their hands? Was there an alternative for them to just do nothing?
0 Replies
 
yeahman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 03:39 pm
fishin' wrote:
The Legislators aren't the representatives of the people (at least not in our Federal level government.) They are representatives of the states.

the senate is a representative of the state. the house is supposed to be a representive of the individuals of the state. a correctly functioning house (which is already assuming a lot) would in theory legislate according to the general will while the senate does not.

fishin' wrote:
How were Madison, Hamilton and Jay "to hasty" when Rosseau himself admits that his concept of a democracy and rule by "the general will" is an impossibility? Should they all have just sat on their hands? Was there an alternative for them to just do nothing?

a true democracy is an impossibility. a representative government is not and can rule according to the general will. and like you said the US federal government is not a true representative government. at least not representative of the people.

at the time perhaps there was nothing they could have done. and it wasn't as important as it is today. they wanted a union of the states like the EU. but the US performs far more functions than that today. functions which the people have never delegated to the union. so while the union is grabbing more power, the people are not given more representation. there is a disconnect between the people and the federal government.

the states may have rejected it but ideally, we should have a truely representative federal government.
0 Replies
 
RicardoTizon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 07:28 pm
A lot of argument is going about with the big state small state or as other put it advance state and backward state. What if we look at the Presidential Candidates in the last 20 years, I mean the real candidates not the nuisance ones. Are any of them from the so called small state or marginalized state?

We know at least that when it comes to laws, they have representation on the senate and congress, equality of course is another question.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:56 pm
Ricardo_Tizon wrote:
What if we look at the Presidential Candidates in the last 20 years, I mean the real candidates not the nuisance ones. Are any of them from the so called small state or marginalized state?


In the last 20 years the single candidate than ran from the state with the least number of EC electors (i.e. the "smallest" state) would be Clinton from Ark which has 6 votes.

The 17 states with 5 EC electors or less have had a grand total of ONE President elected from their states (Franklin Pierce of NH in 1852).
0 Replies
 
perception
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 10:01 pm
Craven wrote:

"As an aside I think Americans generally get far too carried away with the perceived perfection of our system".

I've been observing and biting my tongue----can't stomach it any more. Craven it could be that the hard working majority (not to be confused with the moral majority) harbor no illlusions about the perfection of our system-----it could be that they just believe it is better than any alternative.

Also I've heard you blast patriotism so many times I want to shake you until your eyes pop out----what is it about patriotism that sends you off on a rant? You are very intimidating on that particular issue which you have every right to do since you own the forum-----you seem to want to dominate it just as though it were your private playtoy-----maybe you want to step back and take a look.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 11:09 pm
I don't like patriotism. Get over it. We don't have to agree.

Your accusation about wanting to "dominate" the forum is as silly as your wish to "shake me till my eyes pop out" is.

People will disagree with you in the future and I think there are more healthy ways to deal with it.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 07:00 am
(Aside - not meant to derail the debate - can states in the USA NOT make their own laws - about legalising marijuana or recognising gay marriages, for example?)
0 Replies
 
perception
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 07:20 am
Craven

Disagreement is healthy and I thrive on it---obsessive criticism of a specific form of nationalistic behavior could be unhealthy-----I just wanted to distract you from the "attack" mode into the "introspective" mode. Twisted Evil
0 Replies
 
Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 07:29 am
I am really suspicious of the motivations of the liberal establishment, and their aficianados' attempts to equate patriotism with Nazism. It is presumptuous and insulting.
0 Replies
 
 

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