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  1. #21
    Senior Member Pixelholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I think that's madness. There are supposed to be multiple and competing levels and branches of government. That helps to prevent concentrations of power (not guarantee, as we can see). Even concentrations of power in the people themselves can be negative for society. "More people having a voice" is a means as far as I (and, I would argue, the Founders) am concerned. It's not a end in and itself.
    first off, they aren't competing, they're checks and balances. Politics compete, government isn't supposed to. And I'm hoping that you took the previous administration to task for trying to execute (heh) a powergrab for the executive brance (if you did, kudos.) Reducing barriers between voters and their representatives helps reduce concentrations of power in the upper classes (I'll give you a guess where most of the electoral college comes from, hell where most politicians come from.) I'd rather have representatives who have to answer to the people rather than being able to hide behind arcane electoral rules

    WAS the Constitution made to be a "living document?" It seems to me that it was made to be the supreme law of the land, and it was also made intentionally difficult to amend.
    Yes, it was. The bill of rights in fact was the first compromise and change to the supreme law of the land. The fact that there is a judiciary branch that has the ability to reinterpret laws suggests a living document also. This is how we were able to move away from slavery, give women the right to vote, prohibit and then repeal the use of alcohol, etc. The document needs to be able to adapt to the society as much as the society has to follow the document.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” -Nietzsche

  2. #22
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelholic View Post
    first off, they aren't competing, they're checks and balances. Politics compete, government isn't supposed to. And I'm hoping that you took the previous administration to task for trying to execute (heh) a powergrab for the executive brance (if you did, kudos.) Reducing barriers between voters and their representatives helps reduce concentrations of power in the upper classes (I'll give you a guess where most of the electoral college comes from, hell where most politicians come from.) I'd rather have representatives who have to answer to the people rather than being able to hide behind arcane electoral rules
    I did. I am a committed libertarian, so I was NOT a Bush fan. As to "reducing concentrations of power in the upper classes," I don't believe in using class as a criterion for making political decisions. I really don't care if a politician or his backers are billionaires or bums. I want someone whose ideology jives with mine.

    And I think they are supposed to compete to an extent. I believe in local and state governments being "laboratories of democracy/liberty." Sales tax rates would be a good example. Why shouldn't Nevada and Arizona compete with California, or Delaware with Pennsylvania? Why not Upper Darby and Philadelphia? Or Philadelphia with the legislature in Harrisburg?


    Yes, it was. The bill of rights in fact was the first compromise and change to the supreme law of the land. The fact that there is a judiciary branch that has the ability to reinterpret laws suggests a living document also. This is how we were able to move away from slavery, give women the right to vote, prohibit and then repeal the use of alcohol, etc. The document needs to be able to adapt to the society as much as the society has to follow the document.
    I don't think this stands to reason. The Bill of Rights were amendments, so they had to pass the constitutional process to be enacted, and they were passed because of a fear of unchecked government power. And I don't think that a judicial branch "suggests a living document." I think it suggests that the Founding Fathers knew that disputes would arise as the nation expanded, rather than that they would legislate from the bench. I also consider the permission of slavery and disenfranchisement of women to be errors from the get-go. I believe that the group of rights and governmental principles at the time were correct, but that the propertied white men of that time were wrong not to extend those rights to everyone. A "living document" mentality is not necessary to say "they/we were wrong about this."
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #23
    Senior Member Pixelholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I am a committed libertarian
    From my experience this means that this debate will spiral out of control rather quickly. So I'm cordially bowing out. We have fundamental disagreements about how government should operate so I'll just leave it at that.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” -Nietzsche

  4. #24
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelholic View Post
    From my experience this means that this debate will spiral out of control rather quickly. So I'm cordially bowing out. We have fundamental disagreements about how government should operate so I'll just leave it at that.
    That's unfortunate. It doesn't stop others on here, as you can plainly see.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #25
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    It just depends on what we think is important in the structure of the government of the United States.

    Important for states to be represented fairly = Senate has importance
    Important for people to be represented fairly = House has importance
    Important for states' opinion and people's opinion to be represented fairly = Bicameral Congress

    Should the President be elected to represent the states, or the people?
    Both, the states and the people = Electoral College, since it has the same numerical composition as the entire Congress (both houses), but not elect by the actual Congress members, to separate the vote from their bias (a little bit...).

    If you don't value the Senate's capacity to represent the states in the U.S. government, then it makes logical sense that you wouldn't value the Electoral College, and would rather have a Popular Vote to determine presidency. Difference of values and opinion.

    As for the Senate, I think of it more like a U.N.-style forum of the 50 states, though with more binding operative power than the U.N.
    Last edited by Cimarron; 07-24-2010 at 09:12 AM. Reason: the Senate
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