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  1. #31
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
    But then what happens if you get a crappy congressman. It would take forever (maybe 4 or 8 years) for his term to expire.
    I would believe that the people of the crappy congressman's district should have a say in generating a recall.

    A certain percentage of the congressman's district allows for the people to create a ballot box initiative to recall their federal/state congressman if he/she is horrible.

    People like Todd Akin (not part of Congress anymore,) if his term wasn't up until 2 years later, the people of his district can just kick him out.

    I do know that a lot of states don't have the ballot box initiative though since it is one of those very Californian thing brought to us by the Progressive Era.

    The presidency aside, the house still has the option to impeach the president if he/she desires. And if the representative feels that there is no backlash in impeaching the president, then by all means impeach him.

  2. #32
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    It's all about the incentives.

    That's all it's ever about.

    From Edge:

    The Power of Bad Incentives

    The Power Of Bad Incentives

    Imagine that a young, white man has been falsely convicted of a serious crime and sentenced to five years in a maximum-security penitentiary. He has no history of violence and is, understandably, terrified at the prospect of living among murderers and rapists. Hearing the prison gates shut behind him, a lifetime of diverse interests and aspirations collapses to a single point: He must avoid making enemies so that he can serve out his sentence in peace.

    Unfortunately, prisons are places of perverse incentives—in which the very norms one must follow to avoid becoming a victim lead inescapably toward violence. In most U.S. prisons, for instance, whites, blacks, and Hispanics exist in a state of perpetual war. This young man is not a racist, and would prefer to interact peacefully with everyone he meets, but if he does not join a gang he is likely to be targeted for rape and other abuse by prisoners of all races. To not choose a side is to become the most attractive victim of all. Being white, he likely will have no rational option but to join a white-supremacist gang for protection.

    So he joins a gang. In order to remain a member in good standing, however, he must be willing to defend other gang members, no matter how sociopathic their behavior. He also discovers that he must be willing to use violence at the tiniest provocation—returning a verbal insult with a stabbing, for instance—or risk acquiring a reputation as someone who can be assaulted at will. To fail to respond to the first sign of disrespect with overwhelming force, is to run an intolerable risk of further abuse. Thus, the young man begins behaving in precisely those ways that make every maximum security prison a hell on earth. He also adds further time to his sentence by committing serious crimes behind bars.

    A prison is perhaps the easiest place to see the power of bad incentives. And yet in many other places in our society, we find otherwise normal men and women caught in the same trap and busily making life for everyone much less good than it could be. Elected officials ignore long-term problems because they must pander to the short-term interests of voters. People working for insurance companies rely on technicalities to deny desperately ill patients the care they need. CEOs and investment bankers run extraordinary risks—both for their businesses and for the economy as a whole—because they reap the rewards of success without suffering the penalties of failure. Lawyers continue to prosecute people they know to be innocent (and defend those they know to be guilty) because their careers depend upon winning cases. Our government fights a war on drugs that creates the very problem of black market profits and violence that it pretends to solve….

    We need systems that are wiser than we are. We need institutions and cultural norms that make us better than we tend to be. It seems to me that the greatest challenge we now face is to build them.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    I would believe that the people of the crappy congressman's district should have a say in generating a recall.

    A certain percentage of the congressman's district allows for the people to create a ballot box initiative to recall their federal/state congressman if he/she is horrible.

    People like Todd Akin (not part of Congress anymore,) if his term wasn't up until 2 years later, the people of his district can just kick him out.

    I do know that a lot of states don't have the ballot box initiative though since it is one of those very Californian thing brought to us by the Progressive Era.

    The presidency aside, the house still has the option to impeach the president if he/she desires. And if the representative feels that there is no backlash in impeaching the president, then by all means impeach him.
    However, if a congressman has the eternal threat of public opinion getting him voted out of office, he/she will be very reluctant to do something that is good, yet unpopular, like cut the fat in medicare, pensions, military, and education. So this would effectively mean that the politicians could only do what the current popular opinion is, and the current popular opinion is rarely the best one.

  4. #34

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    I reckon that free market politicians shouldnt even get one term in office.

  5. #35
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
    However, if a congressman has the eternal threat of public opinion getting him voted out of office, he/she will be very reluctant to do something that is good, yet unpopular, like cut the fat in medicare, pensions, military, and education. So this would effectively mean that the politicians could only do what the current popular opinion is, and the current popular opinion is rarely the best one.
    It isn't any different from the current lobbying, from that standpoint. In fact, I'd think it is a truer representation of those districts than we have now with the current lobbying power.

    It is actually a lot harder to recall a politician than it is to ask for a recall. Out of the 2+ centuries, how many governor recalls and impeachment (where it actually succeeded) occur? Not many. Even when Wisconsin was riding on the effort to recall Walker, he was still able to stay in office.

    Representatives should be voted by their districts and vote by how their districts want the representative to vote. That is the idea behind the lower house.

    The same goes for the Senate when it comes to the state.

    The groups that make a clear-cut example of forcing representatives into a corner are groups like the Tea Party and Grover Norquist.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    Representatives should be voted by their districts and vote by how their districts want the representative to vote. That is the idea behind the lower house.
    I think the difference between a Representative and a Delegate escapes you.

    A delegate is a mere mouthpiece for the electorate.

    A representative takes into consideration the concerns of all their constituents, staff advisers etc..., then taking that into consideration uses their best judgement to make the call.

    I'm glad we're a republic.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I think the difference between a Representative and a Delegate escapes you.

    A delegate is a mere mouthpiece for the electorate.

    A representative takes into consideration the concerns of all their constituents, staff advisers etc..., then taking that into consideration uses their best judgement to make the call.

    I'm glad we're a republic.
    Lol, I chose to leave a specific part out, and I regret it.

    The thing that the people who live in these districts have to understand is that his/her representative is only 1 of many. And to get anywhere, there will be concessions that need to be made that will piss off people.

    Concessions need to be made to pass bills that help a representative's district.
    Concessions need to be made to pass a bill that the representative wants.
    Concessions need to be made where the representative does not want.
    Etc.

  8. #38
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    The concept I'm putting forward is entirely about incentives.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    Which is why I propose a longer one term over two or three short ones.

    One longer term just means that there would not be a need for campaigning and for paying people who put you into office. It means that congress can actually spend time working on bills instead of campaigning and looking for donations year-round.
    This would mean that the person would have no incentive to be on his toes to please his constituents. He would know he wouldn't have to worry about being accountable to the voters. He already got elected and wouldn't have to worry very much about constituents. This is an ideal situation for a selfish person to get all that he can while serving out his one term. He would basically be a lame duck getting all that he could while the getting was good. In the system we have now, at least politicians do have to try and please their constituency whether they really feel like it or not. If you're saying the people can just exercise the option to recall someone they don't like, that may be true. But such things tend to be pretty cumbersome. I suspect we will keep the system the way it is now, despite its flaws.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by sorenx7 View Post
    This would mean that the person would have no incentive to be on his toes to please his constituents. He would know he wouldn't have to worry about being accountable to the voters. He already got elected and wouldn't have to worry very much about constituents. This is an ideal situation for a selfish person to get all that he can while serving out his one term. He would basically be a lame duck getting all that he could while the getting was good. In the system we have now, at least politicians do have to try and please their constituency whether they really feel like it or not. If you're saying the people can just exercise the option to recall someone they don't like, that may be true. But such things tend to be pretty cumbersome. I suspect we will keep the system the way it is now, despite its flaws.
    It isn't too different from where we are now.

    Most people think their own representative are doing great, or are representing them well. That is, even with the extremely low approval for Congress as a whole.

    The only constituents that are less likely to get what they want are the lobbyist and very big donors. But even then, we have representatives who believe in them.

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