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Old 21st December 2020, 03:21 PM   #41
TragicMonkey
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You could cut the Senate in half though.
I wouldn't, but I can't say I'd shed a lot of tears if someone else did that.
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Old 21st December 2020, 03:24 PM   #42
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Is there anything that says a congressional district has to be completely within a single state?

OK, North and South Dakota each have two senators, but maybe they could have a single representative?
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Old 21st December 2020, 03:50 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Is there anything that says a congressional district has to be completely within a single state?

OK, North and South Dakota each have two senators, but maybe they could have a single representative?
Each State must have a minimum of one representative.
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Old 21st December 2020, 03:51 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I wouldn't, but I can't say I'd shed a lot of tears if someone else did that.
It would take a Constitutional Amendment however.
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Old 21st December 2020, 04:00 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
It would take a Constitutional Amendment however.
I thought only people in books named their swords?
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Old 21st December 2020, 04:14 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I thought only people in books named their swords?
I don't pick up the reference. Huh?
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Old 21st December 2020, 04:32 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You could cut the Senate in half though.
This would be a terrible idea. Then states become outright fiefdoms, further raising the prestige and status of being a US Senator. I would not mind going in the other direction. Let's have thousands of Senators.

Quote:
You could also change/limit its authority.
Yes, and this would probably be the best route. Just limit it to basically a ceremonial office. I've mentioned earlier admitting city-states (Mexico City gets three senators in a system modeled after ours).

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It's also arguable that you could abolish the Senate in a two step process. First by amending the equal suffrage shield. Then by abolishing the Senate. But I get it's difficult if not almost impossible.
I've heard this proposal as well, and I wonder what Constitutional scholars have to say. It strikes me as dirty pool. If Article V applied to a few things, I would understand, but it only applies (currently) to one thing, which makes it that much more obnoxious.
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Old 21st December 2020, 04:44 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
This would be a terrible idea. Then states become outright fiefdoms, further raising the prestige and status of being a US Senator. I would not mind going in the other direction. Let's have thousands of Senators.

Yes, and this would probably be the best route. Just limit it to basically a ceremonial office. I've mentioned earlier admitting city-states (Mexico City gets three senators in a system modeled after ours).

I've heard this proposal as well, and I wonder what Constitutional scholars have to say. It strikes me as dirty pool. If Article V applied to a few things, I would understand, but it only applies (currently) to one thing, which makes it that much more obnoxious.
I'm just talking. The Senate is so unbelievably undemocratic. Adding more Senators is as troublesome as cutting them in half. But cutting them in half would address the EC issue somewhat. But if we are going to pass a Constitutional Amendment, just abolishing the EC would be easier than dealing with the Senate.

I'm in favor of eliminating the States or combining States so instead of 50 we have ten or five. We have different states because Great Britain created 13 separate colonies. We created States with blinders. I've spent a lot of time (too much) reimagining the structure of our government. We built mistakes on top of mistakes. What worked in 1789 hardly works today. And unfortunately the founders made the Constitution too hard to modify.
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Old 21st December 2020, 04:56 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm just talking. The Senate is so unbelievably undemocratic. Adding more Senators is as troublesome as cutting them in half. But cutting them in half would address the EC issue somewhat. But if we are going to pass a Constitutional Amendment, just abolishing the EC would be easier than dealing with the Senate.

I'm in favor of eliminating the States or combining States so instead of 50 we have ten or five. We have different states because Great Britain created 13 separate colonies. We created States with blinders. I've spent a lot of time (too much) reimagining the structure of our government. We built mistakes on top of mistakes. What worked in 1789 hardly works today. And unfortunately the founders made the Constitution too hard to modify.
I think I agree mostly with this. The Constitution is too hard to modify. But I am also in favor of NOT makling it TOO easy. It's a tough balancing act, with no ideal solution I can see.

In the states, there is generally a simple referendum to modify the state's constitution (or in fact to make laws). I don't know of anything like that at the national level currently.
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Old 21st December 2020, 05:05 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by slyjoe View Post
I think I agree mostly with this. The Constitution is too hard to modify. But I am also in favor of NOT makling it TOO easy. It's a tough balancing act, with no ideal solution I can see.

In the states, there is generally a simple referendum to modify the state's constitution (or in fact to make laws). I don't know of anything like that at the national level currently.
Every State has different rules. So unless you know each State's founding document I'm not sure this is universally true. I'd bet it isn't.
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Old 21st December 2020, 09:52 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
It is up to the States. But that is because of the wording of the 1929 Reapportionment Act.
Hmmm. Although the constitution clearly leaves the makeup of the EC to the states, it is disquietenly quiet about who has the authority to make laws for electoral divisions in each state.

Maybe an MMP system is possible after all.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 08:21 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Every State has different rules. So unless you know each State's founding document I'm not sure this is universally true. I'd bet it isn't.
You are correct - it's not universally true. Ballotpedia has info on initiatives and referendums.

https://ballotpedia.org/States_with_..._or_referendum
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Old 22nd December 2020, 01:48 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Wouldn't, "No gerrymandering, please!" be sufficient?
Yes.
Bitter fact is both parties rage against Gerrymandering when they are out of power but use it when they are power.GOP are the worst offenders now simply because they have a majority of the state legislatures. Dems can be just as outrageous in Gerrymandering as the GOP. California is an example. It was the Democratic legislature gerrymandering that borught about the intiatiive that pretty much ending gerrymandering in California. A non partisan panel of judges draw up the dristricts, and the races have become much more competitive.
Problem I have with the "reform" is that it would reduce the Small Population States ot total helplessness . I agree that they have too much power now, but I don't want to reduce them to total helplessness.
I get the feeling, also, that acbytesla does not like Federalism very much, and wants an all
powerful central government. I don't.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 02:01 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Yes.
Problem I have with the "reform" is that it would reduce the Small Population States ot total helplessness . I agree that they have too much power now, but I don't want to reduce them to total helplessness.
I get the feeling, also, that acbytesla does not like Federalism very much, and wants an all
powerful central government. I don't.
I'm not sure it would, There is this myth that rural farm states would be ignored. Having seen what has happened in Washington, Oregon and California, I see little evidence that rural areas in these States are ignored.

As for Federalism I can see the benefits and the drawbacks. Especially as it is practiced today. There are definitely benefits to "local" government. But we have too many layers of government. City laws and administration. County laws and administration, State laws and administration as well as Federal laws and administration. Too much duplication, a lot of divide and conquer. I think we could eliminate at least one layer.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 02:06 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Problem I have with the "reform" is that it would reduce the Small Population States ot total helplessness .
Okay this is always the excuse and it makes... absolutely... no... sense.

"Small Population States" would not be helpless, they just wouldn't have extra power just because they are "states."

The ~570,000 people who live in Wyoming should have the EXACT SAME power in the government, electing the President, and over my life as the ~570,000 people who live in Albuquerque.

Should the city of Albuquerque get two Senators? No? Of course not, that's crazy. Then why the **** should the state of Wyoming? It's the same number of people. They don't get to count more because they are spread out. LAND DOESN'T VOTE PEOPLE DO! Why is this concept so hard?

And I've never got an answer. "Because they are states" isn't an answer, it's circular. "Because the Constitution says so" isn't an answer, it's an evasion.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 02:30 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay this is always the excuse and it makes... absolutely... no... sense.

"Small Population States" would not be helpless, they just wouldn't have extra power just because they are "states."

The ~570,000 people who live in Wyoming should have the EXACT SAME power in the government, electing the President, and over my life as the ~570,000 people who live in Albuquerque.

Should the city of Albuquerque get two Senators? No? Of course not, that's crazy. Then why the **** should the state of Wyoming? It's the same number of people. They don't get to count more because they are spread out. LAND DOESN'T VOTE PEOPLE DO! Why is this concept so hard?

And I've never got an answer. "Because they are states" isn't an answer, it's circular. "Because the Constitution says so" isn't an answer, it's an evasion.
How about this is the deal the founders made?

I'd love to do something about the undemocratic Senate but without a full scale Constitutional convention, it ain't going to happen. This is why I have refocused on more fair representation in the House which doesn't require a 2/3rds majority in Congress and a 3/4 of State legislatures to approve.

In 1929 the leaders saw the power of the cities rising and changed apportionment. Time to change it back. Enough of each of Wyoming's 578,000 citizens having the same power of each of 53 districts of 750K citizens in California.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 02:34 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
How about this is the deal the founders made?

I'd love to do something about the undemocratic Senate but without a full scale Constitutional convention, it ain't going to happen. This is why I have refocused on more fair representation in the House which doesn't require a 2/3rds majority in Congress and a 3/4 of State legislatures to approve.

In 1929 the leaders saw the power of the cities rising and changed apportionment. Time to change it back. Enough of each of Wyoming's 578,000 citizens having the same power of each of 53 districts of 750K citizens in California.
New york state has more rural voters than wyoming has voters.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 03:02 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
New york state has more rural voters than wyoming has voters.
So does a lot of States.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 03:29 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay. And?

The problem is how do we get people who have an unfair amount of power to volunteer to give it up?
A credible threat of an even less attractive outcome than surrendering some of it.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 03:36 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Yes.
Bitter fact is both parties rage against Gerrymandering when they are out of power but use it when they are power.GOP are the worst offenders now simply because they have a majority of the state legislatures. Dems can be just as outrageous in Gerrymandering as the GOP. California is an example. It was the Democratic legislature gerrymandering that borught about the intiatiive that pretty much ending gerrymandering in California. A non partisan panel of judges draw up the dristricts, and the races have become much more competitive.
The fact that that happened suggests that Democratic Party supporters disapproved of the policy, and the party was sensitive to that. I doubt it would be easy to find a Republican counterpart.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 03:51 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
New york state has more rural voters than wyoming has voters.
Wyoming probably has more cows.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 03:54 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
Wyoming probably has more cows.
More than twice as many.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 04:00 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
As for Federalism I can see the benefits and the drawbacks. Especially as it is practiced today. There are definitely benefits to "local" government. But we have too many layers of government. City laws and administration. County laws and administration, State laws and administration as well as Federal laws and administration. Too much duplication, a lot of divide and conquer. I think we could eliminate at least one layer.
It's that diffusion of power, and the jealous protection of it, that I see as the US's best defence against fascism. Heaven knows it needs one.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 04:20 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
More than twice as many.
And just as relevant .


I'm sure you're fully conversant with the negotiation of the Constitution, and the need to assure each State that its particular interests would be equally represented in government, protected from the democratic mob that would otherwise vote itself free beer and make the cash-earning plantation states pay for it. It's simply too foundational to change. With a reasonable amount of good faith it works : without you get a Civil War and whatever this is.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 04:36 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
And just as relevant .


I'm sure you're fully conversant with the negotiation of the Constitution, and the need to assure each State that its particular interests would be equally represented in government, protected from the democratic mob that would otherwise vote itself free beer and make the cash-earning plantation states pay for it. It's simply too foundational to change. With a reasonable amount of good faith it works : without you get a Civil War and whatever this is.
Yes.

Remember, it was Shay's rebellion which was a major factor that led to the abandonment of the Articles of Confederation and the new Constitution.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 04:40 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
It's that diffusion of power, and the jealous protection of it, that I see as the US's best defence against fascism. Heaven knows it needs one.
It certainly made a difference here in 2020. I just think we could do some streamlining and refinement. Our government was created in agrarian times with entirely different situations.
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