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[RD] CFC Constitutional Convention

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Bootstoots, Dec 8, 2018 at 6:49 PM.

  1. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    As most of us are aware, the US Constitution is outdated. The design of the US system is not especially democratic, and the system it sets up is prone to gridlock, polarization between two (and exactly two) parties, power grabs in the judicial system and by gerrymandering in the House, and so on and so forth. US politics has been grinding towards ever-increasing dysfunction for the last several decades, and it shows no sign of improvement.

    In an unexpected development, the legislatures of at least two-thirds of the states have called for an Article V convention to propose amendments to the US constitution. Acknowledging our brilliance, the convention is to take place entirely within CFC. Anything we decide on will be presented to state ratifying conventions, which are guaranteed to pass them provided they follow the following rules:

    • The US must remain a presidential system with a bicameral Congress.
    • The Senate must retain equal representation for each state. This is due to the only operative entrenched clause in the US constitution. From the last clause in article V, "no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate". Wyoming will still veto any attempt to give it less representation than California.
    • Nothing about hot-button social issues is allowed. This convention is about the structure and representativeness of US government, not gun control, abortion, race or gender issues, etc. Discussion about these things is off-topic except as they directly relate to Constitutional reform.

    Your proposals need not be written in the format of a Constitutional amendment. Just write 'em down, and our team of experienced lawyers will rewrite them in Constitutionese later.

    Have at it!
     
  2. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

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    Fixing Congress has to the be the main priority.

    The U.S. going communist has a higher approval rating than Congress.

    Constitutionally mandated term limits are a good start.
     
  3. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    There are actually several hit-button social issues that deserve constitutional consideration. I know you don't want to turn this into a mud slinging fest but many people will genuinely believe (as I do) that gender and sexuality orientation protections must be established under an expansion of the equal protection clauses already in place.
     
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  4. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    I'm Canadian, so I don't know if my opinion matters, but I'd add some sort of "If you're a politician, don't be an ass." Except make it more formal and defined.
     
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  5. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I would add a Pursuit of Happiness bill, a collection of a few individual amendments that taken as a whole guarantee that everyone can live a life worth living. It would cover a universal basic income sufficient to cover housing, food and a modest surplus beyond basic needs. There would be provisions for universal healthcare and quality education through college. There would be provisions for housing and food security - even though UBI should cover it, these things are important enough to be individually enumerated. It would also provide new privacy protections and establish miminum PTO, family leave and so on during employment. There will also be special provisions covering human dignity for the elderly, sick and disabled to ensure they have social support from the state.

    A whole separate list of ammenents would cover campaign finance and election media laws.

    The electoral college would be abolished and the house increased in size by at least 100%.

    I would include a Corruption Bill with another series of ammendments to forbid pretty much everything the Republicans have done since Trump's election.
     
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  6. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Chieftain

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    First off we need to address appropriate representation in congress. Try to get back down to 1 rep for every 100? 200k? people. Also it about time we address voting rights formally and nationally. Finally the electoral college has to be dismantled or reconstructed in a less undemocratic way.
     
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  7. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I would enshrine enshrine a progressive tax code and make churches eligible for taxation. I would further increase the separation of church and state.

    I would include criminal justice reform to abolish prison labor and for profit prisons.

    I would cap military spending and enshrine a large allotment of the budget to R&D and scientific pursuits by ammendment.
     
  8. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Chieftain

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    I'm more open to a job guarantee then I am a UBI. Back the job thing with a stronger safety net, and the promise of mobility in jobs (like medicare for all freeing us from the dictates of our employers when it come to health insurance benefits).
     
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  9. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I am open to horse trading. What is your stance on NASA?
     
  10. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Chieftain

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    Um me? I'm a fan of NASA, but not a fan of a Space Force until we find hostiles out there. The R&D side of NASA has been a continual light throughout its tenure as a federal program.
     
  11. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I will trade NASA funding for UBI. We can spin it as a jobs program. Out of work? Well they can put you on at the Cape processing exploration satellites or something.
     
  12. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    Job guarantees are not useful compared to UBI, although if food, housing, medical, and education are provided either one might be superfluous. But the reality is that the world is full of busy work accomplishing nothing but keeping a lot of wage slaves slaving. There isn't really all that much that needs done, so guaranteeing that everyone has a job just so some of us can feel like "the lessers" deserve to live is just waste.
     
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  13. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Chieftain

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    Hell the New Green Deal house dems are babbling about could provide jobs for millions for some time to come. . .but yea soon enough asteroid processing and such is going to be a thing.
     
  14. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    We need a committee on whether a balanced budget is a good thing.

    Will guns be prohibited or mandatory?

    J
     
  15. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    First-past-the-post plurality elections shall be banned. All elected officials shall be chosen via Range Voting, or Rewighted Range Voting for proportional representation in multi-member districts.

    Committee membership in congress shall be determined by reweighted range voting, with the first winner being made the chair. Neither party affiliation nor seniority may used in determining any positions in government.

    No government may cooperate with any party running a party primary, not giving out any lists of registered voters or providing polling places.

    (Of course, having party primaries at all is not such a useful strategy after the move from FPTP to range voting.)

    Those seeking ballot access shall be required to submit a summary of their platform and qualifications for office, along with a sworn affidavit making any prevarications within criminal perjury. Such summaries must be published prior to the election and made available for voters to review while filling out their ballots. Ballot may not mention party affiliation anywhere except in these more detailed summaries.

    No current president, vice president, member of the cabinet, or member of congress shall be permitted to raise funds or campaign for any elected office, either for himself or any other candidate.

    (That may mean a de facto term limit of one term, but a very popular politician could still be returned without campaigning. If we still stuck with FPTP system such a non-campaigning candidate would take votes away from new candidates with similar positions, but that is not really a problem with range voting.)


    Ballot initiatives may be used to fire any appointed government official, or call for a new election to replace elected officials before their terms would have otherwise ended. I might so much as double the current length of terms in office, expecting any would end early.

    Ballot initiatives may also be used as a people's veto to repeal any law, executive order, or judicial doctrine, with sufficient supermajorities of the people opposing them.

    Laws may also be repealed by resolutions to that effect passing in 3/4 of State legislatures.

    State legislatures may pass resolutions commanding their senators to vote for or against specific bills or treaties in the US Senate, and force their resignation if they do not comply.

    Districts in the House of Representatives should no longer be required to stay within state lines, not arbitrarily limited to 435 total. Giving each state equal representation in the Senate is more than enough without causing one 30k votes in one state to count more than 800k in another in the house. We need not even make all districts geographical. Some minorities deserve representation despite being so spread out that they could never form a majority in any locale. It may make sense to allow such individuals to voluntarily withdraw from the geographic district in order to join one that is more interest based.

    (If it was not for your rules I'd really rather just abolish the senate and either just have a Unicameral legislature or a very different sort of Bicameral one. I like the idea of giving one house the power to make laws and no power to overturn them, and the other power to overturn them but not legislate anything new. New laws that amend old laws could of course be made contingent on the old one being repealed in the other house.)



    Elected officials shall not receive a set salary or pension independent of their performance. Their voters should have a chance to approve, deny, or pay some fraction of the funds they request for themselves and their staff. This should appear on the ballot each year while in office, and any pensions should require annual approval as well. The legislature may approve loans for its members' expenses which shall not accrue interest until the voters have a chance to approve or deny the payments.


    The only permissible taxes are land value taxes, user fees for voluntary government services, and Piguvian fees on negative externalities like pollution. Thee must be no excise taxes, no tariffs, no income taxes, no payroll taxes, and no taxes on fixed improvements (except to address associated negative externalities).

    (Exception: The government may levy up to a 100% tax on any book deals or speaking fees for any current or former government officials whose government position may have contributed to the notoriety that made such publications or appearances valued.)



    There is to be no restriction of the migration of peaceful persons for any protectionist or demographic purposes. The government may not require visas, much less limit their supply to certain numbers coming from certain places for certain purposes. They may still require background checks to exclude violent criminals, terrorists, enemy soldiers, or carriers of highly contagious diseases.

    Citizens shall be entitled to Citizens' Dividends, a form of universal basic income funded by land value taxes. Congress may determine conditions under which to extend such payments to long term non-citizen residents.

    There is to be no birthright citizenship, neither jus sanguinis nor jus soli. No one shall be granted citizenship without informed consent.

    (Obviously the birthright citizenship requirement for the presidency should be removed. I think requiring the candidate have been a citizen for at least half of his or her life is more than sufficient.)

    Prior to signing a citizenship contract, the government may require some basic tests to ensure that prospective citizens understand the privileges and duties that they are accepting. It must fund public schooling sufficient to help those seeking citizenship to pass such tests regardless of where they were born.

    The government may not enforce any de jure monopolies commonly called "Intellectual property," but may fund research grants, prizes, and rewards for significant scientific or cultural contributions.



    I'm not quite decided on whether to abolish the Electoral College or reform it in ways that expand its powers. If it is to exist, then voters must be required to cast vote for specific electors rather than a panel or unknowns who have sworn to support a specific candidate. Electors should be required to explain not only their top choice candidate but also compromise candidates they could or could not support. If retained, the Electoral College should also be given the responsibility for nominating the cabinet members, judges, and all those other positions which the president now nominates. If we get rid of the EC then we could just go with the popular vote via range voting.

    Instead of having the President nominate judges etc and then wait for Congress to approve or disapprove of the candidate, Congress shall provide the executive with lists of pre-approved candidates whom the president may select. There shall be no recess appointments of anyone not on the approved lists.

    We may fast track legislation by allowing the executive branch to write and submit bills to congress for approval. If Congress approved these bills without amendment they would become law immediately, without going back to the President for his signature.

    If the president orders any military actions outside of a war that was formally declared by Congress, he shall be automatically impeached. They Senate must be forced to judge whether his actions were justified by a genuine emergency, or whether they deserve censure or removal from office.

    A special prosecutor tasked with investigating any other possibly impeachable crimes committed by the President should be a constitutionally mandated position that must always remained filled. The president must not be allowed to interfere with investigations into himself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 8:25 PM
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  16. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Chieftain

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    Some of this is great, some terrible, and a lot hopeless in acquiring consensus.
     
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  17. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

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    You need rules restricting spending on campaigns and enforcing balanced media coverage, alongside heavy restrictions on lobbying. Essentially the top priority is to stop money being so important.
     
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  18. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I dont mind other changes, but the right to bear arms/form a well-regulated militia shall not be infringed.
     
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  19. Hehehe

    Hehehe Chieftain

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    I'm not an American, so the US constitution is really none of my business. I'm still going to offer a few opinions anyway, just because I can
    This is by design. As I understand, the system was set up in such a way that it's difficult to pass any reforms. The system was set up this way in order to stifle ambitious politicians and make it harder to hijack the system. This has some obvious downsides, and like I said, US electoral system is none of my business, all I'm saying is that's why the system is prone to gridlock
    Actually, the US system was set up to foster the exact opposite of polarization. The whole point of the two party system is that, in theory, both parties will have to compete for the middle ground, rather than pandering to the fringes. Since most voters are in the middle (or that was the idea anyway) both parties will pursue policies that are most appealing to the middle ground voters. As a result, extremists on both sides get cut out of the political process. In reality, I'm not sure it works this way, but that was the idea.

    Last, but not least, as far as electoral college goes, I would recommend that the people who want to reform it would read this article by George Friedman:
     
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  20. Silurian

    Silurian Chieftain

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    Why do you want to abolish prison labour.

    As long as it is voluntary, paid and does not unfairly compete with normal business then I can not see what is wrong.
    It will help to pass the time and could help to provide skills.
    @Timsup2nothin what do you think.

    https://theclinkcharity.org/the-clink-restaurants/cardiff-wales/
     

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