Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by downtown, Jun 2, 2007.
Why do you think that that is a good idea?
Perhaps it contributes to global warming?
I find most of the choices extreme, but interesting.
I'd definitely say a big fat "NO" to fiddling with the Bill of Rights, though I might allow a ban on burning the flag in effigy (as long as it were strictly a true flag. I'd allow burning mock flags as free expression).
Putting a limit on Justice terms might actually be a healthy idea, but on the other hand it might hurt the idea that the Judicial branch is the most conservative check and balance against change. Maybe it'd be better to shorten how long members of the Senate and House serve, but allow them more consecutive terms?
Ambassadors should be held to some kind of standard. At least a GED for *** sakes?
Making Election day a holiday might go a long way to guaranteeing a right to vote, and undoing voter apathy. National election standards would do the same, and increase public confidence.
Allowing foreigners to run for president? I think "maybe", but definitely not without say 40 years in the country. I know Da Arnold is great, but say if Bin Laden became prez?
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No system is perfect, but for starts there is a reason why the first amendment doesn't ban social discrimination. This is different than the freedom of religion or philosophy. It also depends who and what it applies too. We should have banned discrimination for everyone but that would mean no slaves. Does the punishment fit the crime could be made more proporional.
So basically, equal and proportional civil rights for everyone. Everyone has equal protection under the law. Basically, I'm a nationalist, it's not up to the states to dictate who's equal 'everyone is' no matter who they are. Why should we exclude rights to anyone based on appearance or personal belief?
40 years is a bit onerous. Try 20 or 25. That's actually enough time to become American.
Also, if such an amendment is passed, I think they should reduce the requirement for people who had not reached the age of majority (or some other age, like 12) when they arrived. Such people (like [wiki]Jennifer Granholm[/wiki], who would be doing what Hillary is doing were she not born in British Columbia...and don't give me the BS that Granholm is ineffective. Michigan is getting owned by the gods of economics) tend to consider themselves American almost to the exclusion of other identities.
The things I'd like to change most, though, are the election of the Congress and the relationship between the executive and the legislature.
First, I personally think this whole affair of first-past-the-post is BS, but I also know that Americans don't understand the concept of not having a local rep. I think that the Irish have a good system going with Single Transferable Vote (that's how you folks elect the Dáil, right?) and I think that if we set it up so that states change districts to elect 3-5 reps per district by STV (2 by STV if that's all they have, and one by instant runoff for states like Wyoming, which is the same as STV anyway). That way, you have something resembling proportional representation, while still having a local representative. Less local before, but then you win some, you lose some, right? There's a decent chance that your member of Congress will be not too far from where you live. It's not as certain, true, but it's still likely.
Also, there really ought to be some kind of American prime minister. Not like the Germans have, where you usually forget about the President because the PM is so important, but like the French have...only really important if he or she is of a different party from the President. Quite frankly, if there was only one thing that the French got right (and, for all their faults and absurdities, they got at least one thing right) it's the way they structure the relations between the executive and the legislature. When the President has the support of the legislature (and thus presumably of the public mind at the time), then he or she can do more, though the existence of a Prime Minister's office still opens the door to legislative scrutiny. When the President or his or her party loses the support of the people, the Prime Minister's powers kick in, though the President is still powerful. It's a good system, properly managed, and the French have set an excellent example of that.
Maybe democracy just passes the buck too much. I think more democrats should be blamed for the Iraq war or something. Somehow Edwards and Hillary are going unscathed for thier vote for it, or they are, and I'm not paying enough attention. Either way, there's no guarantee how forthcoming and/or sincere a politician is, the same way a government is. I'm pretty sure everyone should like democracy if we didn't hate common sense. "I know someone famous already said that."
I support a constitutional ammendment that specifically allows Arnie to be president.
Just saw the thread. Anyway, 40 years is pretty rough. Especially since you only need to be 35 years old to be President.
Anyway, I would support making Election Day a federal holiday or on a weekend. Our society and ability to get to our polling places have changed, so should the way the elections are conducted to increase accessibility.
As much as I'd love to give Congressman term limits...I'm not sure. After all, the will of whoever showed up to vote is expressed in those elections. Problem is, the districts are gerrymandered to hell and other advantages to incumbency are great.
A national set of election procedures for federal office would probably be a good thing, even if states are the ones that really elect presidents and vice presidents. For state and local offices, they can do whatever they want.
And now that I think about it, a civil test for ambassadors sounds like a good idea. It shouldn't (it might but it really shouldn't) be an obstacle for administrations.
So for now (I know I can't change votes), I'll go with those.
Oh and the safe district, as long as I get one of my own (as if anyone would support me! Ha!).
Out of the poll the only thing I'd support is droping the second ammendment. Note that that doesn't mean that ammericans can't have guns, it just means that having guns is no longer a constitutional right.
I agree with this too.
I agree here too.
You know, this attitude really chaps my hide. Maybe we just like our system better. Is it so impossible to conceive that we could understand a different system to elect our representatives but reject it because we like our system better?
Reversing Lawrence v. Texas!
That's the really tricky part. But the broad interstate commerce clause interpretation is one of the principle means judges are able to reform this country for the better. Not many people know this, but nowadays 'basic' liberties like Civil Rights and laws against discrimination (i.e; 'No 'no coloreds' signs) were justified solely on interstate commerce. Judges continue using this tool to reform similar areas where the legislation is incredibly stalemated. Surely, looking back at it, we'd consider these decisions wise, no?
And why didn't they justify them on grounds that would actually hold up going forward?
Judges also reform this country for the worse with the interstate commerce clause, so it would seem to be at best a null argument.
What may seem like the worst to some is actually the wiser of the two alternatives.
The point is that this county (America) has far from a perfect legal code with carefully articulated laws and rules. If we simply followed those imperfect and (inchoate) rules, we may have a program that's 'just', but by no means in most circumstances fair or reasonable. Judges need to to exercise this judicial reform in order to exercise what is fair, as opposed to merely following what the law previously said. I should add, such a practice isn't part of some kind of conservative-liberal dichotomy, it is actually a part of the nature of common law. Every (good) judge needs to do it once and a while.
Because the reform taken has to be justified based upon something. It can't always be arbitrary. :3
I don't know how you can amend the constitution to ban flag burning without contradicting the fundamental idea that people are free to express themselves and pursue happiness, even if that means burning the national flag.
Also, what does Ohio Downtown getting to Congress have to do with the nation's constitution?
And of course no one wants to pay income tax. But how would the Federal government make up the difference? What is the alternative?
Hey, I like having a local rep, too, but the biggest obstacle to prop-rep by party lists is that people here don't get it (I've tried explaining the [wiki]mixed member proportional[/wiki] system to my government class; three-quarters of them didn't get the concept for an entire month), and that most who understand party-list-based proportional representation won't like it (I'm OK with it, but I'm not its biggest fan, either). That's why I like STV, especially for the USA.
Prayer that our untaxed population will use their assets in defense of the country the moment our enemies realize that our government has no money to defend us or maintain a decent infrastructure.
STV is also a rather complicated system. Does anybody besides Ireland actually use it?
I think enforcing the constitution first would be a good idea.
Secondly, one of the greatest aspects of American culture should be made constitutional; freedom of speech. IIRC, it isn't in the constitution.
Personal rights should be only given the persons, not to abstract corporate entities.
More democratic scrutiny, more restrictions of state power, etc.
Separate names with a comma.