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Fixing the US Congress, Ideas Thread

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by downtown, May 13, 2011.

?

I think the following ideas are good ones

  1. Repeal Citizens United to give less political power to unions and business

    50.9%
  2. Increase the size of the house

    26.4%
  3. remove redistricting power from statehouses

    49.1%
  4. find ways to depoliticize the office of Speaker more

    18.9%
  5. Institute a Merit-Pay system for Congress

    11.3%
  6. Elect a certain number of members "at large", or nationwide

    20.8%
  7. Institute term limits

    35.8%
  8. I have another idea, explained below

    37.7%
  9. I don't think there is anything wrong with Congress

    9.4%
  10. elect downtown, duh.

    41.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. admiral-bell

    admiral-bell Chronic Lurker

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    Make it into a unicameral parliament.
     
  2. metatron

    metatron unperson

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    United States of California?

    The Heartland will not be pleased.

    Not that i'm against that. But it's probably somewhat hard to accomplish, even by the standards of this thread.
     
  3. Bestbank Tiger

    Bestbank Tiger Deity

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    That would help. I'd also like to see party caucuses abolished. You're supposed to represent your district but you end up with Pelosi and Boenhead pulling the strings.

    The biggest problem is the hardest to solve--the fact that members of Congress spend their careers redistributing wealth from producers to special interests, either through taxing and spending or through regulation. Then they retire and get cushy, high-paying jobs as lobbyists for those same special interests. But since it's an unwritten rule and not a specific deal, you can't arrest them for bribery. And you can't do much to control their career once they leave--you can ban them from lobbying but they'll still get a job as an analyst or consultant.
     
  4. Miles Teg

    Miles Teg Nuclear Powered Mentat

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    As far as unconvincing arguments go, I think you've got me beat.

    So what, around 3,000 congressmen? I think we'd have to build a new Capitol building

    More importantly, congress works much differently now than it did in the Framers' day. One congressman per hundred thousand is cool for sparsely settled agricultural societies that restrict the vote to landed white males, where information travels primarily through word-of-mouth, networks of personal relationships, and the occasional old newspaper.
     
  5. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Fix them Bob Barker style. Remove their testicles and ovaries.
     
  6. metatron

    metatron unperson

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    That's a problem?

    No, we can't? :p
    I'm assuming the rate of disenfrenchised in the past and largely disinterested in the present are roughly the same, for arguments sake. :D
     
  7. carmen510

    carmen510 Deity

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    Legalize dueling. That worked well at resolving personal disagreements between politicians before.
     
  8. Mad Man

    Mad Man Your lord and master

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    I say we get rid of congress, it's alot more trouble than what it's worth.
     
  9. GhostWriter16

    GhostWriter16 Deity

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    Agreed. and split the country into 50 states;)

    Then change the Capital of Florida to Ft. Myers:p

    And make me its President for Life:mischief:
     
  10. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    Term limits. Preferably a single term. Then destroy lobbyists. That would solve the vast majority of problems right there.
     
  11. NYHunter

    NYHunter King

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    abolish the 24 hour media circus
     
  12. admiral-bell

    admiral-bell Chronic Lurker

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    Even California has two bodies in the legislature, a senate and an assembly. Nebraska is unicameral, but they have a traditionally styled legislative body with fixed length terms. The beauty of the parliament is that deadlock is essentially impossible. Whenever a budget measure fails, instead of shutting down the government, we would have a new election.

    Additionally, because there is not direct campaigning for the office Prime minister, a parliamentary system discourages two-party rule, and opens up the field for contenders of other parties.
     
  13. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    :lol:

    I'd rather take away their air conditioning, but thats not bad

    I voted other:

    The problem with "reforming" Congress by trying to reduce money is the 1st Amendment - money = speech, and it does, especially within the context of political elections (thats why even the SCOTUS still lets individuals spend whatever they want on their own campaigns). Just no way around that...

    But the money aint really the problem, its the power - the money just follows it. Congress has long been corrupt but their corruption was limited to their "jurisdiction". The voters have allowed their jurisdiction to expand and thats the cause of the problem - Congress can reach out and screw with people in millions of different ways, or not... Therein lies a motive to send Congress money. Its legalized blackmail and bribery...

    The tax code is there for Congress to reward the right people and hurt the wrong people, "equal protection" is still a joke. If people insist on letting Congress basically ignore the Constitution's limits on their power, the only way to control the corruption is an informed and vigilant electorate.


    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  14. kiwitt

    kiwitt Road to War Modder

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    When a change to statutes is done, it is debated one by one and not combined to various other and sometimes unrelated bills. i.e. One change One vote,

    NOTE: We have this system in NZ
     
  15. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    yeah, most of the crap they wanna hide gets passed in these mega bills
     
  16. Archbob

    Archbob Ancient CFC Guardian

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    Eliminate lobbyists. Problem solved. Oh and make all campaigns run on public funds.
     
  17. Miles Teg

    Miles Teg Nuclear Powered Mentat

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    Guys, even if you take money out of politics, you can't really claim to have a democracy that doesn't allow lobbyists. It's a contradiction in terms. Democracies are about the people, and lobbyists are the voice of the people. Yeah, some of these people (say, corporate fatcats) have too much influence and conflicting interests, but others are salt of the earth types.

    But your suggestions would increase the number of disinterested voters! When I said that times had changed, I didn't just mean that we had more enfranchised voters. Voters also get their information in different ways.

    Once upon a time, voters learned about candidates through webs of personal connections. You learned about the guy running for congress from the big man in town, who's cousin knew the governor's aide, who in turn really liked this guy. If districts got too big, the degrees of separation became too wide for informed voting.

    The days, voters get their information from local and national news sources, and the local sources are becoming less and less relevant. They get some of their information about members of congress by asking the congressmen or his office directly. Mostly however, they get it by waiting for him to do something that makes him stand out. If congressional districts get too small and Congress gets too big, individual legislators never get a chance to stand out. And then it becomes harder to be an informed voter.

    Also, did I mention the crazy people? We can't forget about them. You know how the Senate has less crazy people than the House? That's not just an accident of size. Winning heterogeneous districts like states involves being widely acceptable. The tiny little homogeneous districts you'd get with more representatives would give us people who make Michelle Bachmann seem sane.
     
  18. History_Buff

    History_Buff Knight of Cydonia

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    This. This is the key. Eliminate corporate donations. Cap personal donations, at say $500 (the reason being here that almost nobody personally donates in the first place. Can't have select people being super influential). Hand out money to political parties based on percentage vote count across the country, along with a flat subsidy to the established parties to prevent a party from being completely destroyed in one election.

    Add in MMP PR, and boy, you got yourself a political system.
     
  19. kiwitt

    kiwitt Road to War Modder

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    Welcome to NZ :D
     
  20. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    :lmao:

    I can't tell. Are you being intentionally ironic, or have you just never read up on British history before?
     

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