Time To Strip Small States Of Their Power!

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Our Constitution represents well the interests of those invited to the Constitutional Convention. Those interests were given power to both govern and veto others. One of those key interest groups were, of course, the states and the Constitution is riddled with a checks small and large states have on each other. These states represented key sub-interests: slave owners vs abolitionists, rural vs city interests, agricultural vs mercantile interests, rich vs non-rich, etc. I add the rich because Madison said the purpose of the Senate was to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. Left out in the cold were the interests of those not invited to form a new government: slaves, women, non-property owners etc.

In the process the Framers devised system that is functionally antidemocratic and for the most part Americans refuse to question the morality of the system. For example, the EC has on 4 or 5 occasions handed the presidency to someone rejected by the People. So much for government deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed.

The Senate is another body that is by any democratic standard is morally illegitimate. Currently a mere 18% of the US population gets a majority of seats. Yet this body has not only has a veto power over the House, but special powers to ratify treaties and judicial nominations. Clarence Thomas was ratified by senators representing less than 50% of the US population… who then goes on to be a key vote in Bush v Gore and Citizens United. The currents of antidemocratic government are insidious.

I'm not saying that legitimate interests of small states should not be protected. But the moral question I'm raising is why should agricultural interests or those of the rich, be granted the power to govern while other interests of other oppressed groups, women, racial minorities, etc be denied that same power? Of course a government that incorporated all those interest groups in the governing structure would be unwieldy. Morally, should ANY special interest group be granted institutional power to govern, or worst have a veto over other groups? Can not any legitimate rights of rural folks can be dealt with the same way as others rights are protected... through the Bill Of Rights… or to guarantee someone from that interest group (or others) will be granted chairpersonships of relevant congressional committees to shape legislation most important to them.

If we believe in democracy, then we should oppose all anti-democratic "solutions" to protecting rights. There's NO morally legitimate reason for rural states to wield inordinate power to shape legislation, treaties, judicial nominees etc OUTSIDE their area of special concern. It's time to reform the Constitution and FINALLY made it democratic and that means stripping ALL vestiges of state suffrage from the Constitution... and moving to a true multi-party democracy.

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Comments

One other fact: the 12 smallest states that can veto any amendment comprise a mere 4.5% if the US population. How much more insane can it get!

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Overturn Texas v white while your at it and I say ok!

Commonsense461
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Common sense would dictate that it would be better to overturn Texas v. Black and Brown and Red and Yellow.

anonymous green
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Quote Pierpont:

One other fact: the 12 smallest states that can veto any amendment comprise a mere 4.5% if the US population. How much more insane can it get!

Good for then... You freakin brown shirt. Tyranny of the majority.

So... I imagine you love minorities... Right up until they tell you, you can't do something. Careful for what you wish for. Conservatives are still the majority of this country.

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Quote anonymous green:

Common sense would dictate that it would be better to overturn Texas v. Black and Brown and Red and Yellow.

You don't even know what I'm talking about do you? You just saw white and automatically went for the race card.

Commonsense461
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Quote Never making much sense Capital.0:Good for then... You freakin brown shirt. Tyranny of the majority.
Never hear of a tyranny of the MINORITY? But then I suppose you approve of candidates, as long as they are Republicans, being imposed on the nation even if REJECTED by the people.

And if you believe in this principle of allowing tiny minorities to obstruct the vast majority... what's the moral justification of just granting this power to just ONE minority group… in this case those who choose to live in the 12 smallest population states? What's the moral justification for not allowing OTHER minorities this power to veto up to a 95% majority of the public? Why not victims of gun violence? AMTRAK users? Postal workers? Your antidemocratic beliefs makes the very concept of self-government a sham.

The simple fact is there are DEMOCRATIC ways of protecting minority rights WITHOUT giving each group the veto power. The Bill of Rights should be proof of that. Perhaps it's time to reexamine your secular religion and investigate the moral defects in the Constitution.

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Quote Commonsense461:

Overturn Texas v white while your at it and I say ok!

Why? Secession isn't prohibited by the Constitution. And what are the small states going to do?

The REAL threat is if a state like California threatens secession. After all it's these big population states that are getting the raw deal with US federalism. In fact I proposed just that many time as perhaps the only way to finally reform our system and made it democratic.

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If you do this along with reverse of texas v white you will see them leave.

Commonsense461
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Quote Pierpont:

Never hear of a tyranny of the MINORITY? But then I suppose you approve of candidates, as long as they are Republicans, being imposed on the nation even if REJECTED by the people.

So because your guy lost, you want to overturn 236 years of constitutional law. A carefully craft document that protects the minority against the Majority. Why not just burn the thing an be done with it. Liberals have always been hampered by the constitution. Our slow incremental descent into oblivion not fast enough for you?.

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You learn something new every day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_v._White

So basically the 1% at that time sold some Texas assets after they joined the Confederacy and ran off with the money. Then when they lose the War of the Rebellion, they cry foul and want the money back.

chilidog
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Quote Pierpont:
Quote Commonsense461:

Overturn Texas v white while your at it and I say ok!

Why? Secession isn't prohibited by the Constitution. And what are the small states going to do?

The REAL threat is if a state like California threatens secession. After all it's these big population states that are getting the raw deal with US federalism. In fact I proposed just that many time as perhaps the only way to finally reform our system and made it democratic.

Actually it was made illegal by Texas v. White.

Commonsense461
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Quote Commonsense461:
Quote Pierpont:
Quote Commonsense461:

Overturn Texas v white while your at it and I say ok!

Why? Secession isn't prohibited by the Constitution. And what are the small states going to do?

The REAL threat is if a state like California threatens secession. After all it's these big population states that are getting the raw deal with US federalism. In fact I proposed just that many time as perhaps the only way to finally reform our system and made it democratic.

Actually it was to be illegal by Texas by Texas v. White.

Your evading the issue YOU raised. What if were "legal" for small states to secede... so what? What are they going to do?

And who cares what the USSC says... it's not in the Constitution. And if it wasn't ruled upon until 1869 then what authority did Lincoln fight to preserve the union during the Civil War?

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Oh so we can ignore the supreme court? So you would be cool with jan breaur ignoring scotus ruling and just deport illigal imagrants?

Commonsense461
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Quote Commonsense461:

Oh so we can ignore the supreme court? So you would be cool with jan breaur ignoring scotus ruling and just deport illigal imagrants?

So in other words, you have no point to make in this thread but continue to post as if you do? And of course you're STILL evading the question of what would these small states do if they were to secede? How many more posts do intend to write evading the issue YOU raised?

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Quote Pierpont:
Quote Commonsense461:

Oh so we can ignore the supreme court? So you would be cool with jan breaur ignoring scotus ruling and just deport illigal imagrants?

So in other words, you have no point to make in this thread but continue to post as if you do? And of course you're STILL evading the question of what would these small states do if they were to secede? How many more posts do intend to write evading the issue YOU raised?

no it's totally relevant if a state can ignore the supreme court on secession what else can we ignore them on?

Commonsense461
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Quote Commonsense461:
Quote Pierpont:
Quote Commonsense461:

Oh so we can ignore the supreme court? So you would be cool with jan breaur ignoring scotus ruling and just deport illigal imagrants?

So in other words, you have no point to make in this thread but continue to post as if you do? And of course you're STILL evading the question of what would these small states do if they were to secede? How many more posts do intend to write evading the issue YOU raised?

no it's totally relevant if a state can ignore the supreme court on secession what else can we ignore them on?

Does that mean that according to the supreme court Texas can sell itself to China and become part of the Chinese Empire? If any state is allowed to do this, which they should be able to if they are awarded complete freedom from the U.S., then every state could individually sell itself off to the highest foreign bidder and the U.S. would be no more. Is that an American, patriotic state of mind?

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Quote Commonsense461:
Quote Pierpont:So in other words, you have no point to make in this thread but continue to post as if you do? And of course you're STILL evading the question of what would these small states do if they were to secede? How many more posts do intend to write evading the issue YOU raised?
no it's totally relevant if a state can ignore the supreme court on secession what else can we ignore them on?

More EVASIONS. Just how much of a dimbulb are you? This is NOT a "legal" question... it's a practical question. YOU raised secession as the option to these small states if they were stripped of their state suffrage, and then you REFUSE to tell us just how they could survive on their own.

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Quote Bush_Wacker:
Quote Commonsense461:
Quote Pierpont:
Quote Commonsense461:

Oh so we can ignore the supreme court? So you would be cool with jan breaur ignoring scotus ruling and just deport illigal imagrants?

So in other words, you have no point to make in this thread but continue to post as if you do? And of course you're STILL evading the question of what would these small states do if they were to secede? How many more posts do intend to write evading the issue YOU raised?

no it's totally relevant if a state can ignore the supreme court on secession what else can we ignore them on?

Does that mean that according to the supreme court Texas can sell itself to China and become part of the Chinese Empire? If any state is allowed to do this, which they should be able to if they are awarded complete freedom from the U.S., then every state could individually sell itself off to the highest foreign bidder and the U.S. would be no more. Is that an American, patriotic state of mind?

Oh that's what you want that's easy the fly over states would make their own union as we have all the food and energy I think we would be fine.

Commonsense461
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Quote Capital.0:
Quote Pierpont:

Never hear of a tyranny of the MINORITY? But then I suppose you approve of candidates, as long as they are Republicans, being imposed on the nation even if REJECTED by the people.

So because your guy lost, you want to overturn 236 years of constitutional law. A carefully craft document that protects the minority against the Majority. Why not just burn the thing an be done with it. Liberals have always been hampered by the constitution. Our slow incremental descent into oblivion not fast enough for you?.
Pray tell Einstein, when did I EVER say I voted for Gore? I'm simply defending a core principle this nation was founded on... that government derives its JUST power from the CONSENT of the governed. The Constitution FAILS to deliver such a system.

As for protecting minorities, pray tell where have I NOT supported their rights? But I see you're EVADING the question I asked... what's the moral justification for ONE minority group to get a veto power over the majority while others don't?

And please don't play this "conservatives alone respect the Constitution" game. We see some of the biggest assault on the Constitution coming from social conservative Originalists like Scalia who has turned the Constitution on its head... that government can do anything not prohibited, and the rights of the people are restricted to those enumerated rights. The Right is at war with the Ninth Amendment as best demonstrated by Bork's comment the Ninth is an inkblot on the Constitution. My position is NEITHER side has much use for the Constitution and that's largely because it's antidemocratic and virtually reform proof so BOTH parties seek ways of paying it lip service while trying to get around it.

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"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."Where have we done that? [edit]

Commonsense461
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Unfortunately, the small states also seem to house the whackjobs. How many militias in Idaho again?

DynoDon
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Quote Commonsense461:"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Where have we done that?

Here's a critique of Scalia from the Right by Sheldon Richman:

"Scalia here is saying that the government legally may require everyone to carry an ID unless the people amend the Constitution to prohibit Congress from enacting such a measure. His point is painfully clear: the government can do anything unless the Constitution expressly forbids it. No surprise here; Scalia has long made his views known. They are horrifying nonetheless.

His views are based on an incorrect — indeed, a pernicious — notion of what the U.S. Constitution was and is supposed to be. In fact, he stands the Constitution on its head. Instead of a document that protects individual liberty by reining in government power, Scalia would make it one that protects government power by reining in individual liberty."

SOURCE: http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0206c.asp

Scalia wrote of the Ninth: "and the Constitution's refusal to "deny or disparage" other rights is far removed from affirming any one of them, and even farther removed from authorizing judges to identify what they might be, and to enforce the judges' list against laws duly enacted by the people."

http://conservapedia.com/Antonin_Scalia

Put another way, like Bork, he refuses to acknowledge the Ninth has ANY value which is an interesting position for someone who CLAIMS to respect Original Intent. I think Scalia has always used Originalism as a figleaf to cover his right wing ideological rulings.

But enough distractions.... care to deal with the topic of this thread or not?

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Quote Pierpont:

Quote Commonsense461:"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Where have we done that?

Here's a critique of Scalia from the Right by Sheldon Richman:

"Scalia here is saying that the government legally may require everyone to carry an ID unless the people amend the Constitution to prohibit Congress from enacting such a measure. His point is painfully clear: the government can do anything unless the Constitution expressly forbids it. No surprise here; Scalia has long made his views known. They are horrifying nonetheless.

His views are based on an incorrect — indeed, a pernicious — notion of what the U.S. Constitution was and is supposed to be. In fact, he stands the Constitution on its head. Instead of a document that protects individual liberty by reining in government power, Scalia would make it one that protects government power by reining in individual liberty."

SOURCE: http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0206c.asp

Scalia wrote of the Ninth: "and the Constitution's refusal to "deny or disparage" other rights is far removed from affirming any one of them, and even farther removed from authorizing judges to identify what they might be, and to enforce the judges' list against laws duly enacted by the people."

http://conservapedia.com/Antonin_Scalia

Put another way, like Bork, he refuses to acknowledge the Ninth has ANY value which is an interesting position for someone who CLAIMS to respect Original Intent. I think Scalia has always used Originalism as a figleaf to cover his right wing ideological rulings.

But enough distractions.... care to deal with the topic of this thread or not?

this being to insure the voting function is kept intact and not perverted.

Commonsense461
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Quote Commonsense461:this being to insure the voting function is kept intact and not perverted.

You're a complete idiot. The Ninth has nothing to do with voting. It's about UNENUMERATED RIGHTS.

You have NO idea what this or any other discussion in the forum is about. All you do is spew nonsense. That's something changing your user name didn't change.

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Quote Pierpont:

Pray tell Einstein, when did I EVER say I voted for Gore?

When you said "your guy"

I'm simply defending a core principle this nation was founded on

It was founded upon the electoral college. So that is not what you are doing.....

As for protecting minorities, pray tell where have I NOT supported their rights?

Are you not trying to kick the entire midwest off the politcal and electoral round table? Clearly you do not think thier voice has meaning... by virtue of thier short stature. you hate short people.

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Quote Commonsense461:
Quote Pierpont:

[quote=Commonsense461]"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Where have we done that?

Here's a critique of Scalia from the Right by Sheldon Richman:

"Scalia here is saying that the government legally may require everyone to carry an ID unless the people amend the Constitution to prohibit Congress from enacting such a measure. His point is painfully clear: the government can do anything unless the Constitution expressly forbids it. No surprise here; Scalia has long made his views known. They are horrifying nonetheless.

His views are based on an incorrect — indeed, a pernicious — notion of what the U.S. Constitution was and is supposed to be. In fact, he stands the Constitution on its head. Instead of a document that protects individual liberty by reining in government power, Scalia would make it one that protects government power by reining in individual liberty."

SOURCE: http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0206c.asp

Commonsense,

Just a minor correction. Richman is not a Rightist. He is a libertarian. Specifically, he is a free market (anti-capitalist) anarchist. http://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/

Thanks for posting, though. The Future of Freedom Foundation is one of the best libertarian organizations out there. Its founder is a former ACLU type liberal (and VMI graduate) who became a libertarians after reading Ideas on Liberty from the Foundation for Economic Education.

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LysanderSpooner
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Quote Capital.0:
Quote Pierpont:

Pray tell Einstein, when did I EVER say I voted for Gore?

When you said "your guy"
Doing another Orwellian rewrite of history? YOU are the one who said it... "

So because your guy lost, you want to overturn 236 years of constitutional law." I voted for Nader in 96 and 2000.

Quote Capital.0:
Quote Pierpont:I'm simply defending a core principle this nation was founded on

It was founded upon the electoral college. So that is not what you are doing.....

Are you home-schooled? The nation's founding document is the Declaration of Independence. Granted it's a moral, not a legal document... but your rush to the Constitution s amusing since before that were the Articles of Confederation.

Quote Capital.0:
Quote Pierpont:As for protecting minorities, pray tell where have I NOT supported their rights?

Are you not trying to kick the entire midwest off the politcal and electoral round table? Clearly you do not think thier voice has meaning...

I see you haven't a clue what I've been saying... basic democratic concepts… where there is one person, one vote, and all votes weight the same... where citizens have the right to vote their conscience and get representation, and that elections should not go to election LOSERS, are foreign to you. As I wrote elsewhere... the Right has contempt for democracy. Thanks for validating that observation.

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I assume we know the electoral college was created by the 12th amendment in 1804 and is not a foundational document. Something I had not noticed in the past is that if neither of the major party candidates wins an electoral majority and the election goes to the house of representatives, it is a majority of states who decided the issue. In othe words the each state would have one representative vote as opposed to a vote of all the house members. And considering the likelihood of a major third party challenge in 16 we might want to be looking at this more closely.

Also I am not following too closely here but I assume we are making a distinction between the electoral college and the amendment process. Both are losers in my brownshirted opinion. I do support states rights, but I do not support small states have a large say in the federal discussion. In other words if we can limit federal power in general I say good, but when we do have remaining issues decided by the federal authority I see no reason to grant small states undue power in that process

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The system is far from perfect but making it perfect would be impossible. I live in South Dakota. I love it here and don't ever want to leave. Yet I will hardly ever be represented because South Dakota has been and probably always will be a hard right red state. Is it fair that I have no voice in Washington? No but that's just tough cookies for me. So in trying to change the state's representation based on population may end up hurting as much as helping when it's all said and done. States themselves have a relationship with government based on land size, resources and locations as well. It's a tough call and it always will be.

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Bush_Wacker
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Quote Bush_Wacker:Yet I will hardly ever be represented because South Dakota has been and probably always will be a hard right red state. Is it fair that I have no voice in Washington? No but that's just tough cookies for me. So in trying to change the state's representation based on population may end up hurting as much as helping when it's all said and done. States themselves have a relationship with government based on land size, resources and locations as well. It's a tough call and it always will be.
It's not a tough call if you believe in democracy... that PEOPLE deserve to be represented, not special interests. The idea that "states" deserve their own representation is just a device that gives the PEOPLE who chose to live in a state bigger votes than other US citizens. On a moral basis, this SHOULD appall us all. But we've all been brought up being told the Constitution was handed down on a slab and we mere mortals dare not to critique it.

I leave you with this from REYNOLDS v. SIMS, a 1964 voting rights case…

Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests. As long as ours is a representative form of government, and our legislatures are those instruments of government elected directly by and directly representative of the people, the right to elect legislators in a free and unimpaired fashion is a bedrock of our political system. It could hardly be gainsaid that a constitutional claim had been asserted by an allegation that certain otherwise qualified voters had been entirely prohibited from voting for members of their state legislature. And, if a State should provide that the votes of citizens in one part of the State should be given two times, or five times, or 10 times the weight of votes of citizens in another part of the State, it could hardly be contended that the right to vote of those residing in the disfavored areas had not been effectively diluted. It would appear extraordinary to suggest that a State could be constitutionally permitted to enact a law providing that certain of the State's voters could vote two, five, or 10 times for their legislative representatives, while voters living elsewhere could vote only once. And it is inconceivable that a state law to the effect that, in counting votes for legislators, the votes of citizens in one part of the State would be multiplied by two, five, or 10, while the votes of persons in another area would be counted only at face value, could be constitutionally sustainable. Of course, the effect of [377 U.S. 533, 563] state legislative districting schemes which give the same number of representatives to unequal numbers of constituents is identical. Overweighting and overvaluation of the votes of those living here has the certain effect of dilution and undervaluation of the votes of those living there. The resulting discrimination against those individual voters living in disfavored areas is easily demonstrable mathematically. Their right to vote is simply not the same right to vote as that of those living in a favored part of the State. Two, five, or 10 of them must vote before the effect of their voting is equivalent to that of their favored neighbor. Weighting the votes of citizens differently, by any method or means, merely because of where they happen to reside, hardly seems justifiable.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=377&invol=533

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Quote Commonsense461:

If you do this along with reverse of texas v white you will see them leave.

I'm STILL waiting for you to explain where these small population states, the ones that REALLY are on the federal gravy train, would go. Do you EVER plan on telling us? If memory serves, Sarah Palin's socialist welfare state of Alaska was in 04 or 05 getting about $1.85 from Washington for every dollar they paid in federal taxes... that plus state residents get a cut of Alaska oil. While we're getting rid of "welfare queens", why not also look at how the mostly small Red states are leeching of the rest of us!

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I commented on the land size issue on another thread. And while I understand that these issues may effect individual thinking and things like pork barrel politics, I do not think I agree that these factors are relevant to democracy.

Maybe I agree with the idea that land and geography do play a role in the political process in that legislation is going to be created according to some relation with these issues, but I would like to believe there is a distinct sense of democracy that involves voting and is not directly connected to those ideas.

There would seem to be a contradiction to the idea that those folks who locate themselves in the most isolating manner from others deserve more political clout

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Semi permeable ...
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Quote Semi permeable memebrain: I commented on the land size issue on another thread. And while I understand that these issues may effect individual thinking and things like pork barrel politics, I do not think I agree that these factors are relevant to democracy. Maybe I agree with the idea that land and geography do play a role in the political process in that legislation is going to be created according to some relation with these issues, but I would like to believe there is a distinct sense of democracy that involves voting and is not directly connected to those ideas.
The idea that states should have a "vote" beyond the citizens who live there has thoroughly contaminated even US liberal thought. More frightening is how US liberals believe they have some monopoly on democracy. In fact I believe that US liberals... and that includes Thom, might wear democracy on their sleeve, yet have no respect for the concept. Hell, they never bother to even define democracy. We see the insidious aspects of US federalism whenever Thom has Bernie Sanders on as a guest. He's now a member of one of the most antidemocratic bodies on the planet... and he has not one word to say about how antidemocratic the Constitution is. His small state would not tolerate giving up it's power in the Senate. The insidious nature of US federalism works to destroy the democratic instincts of even Bernie Sanders!

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#1 make the House more representitive with proportional representation.

#2 eliminate the electoral college, and have instant runoff ranked voting.

As for the tyranny of the Red State Senators stopping any useful legislation, two things to consider: 1, demographics say that Texas is soon going to be a toss up state of lots of young Hispanics who have spent their lifetime being harassed by conservatives to show their papers with AZ and NV and other Western states following, and 2, eventually the Democratic Senators will figure out the game the Regressives are running, and filibuster everything that benefits Red States.

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From my perspective there are a couple of essentials to democracy and then it gets murky. The essentials are a public that has good access to a variety of information, forums to effectively discuss such issues, and the motivation to be involved. After that is one person one vote. I agree with proportional representation and IRV though they are not perfect solutions. Tyranny of the majority is real and ballot measures are perhaps the best example where a single vote can determine black and white. Majorities should almost always look towards means of reconciliation and compromise with majorities as opposed to the self righteous nanner nanner that we usually see. The green party and other who aim for a consensus process which usually works to establish majorities of 2/3 to 80 percent as the threshold for passing resolution creates a very different psychological approach to group dynamics and decision making. So I guess I do believe the left has a kind of different interest in exploring the ideas of democracy than does the right. So if we claim to have a monoply on it , I would say that comes from the rights lack of interest in it as opposed to the lefts megalomania towards it

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Does this count as evidence?

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/04/11/welfare-states/

chilidog
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Quote Pierpont:

Quote Commonsense461:

If you do this along with reverse of texas v white you will see them leave.

I'm STILL waiting for you to explain where these small population states, the ones that REALLY are on the federal gravy train, would go. Do you EVER plan on telling us? If memory serves, Sarah Palin's socialist welfare state of Alaska was in 04 or 05 getting about $1.85 from Washington for every dollar they paid in federal taxes... that plus state residents get a cut of Alaska oil. While we're getting rid of "welfare queens", why not also look at how the mostly small Red states are leeching of the rest of us!

I agree with you on Alaska if you want to live in the middle of nowhere you foot the bill. That being saidtYoi have no eevidince to back up your claim that the small red states are getting more. If any thing evidence show the opposite with California gennealy gets a huge chunk of federal Money. http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Commonsense461
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Jul. 2, 2012 9:48 am

Quote Phaedrus76:#1 make the House more representative with proportional representation.
Of all the representational problems in the Constitution, the House is the least of the problems. It may be "proportional" to actual population, but it still IS a problem. As long as we have elections in set districts/states then it's difficult to ever implement proportional representation. These district/state elections create their own dynamic that are the cause of the two party system. Citizens are often stuck voting for the lesser of the evils instead of their conscience... otherwise they throw the election to a minority candidate. So as long as the Constitution has the state-based elections for the Senate and the House we're stuck. One possible out is to have multi-member districts for the House... pool a number of districts.. say 5... then let anyone run, and the 5 vote winners go on to the House. This would give smaller parties a chance. But some members would represent more citizens than others.

There's another big problem with the House and that's Gerrymandering. If skillfully done, a party can get 70% of the seats with just 51% of the votes. This is what Dick Armey tried to do in Texas… not that the Dems are angels. They did the same thing in Texas back in 1991.

The real representational problem is the Senate. Our election method deprives political minorities who can't muster a majority within a state/district, even though they may be a sizable minority nattionally, of all representation. As a Progressive I can vote forever and NEVER be represented for my beliefs. I'd like to see the Senate become a national body based on national party elections. So if the Greens and Libertarian each get 10% of the national vote, they'd each get 10% of the seats.

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

Get rid of house districts, and go with a proportional representative system.
Eliminate the filibuster as it is.

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Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm

Quote Commonsense461:

Quote Pierpont: I'm STILL waiting for you to explain where these small population states, the ones that REALLY are on the federal gravy train, would go. Do you EVER plan on telling us? If memory serves, Sarah Palin's socialist welfare state of Alaska was in 04 or 05 getting about $1.85 from Washington for every dollar they paid in federal taxes... that plus state residents get a cut of Alaska oil. While we're getting rid of "welfare queens", why not also look at how the mostly small Red states are leeching of the rest of us!

I agree with you on Alaska if you want to live in the middle of nowhere you foot the bill. That being saidtYoi have no eevidince to back up your claim that the small red states are getting more. If any thing evidence show the opposite with California gennealy gets a huge chunk of federal Money. http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/default.aspx

STILL evading the simple issue YOU raised that small states would simply secede? How many posts is that now? And since you're not that bright... the issue regarding federal spending is NOT one of absolute numbers. Of COURSE a large state would get more money even if dollars were spent proportional to population. It's the RATIO of taxes sent to Washington vs the return that's in question.

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1451268

http://taxfoundation.org/article/federal-taxes-paid-vs-federal-spending-received-state-1981-2005

And if you're going to post here SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR READERS AND GET OFF YOUR DAMN SMARTPHONE KEYPAD!!!!

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

U mad bro?

Commonsense461
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Jul. 2, 2012 9:48 am
Quote Commonsense461:

U mad bro?

More EVASION from our resident village idiot!

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

At least a lot more clucking from the cs pile. Back to the coop, please.

PS, you show no common sense in your posts. Irony is you.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

Even if you straightened out the Senate and the Electoral College, you're still left with an electorate that voted 48% for McCain-Pailin, and voted for Boehner's House...

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Quote chilidog:

Even if you straightened out the Senate and the Electoral College, you're still left with an electorate that voted 48% for McCain-Pailin, and voted for Boehner's House...

The insidious tendrils of state suffrage run deep in the Constitution. As I wrote elsewhere, the amendment process is also afflicted. The 12 smallest states capable of blocking any amendment represent a mere 4.5% of the US population. That's simply insane.

Once free of state suffrage the next step to reform is to move to proportional representation. Will any of this be easy? No. The public is resigned to the dysfunctionality of our system... and there's a secular religion that protects the Constitution from ever being critiqued. I think the reform process will have to begin in the states... that they'll start to move towards proportional representation... then the absurdity of our 18th century federal system will crumble once exposed to the common sense of 21st century democracy. Heaven forbid… each citizen's vote weighs the same, a citizen can vote they conscience and get representation… and no one rejected by the People can become president. HOW HORRIBLE!!!

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

Quote chilidog:

Even if you straightened out the Senate and the Electoral College, you're still left with an electorate that voted 48% for McCain-Palin, and voted for Boehner's House...

I should add that don't be blinded by "the vote". The "vote" always totals 100% regardless if only 100 people vote nationally. What matters from a democratic perspective is the percentage of the Voting Age Population (VAP). The US system is so dysfunctional that even in a banner election year, only about 50-55% of the VAP vote. In an off-year it's about 35%. Reagan's "landslide" represented about 28% approval of the VAP. Newt's so-called 1994 Republican Revolution... about 18%.

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

It seems no one wants to touch a key moral issue I raised in my first post:

Why should agricultural interests or those of the rich, be granted the power to govern while other interests of other oppressed groups, women, racial minorities, etc be denied that same power? Morally, should ANY special interest group be granted institutional power to govern, or worst have a veto over other groups? Can not any legitimate rights of rural folks can be dealt with the same way as others rights are protected... through the Bill Of Rights… or to guarantee someone from that interest group (or others) will be granted chairpersonships of relevant congressional committees to shape legislation most important to them?

I can see why the Right won't touch this issue because they've turned Constitution worship into a secular religion. But what about Liberals who pretend to so value democracy they named their party the Democratic Party? Where's Thom or Bernie on this moral issue? Nope... all we hear are crickets.

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

The changes you want won't happen unless you amend the Constitution, and 3/4 of the states will not do that anytime soon.

I had an idea where we allow 3 Senators per state. That way, a Senator would be elected every 2 years and that chamber would be less insulated from the mood of the electorate. The Founders probably considered that, which is probably precisely why they allocated only 2 per state.

If California breaks up into 2, 3, 8 states, probably Texas would follow suit, etc. until Wyoming breaks up into 2, 3, 8 states.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Quote chilidog:The changes you want won't happen unless you amend the Constitution, and 3/4 of the states will not do that anytime soon.
You really didn't address the moral questions I raised.

As for the Constitution being reform-proof... that's why I started the Should California Secede thread. I don't see ANY other way to reform the Constitution. In the mean time demographic trends are making it more and more antidemocratic as the gap widens between the big and small population states... which means the small states will have even MORE power to thwart any reforms and right now they contain just 4.5% of the population. Conversely, since about 1820 the smallest states that could ratify any amendment have contained LESS THAN A MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION! Now the 38 smallest states contain only about 38% of the population. Between an anti-democratic Senate, a Gerrymandered House, and the demographics of the states... in theory amendments could be passed by a MINORITY of the US population.

There's something seriously wrong here and no one wants to talk about it.

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

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