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What if?

posted 12/3/2011 3:04:00 PM |
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tagged: politics, question, political
  Stubbsy

I can recall a blog or two that questioned whether technology was responsible for the decline of politeness among peers and while I don't subscribe to that school of thought, it did get the juices flowing in a sort of related technological what-if area.

What if, when the Constitution was framed, the founders had the technology to stage a country-wide, efficient and timely popular vote? Would the electoral college have been necessary? What if they had a very efficient way to not only stage a popular vote, but also disseminate information to the general populace? Would the legislature have taken a different form?

What if, in the present, we were to do away with Congress and institute a popular vote for the approval of laws? Would it cut down on the corruption and lobbyists' influence that are a problem today? Might it address some of the issues concerning the Occupy movement? Would more people be invested in the government if they played a more important part in the law-making process?

Obviously, there are problems with this idea. Any proposal to replace Congress with a popular voting system would require a lot more thought than I've given it; I'm just asking a question.

What if?

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Comments:

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somnium

Dec 3 @ 6:25PM  
What if, when the Constitution was framed, the founders had the technology to stage a country-wide, efficient and timely popular vote?

I thought we had that with the Pony Express? At least it was just as fast as the snail-mail we have today!

What if, in the present, we were to do away with Congress and institute a popular vote for the approval of laws?

Well Hell, why not? Congress is totally busted in accomplishing anything anyway and hasn't been really effective for decades! And along those very lines, I have suggested several times that our entire election process be scrapped and in its place, we institute a popular vote based on a candidate's merits... period! Lay the facts of what they have actually accomplished to justify their reasoning for running for a higher office, on the 'table' for everyone to view- for a few weeks or so and then, run one popular-vote election for all offices up for grabs!

That eliminates a lot of the bovine pies we have to listen to for months on end, it eliminates, special interests influence, dirt slinging, millions of dollars wasted on stupid campaigns, all the favors that have to be returned for getting a candidate elected in the first place and above all, it gets more qualified people in more important positions, than the twits we have had in the past and present!

And BTW, who's minding the store, when all of the campaigning clowns are out running around 'thumping their hollow chests' and why are they being paid such a high salary for being AWOL, while still in their old position for weeks at a time, campaigning for election into a new office??? I can see a few weeks maybe but, months on end? Ehhhh... try that with your employer and see what happens!

That idea would have to be chewed on for a long time as well but if we don't get control of our politicians, IMO, there is little hope for our country to remain a country we used to be that once was respected and looked up to for some kind of direction for people in other parts of the world!

Just my 2ยข worth and then I probably have change coming back!


onehornytoad69

Dec 3 @ 8:04PM  
Greenie... For the Balls to Post this!!!
Something has got to change!!!
The old ways are not working..... I don't know .. What we should do...but I do think that We need to Re-Construct our Government!! Times have changed!! We have Grown...........!!!
Would it cut down on the corruption and lobbyists' influence that are a problem today?
Don't even get me started with Lobbyist!!
Wordsofwit

Dec 3 @ 8:51PM  
I have used this quote many times:
"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." Winston Churchill
somnium

Dec 3 @ 11:11PM  
I have used this quote once:

The best weapon against democracy, is to ignore what your government is doing and not lift a finger when representatives are in error! Somnium



Strega

Dec 3 @ 11:39PM  
The problem with a direct popular vote government is the Bubba factor. Bubba sees no need to fix the road past Jim Bob's house because that pothole isn't bothering him. Billy Bob is not going to vote to fund schools because he does not have kids. The result is nothing is accomplished and we become even less organized. This theory is based on actual conversations I have had with a few people.
somnium

Dec 4 @ 12:16AM  
There's always the chance that any one system isn't going to work on its own! But tossing out an idea without first having the benefit of discussion, along with say other ideas, is just as bad, if not worse! The best attributes of two or maybe even three ideas merged together could well work!

Our election system we have now, obviously isn't working very well and hasn't for a long time- which to me explains a lot, given the mess(s) we are now in years later (economically, foreign policy wise etc.) which, IMO, exemplifies the fact, that our election process is seriously broken or, perhaps even, 'molded' to our government's liking and needs to be fixed... period!


Wordsofwit

Dec 4 @ 9:52AM  
I don't trust uninformed people to make spontaneous decisions on complicated issues. If the "people" were so damned capable and competent, we wouldn't have them electing the people in office that everybody is complaining about
Ewe_Wish

Dec 4 @ 10:23AM  
I don't trust uninformed people to make spontaneous decisions on complicated issues. If the "people" were so damned capable and competent, we wouldn't have them electing the people in office that everybody is complaining about
To a point I have to agree with Bruce........I have said it before and I will say it again..........I think when someone is running for office and start making campaign promises.........they have to show a way that they can keep those promises.........and agrees to the fact that if he doesn't keep those promises..........he is no longer in office and the runner up is giving an opportunity....... They would have to make a detailed plan of how they are going to keep those promises........not just oh i think i can do it........The president is the only job...........that he is "contracted" to work 4 years a term and yet he only works 3 as he is campaigning the last year..........there needs to be some accountability with our president and all other elected officials...........must be nice to get "fired" (or voted out) and have a better retirement plan than most ppl in the US. Ok I have rambled enough............sorry.
somnium

Dec 4 @ 12:44PM  
..........there needs to be some accountability with our president and all other elected officials

That's right and I have made the very same comment over the months several times! Our main problem with all elected 'officials' and the reason for having to put up with more grief than the citizens have and will put up with in the future, is because of the lack of responsibility for their actions! They should be responsible, they should made to be responsible or, suffer the consequences like the rest of us are!

If they're subjected to the possibility of suffering the consequences for irresponsible actions on their part having to do with abuse of office, and/or the abuse of the public trust, that could be just the factor needed, to make them straighten up and make decisions to help, rather than hinder the growth of our country and its citizens!

Just voting in new people isn't cutting it- it really doesn't matter what predominate political party is in office! It doesn't matter because politicians are all about themselves and seldom do anything unless they can gain from it, in some way! It doesn't matter because people will pay for their (politicians) actions- it's just that each party has their own way of making that happen! Screwed is screwed however you slice it!

Aside from actual election reform, being made responsible for their actions is the only other thing that needs to be done! Just those two major changes, IMO, would make a world of difference for our country!

I'm not some 'bumpkin' waddling down the road- I can read, I can see and I can hear the Bull$hit Washington puts out! I don't have to be a Democrat or Republican, to understand that neither side is doing that for which they were elected to do and haven't been doing for decades! The sorry ass position we're in right now, is proof enough for that!

Also, I may not be 'up to speed' on politics like some people apparently are, but that doesn't mean I'm ignorant to what's going on in D.C. Same goes for lots of people, not politicized yet by the two waring entities, our political system seems to be about in the past administrations and the present one!


EOC

Stubbsy

Dec 4 @ 4:45PM  
Heh. First, I thank everyone for sharing and not letting this degenerate into something unsavory.

I think some of you took this general idea I had and are talking about a more specific implentation of this with very little regulation. As I said in the blog, for this to be seriously considered there would have to be a lot more thought and work put into a proposal than I (or you) have done here.

It hasn't been discussed how laws and budgets are constructed and presented to the citizenry which would probably be the most controversial part of any proposal and have a huge impact on the possible success of such a system.

I'm not proposing we do away with checks and balances. The judicial and executive branch would still play a huge role in the governing of the country (and quite probably there would still be elected officials in the legislative branch.) Laws could still be vetoed and struck down by the courts.

The only real opposition I see in the responses is people who don't think the average American is capable of handling the responsibility (and some people seem to be confusing slightly the responsibilities of the executive and legislative branch.) I thought the scope of the change would be the sticking point.



flavorbuster

Dec 4 @ 8:45PM  
I don't trust uninformed people to make spontaneous decisions on complicated issues. If the "people" were so damned capable and competent, we wouldn't have them electing the people in office that everybody is complaining about
I can understand where this is coming from. Achievements by a running official is a given & not to be taken away but promising shit that they know will not be passed by a legislature boils it down to another big lie with failed good intentions. The thought of honesty in politics would be nice but a giant good luck to those who believe there will be.

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What if?