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April 30, 2004

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I can see the idea behind some of those proposals. However, passing any of them is impossible.

First, getting 2,000 Representatives would require about 200 more Senators to keep Wyoming, South Dakota, and the rest from going nuts, since they'd immediately lose all clout in Presidential races.

Second, making DC a state could really hurt the Republican party. That'd be pretty much guaranteed control of the Senate for Democrats and three more electoral votes for them if DC votes like I think they do. Or we could trade it for Delaware and merge that into Maryland. It's not like anybody remembers that state.

The third proposal sounds fine. I'd possibly prefer direct election, although that would share the same problem as more Representatives.

Four I'm against since I think that the Senate should be chosen by the people. I'm a progressive populist at heart.

I'll go for five if I can elect the magangement of any corporation that wants to donate money.

Stop trying to regulate political ads and/or cash

Yeah. I can think of a lot of non-Americans who would very much like to be able to contribute to the task of getting Bush out of office. Why regulate it at all? Just let anyone in the world contribute however much they want to buy the US elections, and don't try to keep track of it.

/sarcasm

I'd also personally add 4). Repeal the 17th Amendment

Moe, are you channeling Zany Zell for this one?

Moe:

On #1, I suggested it so, of course, I'm in favor of it. On #2, the voters in D. C. should absolutely have a Congressional representative as part of the Maryland delegation. I also agree with #3 and #4.

On #5 I'd propose an alternative. Do not limit in any way the amount of political advertising that newspapers, radio, TV, or any other media may run. Prohibit the taking of money for political advertising--this is clearly within Congress's power under the commerce clause. Re-institute the fairness doctrine.

For those who support the direct election of Senators on populist grounds, is what we have now populist? Actually, I think that appointment of Senators by state legislatures is, potentially, significantly more populist. I've never met my Congressional representative. I know my state rep and he knows me.

Create a constitunational mechanism to Break up the larger States into smaller ones one their population reaches some predetermined ratio of the total population of the US.

There is no reason that California with 34 million inhabitants should not be broken up into four or five States. Those new states would still end up being fairly large States with populations in the millions.

Small States such as Wyoming & Vermont should be forced to merge into other States or become US territories when their Population drops below some Ratio of the overall Population.


PS.
1 Sounds pretty good.
2. DC should be returned to their original States, ie the population should be able to vote in either Maryland or Virginia.
3. Direct election of the President.No more of this nonsense of the loser moving into the WH.
4. Direct Elections for everyone.
5. Only if the elected official has to wear a decals on his/her uniform that carries the logo of the sponsors and that said logo is of the proportional size with the amount of money the sponsor has supplied. (1 square inch per $100,000 to be adjusted for inflation on a yearly basis)

Don Quijote:

Your suggestion for automatically breaking up large states is an excellent one and, under current rules, would also have the effect of increasing the size of the House of Representatives (as well as the Senate). It also has a number of--possibly unforeseen-side-effects. One of these would be to significantly increase the power of cities. New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago would each become their own states (check the population stats). And, contrary to popular opinion in my own state (Illinois), it would significantly reduce the tax revenue available to the downstate counties. Cook County is a net tax donor to the state not a net tax beneficiary (although downstaters believe the opposite).

Also, you may not be aware of it but, in general, when Republicans have been elected to the presidency they have been elected by a majority of the voters. When Democrats have been elected they have been elected by a minority of the voters. FDR and LBJ were exceptions to this on the Democratic side. GWB was, I believe, the only exception to this on the Republican side.

So without the electoral college, Bush I would have been re-elected.

It's interesting to note that even after 2000 abolition of the Electoral College has not been an issue with Democrats in the House or Senate.

"There is no reason that California with 34 million inhabitants should not be broken up into four or five States."

No objection here. There is also no reason we should not also all be compelled to wear our underwear on the outside.

It's a useful formula, that, "there is no reason that...[fill in your preference]."

There is no reason that we should not also knaw all trees down with our teeth and eat them.

Look what good can be done with the formula!

There is no reason that California should not make me King.

I'll wait.

psetzer wrote:

Second, making DC a state could really hurt the Republican party. That'd be pretty much guaranteed control of the Senate for Democrats and three more electoral votes for them if DC votes like I think they do.

DC already has three electoral votes, thanks to the the 23rd amendment.

Reference
Since 1824, when John Quincy Adams was elected president by the House of Representatives when no candidate had a majority in the electoral college (Adams' leading opponent, Andrew Jackson, had greater popular and electoral vote totals), the electoral-college system has many times permitted a president to be chosen without a majority of the popular vote (1844, 1848, 1856, 1860, 1876, 1880, 1884, 1888, 1892, 1912, 1916, 1948, 1960, 1968, 1992, 1996, and 2000); in 1876, 1888, and 2000 candidates without even a plurality succeeded in winning office.

Only four Presidents have lost the Popular vote and gotten in the WH and GW is one of them. In all other cases the winner did get the plurality of the vote.

US Constition - Article IV
Section 3. New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.

If my reading is correct, The California legislature could vote to split the state into five states. Assuming that congress agreed to the split there would be fifty four stars on the flag.

Now I doubt that congress would agree to this unless multiple states were to break up so the Democrat - republican Balance be maintained.

There is also no reason we should not also all be compelled to wear our underwear on the outside.
1 st Admendment - Freedom of Speech assuming that not wearing underwear on the outside is a form of speech.

there is no reason that we should not also knaw all trees down with our teeth and eat them.

My teeth would wear out real fast, so would yours.



There is no reason that California should not make me King.

Article IV section 4 of the US constitution:

Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.


Sorry, you can't be king.

So without the electoral college, Bush I would have been re-elected.

C'mon Dave, are you serious? Clinton didn't get a majority, sure, but he sure as hell got a plurality. Could you please explain to me how abolishing the electoral college would have given the election to the guy with the 2nd-most amount of votes, just because there were other people in the race?

1 st Admendment - Freedom of Speech assuming that not wearing underwear on the outside is a form of speech.

I'm just going to revel in that one for a bit, ok?

carpeicthus:

I admit I was making a couple of assumptions. First, that a run-off would be required in case no candidate received a majority. Otherwise the stink the followed the 2000 election would be a permanent feature of our system. Second, that absent Perot (as would be true in a run-off) that Bush would have won (as seems reasonable).

"Just let anyone in the world contribute however much they want to buy the US elections, and don't try to keep track of it."

Given the fact that the US is the sole superpower in the world, and that a butterfly in Washington makes for a hurricane in Myannmar, there's something to say for this, actually.

Empire is empire. Giving some political power to the outlying provinces is always wise. We'll ignore that at our peril.

"Sorry, you can't be king."

Spoilsport. I shall just have to be The Master.

Gary, you give up too quickly. There is in fact no reason that California should not make you King, as long as your kingdom is not California or any other state. I understand there'll soon be an opening for the "King of Pop" position...

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