My suggestions for American democracy 19 replies

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masked_marsoe VIP Member

Heaven's gonna burn your eyes

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16th April 2005

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#1 12 years ago

These are in no particular order, and I have no idea if some are already in place.

  • Change to a proportional voting system, MMP. There are two votes: one for a candidate in a electorate, one for a party. Electorate vote and Party Vote. Any party that wins an electorate gains one seat, or any party that gains 5% (say) of the Party vote gains a seat.
  • Introduce a new electorate system, based on population over an area. Again, each electorate represents one seat in the House.
  • Remove two chamber system, abolish the Senate in favour of an enlarged House of Representatives, maybe as high as 500 members. Now, 50% of the seats in the House of Representatives will be for electorate seats, and 50% will be given proportionatly to the party's vote.
  • Introduce severe financial caps on election spending. Any candidate who overspends that limit is stood down and barred from running in the re-election. A party too can be investigated and charged, meaning that the election is fraudulent and a re-election must be held.
  • Seperate the powers of the President, creating a new position of Head of Government, possibly Prime Minister.
  • Match salaries of Representatives to that of high school teachers. They are public servants after all, and should be paid at a level that creates a position of honor rather than financial gain. Allowances for travel and communication to be increased however, due to the nature of their work.
  • Abolish the electoral colleges and such.

Why? The current American system seems to be failing democracy and the American people. This is not particularly focused on any person or party, but it seems to me that the system itself is not working in the interests of the people. What this should do is allow the Republican and Democrat parties to divide into the various factions, if they so wish (for example, conservative Dems and liberal Reps can join a centrist party, etc). There are enough cases of politicians choosing either big party over a smaller party becuase that's the only way to power. This stop this, allowing the growth of smaller parties, with more focused areas.

In order for a government to be formed however, a majority must still be reached. This can happen by either a party winning 50% of the seat, or by a coalition of parties with 50%/+. The multiple parties allows for flexibility in how a government is formed.

The most important goal of these reforms however is to improve the representation of the people. The American government is meant to be of the people, by the people and for the people. There's no point in having a democracy if this doesn't happen.




Mast3rofPuppets VIP Member

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28th November 2003

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#2 12 years ago

Sounds like you're describing the Scandinavian voting system. How does it work in New Zealand by the way?




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#3 12 years ago

I dink New Zealand is like Australia a 'Monachy' I wish we where a Republic. But then again I don't.




masked_marsoe VIP Member

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#4 12 years ago

NZ's a Constitutional Monarchy, yes, though that has nothing to do with the topic.




Joe Bonham

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10th December 2005

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#5 12 years ago
masked_marsoeThese are in no particular order, and I have no idea if some are already in place.
  • Change to a proportional voting system, MMP. There are two votes: one for a candidate in a electorate, one for a party. Electorate vote and Party Vote. Any party that wins an electorate gains one seat, or any party that gains 5% (say) of the Party vote gains a seat.

Kind of pointless when there are only two major parties. And no, we don't want a lot of parties - then there would be no majority at all.

  • Introduce a new electorate system, based on population over an area.
  • Again, each electorate represents one seat in the House.
  • Remove two chamber system, abolish the Senate in favour of an enlarged House of Representatives, maybe as high as 500 members.

A bit of a contradiction, no?

That's why we have two chambers in the first place - one is based on population, and one gives all the states equal number of reps. That way both small states and sparcly populated states have a fair chance.

Now, 50% of the seats in the House of Representatives will be for electorate seats, and 50% will be given proportionatly to the party's vote.

Again, pointless when there are only two major parties.

  • Introduce severe financial caps on election spending. Any candidate who overspends that limit is stood down and barred from running in the re-election. A party too can be investigated and charged, meaning that the election is fraudulent and a re-election must be held.
  • Seperate the powers of the President, creating a new position of Head of Government, possibly Prime Minister.
  • Match salaries of Representatives to that of high school teachers. They are public servants after all, and should be paid at a level that creates a position of honor rather than financial gain. Allowances for travel and communication to be increased however, due to the nature of their work.
  • Abolish the electoral colleges and such.

Interesting ideas - whether or not they stand a chance is another issue...

Why? The current American system seems to be failing democracy and the American people. This is not particularly focused on any person or party, but it seems to me that the system itself is not working in the interests of the people. What this should do is allow the Republican and Democrat parties to divide into the various factions, if they so wish (for example, conservative Dems and liberal Reps can join a centrist party, etc). There are enough cases of politicians choosing either big party over a smaller party becuase that's the only way to power. This stop this, allowing the growth of smaller parties, with more focused areas. In order for a government to be formed however, a majority must still be reached. This can happen by either a party winning 50% of the seat, or by a coalition of parties with 50%/+. The multiple parties allows for flexibility in how a government is formed. The most important goal of these reforms however is to improve the representation of the people. The American government is meant to be of the people, by the people and for the people. There's no point in having a democracy if this doesn't happen.

European democracy isn't exactly the most stable thing either... Both systems have the same problem, and no apparent solution. A Democracy works until its population realizes that they can vote themselves free money. That's what has happened in Europe with their "democratic socialism", and what is beginning to happen here. People see that they can vote themselves unlimited benefits and money, and vote out any politician who tries to stop them. So basically, the major weakness of the system is greed - once the greed gets too high, the system becomes impossible to maintain. The results? A Caesar and his Rubicon...




masked_marsoe VIP Member

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#6 12 years ago

The point of the representational and electorla reforms is to create the opportunites for other parties to win seats. It's not like other parties don't exist but the current system is stacked against them.

Ideally, I would also abolish the states, but this will never happen, so I didn't bother including it. The electorate system however, sidesteps the need for states, giving the people a much more localised voice.

Many parties requires different views to work together, but it doesn't mean the same sort of watering down that occurs in very large parties. You can have two ideologically strong parties working together just as effectivly as one ideologically weak party working. A smaller, ideologically strong party often has a clear focus of what it wants.




Napalm

Alumni @ Miskatonic University

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30th January 2004

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#7 12 years ago

I think Ameirca is good at a presidential system and does not need to stray to either a semi-presidential system (with 2 legislatures, a President who has most power and a Prime Minister who deals with only domestic issues and is not popularlly elected) like France or a parlimentary system like England (where there are 2 houses of govt, but the Prime Minister is elected by the lower house, not the people).

I would like to see a mixed system of government like Japan (True Mixed) or Germany (Additional Member System - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Additional_Member_System) because it would give smaller parties and parties based in regions to get some seats and would make the will of the people as a whole represented.

The United States, since is it so big, needs to stay a federation with a distinct separation of powers between the national government and states.

A government cannot bar anyone from spending. It doesnt make sense.




Locomotor

in spite of erosion

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13th May 2004

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#8 12 years ago
Originally posted by masked_marsoe A smaller, ideologically strong party often has a clear focus of what it wants.

Or they are insane. I would never want the Greens to gain a majority in anything. A Congressman can still keep his ideology and agenda when being assimilated into the two larger parties. Congress doesn't mandate each member's views on their policy. There are centrists in Congress and most of them have proportionatly appropriate voices.




Joe Bonham

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#9 12 years ago
masked_marsoeThe point of the representational and electorla reforms is to create the opportunites for other parties to win seats. It's not like other parties don't exist but the current system is stacked against them.

If we did that - the system would be stacked against the voters. It would be nearly impossible to have a government that pleases the majority.

Ideally, I would also abolish the states, but this will never happen, so I didn't bother including it. The electorate system however, sidesteps the need for states, giving the people a much more localised voice.

That would be like the EU "abolishing" France and Germany.

Many parties requires different views to work together, but it doesn't mean the same sort of watering down that occurs in very large parties. You can have two ideologically strong parties working together just as effectivly as one ideologically weak party working. A smaller, ideologically strong party often has a clear focus of what it wants.

I agree with Locomotor's response on this. Compromise is MUCH better than a crazed extremist party winning the election because they got 10% of the vote (That's the problem with having so many parties, the vote is fractured so many different ways)




Komrad_B

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#10 12 years ago
Compromise is MUCH better than a crazed extremist party winning the election because they got 10% of the vote (That's the problem with having so many parties, the vote is fractured so many different ways)

The "crazed extremist party" would NEVER be able to rule with 10% of the vote. Our current conservative governement in Canada had less than 37% of the votes, yet they can't do anything extreme otherwise the other parties in the parliement would just force an election. The House of Representative would be there to watch, there is no way a "crazed extremist party" would effectively rule without concessions or without working with more moderate parties.

Also, don't expect extremist parties to win in such a system anyways. Moderates usually win, and then it happens to be what most people want.

That would be like the EU "abolishing" France and Germany.

The EU is, at most, a "loose confederation". Not a federation like the US. I myself think the concept of states is a good idea tho.

A Congressman can still keep his ideology and agenda when being assimilated into the two larger parties. Congress doesn't mandate each member's views on their policy. There are centrists in Congress and most of them have proportionatly appropriate voices.

But then the people don't know what they are voting for. I seriously wouldn't know what to expect if I'd be american.. The two parties are extremely ambiguous, and can become extremists without the people's consent. If I want to vote for a socialist party, I want to be sure they will represent my ideas, if I want to vote for a centrist party, I want to be sure there are no nutjobs trying to screw it ect...

I also noticed most of you think a multi-party system necessarely have douzens of various parties, I would say an healthy multi-party system can have only 4 parties and work very well. 2 extremist parties with 15% of the vote, and 2 moderate left and right parties with 30% of the votes. There, you have it working!




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