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I really like this idea......

by TONI H / December 12, 2012 8:44 PM PST
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sounds like a plan
by James Denison / December 13, 2012 3:29 AM PST

might manage to avoid tyranny of the majority through fewer high population states against the lower population states.

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Sorry but adding micromanagement to the Constitution...
by grimgraphix / December 13, 2012 5:35 AM PST

... would serve no one in this country.

I read all the proposals... and found most to be good ideas. However they were all things that could be addressed by simple adoption by the legislative branch. Eating all your cooked carrots at the dinner table or say "please"

The very idea that all these issues are "Constitution" worthy to many folks out there, makes me question whether most people actually understand the importance of keeping changes to our most important document to a minimum.

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I don't see where these
by TONI H / December 13, 2012 6:45 AM PST

proposals are actually going to make changes to the actual Constitution, but rather the proposals seem to be using the Constitution's own rules of giving the States and the People back the power that we have slowly watched DC erode.

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What the ?
by grimgraphix / December 13, 2012 8:14 AM PST
"I don't see where these.... proposals are actually going to make changes to the actual Constitution..."

How can you say the above? The whole dang web site you linked to is about making changes to the US Constitution. It contains proposal after proposal that addresses legislative procedures, budgeting, issues re: congressional health insurance for Pete's sake!

Most of these proposals for amending the Constitution are nothing more than legislative procedural rule changes that the executive branch of the government could put in place at any time they wanted to.

Some of the proposals are from the paranoid minds of conspiracy theorists... amendment [34.5] UFO Full Disclosure - No government person shall suppress information regarding UFOs.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY??? We need to amend the constitution with a clause about UFOs?

No Toni, I understand where you are coming from. You are saying let the average citizen use the States to wave a big stick at the Federal Government, to make it do what they want... but that isn't what the site you linked to is about. That is just the method they propose to make serious (and sometimes ridiculous) changes to a document that works best if left alone. At least that is my opinion.
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The way I see it
by TONI H / December 13, 2012 6:57 PM PST
In reply to: What the ?

The majority of those proposals are actually based on what the Constitution IS about.......and the proposals just define the power of the States and the People to decide for themselves how much control the Federal government has overreached their authority and that the States and the People have the power to take that authority back. And since the Constitution actually allows for this type of action, I can see where it isn't beyond the realm of reality for this country.

I give a rat's about the UFO thing and actually laughed out loud over that, but the rest of them weren't out of line or radical.

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Democracy ...
by tumbleweed_biff / December 13, 2012 4:35 PM PST

Sadly, democracy doesn't work, at least not as we have it.
An effective democracy REQUIRES a populace well educated on the candidates, issues, and processes which the populace in the US is not. Once educated on such, those people also then have to bother to vote. Too many people see their vote as unimportant and don't bother. I have two daughters who could have voted in this last presidential election for the first time. Despite strenuous urging, I couldn't get either one to go vote. True democracies only work on a small scale.

On the large scale, you really have to go with a republic if you want an effective, responsive government. In a true republic, the local citizens would choose from among themselves who would represent them at the local level. Those representatives would then choose amongst themselves, people they know and work with, who to represent them at the next level and so on. The reality is that the masses can not know enough about the people at the higher levels to make an effective decision as to who will best represent their needs, so we end up with this travesty called a party system, where the vast majority people blindly follow their party line because of this issue or that issue, or because they belong to this union, born in that family, etc. And why is this the case? Just review a few episodes of "Jay Walking" from the tonight show when they are asking people on the street about political issues, leaders, the Constitution, etc. Far too many people in the US are completely clueless about government or politics. "Don't talk about politics or religion" ... is the attitude of so many here, whereas in other countries, such as those of Europe, people commonly sit around the local pub/gasthaus/etc. and talk meaningfully about those very things. Why? Because those are two of the most important topics in life! Yet most here choose to treat them as taboo!

No, we need to elect people at the local level whom we can trust and hold accountable, and they in turn need to pick people they trust and can hold accountable. This type of system would dramatically reduce the amount of campaigning at the higher levels of government and dramatically reduce the power of special interest/corporate financing of campaigns. Currently, elections are little more than image based popularity contests along party lines heavily influenced by who has the biggest bankroll (and is therefore most likely deepest into the pockets of the corporations). This is NOT good government.

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On or off topic
by Steven Haninger / December 13, 2012 7:56 PM PST

I'd like to see a way to end the electoral college. Can the states do that themselves? Can't we see what's happening to the presidential election process? It's only selected states that get attention regardless of population. If candidates had to provide equal attention to all prospective voters rather than rely on current strategy practices, I think we'd all be better represented.

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I believe that would be a constitutional admendment
by Roger NC / December 13, 2012 8:10 PM PST
In reply to: On or off topic

either the more normal method or by the state conventions Toni's article was urging.

I'd agree about the need for change. I dread the recount nightmare a straight popular vote would represent.

An intermediate step would be for all states to proportion their electoral votes according to their popular vote rather than winner take all. It would have it drawbacks too, the first argument would be rounding off fractional to whole electoral votes. Of course, it might have just as much danger of endless recounts, since even a large margin of victory in a state may still allow one electoral vote at least to be changed by a recount.

One suggestion I've read is that each congressional district and senatorial district be treated as an electoral district and the electoral vote be so allocated. That would have a slightly strange effect of everyone actually being in two electoral vote districts. Your congressional electoral district might go one way while your senatorial vote went the other.

Another proposal that several states have agreed to provisionally is the state would cast all it's electoral votes for the popular winner of the presidental election. I forget the number that have signed a pledge to change their vote to this procedure once enough states to determine the election have signed the pledge.

All changes to how electoral votes are voted I think would be at the state level, not involving the federal government at all. That means 50 campaigns for change instead of 1.

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Re: electoral collage
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 13, 2012 8:16 PM PST
In reply to: On or off topic

The options for communication (TV, Internet) have rather changed since they defined how a President should be chosen, so things that were unpractical back in 1800 might be a good idea in 2013.

You can't imagine everybody going to Washington to vote in 1800, so some form of representation was an excellent idea then.
But now a simple 'majority of all voters' seems a feasible idea. It would end the situation that 5 states would be all you need to win, so you can more or less neglect 45 others. It would be a revolutionary change, because you can't do the same in 50 states (canvassing, ad bombardment) as you can in only the swing states.

So it seems an idea worthy of serious discussion. However, given the sacrosanct character of the Constitution, I don't expect it to be an decision easily made.


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One solution we can do ourselves, starting now
by Roger NC / December 14, 2012 7:00 AM PST

refused to vote for any of this crowd of clowns in Washington right now. No constitutional amendment needed.

Doesn't mean you can't vote liberal, conservative, toss a coin.

It means we need to all vote in the primaries for the next decade, and make sure the party of our choice has someone who is not in Washington right now as it's candidate. Ideally it would be someone who has never been in Congress, President, even better if they've never been the official candidate for such before.

It'll never happen, everyone wants their guy to have more power, and longevity as well as being the majority party means a lot in who gets what committee seat and leadership.

We're can't even be disgusted enough to get new candidates.

Pessimistic I know, but if it was all new candidates, it would probably be ill prepared candidates and unfit persons elected.

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