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Old 08-03-2007, 12:45 PM   #1
CKFresh
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Default Our Government is Broken - How to Fix it

Here's an idea.

In America our elections are run by a system known as "single member district plurality." That basically means that each district get's one member, who can be elected by a plurality of the votes - in other words, more than anyone else. They don't need a majority to win (if you have three candidates an election can be won with less than 50% of the vote).

In most of Europe, they use a proportional representation system. The name says it all. Each party receives a certain number of seats based on the percentage of the vote they receive. This type of system does a number of things. First, it gives smaller parties and independent thinkers a better chance to be represented. Secondly, it allows the district to be better represented. Think about it - in our system, a Democrat can win in a district, but 49% of the people voted Republican. Therefore, only 51% of that district is truly represented in congress. With a proportional system, all members have a "dog in the fight."

This system also allows parties to have a more focused and clear vision. Look at the two major parties in America now. Each party represents a large number of special interests groups. Often times these groups are in conflict with each other, yet represented by the same party. A proportional representation system would allow these interest groups to form their own parties. They would be smaller for sure, but they would be representative of their true beliefs and avoid conflicts with other interest groups within the same parties.

Likewise, the major parties (republican/democrat) would be able to focus more on centrists and moderate policies. They wouldn't feel the pressure from the "fringe" groups because those interests would be represented by the smaller political parties. This would allow for the major parties to find more common ground, and avoid fighting over fringe issue to appease the "base."

And finally, a proportional representation system allows for more critical thinking and a great number of ideas to consider. With so many groups represented in government, each having the power of their own political party, you see a greater diversity of ideas and ultimately - a more open-minded government, a government that is less static, and better able to change.

Such a system creates a government where no single party is in control. Alliances must be formed, compromises become more common. All ideas are represented fairly and in accord with the public's interests. The result is a government that is more transparent, and a government that is full of diversity and open to new ideas.

(This is a link to a group in Washington that works to educate people on different election systems. Check it out

http://www.fairvote.org/
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Old 08-04-2007, 12:01 AM   #2
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I have no complaints about our government structure,...KEEP IT THE WAY IT IS, AND ABIDE BY THE RULES OF THOSE WHO ENABLED US THIS FREEDOM!

USA is and always will be #1! In every category!
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Old 08-04-2007, 12:39 AM   #3
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Nationalism is stupidity.
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:36 PM   #4
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Fresh, the framers of the Constitution put the election rules in place to avoid thoughts of this nature being passed as the law of the land.
What you propose makes the small states irrelevant in electing our President. Had Mr. Gore not lost in 2000, while winning the popular vote by a slim margin, no talk of this would have surfaced.
Very bad idea. Compromise is not necessarily a good thing. Collaboration is.
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:54 AM   #5
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The problem here is that another reform that conservatives generally support - term limits - would utterly devastate the smaller states, who rely heavily on the seniority system for protection.

Adopt term limits for Congress, and every toxic waste dump, every unwanted nuclear power plant, and every minimum-security federal prison (the maximum-security ones actually being popular locally) will be built in the less populous states.
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Old 08-05-2007, 05:18 PM   #6
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Not necessarily, Anthony. If there were no seniority in the Congress, it would be up to the individual Congresspeople to do their jobs to represent the people of their districts.
It sounds to me like the "pork" would be more difficult to add to bills, and that would be a good thing.
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by catman View Post
Fresh, the framers of the Constitution put the election rules in place to avoid thoughts of this nature being passed as the law of the land.
What you propose makes the small states irrelevant in electing our President. Had Mr. Gore not lost in 2000, while winning the popular vote by a slim margin, no talk of this would have surfaced.
Very bad idea. Compromise is not necessarily a good thing. Collaboration is.
My system of proportional representation has nothing to do with the election of the president. Proportional only relates to the number of seats received in congress determined by the percentage of votes. Each state would still get 2 senators, and the allotted amount of members in the house. The number of seats in the house would be determined in each district, where a party receiving 10% of the vote in that district would be allowed to have 10% of the seats for that district. There would be more than one representative for each distict.

Small states would have just as much power in electing the president and would be allowed two senators per state.

My idea has no affect on smaller states whatsoever. All this does is create a system where more ideas are considered and more groups are represented.

If I was unclear in my description I apologize. But to be clear, this system would not hurt the power of smaller states. In fact, it might increase their power because the multiple issues of each state would be better represented in government by smaller, yet quite powerful, parties.
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ellis View Post
Nationalism is stupidity.
I don't necessarily agree, but see what you mean. Those blind flag-wavers (usually right-wing) who proclaim "God Bless USA" and refuse to be critical of the government are no more patriotic than the liberals who want to impeach Bush. It's not anti-patriotic to criticize this administration, either. In fact, I think it's patriotic to demand better. It's a dangerous road to have blind allegiance. This country was founded based on questioning authority and rebelling against the Brits.
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:00 PM   #9
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I don't necessarily agree, but see what you mean. Those blind flag-wavers (usually right-wing) who proclaim "God Bless USA" and refuse to be critical of the government are no more patriotic than the liberals who want to impeach Bush. It's not anti-patriotic to criticize this administration, either. In fact, I think it's patriotic to demand better. It's a dangerous road to have blind allegiance. This country was founded based on questioning authority and rebelling against the Brits.
Besides the immigration issue, I think the country is doing well! nobody wants a war, but when it comes to our own survival,..I think it is pretty much justified!
As for questioning authority,...we the people are the authority,...c'mon, be real,.....England had a King at the time who was not voted into "office", and nobody had a right to question him,......... unlike today's society in the U.S.

To be honest, your analogy is off.

"Blind Allegiance?"

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Old 08-07-2007, 01:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc View Post
I don't necessarily agree, but see what you mean. Those blind flag-wavers (usually right-wing) who proclaim "God Bless USA" and refuse to be critical of the government are no more patriotic than the liberals who want to impeach Bush. It's not anti-patriotic to criticize this administration, either. In fact, I think it's patriotic to demand better. It's a dangerous road to have blind allegiance. This country was founded based on questioning authority and rebelling against the Brits.
I agree that we should demand better from our elected officials than we have received over the past generation. Politicians appear to have gotten complacent and lazy. The Republican "revolution" in 1994 woke the country up a bit, but the momentum died quickly.
We need to demand better candidates from both parties or the country will become ordinary. That is unacceptible, IMO.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:08 AM   #11
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Dig up Theodore Roosevelt and put him back in charge. THE BULL MOOSE!:thumbup:
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by catman View Post
I agree that we should demand better from our elected officials than we have received over the past generation. Politicians appear to have gotten complacent and lazy. The Republican "revolution" in 1994 woke the country up a bit, but the momentum died quickly.
We need to demand better candidates from both parties or the country will become ordinary. That is unacceptible, IMO.
And that is why we have elections.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:59 PM   #13
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-What's wrong with having an ordinary country?

-
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but when it comes to our own survival,..I think it is pretty much justified!
Ha. The Iraq was/is a fight for our survival? But nobody wants to get into this debate again... it is an old one, one that never gets anywhere, and is debated over and over again.

-Saying that the people have the power in America is like saying that the shareholders of a company have the power of a corporation. The people with money and connections to the government run it... not the ordinary people.

- I also find it funny that the world constantly destroys itself and we sit here expecting something different. It's a cycle of life- as Schopenhauer would call it: will.

And we run from death, thinking that it isn't coming. We think that fighting wars is going to lead us to the promise land, only to realize that the promise land was one big lie: a mirage.

We take our government officials seriously when selfishness is the the quintessential element of human beings and then we act astonished that elected human beings have put their own carriers above the common good of the people.

I'm in no way condoning selfishness, in fact just the opposite. I'm just not going to sit and act like America, or any other cause, are some hero's out to save the mortality of the world. I'm going to die, these leaders that some of us look up to as heroes, and the memories all of this destruction will not even exist in the near future.

I'm just going to sit here, stop kidding myself, and enjoy the show for however it lasts for me. As Fernando Pessoa once said, " Walk empty handed, for the wise is the man who contents himself with the spectacle of the world."
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis View Post
-What's wrong with having an ordinary country?

-

Ha. The Iraq was/is a fight for our survival? But nobody wants to get into this debate again... it is an old one, one that never gets anywhere, and is debated over and over again.

-Saying that the people have the power in America is like saying that the shareholders of a company have the power of a corporation. The people with money and connections to the government run it... not the ordinary people.

- I also find it funny that the world constantly destroys itself and we sit here expecting something different. It's a cycle of life- as Schopenhauer would call it: will.

And we run from death, thinking that it isn't coming. We think that fighting wars is going to lead us to the promise land, only to realize that the promise land was one big lie: a mirage.

We take our government officials seriously when selfishness is the the quintessential element of human beings and then we act astonished that elected human beings have put their own carriers above the common good of the people.

I'm in no way condoning selfishness, in fact just the opposite. I'm just not going to sit and act like America, or any other cause, are some hero's out to save the mortality of the world. I'm going to die, these leaders that some of us look up to as heroes, and the memories all of this destruction will not even exist in the near future.

I'm just going to sit here, stop kidding myself, and enjoy the show for however it lasts for me. As Fernando Pessoa once said, " Walk empty handed, for the wise is the man who contents himself with the spectacle of the world."
Sounds like you just don't care in funny way? It also sounds like you seem to forget that the USA became a country by fighting a war, and remained a country by fighting several wars.

You are entitled to you thoughts,...at least in this country you are.
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:17 AM   #15
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You are entitled to you thoughts,...at least in this country you are.
Your thoughts and actions are probably the only two things that you are entitled to in the world.
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