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Overruling a Democratically Elected Senate

AlwaysMoreThanYou
Posts: 2,900
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4/30/2012 11:01:32 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Let's say for a moment that you were the supreme ruler of a nation, with several million people under you. Because you favor democracy, you have created a senate to pass legislature to govern the nation, however as supreme ruler you can make up whatever laws you want and abolish any you do not. The hypothetical senate has one hundred members, all elected completely fairly and each one representing the interests of his constituency completely. However, of this senate, around 90 of the senators are extremely opposite you in whatever policies you favor. The remaining ten or so are more moderate, but they still oppose your policies almost unanimously.

Let's say that this senate starts passing a bunch of legislation you disagree with entirely. You still have supremacy. Would you overrule them?

Although the senate is elected fairly with 100% voter turnout and universal suffrage originally, let's say the hypothetical senate decides to end universal suffrage, end civil rights, and institute slavery. Keeping in mind that the original senate was fairly elected and the electors represented their constituencies accurately, all these reforms are made by the will of the people (and although realistically they might not be, assume for the purposes of this that there is unanimous agreement in favor of ending universal suffrage, ending civil rights, and instituting slavery). Would you allow this to happen?

tl;dr

If you held supreme control of a nation which decided democratically to pass legislation you strongly disagreed with, would you override them?
'When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.' - John 16:13
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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4/30/2012 11:57:28 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Strange question. Your example is far too extreme to be realistic in any way. People do not support policies that do not benefit their way of life and these laws (like slavery) would clearly not benefit everyone. Assuming your example was a little bit more consistent with human nature, no I wouldn't overrule them for 2 reasons:

1) If the entire senate were elected fairly by the people and all vote on legislation, that tells me that the people have very different values then I do. (If they were that extreme then I would give up being ruler and live in solitude because these people are nuts).

2) Why have a senate if you are not going to allow them to legislate?

The smart thing would have been to create a senate with rules that allow you to overturn their decisions like a veto, then follow that system. If I was dumb enough to leave that out when creating them then I would accept that and live with the consequences.
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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4/30/2012 1:16:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Liberal Democracy trumps democracy, so yes, overriding the Parliament is fine.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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4/30/2012 1:49:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/30/2012 11:01:32 AM, AlwaysMoreThanYou wrote:
Let's say for a moment that you were the supreme ruler of a nation, with several million people under you. Because you favor democracy, you have created a senate to pass legislature to govern the nation, however as supreme ruler you can make up whatever laws you want and abolish any you do not. The hypothetical senate has one hundred members, all elected completely fairly and each one representing the interests of his constituency completely. However, of this senate, around 90 of the senators are extremely opposite you in whatever policies you favor. The remaining ten or so are more moderate, but they still oppose your policies almost unanimously.

Let's say that this senate starts passing a bunch of legislation you disagree with entirely. You still have supremacy. Would you overrule them?

Although the senate is elected fairly with 100% voter turnout and universal suffrage originally, let's say the hypothetical senate decides to end universal suffrage, end civil rights, and institute slavery. Keeping in mind that the original senate was fairly elected and the electors represented their constituencies accurately, all these reforms are made by the will of the people (and although realistically they might not be, assume for the purposes of this that there is unanimous agreement in favor of ending universal suffrage, ending civil rights, and instituting slavery). Would you allow this to happen?

tl;dr

If you held supreme control of a nation which decided democratically to pass legislation you strongly disagreed with, would you override them?

Probably not. I'm allergic to being stabbed 26 times.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/30/2012 3:39:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Yes I'd overrule them.

Let's say Ron Paul is the President and the Senate and Congress who's democratically elected want to pass a whole bunch of fascist legislation like NDAA, CISPA, etc. I support Ron Paul overruling those bafoons with an iron fist.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat