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Voting for benefits? Right/wrong?

johngriswald
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12/20/2009 5:46:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
"Mr. Nelson committed his vote after....as well as increased federal health care aid for his state"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com...

How right is it to vote for a bill based upon whether it benefits your state vs. how it benefits the country. My opinion is that everyone should vote for every senator. Having only the states vote for their state senator gives leeway for ridiculous bargaining such as this. It sickens me how proportional tax money gets spent more heavily for some people rather than others simply because of these little trades.
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Xer
Posts: 7,776
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12/20/2009 5:51:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Everyone votes for Senator? First off, unconstitutional. Second, national elections would mean that the Senate would currently be 100% Democratic. So many other reasons, but that's enough.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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12/20/2009 5:52:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 5:46:44 PM, johngriswald wrote:
How right is it to vote for a bill based upon whether it benefits your state vs. how it benefits the country. My opinion is that everyone should vote for every senator. Having only the states vote for their state senator gives leeway for ridiculous bargaining such as this.

Problem with that is the Senators are based on the idea that each state will have representation in legislature that is proportional and regional, while Congress will be the more nationally-centered chamber in legislature.

Take away Senators from the states, and you'll be taking away regional representation, and then you'll have a lot of angry people on your hands. Regionalism is high in the US. Plus, I think its against the Constitution.

The came concept more or less goes into the Russian Federation's version of the Senate, or the British House of Lords - they're designed to give regions representation within and power within the centralized, often misplaced capital, to give them a voice and appease some of the regionalism that threatens to break up a nation.
johngriswald
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12/20/2009 5:53:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 5:51:39 PM, Nags wrote:
Everyone votes for Senator? First off, unconstitutional. Second, national elections would mean that the Senate would currently be 100% Democratic. So many other reasons, but that's enough.

The constitution is a living document for a reason. What would be the hurt of a 100% democratic nation? Furthermore its not a 100% democracy until citizens are allowed to vote on bills.
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Xer
Posts: 7,776
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12/20/2009 5:54:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 5:53:17 PM, johngriswald wrote:
The constitution is a living document for a reason.

No, the constitution is not living.

What would be the hurt of a 100% democratic nation?

Lol.

Furthermore its not a 100% democracy until citizens are allowed to vote on bills.

Oh noez! Aah nevermind, I took 3rd grade Civics and I know that the US is a constitutional republic, not a democracy.
johngriswald
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12/20/2009 5:57:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 5:52:36 PM, Volkov wrote:
Problem with that is the Senators are based on the idea that each state will have representation in legislature that is proportional and regional, while Congress will be the more nationally-centered chamber in legislature.
I don't disagree that states should have representation. I'm not abolishing that the entire system be eliminated. Simply that everyone should be able to vote on every senator. IMO this will restrict these insider deals. Yes he Virginian senator can still share the concerns of his state, but he will have no incentive to gain these little benefits in exchange for his vote.
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johngriswald
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12/20/2009 5:57:31 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 5:54:59 PM, Nags wrote:
At 12/20/2009 5:53:17 PM, johngriswald wrote:
The constitution is a living document for a reason.

No, the constitution is not living.

See the amendments.
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Volkov
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12/20/2009 6:01:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 5:57:00 PM, johngriswald wrote:
At 12/20/2009 5:52:36 PM, Volkov wrote:
Problem with that is the Senators are based on the idea that each state will have representation in legislature that is proportional and regional, while Congress will be the more nationally-centered chamber in legislature.
I don't disagree that states should have representation. I'm not abolishing that the entire system be eliminated. Simply that everyone should be able to vote on every senator. IMO this will restrict these insider deals. Yes he Virginian senator can still share the concerns of his state, but he will have no incentive to gain these little benefits in exchange for his vote.

But john, that is why people vote for their Senators - to get these insider deals.

Its a competitive political system, and legislation, elections and laws are all built upon who can get the better deal. It'll take some subversive action that in all honesty isn't pretty, but it actually works.

Taking away the power Senators hold is basically neutering states. It ain't gonna help.
johngriswald
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12/20/2009 6:03:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:01:22 PM, Nags wrote:
At 12/20/2009 5:57:31 PM, johngriswald wrote:
See the amendments.

That doesn't make the Constitution living.

A document is considered living if changes can be made to it. Since changes were made to it, it is considered to be living. Furthermore the constitution's interpretation is based off of case law which is clearly subject to change with the times.
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Xer
Posts: 7,776
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12/20/2009 6:05:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:03:06 PM, johngriswald wrote:
A document is considered living if changes can be made to it. Since changes were made to it, it is considered to be living. Furthermore the constitution's interpretation is based off of case law which is clearly subject to change with the times.

No, just because changes can be made does not make the Constitution living.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
mongeese
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12/20/2009 6:13:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think that Senators should not make such abusive trade-offs to desert what's good for all of America to unfairly benefit the state, but abolishing state representation is definitely not the way to do it.
johngriswald
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12/20/2009 6:14:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:05:52 PM, Nags wrote:
At 12/20/2009 6:03:06 PM, johngriswald wrote:
A document is considered living if changes can be made to it. Since changes were made to it, it is considered to be living. Furthermore the constitution's interpretation is based off of case law which is clearly subject to change with the times.

No, just because changes can be made does not make the Constitution living.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

In either case, the constitution can and has been changed, either through interpretation using case law or through amendments.

So the argument that it is unconstitutional has no bearing.
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johngriswald
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12/20/2009 6:17:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:01:55 PM, Volkov wrote:
But john, that is why people vote for their Senators - to get these insider deals.

And I'm saying that's wrong because essentially gives all senators an incentive to wheel and deal for the benefit of their state, vs the benefit of everyone. People have proportional representation through their state governments. The federal government is paid for with everyone's money. Therefore the money should be used in a way that benefits everyone equally, or at least benefits people proportionally based on taxes collected.
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Xer
Posts: 7,776
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12/20/2009 6:24:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:14:37 PM, johngriswald wrote:
So the argument that it is unconstitutional has no bearing.

Yes, it does. Because you would need to amend the Constitution if you wanted to change this. There have only been 27 Amendments in the 200+ year history of the US -- Amendments are extremely hard to pass for numerous reasons.

Anyway, this will never happen, and your argument has no points -- so there is no real point of discussing.
Volkov
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12/20/2009 6:26:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:17:36 PM, johngriswald wrote:
And I'm saying that's wrong because essentially gives all senators an incentive to wheel and deal for the benefit of their state, vs the benefit of everyone. People have proportional representation through their state governments. The federal government is paid for with everyone's money. Therefore the money should be used in a way that benefits everyone equally, or at least benefits people proportionally based on taxes collected.

Its not a bad idea, but it isn't workable in a country like the US, unfortunately. The federal government has to play footsie with states because sometimes, its the only way to get anything done. And think about it; isn't it better that something for every state is done, even if it requires giving one or a couple states some bonuses, rather than getting nothing done for anyone at all?
johngriswald
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12/20/2009 6:31:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:24:37 PM, Nags wrote:
your argument has no points
Then apparently you have a hard time at deciphering arguments.
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johngriswald
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12/20/2009 6:33:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:26:00 PM, Volkov wrote:
And think about it; isn't it better that something for every state is done, even if it requires giving one or a couple states some bonuses, rather than getting nothing done for anyone at all?

That depends Volkov whether the senator who took those deals believed that the bill was good for the overall country and would have voted for it without the bonuses or not. If he believed it was good and would have voted for it anyway then I agree, however if the sole reason he voted for it was because of the bonuses and promises the I disagree.
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Volkov
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12/20/2009 6:38:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:33:42 PM, johngriswald wrote:
That depends Volkov whether the senator who took those deals believed that the bill was good for the overall country and would have voted for it without the bonuses or not. If he believed it was good and would have voted for it anyway then I agree, however if the sole reason he voted for it was because of the bonuses and promises the I disagree.

I can concur with that, however in this specific case, Nelson was for the public option, but just had issues with the language in relation to abortion rights.

In reality though, how do you stop legislators from taking bonuses in exchange for a vote? It is prevalent in the US, and you'd have a tough time trying to control it, with or without your reforms.

The way I see it, even if this may be cynical, is that party whips are an excellent way around this conundrum. Legislators are told to get in line not just because of bonuses given, but because their party is telling them to. Possibly not the best choice ever, but it could theoretically cut down on the kind of stuff you're talking about.
johngriswald
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12/20/2009 6:44:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:38:42 PM, Volkov wrote:
Possibly not the best choice ever, but it could theoretically cut down on the kind of stuff you're talking about.

This IMO is worse than the bonuses. Yes I hate to see the wasteful and misplaced bonuses, but what I would regard as the greater evil would be voting because your party tells you to. Each senator is regarded as hopefully somewhat intelligent and each senator can reason and decide what is and what isn't good for the nation. Having that reasoning being taken over by a party is wrong and counter-productive.
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Volkov
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12/20/2009 6:48:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:44:23 PM, johngriswald wrote:
This IMO is worse than the bonuses. Yes I hate to see the wasteful and misplaced bonuses, but what I would regard as the greater evil would be voting because your party tells you to. Each senator is regarded as hopefully somewhat intelligent and each senator can reason and decide what is and what isn't good for the nation. Having that reasoning being taken over by a party is wrong and counter-productive.

'Twas just a suggestion. I find it quite useful.
Xer
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12/20/2009 6:52:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:31:13 PM, johngriswald wrote:
At 12/20/2009 6:24:37 PM, Nags wrote:
your argument has no points
Then apparently you have a hard time at deciphering arguments.

Apparenly I find a hard time rationalizing a radical overthrow of American government and federalism because a Senator asked for favors for his state in return for a changed bill. Good point john.
johngriswald
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12/20/2009 6:59:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:52:40 PM, Nags wrote:

Apparenly I find a hard time rationalizing a radical overthrow of American government and federalism because a Senator asked for favors for his state in return for a changed bill. Good point john.

Apparently you have hard time with applying a situation with a broad underlying problem that effects how the government works and the efficiency of our government.
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Xer
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12/20/2009 7:20:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 6:59:22 PM, johngriswald wrote:
Apparently you have hard time with applying a situation with a broad underlying problem that effects how the government works and the efficiency of our government.

One advantage to your proposal does not trump the infinite disadvantages. Sorry.
Reasoning
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12/20/2009 7:22:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
This entire system of state-based privilege is the problem.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
johngriswald
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12/20/2009 7:29:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 7:20:16 PM, Nags wrote:
One advantage to your proposal does not trump the infinite disadvantages. Sorry.

Any of which you have yet to name as others have. Either name them or don't discuss the topic. Posting for the soul purpose of saying your wrong but not discussing why is stupid.
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Xer
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12/20/2009 7:37:10 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 7:29:09 PM, johngriswald wrote:
Any of which you have yet to name as others have. Either name them or don't discuss the topic. Posting for the soul purpose of saying your wrong but not discussing why is stupid.

National elections would absolute democracy, which is simply tyranny of the majority. If 51% of the country is Democrat, then the whole Senate will be Democrat. If 51% of the country is Republican, then the whole Senate will be Republican. Any country where one political party rules is dangerous. Corruption, suppression of dissent, and diversity of ideas will greatly diminish. American federalism and regionalism would be destroyed.
johngriswald
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12/20/2009 7:44:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 7:37:10 PM, Nags wrote:
At 12/20/2009 7:29:09 PM, johngriswald wrote:
Any of which you have yet to name as others have. Either name them or don't discuss the topic. Posting for the soul purpose of saying your wrong but not discussing why is stupid.

National elections would absolute democracy, which is simply tyranny of the majority. If 51% of the country is Democrat, then the whole Senate will be Democrat. If 51% of the country is Republican, then the whole Senate will be Republican. Any country where one political party rules is dangerous. Corruption, suppression of dissent, and diversity of ideas will greatly diminish. American federalism and regionalism would be destroyed.

I agree with the entire concept of having a one party system, I personally believe this would not be in the best interests of the country. However could a system not be worked out so that the proportions of each party/viewpoints would proportionally represent the populous but still be elected by the nations a whole?
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Xer
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12/20/2009 7:47:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/20/2009 7:44:24 PM, johngriswald wrote:
I agree with the entire concept of having a one party system, I personally believe this would not be in the best interests of the country.

How?

However could a system not be worked out so that the proportions of each party/viewpoints would proportionally represent the populous but still be elected by the nations a whole?

No. How could that work?