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An un-elected President for the USA?

augcaesarustus
Posts: 368
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2/20/2016 2:38:35 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
Should we restore the Founder's vision of a non-partisan, not popularly elected President for the USA?

The way this system would function, hypothetically, quite differently from the current evolution of the system:

1) presidential candidates wouldn't campaign on behalf of their parties; in fact nominees for President would have to resign from the party and renounce party affiliation as a condition for running for President.

2) the President should be elected in an alternate year, so that each election is assessed individually. For e.g. the President is elected every third year, and Congress two; or Congress, every third year, and the President every fourth, etc.

3) if both the elections for Congress and the President were at the same time, no presidential candidates would be announced until after the congressional elections - this would be to ensure that congressmen would not be voted for based on the foreseen candidate for President (i.e. the coat-tail effect). This would be in line with the concept of the separation of powers, in which each branch is assessed independently from each other and is assessed accordingly.

4) having a non-elected, non-partisan President clearly defines which branch of Government is supreme and more important: i.e. the legislative branch.

5) campaigning would be performed by the Majority/Minority leaders of the respective parties in Congress. Also, this would lead to parties having 'policy' as opposed to the President having 'policy', thereby solidifying the true role of the legislative branch.

5) the President would be more likely to act in the national interest given that he/she is not a member of a political party. Further restrictions might include conditions such as: no person who has served as a member of Congress during the preceding four years shall be eligible for the office of President......
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,314
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2/20/2016 2:52:23 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 2:38:35 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
Should we restore the Founder's vision of a non-partisan, not popularly elected President for the USA?
The president isn't elected by popular vote.
xus00HAY
Posts: 1,393
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2/20/2016 3:56:20 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
We can assume that something like this will happen in 2020,
due to the zero year effect, A president who wins an election in a year ending in zero dies in office.
Lets look at the evidence.

1800 Jefferson did not win, both guys got the same number of electoral votes ,it was a tie.

1820 President Monroe was so popular he ran unopposed

1840 William Henry Harrison, dies a few weeks after inaugaration

1860 Lincoln shot

1880 Garfield shot

1900 McKinley shot

1920 Warren Harding food poisoning

1940 Roosevelt, keeps getting reelected until he dies

1960 Kennedy shot

1980 Reagan shot, dies on operating table but is revived. This was kept secret so Hinckley, the assassin would not have the satisfaction of knowing he succeeded

2000 George W Bush there's no way the majority of American voters would vote for this idiot. Because of a problem with the new computerized voting system in Florida, they thought he won that state , but they are not sure. If George W really did win Florida, he would be dead by now. The Supreme court would not allow a recount, his brother was governor of that state. We can assume that election was stolen.

2020 Notice how nobody who is electable has run for president? This is because if they win 2016 they will be up for re-election in 2020. This means if things go well for them, they will be dead by Jan. 2025.

Therefore whoever is President in 2020 will just retire. His excuse will be if he is nominated the opposing party will be given an easy victory.
We will have to think up some other way to get a new president.
augcaesarustus
Posts: 368
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2/20/2016 11:16:16 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 2:52:23 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 2/20/2016 2:38:35 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
Should we restore the Founder's vision of a non-partisan, not popularly elected President for the USA?
The president isn't elected by popular vote.

It's true that the President isn't elected by 'popular vote' in the sense that he or she is not directly elected (i.e. one man, one vote). It is also true the current manner of electing the President was not in line with Founder's vision. First, the Founders expected that the electors would be chosen from amongst citizens who possessed wisdom and experience to make a good choice for President. Also, those electors were to 'exercise independent judgement'; that is, to not be bound by instructions, nor pledged to a candidate.

As you well know, the current system allocates electors according to the popular vote, thereby nullifying the concept of 'independent judgement'. Essentially, the President is popularly-elected, and whilst some candidates have won who haven't attained the nation wide popular vote, this does not invalidate the fact that the President is still popularly-elected.
augcaesarustus
Posts: 368
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2/20/2016 11:47:26 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 11:33:51 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
You have this weird obsession with the legislative being the strongest branch, which is not true, nor should it be true.

It's so much of an obsession, as it is an observation. The Founders never intended an imperial presidency. The separation of powers was simple: the executive executes the laws, the legislature makes them, and the judiciary interprets them. Now, in practice, the role of the executive in policy-making has increase due to bureaucracy; and it's also true that the political parties have been stifled of ideas for policies, because they've been hijacked by presidential candidates, who are leaders of their respective parties. The President isn't supposed to be the leader of the party, the Majority/Minority Leader is. The President is to be a neutral arbiter in the political process who executes the law, identifies issues with bureaucracy and provides a check on bad laws via the veto.
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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2/20/2016 11:50:41 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 11:47:26 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 2/20/2016 11:33:51 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
You have this weird obsession with the legislative being the strongest branch, which is not true, nor should it be true.

It's so much of an obsession, as it is an observation. The Founders never intended an imperial presidency. The separation of powers was simple: the executive executes the laws, the legislature makes them, and the judiciary interprets them. Now, in practice, the role of the executive in policy-making has increase due to bureaucracy; and it's also true that the political parties have been stifled of ideas for policies, because they've been hijacked by presidential candidates, who are leaders of their respective parties. The President isn't supposed to be the leader of the party, the Majority/Minority Leader is. The President is to be a neutral arbiter in the political process who executes the law, identifies issues with bureaucracy and provides a check on bad laws via the veto.

Returning to the past is impossible.
augcaesarustus
Posts: 368
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2/20/2016 11:52:48 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 11:50:41 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 2/20/2016 11:47:26 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 2/20/2016 11:33:51 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
You have this weird obsession with the legislative being the strongest branch, which is not true, nor should it be true.

It's so much of an obsession, as it is an observation. The Founders never intended an imperial presidency. The separation of powers was simple: the executive executes the laws, the legislature makes them, and the judiciary interprets them. Now, in practice, the role of the executive in policy-making has increase due to bureaucracy; and it's also true that the political parties have been stifled of ideas for policies, because they've been hijacked by presidential candidates, who are leaders of their respective parties. The President isn't supposed to be the leader of the party, the Majority/Minority Leader is. The President is to be a neutral arbiter in the political process who executes the law, identifies issues with bureaucracy and provides a check on bad laws via the veto.

Returning to the past is impossible.

Returning to the past is impossible, you are correct. It is also correct that systems can change, and where there's a will there's way. There's actually quite a few problems with the current antiquated system of the US that serious constitutional reform needs to be considered. I'm surprised it's not a core issue in the election.....
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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2/20/2016 11:55:14 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 11:52:48 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 2/20/2016 11:50:41 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 2/20/2016 11:47:26 AM, augcaesarustus wrote:
At 2/20/2016 11:33:51 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
You have this weird obsession with the legislative being the strongest branch, which is not true, nor should it be true.

It's so much of an obsession, as it is an observation. The Founders never intended an imperial presidency. The separation of powers was simple: the executive executes the laws, the legislature makes them, and the judiciary interprets them. Now, in practice, the role of the executive in policy-making has increase due to bureaucracy; and it's also true that the political parties have been stifled of ideas for policies, because they've been hijacked by presidential candidates, who are leaders of their respective parties. The President isn't supposed to be the leader of the party, the Majority/Minority Leader is. The President is to be a neutral arbiter in the political process who executes the law, identifies issues with bureaucracy and provides a check on bad laws via the veto.

Returning to the past is impossible.

Returning to the past is impossible, you are correct. It is also correct that systems can change, and where there's a will there's way. There's actually quite a few problems with the current antiquated system of the US that serious constitutional reform needs to be considered. I'm surprised it's not a core issue in the election.....

Probably because most people don't think there are problems with the election system, or if they do, that the problem is the Electoral College.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,314
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2/20/2016 2:28:29 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 11:55:14 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:

Probably because most people don't think there are problems with the election system, or if they do, that the problem is the Electoral College.

You know, I have done alot of thinking about the EC. The purpose of the EC was to make sure a politician could not pander to a super-majority withing some states, then legislate a policy by states. We are very far from the stark cultural divide of "North vs South" for that to be an issue anymore. I was looking at a map Buddamoose posted on how the country is divided by cultural boundaries, not state boundaries anyway. Since you can pander with legislation to these cultural classes much more efficiently than a state by state basis as well, the whole premise of the EC reducing corruption through state superpandering is destroyed.

TLDR, EC has outlived its purpose.
stealspell
Posts: 980
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2/20/2016 3:10:15 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 3:56:20 AM, xus00HAY wrote:
We can assume that something like this will happen in 2020,
due to the zero year effect, A president who wins an election in a year ending in zero dies in office.
Lets look at the evidence.

1800 Jefferson did not win, both guys got the same number of electoral votes ,it was a tie.

1820 President Monroe was so popular he ran unopposed

1840 William Henry Harrison, dies a few weeks after inaugaration

1860 Lincoln shot

1880 Garfield shot

1900 McKinley shot

1920 Warren Harding food poisoning

1940 Roosevelt, keeps getting reelected until he dies

1960 Kennedy shot

1980 Reagan shot, dies on operating table but is revived. This was kept secret so Hinckley, the assassin would not have the satisfaction of knowing he succeeded

2000 George W Bush there's no way the majority of American voters would vote for this idiot. Because of a problem with the new computerized voting system in Florida, they thought he won that state , but they are not sure. If George W really did win Florida, he would be dead by now. The Supreme court would not allow a recount, his brother was governor of that state. We can assume that election was stolen.

2020 Notice how nobody who is electable has run for president? This is because if they win 2016 they will be up for re-election in 2020. This means if things go well for them, they will be dead by Jan. 2025.

Therefore whoever is President in 2020 will just retire. His excuse will be if he is nominated the opposing party will be given an easy victory.
We will have to think up some other way to get a new president.

There are more holes in your "effect" than Swiss cheese.
Vox_Veritas
Posts: 7,077
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2/20/2016 3:15:46 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 11:33:51 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
You have this weird obsession with the legislative being the strongest branch, which is not true, nor should it be true.

He's probably British.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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dylancatlow
Posts: 12,251
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2/20/2016 4:09:36 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
Since the average voter does not have the time and motivation to keep up with everything happening in Washington (and in many cases would, let's face it, be unable to make sense of such information anyway), it seems like a good idea to keep one branch very visible and accessible to the average person. The presidency is one such branch. Everyone can name the current president, while not everyone can name their own state senators and congressmen. Depriving people influence over this hallmark of governmental power would likely exacerbate people's frustration with the governmental process. They would lack a clear outlet in which to express their disapproval should they perceive things to get out of hand. Image if, in 2008, people could not have elected Obama in reaction to the failed presidency of Bush.

I also don't really think that a president elected in such a way would feel freer to act in the national interest than they are today. For one thing, first-term presidents who plan to run for reelection would have to think about gaining approval of the congressmen whose votes they need to stay in office. Also, just because you don't officially belong to a party doesn't mean you aren't tied up with their position. It's not like Obama has to consult Democratic elites before acting, yet he often does. He feels pressured to do so for the same reasons a non-elected president would.

And lastly, this system would ensure that the policies of the president would more or less align with those of congress. You might see this as a good thing, but you can't deny the potential downsides of a president unrestrained by an opposing political party in congress.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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2/20/2016 5:46:38 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 3:56:20 AM, xus00HAY wrote:
We can assume that something like this will happen in 2020,
due to the zero year effect, A president who wins an election in a year ending in zero dies in office.
Lets look at the evidence.

1800 Jefferson did not win, both guys got the same number of electoral votes ,it was a tie.

1820 President Monroe was so popular he ran unopposed

1840 William Henry Harrison, dies a few weeks after inaugaration

1860 Lincoln shot

1880 Garfield shot

1900 McKinley shot

1920 Warren Harding food poisoning

1940 Roosevelt, keeps getting reelected until he dies

1960 Kennedy shot

1980 Reagan shot, dies on operating table but is revived. This was kept secret so Hinckley, the assassin would not have the satisfaction of knowing he succeeded

2000 George W Bush there's no way the majority of American voters would vote for this idiot. Because of a problem with the new computerized voting system in Florida, they thought he won that state , but they are not sure. If George W really did win Florida, he would be dead by now. The Supreme court would not allow a recount, his brother was governor of that state. We can assume that election was stolen.

2020 Notice how nobody who is electable has run for president? This is because if they win 2016 they will be up for re-election in 2020. This means if things go well for them, they will be dead by Jan. 2025.

Therefore whoever is President in 2020 will just retire. His excuse will be if he is nominated the opposing party will be given an easy victory.
We will have to think up some other way to get a new president.

Every president elected on a 0 year dies.

Correction, every president who wins an election in a 0 year dies.

Correction, every president who wins by electoral vote in a 0 year dies.

Correction, every president who non-controversially wins by electoral vote in a 0 year dies.

Correction, by "dies" I just mean temporarily.
augcaesarustus
Posts: 368
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2/21/2016 1:08:32 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 2:28:29 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 2/20/2016 11:55:14 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:

Probably because most people don't think there are problems with the election system, or if they do, that the problem is the Electoral College.

You know, I have done alot of thinking about the EC. The purpose of the EC was to make sure a politician could not pander to a super-majority withing some states, then legislate a policy by states. We are very far from the stark cultural divide of "North vs South" for that to be an issue anymore. I was looking at a map Buddamoose posted on how the country is divided by cultural boundaries, not state boundaries anyway. Since you can pander with legislation to these cultural classes much more efficiently than a state by state basis as well, the whole premise of the EC reducing corruption through state superpandering is destroyed.

TLDR, EC has outlived its purpose.

You are correct about your understanding of the EC. It's also true that the Founders designed it as a compromise between those who wanted a directly-elected President and those who wanted the President to be chosen and appointed by the Congress. In the end, as Alexander Hamilton explained it, the EC was designed to be composed of men who would have enough wisdom and knowledge to make the correct decision when choosing the President. They were 'technically' supposed to exercise independent judgement, nor be pledged to any specific candidate. In a sense, the democratisation of the institution of the presidency is actually contrary to the wishes of the Founders, even though they eventually accepted it decades after the establishment of the Republic.

As a result, the executive branch became the dominant branch, whereas it's supposed to be the legislative branch that is dominant. This is the point of the separation of powers system. Of course, the election of the President exactly as per Hamilton's wishes would make the presidency an undemocratic institution, but that was the point of the separation of powers system.
xus00HAY
Posts: 1,393
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2/21/2016 3:33:05 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
"There are more holes in your "effect" than Swiss cheese."

There are more holes in our presidents than Swiss cheese.
augcaesarustus
Posts: 368
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2/21/2016 9:53:30 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 3:15:46 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 2/20/2016 11:33:51 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
You have this weird obsession with the legislative being the strongest branch, which is not true, nor should it be true.

He's probably British.

I take that as a compliment. Thank you.
augcaesarustus
Posts: 368
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2/21/2016 10:08:50 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/20/2016 4:09:36 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Since the average voter does not have the time and motivation to keep up with everything happening in Washington (and in many cases would, let's face it, be unable to make sense of such information anyway), it seems like a good idea to keep one branch very visible and accessible to the average person. The presidency is one such branch. Everyone can name the current president, while not everyone can name their own state senators and congressmen. Depriving people influence over this hallmark of governmental power would likely exacerbate people's frustration with the governmental process. They would lack a clear outlet in which to express their disapproval should they perceive things to get out of hand. Image if, in 2008, people could not have elected Obama in reaction to the failed presidency of Bush.

I also don't really think that a president elected in such a way would feel freer to act in the national interest than they are today. For one thing, first-term presidents who plan to run for reelection would have to think about gaining approval of the congressmen whose votes they need to stay in office. Also, just because you don't officially belong to a party doesn't mean you aren't tied up with their position. It's not like Obama has to consult Democratic elites before acting, yet he often does. He feels pressured to do so for the same reasons a non-elected president would.

And lastly, this system would ensure that the policies of the president would more or less align with those of congress. You might see this as a good thing, but you can't deny the potential downsides of a president unrestrained by an opposing political party in congress.

I understand your point of view. Indeed, an elected President can be useful in that he/she 'speaks with one voice.' Therefore, the Presidency is also highly visible.

If the President is elected in the manner I suggest, what would effectively happen is that the presidential candidates would no longer campaign on behalf of the party, particularly if the President is elected in an alternate years (i.e. HR 3 yrs, P 5 yrs). This would result in the leaders of the parties campaigning on behalf of the party and promoting the policies 'that Congress could actually pass.' At the moment, you might have a Democratic President, but if the Congress is GOP, then you either have significant deadlock or serious compromise.

A separation of powers is exactly that: each branch is to be appointed/elected in a different manner, so that no two branches can claim 'to represent the people.' In its original design, the House is the true branch of the people, and is supposed to be primarily responsible for 'making laws' not just approving them. Therefore, whilst cooperation with the executive would be necessary, the people would vote for the party whose policies they wish implemented. Then, the President's role would be co-operate with Congress, and in rare cases veto Bills. This system also creates more accountability because you know for certain who is responsible for what. There's no blurring of the lines regarding who represents the will of the people.

Ultimately, the reason why the President was conferred with veto power was to act as a check on the legislature. Given that the President would indirectly elected there would no popular mandate to abuse this power, and if the President did, then Congress work shore up support to override it.

Regarding the political party comment. Yes, it's true that just because you've resigned from the party, doesn't meant that you no longer hold certain beliefs or values that are in line with that party. The bigger point is that it's not party machines who dominant the executive branch. Rather, the candidates would be assessed on individual merit, based on their experience and what their plan is for the nation. The non-partisan, neutral executive would be required to 'conduct him or herself' in an appropriate manner, rather than have bold visions for the nation: that's the Majority/Minority Leader's job, not the President's.