New Constitution?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by thoreau, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. thoreau

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    Hey Guys,


    I'm a Poli Sci major and one of the classes I'm taking this semester before my eventual graduation next Fall is Constitution Writing.


    It's a new class that hasn't been offered before and we supposed to be analyzing elements of the current US Constitution and offer up our critiques and suggestions that we feel might improve upon it because I'm sure many of us feel a little disenchanted sometimes with the government. So we can spitball ideas that we feel can rectify the problems in the country.


    Anyway, I've noticed many people here at LPSG have some interesting political ideas and was wondering what your thoughts might be for changes to the Constitution?


    For instance: - Disbanding Political Parties
    - Limiting/ Increasing the Presidents War Powers
    - Possible New Amendments


    I'm currently writing a paper about the perpetual US Congress. Ninety percent of the members in Congress today are re-elected to their seats because incumbents are favored in elections. This upsets many people who feel that the status quo dominates in the national legislature and Congress no longer adequately represents the will or the interests of the people.

    My suggestion would be to amend Article I of the Constitution and establish term limits for Representatives and Senators. So that they cannot be continually re-elected ad infinitum and this would hopefully return some responsiveness in government back the American people.

    What ideas do you guys have?:cool:


    PS-

    I'm not looking for an easy way to find term paper topics or anything else of that nature, so don't accuse me of that. I'm not lazy or uncreative. Like I said I'm a PS Major and I'm honestly just curious what other people have to say.
     
  2. jason_els

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    Just to play devil's advocate here:

    To limit terms means that candidates do not have to work to earn re-election after their last allowed election. They can sell their favors to any special interest. What do they care? They don't have to defend their record.

    It also means you lose experienced politicians who can, at least on some occasions, use that experience to guide their inexperienced colleagues through crisis or remind them of similar situations in the past. Wisdom is something American society has a sore lack of respect for.

    Last, it means that you're denying the people of a state or district the chance to re-elect the candidate of their choice. If the people of a state or district are very happy with their representative, why should we prevent them from electing that person again? How is it democratic to disallow a candidate for such an arbitrary reason as length of time in office?

    To impose term limits is to say that any one person in office is as good as any other and that's actually not the case at all. Term limits are an excuse to absolve the people of their own duty to monitor the performance of their representatives and to hold them accountable.
     
  3. Drifterwood

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    No constitution has ever worked long term.

    Name me one.
     
  4. Charles Finn

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    we tried term limits they do not work the lazy bums just change jobs and still sell their vote to special interest
    lol
     
  5. jason_els

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    You've got a better idea?

     
  6. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Off the top of my head, I would recognize marrige as a union between two people... and end it there. :smile: No mention of gender included.
     
  7. midlifebear

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    Yeah, that's the ticket. Shoot down the idea before it starts to roll and gather moss. Damn younsters! Who the Hell do they think they are? Don't they realize people were a lot better off when other people owned them? Damn whippersnappers! Kill them all and eat 'em!:mad:

    And while I'm at it, get the Hell of of my lawn!
     
  8. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Let me guess. You had to walk to school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways?
     
  9. midlifebear

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    No, I rode to school in a Buick. But it was them damn kids who did walk to school in the snow who made a short cut across my lawn hoping to avoid frostbite. To Hell with them. Damn kids trespassing created a path of dead grass! :mad:
     
  10. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    I've thought about this a lot and have even considered starting a thread about it myself before. Both what an ideal constitution for my own personal country would be, and what an ideal constitution for any nation in general would be. I've got a lot of other stuff to do right now though so I doubt I'll get around to it, but if I can I'll come back and visit this thread later.
     
  11. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    What's long term? Constitution writing hasn't been trendy for very long, and there are several different nations who I would say have been pretty successful that have constitutions.
     
  12. thoreau

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    Thanks for the contribution Jason.

    Those are all valid points. I would also agree that wisdom is a worthy virtue to have in an elected official. But I would say that political longevity doesn't necessarily equate with valuable experience and wisdom.

    For instance here in New Mexico one of our Senators, Pete Dominci is stepping down due to illness after 36 years in office. Because he was there for so long he developed connections and networks in Washington that proved incredibly beneficial to our state. But some of his detractors point out that some of the money he managed to bring into the state was for "pork barrel" spending projects which generates jobs and revenue into the local economy but may not have been for the "public good" and only benefited the part of his constituency that was the base for his re-election.

    Simply retaining the same individuals in Congress doesn't ensure wisdom on their part. They may know the intricacies of the governmental system and how to accomplish their agendas but that doesn't translate to wisdom and understanding of their duty to public service if they operate with the selective interests of the voting base. With term limits they might feel more obligated to seek the favor of their entire distract



    Also, I wouldn&#8217;t want to deny a district the opportunity to re-electing a candidate if they truly wanted him to remain in office unless it was for good cause. For the same reason we have term limits for the President we ought to have term limits for Congressmen. To prevent them from accumulating too much power and influence around themselves and perhaps becoming tyrannical with that power. I admit term limits might seem undemocratic but we are more a republic than a democracy in point if fact.

    And people sometimes ignore their civic responsibilities in monitoring their elected officials but wouldn't it be prudent to erect safe guards against the possible incursion of political cronyism into the government?
     
  13. Drifterwood

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    So just name them.
     
  14. thoreau

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    Well, the US Constitution is considered to be the oldest Constitution that has been used continuously. So for lasting long term, being over 200 years old isn't bad. Part of that is because it can be altered or changed to suit the needs of the people and the circumstances of the day.

    But it is also not a perfect document there are problems people find in it. Which is what I'm asking here.
     
  15. Not_Punny

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    Magnum XLarge?
     
  16. Mem

    Mem
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    I heard something interesting recently. There should be no more marriage. Every gay or straight partnership should be a civil union. Marriage was a civil union before it was a religious union.
     
  17. Drifterwood

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    So, if you have to keep changing it, what does that tell you about things written in stone?
     
  18. midlifebear

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    Oh yea young Thoreau, you're speaking to my heart.

    However, on a serious note you might do a Google search for the constitution that was crafted for the Marshal Islands when they appealed for and were returned their independence from the United States Trust Territory of the Pacific (basically, most of Micronesia -- not all, but most). I remember reading it over in 1978 or 1980 and found it quite fascinating. Of course, most of their advisers were employees of the US State Department, but it was still crafted in an era when the USA was a bit more innocent and before the whole country began goose-stepping to power mongers controlling the masses with serious applied linguistic research.

    At the moment I can't remember the specifics enough to discuss it intelligently. I'd have to go back and read it. However, it was of particular interest because the Marshallese had the distinction of going from an agrarian tribal society to a highly educated post industrial bureaucracy, having completely avoided the industrial revolution phase.
     
  19. SpeedoGuy

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    Constitutions, harumph. What a dumb concept for representatives of the newly independent US colonies to actually enumerate and enshrine their unifying principles in one document. Impractical, that. Cheeky colonial buggers. Much better for them to have just waited around ad infinitum for some European monarch, with the church's blessing, to bestow rights and responsibilities. Or, better, perhaps, to just assume those rights exist somewhere in the ether waiting to be interpreted when convenient. No need to actually write them down anywhere. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Drifterwood

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    enumerate? WTF

    And why not answer the question about the need to constantly change them.
     
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