Against Bicameralism

We hear all the time about the Congress and how the two houses are dysfunctional……there is an answer to this chaos……

I wrote many years ago that I thought that my state should go to a unicameral system of representation… would save money and loosen up the legislative process from the standstill it suffers from every session.

As distinct from bicameral or even tricameral legislatures, unicameral legislatures meet and vote in a single chamber. The traditional justification of unicameralism is that it is cheaper, more efficient, and more responsive than bicameralism. The appeal of a single-chamber legislature increases in periods of legislative gridlock, making unicameralism a relevant alternative to bicameral representation, which excels at representing different social classes or geographic areas. Below, the fit between unicameral representation and responsive government is explored, first, by assessing the use of unicameralism in 2016, and then by outlining the basic merits and demerits of unicameral legislatures. The Anglo-American tradition of unicameralism is then surveyed. The discussion concludes with a brief overview of Nebraska’s single-chamber legislature.

For the lazy……

My regulars know that I am  history buff and that I try to educate my visitors on this country as well as other subjects….and in the beginning during the fight for the Constitution that were people that did not agree with Madison on the need for a bicameral system of representation.

James Madison famously wrote in Federalist 51 that “A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” Madison discussed the separation of powers between executive, legislative, and judicial branches, the additional division of the legislative branch into two chambers, and how their design can create a political invisible hand by which “the private interest of every individual may be a centinel over the public rights.”

I don’t know whether Madison employed the word “centinel” in this sentence to jab at the Antifederalist writer Centinel, who several months before lambasted the idea that separation-of-power systems can be designed to generate public virtue from the interaction of self-interested politicians. Perhaps. Contrary to Madison’s argument, however, for Centinel, only engaged and attentive citizens can keep politicians in line, not institutional designs that ostensibly create self-enforcing constitutional systems. There is no invisible hand for Centinel, at least not in politics.

In my case the attempt that I tried to have a bill on the change from bicameral to unicameral was a non-starter…..I never thought I would be successful but at least I was hoping for some discussion…the “good old boys” shot me down and shot me down hard.

I still believe my state and the country would be better off with a unicameral system….


Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Peacemakers, Warmongers And Fence Setters

You are about to go to the polls and vote for your favorite candidate or in my case the one with the least smell about them…..but who represents your political thinking…a peacemaker?  Or a Warmonger?  Maybe a coward that sits on the Fence and watches the political winds?

Who represents you?

In lifetime voting records tabulated by Peace Action, the average House Democrat has a 72% peace voting record, while the average House Republican scores only 10%. In the Senate, the difference is 69% to 14%

As a foreign policy crisis explodes over the apparent Saudi assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, the failure of the U.S. Congress to assert its constitutional war powers over three years of illegal U.S. military action in the war on Yemen and booming U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners is finally coming home to roost.

The UN already reported two years ago that a child was dying every 10 minutes in Yemen, wracked by the war and its consequences, including malnutrition, diphtheria, cholera and other preventable diseases.  Data already showed that more than a third of Saudi-led airstrikes were hitting schools, hospitals, markets, mosques and other civilian sites. But none of the dire warnings by UN agencies and NGOs could trigger the constitutionally required debate and decisive action by the U.S. Congress.  Even now the Trump administration is trying desperately to salvage its blood-soaked arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

I look for the person that I feel will keep the US ot of useless wars….and like I said these days I just hold my nose and vote or I look for an alternative candidate that has NO chance of winning but at least I have voted my principles in most cases…..too many cannot say that.

Today is your day to send whatever message you have close to your heart….please go vote…..your country needs you.

Representation Without Concern

College of Political Knowledge

I have in the past written several posts on the subject of representation and still feel that people are not aware of the differences in the types of representation……hopefully this will help a bit……

We all are aware that we here in the US of A have a representative form of government….that is we elect the people that will represent the voters in Washington and work for their best interests…….but in recent years I have been a bit concerned with the attitude and the work of our representatives……yes partisanship is one of the problems but I do not think that it is the major problem that we have to contend with in the future.

But before I elaborate let me throw a little icing on the cake……I have Repub friends that I debate on a regular basis and almost to a person they worship at the alter of Jefferson…..they see him as the father of smaller government…..and each person I know has a pocketful of Jefferson quotes that they like to throw around to make their points….Do not get me wrong Jefferson had his place in American History and I feel that he is given too much notoriety….more than he may deserve……but that is a post for another day.

Now these same acquaintances when the name of Alexander Hamilton is mentioned their faces grimace and they go off on a rant about his stance on a big government….or that he was the one that started the whole deficit thingy……..that he was opposed to the states rights thing….all in all an evil man from the days of our beginning…….

We all would like to believe that our form of representation is the one that Jefferson was the champion of and that would be the “liberal theory of representation”……meaning that all people are equal and in as such equally capable of ruling……meaning that the representative will act as the messenger of the people; his/her constituents want them to vote regardless of the policymaker…..

But unfortunately, our Congress is full of representatives that basically follow the theory of “reactionary representation”, a theory embraced by Alexander Hamilton.  This theory is based on the concepts of order and authority…that the representatives serve the public as they see fit…that they would be open to public input but are under NO obligation to act on that input……because the representative is of superior knowledge and judgement and should not be saddled by public sentiment….that the representatives act as they see is the public interests.

Sorry, my Republican friends, but look at the Congress today….they are NOT acting on what is important to the people just what they deem is important…..what is important in their eyes that is in the public’s interests.

So you see, you have more in common with Hamilton than Jefferson….at least when it comes to the operation of the US Congress.

Sorry to pop that balloon for you.

Representation Without………

Inkwell Institute

The College of Political Knowledge

Professor’s Classroom

Subject:  Government/Representation/

Paper #22

After watching and ranting about the government and its misfires, I feel I need to talk about our form of representation….it is our pride and joy…our representative form of democracy….of our Republic.

you want the representative form of government but what type of representation do you want?  Yes, Irene, there are several types of representation and our Founders knew this….so what type do you prefer?

The truth of the matter is that your representation SUCKS!

With that out of the way, let us look at the different types and those that pushed the various forms of representation……

There is a reactionary theory of representation….Alexander Hamilton was a believer…the theory is based on the need for law and authority, the executive, the leader of the government, and legislative branch would rule in the interests of the people, as they determined the interests.  The people would have their input but the politicians being of superior knowledge and judgment and that they should not be hindered by popular sentiment.  And that the masses are required to support the decisions of the leaders since they, the leaders, were acting in the people’s best interests.

James Madison was a believer in the conservative theory of representation, which grants the people control but discourages their public participation in the act of governing.  People chose their leaders but do not have the right to force them to act and behave in a very particular way.  The people may replace representative only at a prescribed time, a election and with people of the same class as the ones they had, the elites.

The liberal theory of representation was embraced by Thomas Jefferson, that All people were equal and in as such were equally qualified to rule.  This form of representation sees the representative as a messenger of his/her constituents.  Thus the Rep is obliged to vote the way of the people’s concerns.

Finally the is the radical theory of representation of which only one of our Founders (even if he is ignored) believed and that would be Thomas Paine.  This theory proposes that the vast citizenry should have the call as to policy of the nation.  This theory holds that the people are the only ones capable of governing themselves.  This is what we today call direct democracy and the only true form of representation…but this will never happen….it is NOT what politicians want…..they want input (on a limited basis) but they do NOT want the public to participate in policy.

There has been an argument for decades, even centuries on whether the Reps should be concerned with the people’s will or their interests.  What is your opinion on representation?

Where To Put Your Trust

Recently I wrote an offensive post, which I warned everyone about, and got very few people that are upset as I am. That leads me to believe that of all the people who read this post somehow trust the government to fix the problem of the tanking economy. Thinking…….. Trust? These guys? Are you smoking dope?

You trusted these people on Iraq and it got over 5000 Americans killed. You trusted these people to act in the best interest of the people and they gave a war that is crippling people and the economy. You trusted these people to go get Osama and he still operates in Afghanistan. You trusted these people to be civil and they gave you Abu Ghreb. You trusted them to be the stewards of the economy and they gave you a deepening recession. You trusted these people with $700 billion to fix the economy and it got worse. You trust them to represent the interests in Washington and they give you corruption and scandal. Why I God’s name would you continue to trust them? They have failed you at every turn. They have chosen big corporations over the taxpayer time and time again. Why would you continue to trust these people?

I was always told that trust had to be earned and yet the American people blindly put there trust in people that have NO proven trust record. Why? Is it the belief that they cannot be any worse than their predecessors? If so, that has not been the case in 50 years.

Who do you trust? Apparently the people cannot trust their judgement. That has been flawed on so many levels in the last 50+ years. What about the people that lead us, that would make us trust them? Questions. So many questions. Answers. Not so many.

That brings us back to the original question: Where to put your trust? The only answer I have is the saying, “Stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of Ignorance”. What is your answer?

The Electoral College Is Coming

A measure that would push the Electoral College to the fringes of American politics has been an unlikely beneficiary of this year’s protracted presidential primaries.

Buoyed by a long presidential primary season that focused attention on states that usually are overlooked in the calculus of winning a nomination, states as far-flung as Massachusetts and Hawaii have passed or are considering legislation that would guarantee that the candidate who got the most votes nationwide would win the White House.

If lessons from high school civics classes on how the Electoral College operates had dimmed, the 2000 election brought them back to life as Al Gore won the national popular vote but lost the presidency to George W. Bush in the Electoral College after the Supreme Court settled the dispute over Florida‘s vote count. That’s because almost every state casts its electoral votes based on the winner of the popular vote in that state.
The U.S. Constitution provides that states can choose how they allocate electors. Under the group’s plan, the new method of casting electoral votes would take effect when states with a combined 270 electoral votes—the number necessary to elect a president—join the national popular-vote compact
National Popular Vote was founded by Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Koza. The group says the measure should have bipartisan support, pointing to the near-miss of the 2004 election. Bush was re-elected when he won the popular vote by more than 3 million ballots. But a switch of only 60,000 votes in Ohio would have swung that battleground state to John Kerry, who would have won in the Electoral College.

And Republicans have supported it, including Illinois State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), a co-sponsor of the Illinois bill, which Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed in April.

Apart from partisan politics, the Electoral College has supporters. Walter Berns, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, notes that the current system helps small states keep some clout on the national scene.
Still, even some opponents of the Electoral College are skeptical. Burdett Loomis, a political science professor at the University of Kansas, favors amending the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College. Supporters of the National Popular Vote campaign say is that’s too difficult because an it requires approval by two-thirds of Congress and three-quarters of the states.

This is a shorten post from an original article published in the Chicago Tribune. Time for this archaic piece of crap to be eliminated.

What Do You Really Know About The Electoral College?

The Electoral College actually elects the next president of the United States, not the popular vote. Here are some facts about the Electoral College:

* There are 538 members of the Electoral College, allotted to each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their representation in the U.S. Congress. The smallest states have three members while the largest state, California, has 55. Washington, D.C., which has no representation in Congress, has three, the same as the smallest state.

It takes 270 electoral votes to win election. The electors are pledged to one candidate or the other but there is no federal law requiring them to vote that way. There have been several incidents in which a “faithless elector” has voted for someone other than the major candidates.

* In 48 states and the district, the candidate who wins the popular vote wins all of the state’s electors. Nebraska and Maine have a proportional system of awarding electors.

* Electors, who are picked by the respective political parties, make two selections — for president and for vice president. They may not vote for two candidates from their own state.

* Because a candidate could run up a big vote count in some states but lose others by narrow margins, the winner of the popular vote might not have the most electoral votes. The Electoral College has three times picked the candidate who lost the popular vote — Republicans Rutherford Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888 and George W. Bush in 2000.

* The Electoral College meets in each state to cast its votes on a Monday early in December after the November popular election. The votes are then tallied in a joint session of Congress on January 6 of the following year.

* If no candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes, the House of Representatives chooses among the top three candidates with each state having only one vote. If no vice presidential candidate receives a majority, the Senate decides between the top two candidates.

* The House has twice decided the outcome of the presidential race — in the 1800 and 1824 elections. The Senate decided the vice presidency once, in the 1836 election.

* This unique system was the result of a compromise by the writers of the U.S. Constitution in the 18th century between those who wanted direct popular election and those who wanted state legislatures to decide. One fear was that at a time before political parties, the popular vote would be diluted by voting for an unwieldy amount of candidates.

There you go sports fans, absolutely everything that you never wanted to know about the Electoral College.  IMO, it is still an out-dated system that needs to be eliminated.