• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

23 Ways to Update the Constitution

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,918
18
81
Originally posted by: Nitemare
I'd like doing away with primaries as well. I want to vote for a person not someone who is just towing a party-line
Toeing.

Originally posted by: PrinceofWands
20. Finance in campaigns is one of the single biggest problems in American politics. It has created a 'rich only' government which is wholly out of touch with the people it is supposed to represent. Money should have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with anything, especially your chances of being elected. I would take his idea much further in order to make money absolutely meaningless in elections.
Mostly agree, except you might have the problem of glut if everyone who wanted to run for president actually did. Money is a barrier, and if removed, another barrier would be needed. I don't know how to address this problem overall, but I generally have more faith in independently wealthy politicians as they don't have to bow to interest groups.
 

m1ldslide1

Platinum Member
Feb 20, 2006
2,321
0
0
Originally posted by: eskimospy
Line item veto is one of the worst ideas this country has ever seen. Thank god the supreme court killed it. If you want a monarchial executive, the line item veto is the way to get one.
QFMFT. Holy hell - the mere thought of it almost made me soil myself.
 

m1ldslide1

Platinum Member
Feb 20, 2006
2,321
0
0
Originally posted by: Martin
One of the first and most logical ways to amend it would be to remove the stipulation that a president must be born in the US. Doesn't it bother Americans that immigrants can never be equal citizens, even after obtaining citizenship?

Or maybe just amend it to say that you have to be born in either the US or Austria, right?
 
May 16, 2000
13,526
0
0
Originally posted by: Nitemare
I'd like doing away with primaries as well. I want to vote for a person not someone who is just towing a party-line
Agree completely with the idea, but it's parties that are the failure there, not really primaries.
 
May 16, 2000
13,526
0
0
Originally posted by: sirjonk
Originally posted by: Nitemare
I'd like doing away with primaries as well. I want to vote for a person not someone who is just towing a party-line
Toeing.

Originally posted by: PrinceofWands
20. Finance in campaigns is one of the single biggest problems in American politics. It has created a 'rich only' government which is wholly out of touch with the people it is supposed to represent. Money should have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with anything, especially your chances of being elected. I would take his idea much further in order to make money absolutely meaningless in elections.
Mostly agree, except you might have the problem of glut if everyone who wanted to run for president actually did. Money is a barrier, and if removed, another barrier would be needed. I don't know how to address this problem overall, but I generally have more faith in independently wealthy politicians as they don't have to bow to interest groups.
If that worked I'd agree, but politicians have almost always been wealthy and they've almost always been puppets of special interest. That's the problem, rich people want to stay rich and get richer. I'd much rather have people that don't give a damn about wealth and focus instead on intelligence, compassion, morality, etc.
 

MovingTarget

Diamond Member
Jun 22, 2003
8,992
93
91
A six-year term I don't think would be too good. A 4 year term is right about at the sweet spot imho for an executive. It also says "national referendum", but my question is how. Electoral college? Popular vote? Does he want to change the original way of electing the president for the six-year term? Plus, an additional "extension" of only 2 years kinda defeats the purpose of extending the original term to 6. If you want to eliminate having to run for reelection from the equation, just limit presidents to one term of x years. Otherwise the last two years of the six will be spent by doing just that...campaigning to keep his job. However, I would support a recall amendment that would require 2/3 of state legislatures to agree for removal of president from office, and forcing of new elections.

As far as SCOTUS is concerned, having them serve limited terms I think would put the court under too much partisan pressure and threaten the independence of the judiciary. However, expanding the number of justices from, say 9 to 11, may be a good alternative for those wanting to make the SC more accountable. With a few more justices, the nomination spots would open up a little more often and allow for a greater diversity of views.

Line item veto seems like a good idea to fiscal conservatives (the real ones, anyway), but this seems to take away power from the legislature. It would give the executive extra power over the legislative agenda which I do not believe would be beneficial. The last thing we need is a more powerful executive. A "take it or leave it" type veto like we have now does a decent job of balancing power between the two branches. I'm glad SCOTUS shot it down, though part of me sees why it is appealing.
 

Nitemare

Lifer
Feb 8, 2001
35,466
1
76
Originally posted by: PrinceofWands
Originally posted by: Nitemare
I'd like doing away with primaries as well. I want to vote for a person not someone who is just towing a party-line
Agree completely with the idea, but it's parties that are the failure there, not really primaries.
Well with primaries, only registered party members are allowed to vote and it is quite often a contest on which contestant agrees with most of the party views.

By doing away with primaries, you get away from each candidate declaring how conservative or liberal they are and defending their voting records on various issues.

Why can't a democrat be pro-life, why can't a republican be a non-Christian?

Every 4 years you are voting for the same candidate every time, only they wear a different face.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,424
5,496
126
Originally posted by: sirjonk

2. 15 year terms (not life) for SCOTUS and Federal judges
- if it's not the last job they'll ever have, consequences of their decisions might figure more prominently in their opinions. Lifetime appointments may provide for a more independent judiciary, but at some point it surpasses independence and becomes unaccountability. When do judges ever get impeached??
not often and hopefully never because congress simply doesn't like the way they rule on laws.
3. Line item veto power for the president
- I'm completely against this, but I haven't read his arguments in favor. Sending a massive bill the president from which he can just strip out all the provisions he does not agree with equates to executive legislation. IIRC SCOTUS has negged this one already so either a re-hearing on the issue or an Amendment would be required to reinstitute it.
actually the court spelled out how congress and the president could get a line item 'veto' without an amendment: pass the law, have the president cross out what he doesn't like, then send it back to congress for a vote, then back to the president for presentment and his signature.



oh, and for campaign funding reform, wealthy people spending their own money on their own candidacy is not the problem. the candidates and parties are usually at least somewhat responsible in how they spend money. it's the people who aren't part of the regular party system that are the problem.

 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Originally posted by: sirjonk
Anyone have any thoughts on the above or other reasonable ideas for "fixing" the Const,

-snip-
I think it absolutely essential that one has a good understanding of something before they go monkeying about and altering it.

Would you recommend someone with no knowlege/understanding of a computer just go ahead and pop open the case and screw around? No, they're gonna "F" it up big-time.

Now, as far as the US Constitution is concerned I'm pretty damn sure the average person, polititions included, have all kinds of misconcpetions about the Constitution (I'll soon be exploring some of these in my "legal" thread on the upcoming 2nd Amendment SCOTUS cases).

Before we even think about changing it, we need to make sure we understand it. Otherwise, we're gonna end up with all kinds of unfortunate unintended consequences.

A good example is the line item veto issue. Most people don't why that's unconstitutional. But they damn well outta understand the original reasoning behind it, and possible consequences of changing it before they go about changing it.

Education before alteration, IMO.

Fern
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
Originally posted by: Fern
Originally posted by: sirjonk
Anyone have any thoughts on the above or other reasonable ideas for "fixing" the Const,

-snip-
I think it absolutely essential that one has a good understanding of something before they go monkeying about and altering it.

Would you recommend someone with no knowlege/understanding of a computer just go ahead and pop open the case and screw around? No, they're gonna "F" it up big-time.

Now, as far as the US Constitution is concerned I'm pretty damn sure the average person, polititions included, have all kinds of misconcpetions about the Constitution (I'll soon be exploring some of these in my "legal" thread on the upcoming 2nd Amendment SCOTUS cases).

Before we even think about changing it, we need to make sure we understand it. Otherwise, we're gonna end up with all kinds of unfortunate unintended consequences.

A good example is the line item veto issue. Most people don't why that's unconstitutional. But they damn well outta understand the original reasoning behind it, and possible consequences of changing it before they go about changing it.

Education before alteration, IMO.

Fern
It's hard to disagree that understanding before changing is a good idea (though I can imagine it working out fine, if they have good goals), but of course more is needed.

They need to also have a solid understanding of the results of changes. For example, I think the term limits debate is way off base, becasue they fail to realize how they'd weaken the legislature and shift power to the 'power brokers' who are selecting the candidates, and away from the public who have long-time known politicians to select. There are problems with incumbent advantage, but there are other problems with the lack of accountability of a lot of politicians in it for the short term.

The line item veto is similar - hearing it'd cut X dollars sounds nice; understanding the problems from being one-sided to allowing blackmail doesn't sound so nice.

Perhaps one thing we can all agree on is that the second amendment was unfortunately worded, with its ambiguous phrasing, instead of clearly stating the right.

Gun supporters would rather the 'well-regulated militia' clause were removed, while gun control advocates would rather it was clearer than a comma-seperated afterthought.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Originally posted by: Craig234
Perhaps one thing we can all agree on is that the second amendment was unfortunately worded, with its ambiguous phrasing, instead of clearly stating the right.

Gun supporters would rather the 'well-regulated militia' clause were removed, while gun control advocates would rather it was clearer than a comma-seperated afterthought.
Not to harrass you because I'm rapidly coming the conclusion much of what I have understood is incorrect (I'm still working through some things from the 1st SCOTUS case on the 2nd, likely my thinking will undergo more changes).

Not to give away too much of what I intend for next update to my 2nd Amendment thread, but your remarks illustrates my point pretty well about our lack of understanding.

The SCOTUS case I'm looking appears to say individual gun rights need not be addressed or guaranteed by the Constitution. If fact they can NOT be guaranteed in the Constitution because individual guns rights are inalienable rights.

Other rights are considered inalienable to by the court of that time, such as freedon of speech and therefore are not actually guaranteed under the Constitution.

So, it's not poor wording so much as poor understanding on our part.

Some other very weird stuff in these cases too, such as the whole framework for application of the Bill of Rights.

I'm coming to the conclusion that the Constitution we started out with is vastly different from the one we have now. And other than the 14th, this difference has nothing to do with subsequent Amendments.

Fern
 

Kindjal

Senior member
Mar 30, 2001
750
0
71
Originally posted by: manowar821
Here's a thought, I think it's time for a constitutional REBOOT. Just start over from scratch, see if we can manage to not fuck it up again.

The original Constitution is amazing, it's a shame that people seem to enjoy raping it like this.
QFT
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
Originally posted by: Fern
Originally posted by: Craig234
Perhaps one thing we can all agree on is that the second amendment was unfortunately worded, with its ambiguous phrasing, instead of clearly stating the right.

Gun supporters would rather the 'well-regulated militia' clause were removed, while gun control advocates would rather it was clearer than a comma-seperated afterthought.
Not to harrass you because I'm rapidly coming the conclusion much of what I have understood is incorrect (I'm still working through some things from the 1st SCOTUS case on the 2nd, likely my thinking will undergo more changes).

Not to give away too much of what I intend for next update to my 2nd Amendment thread, but your remarks illustrates my point pretty well about our lack of understanding.

The SCOTUS case I'm looking appears to say individual gun rights need not be addressed or guaranteed by the Constitution. If fact they can NOT be guaranteed in the Constitution because individual guns rights are inalienable rights.

Other rights are considered inalienable to by the court of that time, such as freedon of speech and therefore are not actually guaranteed under the Constitution.

So, it's not poor wording so much as poor understanding on our part.

Some other very weird stuff in these cases too, such as the whole framework for application of the Bill of Rights.

I'm coming to the conclusion that the Constitution we started out with is vastly different from the one we have now. And other than the 14th, this difference has nothing to do with subsequent Amendments.

Fern
Fern, I'm glad to hear you are developing your understanding, but I have to disagree with your disagreement with my post.

I think there is an issue of 'poor wording' in the second amendment, regardless of which of the main camps you are in.

You're otherwise right that much is not obvious with the constitution - one of the more common mistakes viewing the bill of rights as having to guarantee a right for it to be protected, when in fact the intent was quite different and why the 9th and 10th amendments were included - amendments which IMO are some of the most abused by being under-applied.

They are complicated issues - someone once said that every complicated problem has a solution that is simple, and wrong, and that's what the 'strict constructionists' have.

For example, how is the constitution to be 'strictly' applied to things like birth control rights, when the founding fathers couldn't have conceived - pun intended - of the issue?

And yet, it's clearly one which falls in the *spirit* of limiting the government's powers, yet some simpletons would say "not mentioned, so not protected".
 

ayabe

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2005
7,449
0
0
Our current POTUS has used signing statements as a line item veto since he took office, so in effect we already have it, it's just not identified as such.

Should introduce term limits in both the House and Senate.

Primary system is beyond repair IMHO, it's amazing how little the average person even understands it, it's a complete travesty.

Riders need to be abolished from the Bill process in Congress. Some argue that this would slow things helplessly down, I would argue that it would force Congress to focus on important things rather than debating how many millions to devote the museum of corn in the military spending bill.

Need an Amendment to mandate a balanced budget except in times of national emergency. This would have to be parsed carefully however, because according to some we are faced with such a situation now and will be for another 50 years, which of course is a joke.


 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
4
0
The Primary system is something created by the parties on their own. It has nothing at all to do with the Constitution.

Are we suppose to pass an amendment banning primaries?

And then what?

We vote next November for:
Hillary
Obama
Rudy
Mitt
McCain
Thompson
Edwards
Paul
etc etc etc etc

The whole point of the primary system was the give the people a say in who their party picked instead of having some people in a 'smoke filled room' make that decision.

The problem we have now is that people from states near Iowa or New Hampshire have a built in advantage. Rotate the primaries around the country and set up a system that has states from lots of different areas voting and you might offset that.
 

MadRat

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
11,659
43
91
We don't ban the primaries, we simply ban party affiliation and support of a candidate with soft money.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,061
494
126
Originally posted by: SsupernovaE
I swore to myself that I would never buy or read another Larry Sabato book after taking political science under him at UVA. For his class, we had to buy and read 9 books, all written by him, and listen to him talk about himself. I spent $500 on books just for that class-an introductory course!

Anyway, this does look interesting.
lmao the swindle of the university system. He isnt the first nor the last professor to fleece student for their money by forcing them to read his books.
 

MadRat

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
11,659
43
91
I bet he really boosted book sales that way. 150 students times 5 classes a semester is 750 potential buyers of his 9 books a semester. That is 6750 books. What a bargain class.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY