• 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."

Do the states have their say in the Federal Gov.

Status
Not open for further replies.

rayfieldclement

Senior member
Apr 12, 2012
514
0
0
If I am not correct I am sorry. At one time the States voted the 2 federal senators into office. That means they had their say in Washington. Why did we change the system to let the public decide which senators go to Washington? Was it wise? I think it took the state's rights backwards. How do they get heard in Washington?
 

JACKHAMMER

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
2,870
0
76
Perhaps you should open a history book (or just google the 17th amendment)? Representative government FTW, unless you feel the voters in the state make poorer choices than their state legislature (I do, and attribute the rise of many special interest groups to it).
 
Last edited:

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,520
0
0
I sort of like the idea of Senators being chosen by the state government, but I honestly don't see a HUGE difference in theory. Senators (and Congressmen for that matter) are still being chosen exclusively by residents of their state, it's just a matter of whether they're chosen directly or indirectly.

I think what hurts a state far more is the lock the two major parties have on the voting of their members, particularly the Republicans. Pretty much nobody strays from the party line, and if they do, they're punished for it (to the point of losing their seat to a primary challenge, as has happened more than once). Doing what's right for your state isn't really an option when the enforced expectation is that you'll vote the party line.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,880
4,212
126
I sort of like the idea of Senators being chosen by the state government, but I honestly don't see a HUGE difference in theory. Senators (and Congressmen for that matter) are still being chosen exclusively by residents of their state, it's just a matter of whether they're chosen directly or indirectly.

I think what hurts a state far more is the lock the two major parties have on the voting of their members, particularly the Republicans. Pretty much nobody strays from the party line, and if they do, they're punished for it (to the point of losing their seat to a primary challenge, as has happened more than once). Doing what's right for your state isn't really an option when the enforced expectation is that you'll vote the party line.
While I agree about the Republicans being more tightly bound it's still a matter of degree not kind. If the actual not theoretical process were detailed I believe we would have to say that one will have a Democrat or Republican who becomes Senator. I firmly believe that party machines have far more real world influence than the citizen. Consequently our choices are predisposed to be all too alike and the marketplace of ideas becomes a 3/4 empty vending machine with expired goods. I can't imagine our government was supposed to be that way.
 

Anarchist420

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2010
8,649
0
76
www.facebook.com
It didn't make a difference because all it took was an absolute majority of the States... therefore, the States were still not free and independent.

What they shouldve done, if they had to have a unitary executive at all, was make two thirds of the States decide the president with no popular voting for the president. They also should've required 2/3 of the States to confirm appointments. That way, there would have to be more consensus. The problem I have with the u.s. federal constitution is that it totally consolidated all power in one large govt.
 

nehalem256

Lifer
Apr 13, 2012
15,670
6
0
Having the State Legislatures elect Senators makes sense.

It fits in with the electoral college with the Founding Fathers not trusting people to vote. Also for instance why it was originally restricted to property owners, they did not want the riff-raff voting.

The idea would seem to me that you would hope that voters would choose from amongst the best of them to be legislators, and that legislators would then do a better job of choosing Senators.

It also makes Senators beholden to the power of state legislators which encourages less federal power.
 

Pr0d1gy

Diamond Member
Jan 30, 2005
7,776
0
76
States lost all power in this country after the Civil War, which is what that war was really about. By using the North to force federalist laws upon the states as a united nation they basically removed all state power from the books. I can promise you there are 50 bankers & CEO's that have more power in this country than the 50 states do. That was the whole point of the Civil War, we're just tought it was about slavery in the history books & classes so that nobody questions federal authority over everything anymore....kind of like mother Russia did.

The Senator issue was just a later byproduct of this that ensured this would remain the case.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,978
14,133
136
It didn't make a difference because all it took was an absolute majority of the States... therefore, the States were still not free and independent.

What they shouldve done, if they had to have a unitary executive at all, was make two thirds of the States decide the president with no popular voting for the president. They also should've required 2/3 of the States to confirm appointments. That way, there would have to be more consensus. The problem I have with the u.s. federal constitution is that it totally consolidated all power in one large govt.
I normally just ignore your mental meanderings, but that bit about 2/3 consensus wrt appointments is pure denial of reality. Given modern Repubs' desire to cripple govt when they're not running it, appointments would never occur. Their version of democracy is the tyranny of wealth, covered by a thin electoral veneer.
 

Farang

Lifer
Jul 7, 2003
10,921
3
0
I really hate the 17th amendment. The founders wanted state legislatures to choose Senators so that the Senate would be a body of statesman and powerful, skilled politicians (you'd have to be good at pulling the levers of power to get yourself elected by your state legislature). The House would be popularly elected and a check on the statesmen in the Senate.

Now the Senate is simply a smaller version of the House and given its stricter rules, is completely dysfunctional. And you can clearly blame the 17th amendment. Republicans have to stay hard right to keep from being primaried by the Club for Growth.
 

Anarchist420

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2010
8,649
0
76
www.facebook.com
[...] but that bit about 2/3 consensus wrt appointments is pure denial of reality. [...]
Um, no... Republicans as they are today wouldn't hold office if the legislatures of two-thirds of the States was required. It would be harder for them to declare war, pass an unbalanced budget, and to censor. If they could never agree on anything, then there would just have to be less govt.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,978
14,133
136
Um, no... Republicans as they are today wouldn't hold office if the legislatures of two-thirds of the States was required. It would be harder for them to declare war, pass an unbalanced budget, and to censor. If they could never agree on anything, then there would just have to be less govt.
How dim. Presidents wouldn't even have their cabinets.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,978
14,133
136
No it's not. I said that if elected leaders could never agree on anything then there would be no positions filled and that's what I'm aiming for.
Which is why I normally ignore you. You're delusional, yearning to be a bug on the windshield of financialized international capitalism.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
60
91
Just let the governors appoint them. That way governors would have more power. I also think that the number of representatives needs to be reduced. I think a state should have a maximum of 4 reps and a min of 1. Also limit the senators to one for each state with one alternate to take over in case of death or necessity. We need to cut back the size of the federal government. Also make all federal senators and reps have a 4 year term, with a maximum of 3 4 year terms. Then dont pay their retirement. Make them pay into a retirement system like all the other people that work for a living. They have an enormous opportunity to raise money while they are in office, so they should not need that much of the tax payer's money. They should also be barred from working for the government for ten year after they retire.
 
Last edited:

Anarchist420

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2010
8,649
0
76
www.facebook.com
Just let the governors appoint them. That way governors would have more power. I also think that the number of representatives needs to be reduced. I think a state should have a maximum of 4 reps and a min of 1. Also limit the senators to one for each state with one alternate to take over in case of death or necessity. We need to cut back the size of the federal government. Also make all federal senators and reps have a 4 year term, with a maximum of 3 4 year terms. Then dont pay their retirement. Make them pay into a retirement system like all the other people that work for a living. They have an enormous opportunity to raise money while they are in office, so they should not need that much of the tax payer's money. They should also be barred from working for the government for ten year after they retire.
Governors appointing Senators isn't the worst idea. If the Articles of Confederation is to not be restored, then I was thinking of abolishing term limits or just having one 4 year term for Reps, one 5 year term for President, and not prohibiting the State legislatures from removing/appointing Senators at will. It's not a bad idea to have just one Senator per State, and limiting the number of reps to a max of 4/State is not a bad idea either. As for your proposal about retirement... it's better than the current system, but it would be best if they didn't have any system they paid into other than their very own. The Senators should not be paid by the federal govt at all.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY