Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Post election and new policy discussion

  1. Nov 8, 2006 #1
    To me, this election is over. Time to move on

    I must say, I am sad to see moderate Republican losing their seats because of their party affiliation. People like Lincoln Chafee deserves to have a say in the current political climate. Unfortunately, these moderates became indirect casualties of Bush unpopularity.

    So now that the Dem finally regain access to power (and also corruption and tasty underage page boys :rofl: ), I think it is time to reform the election system. I think one thing a lot of people here would agree on is that we are tired of the two party system and the "wasted" votes. This power deadlock could be broken up with two new legislations.

    1. An further extension of the campaign finance law that limits the amount of money spent in an election, so that it no longer takes billions to get any result in an election. McCain had the right idea when he proposed the law, until everyone gets away from exploiting its loopholes.

    2. More importantly, introduce some kind of federal law, or even constitutional amendment, to change the election process. There are quite a few different types of voting system that can fairly distribute power to multiple parties. I am not going to talk about that. The more important question is, how could we make the Dem gives up the power it holds?

    An idea I have is that we could write to the congressmen to get one of them to introduce this legislation. Here comes the important part: we tie the legislation with the 2008 election, to extend this advocacy issue into a nationwide issue. If a congressmen want to be elected/re-elected, s/he must vote for this change, otherwise s/he lost support from the people in the 2008 election.

    So, the two main party will hold onto power for one more term. By 2010, the new election system should kick into full gear.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    1. I agree there has to be some serious fixes for the PACs and 527s.

    2. One could change to elections would be to remove party affiliation from the ballots. That doesn't stop a person from voting a straight party line without knowing anything about his party's candidates, but he at least has to take enough initiative to bring a cheat sheet with the right names on it. For the most part, it would distribute a lot of the uninformed voters' votes randomly. A candidate would have to get elected on more of his own merits rather than just relying on having a special letter after his name.
  4. Nov 9, 2006 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    OPEN debate on appropriations and other bills and the names of sponsors and recipients on earmarks. Better yet - no earmarks.
  5. Nov 9, 2006 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Sounds like you're asking for a parliamentary system, with seats apportioned according to the percentage of popular vote won by each party. That would be an extremely radical departure from American precedent and would not only require a constitutional amendment, but a complete overall of the entire constitution outside of the existing amendments. There aint no way in hell that's happening.
  6. Nov 9, 2006 #5
    Instant runoffs and public financing are two changes that could be implemented at the state level without a constitutional convention.
  7. Nov 9, 2006 #6
    A PAPER TRAIL for all electronic voting machines, with the name of the candidates voted for in clear text on the paper.
  8. Nov 9, 2006 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    This is not "parliamentarism". "Parliamentarism" is a break with "the partition of powers" (?) principle espoused by Montesqieu.
    (That is, the executive, legislative and judging powers (i.e, courts) are independent powers).
    I believe you call this the system of "checks and balances" in the US).

    In parliamentaristic systems, the government (say the president/party of prime minister, i.e, the executive power) must go if the legislative assembly express "a lack of confidence" in the government.
    That is, the executive power is no longer ideally independent as it is in Montesquieu's model (which the U.S constitution today is the closest one to realize in practice).

    What you talk of is the difference between "election determined by proportionality" and "elections determined by constituency results" ("winner-takes-it-all" principle)

    The U.K is, I believe, a country with "winner-takes-it-all" principle in elections, but practicing parliamentarism nonetheless.
    (The Queen is the highest executive power (symbolically), but her ministers (the actual executive powers) are always chosen from the party with the majority in the legislative assembly, that is in accordance with parliamentarism).
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2006
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook