Senate How should the U.S. government be reformed?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    This is a topic I've brought up a lot before, and a lot more people have been talking about it since the election, so I figured it's time for a new thread.

    How should the United States government be reformed? Or if you think it needs a totally new government, like a new constitution, how should the new government/constitution be different?

    How to reform...
    -the House of Representatives?
    -the Senate?
    -the Presidency?
    -the Supreme Court?
    -the States?
    -Government in general?
    -Voting, Campaign Finance, and Elections in general?

    For me,

    reforming the House of Representatives
    * create nonpartisan commissions with the responsibility to redistrict, no more gerrymandering

    reforming the Senate
    * I'd personally like no Senate and go unicameral, but at least change the filibuster from 60 to 51 (and get rid of similar procedural gimmicks)

    reforming the Presidency
    * replace the Electoral College with a Popular Vote, either Instant-Runoff (Ranked) Voting, or a Runoff between the top two candidates set a couple weeks later, if no one gets above 50%

    reforming the States
    * I'd like to move to a Unitary system... still have states, but the national government determines and can change the relationship with only bills not amendments
    * or allow states to create another level of government between them and the national government, so, for example, the entire Northeast could band together under one single-payer health system that they might not afford to do individually but can't get passed nationally, stuff like that
    * nonpartisan redistricting for state seats too, like state legislators' districts
    * maybe have more state governments experiment as parliamentary democracies?

    reforming Government in general
    * they haven't been much of an issue lately, but do something to permanently end the threat of the Debt Ceiling, like raise it to 1 quadrillion or something
    * likewise, just make it so government is continually funded at the set levels, until a bill passes to change those levels, so there's never a chance of another government shutdown
    * streamline congressional committees, the U.S. Code, the cabinet departments and other executive agencies, the Code of Federal Regulations to all match one another

    reforming Voting, Campaign Finance, and Elections in general
    * make it so there's a universal voter registration system... and that it automatically updates when someone moves
    * public campaign financing only (maybe something like: the government reserves $200 per registered voter per year, and the voter decides which campaigns it should go to, if any at all? And every campaign which qualifies by getting so many relevant names to sign on to them going on the ballot, gets a small starter-up lump sum from the government?)
    * national election system, consistent across all states and DC and territories
    * have nationwide Early Voting
    * make Election Days into federal holidays
    * allow felons to vote (if they're big enough to be a significant voter bloc, then we have a problem, and this is one way to address that)
    * as with the Presidential election, make all elections into Instant-Runoffs or have actual runoffs, so the winner always has to get at least 50%+1
    * add "None of the Above" as an option, and if it wins, then a new election with all new candidates

    I'm unsure about, but worth considering:
    -mandatory voting, or pay a fee (like Australia)
    -unsure about parliamentary democracy at the national level?
    -if there are term limits for Congress, 12-20 years being the max (8 is too short for Congress, imo)... or force them to take a break after serving 2 terms before they can run again
    -encourage all states to adopt a good civics and cultural understanding curriculum as a necessary part of K-12 public education
    -allow a way to have referendums and initiatives on the national level (but not constitutional amendments, unless it's a huge supermajority like 80%)
    -unsure about proportional representation? (maybe that could replace the Senate, if we must be bicameral?)
    -unsure about new ways to "recall" the President, or a member of Congress
    -unsure about term limits for the Supreme Court... 20 years, then have to be reapproved, maybe?
    -definitely don't want a useless "head of state" separate from the president

    My past threads on this:

    Made this thread with the permission of anakinfansince1983 and Violent Violet Menace
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  2. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 10

    May 4, 2003
    The Supreme Court: Should have 300 members.
  3. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    Here's a point on the issue of allowing felons to vote. These days you can get a felony charge for falling off a log. The label "felon" comes with serious consequences and it should be reserved only for the most serious offenses. It's really annoying to me to see the vast amount of things you can be charged with a felony for. "Felony" is basically used as a weapon in the justice system these days; they'll wave a felony charge in an attempt to intimidate someone into taking a plea deal, which is not what something as dire as making someone a felon should be used for.

    I mean, that's just common sense, as are most of the ideas you post there. Things like gerrymandering or Super PACs or government shutdowns look foolish to the ordinary citizen; only partisan politicians think these things are good ideas. I mean, no ordinary citizen would allow some of the gerrymandering that you can see on the books. Those districts don't even pass the smell test. And I think it's the same with a lot of voter ID laws.
  4. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    I also forgot to add:

    * repair the Voting Rights Act

    * increase the number in the House of Representatives, to something like 1000 or 2000

    I completely agree. It's terrible how overused felonies are, especially because of all the consequences. It should be reserved for only the very extreme, the absolute worst, like murder.
  5. Dark Ferus

    Dark Ferus Chosen One star 8

    Jul 29, 2016
    Boy, I'm going to have a field day with this one.

    I'm torn about making it a One party state. I firmly believe that my political party (I won't say which one) has the moral high ground and the nation would be better off without the other.

    I am a loyal American however, and that would be against the principals our country was founded on. Both bodies of congress should have an equal number of representatives per state, no matter the size. There should be a fair number of democrats and republicans enforced at all times. There should be 8 or 10 justices, an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.

    The popular vote is the only vote that counts.

    Tax the rich higher than the poor, not so that they can't enjoy what they've earned, but from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Sorry for male pronoun, it's a quote I found on a political compass quiz.

    I agree with Ghost regarding education, though American values and culture shouldn't be ignored either. It should be taught very early that hate speech of any kind is a crime, and that everyone deserves equal treatment.

    Term limits for justices

    Make healthcare universally accessible , but pay each healthcare company according to the quality of their service. That way, they'll be prompted to improve their healthcare services

    End as many hostile relations as possible with foreign nations, those that refuse to recognize peace should be dealt with using our full military strength

    If we must rely on the Middle East for oil, make sure they receive sufficient compensation, give something in exchange.

    Allow different forms of government to coexist around the world, but mediate if foreign powers start an unnecessary war.

    Equal job, equal pay. That's it.

    guns are not allowed outside the home. Animals for food will only be killed by humane slaughterhouses

    Ban the American Nazi party and similar groups

    same crime, same penalty for everyone

    Death penalty only for the very worst criminals

    Allow illegals to apply for citizenship

    Immigration from all nations, keep an eye on some more than others for a while

    I'll post more when i think of it. As for the current administration, I'm in favor of armed revolution against Trump and will gladly join a hypothetical Rebellion. I'm old enough to fight in war and I'd die for the cause of restoring the true United States promised to us back in 1787, and again in 1865, 1920 and 1964.
  6. dp4m

    dp4m Chosen One star 10

    Nov 8, 2001
  7. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Aug 16, 2002
    Guarantee a right to a job with a livable income or the income alone if the person is unable to work; guarantee a nutritious diet, clean drinking water, adequate housing, education, healthcare as rights; mandate that the state prioritize protecting species and ecosystems and the long-term habitability of the planet; renounce offensive warfare and imperialism; change the House to proportional representation, abolish the Electoral College, make voting compulsory and easy for all adult citizens; abolish regressive taxes and institute steep progressive income and inheritance taxes; end or significantly reform farm subsidies and fossil fuel subsidies and other forms of "corporate welfare." This is just off the top of my head, and obviously I actually want to go further than just "reform."
  8. Emperor_Billy_Bob

    Emperor_Billy_Bob Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Aug 9, 2000
    Like it is now but every function performed by Elon Musk
  9. True Sith

    True Sith Jedi Master star 4

    May 10, 2015
    Some quick thoughts:
    -Constitution should be cracked open and majorly revised. Too much of it is horribly outdated/taken out of context for today, like for example the right to bear arms.
    -Completely scrap the Electoral College, and have the popular vote decide the President instead.
    -Get rid of term limits on Presidents (stupidly arbitrary how Obama couldn't run again).
    -Guaranteed public heathcare
    -Much stricter rules about private donations and lobby groups' influence during elections.
    -Encourage the development and viability of more than two political parties (not sure how this would actually be achieved?)
    -Election reform across the board...possibly proportional? Or ranked/runoff. I have to say I'm a bit partial to France's format from what I've seen.
  10. Sarchet

    Sarchet Jedi Master star 2

    Jan 23, 2016
    Simple one that can be done now without other reforms. If a felon is considered reformed enough to be outside prision, they should have full rights restored. If they're too dangerous to be given their rights we should be looking at why they're back out, because a prison sentence is supposed to be how one pays society back for whatever they did. If it's over, their debt is paid. I would guess that a large part of our recidivism rate is that former criminals continue to be punished after they are released.
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.
  11. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red 10X Hangman Winner star 7 VIP - Game Winner

    Apr 25, 2004
    This is a project for the distant future. We can't even begin to think about reforming our government because of the GOP's chokehold on it. Even before Trump won the presidency it would've been a tall order to pry the Republicans' fingers off our government...but now that he's won we'll probably have to wait some 60 years to undo the damage. We'll all be long gone by then.

    I feel like this is something we liberals somehow just didn't understand...that this was always going to be a slow, slogging fight that would drag out for decades. Instead, we had people seeing Bernie Sanders getting defeated in the primary and then they just decided to give up...and now that fight is going to be even harder.
  12. appleseed

    appleseed Chosen One star 5

    Dec 5, 2002
    Pretty much all of us posting right now will never see a reformed US Government. This country is broken and cannot be fixed because the people in it are just flat-out bad people. It is in the American character to be unjust, selfish and vile.
  13. Violent Violet Menace

    Violent Violet Menace Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 11, 2004
    ^ Ender Sai approves.

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  14. Hef

    Hef Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 30, 2005
    How would the US govt accomplish this in your view?
  15. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    Oh, I completely understand this is idealism, I did major in political science and get a master's in public administration, I know how government actually works (and doesn't) from my jobs :p

    That's what I'm asking for... what is your personal vision for an ideal U.S. government?

    Just having a vision to work towards is important, I think, even if we can just make a tiny step or two in this century. There's been a lot of talk about what we should be over the last year, figured it was time to have one of these threads again.
    Violent Violet Menace likes this.
  16. Sauntaero

    Sauntaero Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 9, 2003
    Constitutional convention. People over corporations. People of color represented in a majority, and in the highest offices. Proportional representation for parties in Congress.

    To start with.
    Emperor_Billy_Bob likes this.
  17. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    --include a "campaign finance fund" of sorts in taxation or have major media outlets donate a certain amount of time to campaign publicity in order to eliminate the need for corporate sponsorship of any candidate who is not a self-made billionaire

    --eliminate the Electoral College

    --I would not eliminate the Senate as they are a more moderating voice than the House, but I would have a nonpartisan commission to ensure that districts are drawn fairly

    --universal health care for basic preventative and emergency care

    --well-funded public education at all levels, including post-secondary

    --bring our military personnel home, use our military "only for knowledge and defense, never for aggression"

    --institute an Australian-style gun buy-back program

    --no death penalty, imprisonment only for violent criminals

    --legalize and tax the hell out of marijuana

    --stricter environment protections and regulations
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  18. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 26, 2001
    Reject the entire idea of corporate personhood.

    Abolish all of the myriad welfare programs and go to a single guaranteed livable income.

    Create a single payer health system catered to the U.S.'s own peculiarities.

    Create a vigorous energy policy focusing on renewables with a steady move away from fossil fuels over years.

    Publicly finance national political campaigns and impose restrictions on times to advertise.

    Abolish Senate and create a upper chamber composed entirely of scientists, professionals,careerists, administrators, etc whose sole power is the ability to modify and delay legislation passed by the House but unable to defeat or initiate it.

    Abolish the presidency and split it into two offices:
    A head of state/president who can veto legislation and negotiate treaties and welcome foreign dignitaries.
    A Prime Minister who presides in the lower chamber with her cabinet/government and who leads government and party.
    Move away from single party districting, and FPP, and go to multiple party-districts.

    Cut defense by at least 25% and enter multiple mutual defense pacts throughout the Americas(we likely already have this as part of OAS).

    Create a prosperity dividend based on a revenue from government leasing of federal lands for mineral and energy exploration that is directly redistributed to all Americans.

    Create National Land Trusts that manage and provide stewardship of valuable federal lands where land titles are held on behalf of named African Americans and Native Americans as part of reparations.

    Have a national gun program that includes background checks, waiting period, registration of all guns, licensing, and training. Licensing would encompass training and a test for licensing. Licensing would require renewal after set number of years. All firearms would be marked, entered into database and possess a title or form of registration. Licensing fees would pay for training, database and gun program costs.
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  19. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    Well, actually, it's even worse than that. A prison sentence is supposed to "pay a debt to society" or whatever, but it's also supposed to function in a reformative way. Speaking philosophically, a person being released from prison should be a much better person than someone who hasn't been to prison. Not only should recidivism not happen, it should be incredibly tipped away from people who've been in prison going back. A person who's never been in prison should be much more likely to go to prison than one who already has been. So, theoretically, felons should get all of their rights back because, again theoretically, they've been made a better person by their time in prison.

    Oh, what, that's not the case? People come out of prison worse than before? Well, it looks like there's a problem to be addressed, doesn't it?
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  20. appleseed

    appleseed Chosen One star 5

    Dec 5, 2002
    All of that sounds great. None of it will ever happen. You might as well put up a proposal for people to sprout wings and be able to fly.

    What will happen: more decay, more decline, more racial strife, more income inequality, worse health care, endless wars, more crumbling infrastructure, and a continuation of the end of compassion and moral decency.

    I never believed in the idea of ending federalism before, but I am starting to think it should be seriously curtailed so states like NY and CA can become for European style progressive democracies and so they don't have to keep propping up states like Alabama or North Carolina. I've noticed all of the better countries in the world are smaller, and I sort of think that larger countries like the US, Russia, China and India are just too big to administrate effectively without being a dictatorship like China. Canada and Australia are physically large, but in part their lower population seems to make it easier for their Governments to serve their people effectively.

    So I certainly think the trend in states like NY and CA towards more progressive ideas like Universal Health Care and free college are a good start, and I think the various regions of the country maybe should be ran more autonomously.
  21. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 7

    Oct 29, 2005
    Ending the electoral college. Even Trump should be behind that, considering he thinks it's biased towards Democrats.

    Runoff elections for less than 50% of the vote (probably by the 'second choice' method).

    Increase power of metroplexes. In the short term, start merging county and city governments for major cities (as has been done for cities such as Los Angeles and Jacksonville, for instance).

    Nonpartisan redistricting.

    Increase scientific research funding across the board - especially in the fields of energy and medicine.
  22. yankee8255

    yankee8255 Force Ghost star 6

    May 31, 2005
    Here's a novel idea: everyone who is eligible to vote, get off your lazy asses and do so. Trump would have lost in a landslide if this had been the case.
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  23. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

    Apr 17, 2006
    Kill everyone I disagree with. Move the House of Bonaparte to the US and create a Napoleonic Empire (I'll have Jello work out whatever weird aristocratic rules need to be followed). Ban Colin Trevorrow from directing Episode 9 and make Jabba-wocky in charge of the MCU.

    Oh, sorry, this is a senate thread.

    What Even said.
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  24. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 10

    May 4, 2003
    Affirmation voting is a mathematically more sound model than automatic run-offs. Every citizen gets an unlimited number of votes, of which each candidate can receive a maximum of one. People vote for as many people as they find acceptable for the office in question.
  25. Emperor_Billy_Bob

    Emperor_Billy_Bob Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Aug 9, 2000
    Give the South to the African Americans, the West to the Indians, and the Northeast to the Gamers. It is the only way.