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USA 2021 - Quo vadis?


old man emu
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If there is one thing that the 2020 Presidential Election has illuminated is that the present Electoral College method of electing a President and Vice-President could do with an investigation which might result in an amendment to the Constitution.

 

Four candidates in history have won the popular vote only to be denied the presidency by the Electoral College.  It was clear that, although the popular vote went to one Presidential Ticket, the opinions signified by that vote did not necessarily result in the opinion being carried. The use of the Electoral College system skewed things around. Voters on both sides of the fence are not happy with being skewed. It is only by eliminating the Electoral College system that a "first-past-the-post" system could be introduced to truly reflect the wishes of the voters.

 

Can it be done?

The 12th Amendment to the Constitution  — which was passed by Congress on December 9, 1803, and ratified on June 15, 1804 — changed the presidential election process as laid out initially in the Constitution and fixed several problems that came up because of the development of political parties and how that affected the electoral college. The Electoral College was devised at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. It was a compromise between those who wanted direct popular elections for president and those who preferred to have Congress decide. It would take a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College — an unlikely move because of how difficult it is to pass and ratify constitutional changes.

 

The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention. A proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution as soon as it is ratified by three-fourths of the States (38 of 50 States).

 

As with all  amendments to a country's constitution, the problem the relatively powerless citizens have is to bend the empowered politicians to the will of the people. We all know that once seated in the ship of government, politicians don't like to rock the boat. Biden is is a good position to do something about  at least investigating such an amendment. He has two sides of politics that are fired up about elections. He should be able to convince them to engage in a bipartisan investigation to come up with some recommendations based on the Will of the People. 

 

It is interesting to note that first-past-the-post results are not ignored by the Constitution. The 17th Amendment, which deals with the election of Senators, introduced that means of electing Senators.

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8 minutes ago, Yenn said:

Do you really think that Biden has any chance in getting bi-partisan approval of anything? I reckon if he proposed Trump as president, the republicans would be against it.

Obama tried mightily to do deals with the Republicans when they gridlocked his agenda. In the end they admitted they had no intention of ever cooperating, even if it meant government paralysis.

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The entire political process would be greatly enhanced, in both America and Australia, if political parties were dismantled and banned, and politicians observed the primary aim of electing them - to truly represent the will of their electors.

 

Political parties are an aberration, a corruption of political process, because they take power away from individual electors, and hand it to faceless "power brokers" inside the political parties.

 

The elected politicians who belong to Parties must observe party rulings and voting alignments, or risk being removed from the Party.

 

The simple problem is, these rules and voting alignments only correspond with the aim of enhancing the Party position, and not the aim of improving the Nation, or its people, on a fair and equitable basis.

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There are many things that the President can do by other means such as executive order.   Trump has issued 193 executive orders  Clinton 354, GW Bush 291.  Obama 276.    Biden and McConnell are reputedly friendly with each other and have done deals before when Biden was VP  although bargaining will be difficult. It is not great for Biden but not hopeless either.

 

The senate still has to undergo 2 run off elections so it will be interesting to see what happens there.

 

Biden can also reverse Trumps executive orders he can also reverse federal regulations

 

Biden plans immediate flurry of executive orders to reverse Trump policies.

 

 

It has been and remains a suspenseful time but I am ok with it my blood pressure is fine (for a truck tyre) 

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I think a bipartisan committee to examine doing away with the Electoral College would work together. After all, it makes for a level playing field. A candidate would have to appeal to citizens in every State for their vote, not just concentrate on the "battleground States". The vote would still be along party lines, as it is here, but the vote of a Blue in a Red leaning State would go into the national total for the Blues as would the vote of a Red in a Blue State go into the national total for the Reds. A President can't change the Constitution on a whim. There is a complex procedure that has worked ever since the first draft of their Constitution. 

 

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18 hours ago, onetrack said:

...Political parties are an aberration, a corruption of political process, because they take power away from individual electors, and hand it to faceless "power brokers" ...

Spot on, OT! Thankfully Australian electors have often returned independents who gain the balance of power and use it wisely. 

Windsor, Oakeshott, Katter, Wilkie, Lambie...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_politicians_in_Australia

10 hours ago, old man emu said:

I think a bipartisan committee to examine doing away with the Electoral College would work together. After all, it makes for a level playing field...

Good luck with that, OME. A level playing field is the last thing the conservatives want!

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I sure agree that independents are the best. Alas, there are so many safe seats where nothing is going to change the way voters act.

There was a group in the western suburbs of Adelaide which took on the ( labor) govt over the sale of an old racecourse for housing. The group wanted the space kept open, and they had a good case because there is very little open space in those suburbs.

Well they stood a candidate in the next election, and I really thought there was a chance for him. He was "independent labor" otherwise. Alas, he got very little of the vote.

 

One thing that this did for me was to demonstrate how alike the 2 main parties have become, and how  independents may well be the best choice. I wonder if we will see working people desert the labor party as they deserted the democrats in some parts of the US.

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2 hours ago, Old Koreelah said:

The Upper House was designed to protect the rights of the States;

Which, as someone pointed out, makes it wrong for a Senator to hold a Ministerial post. It is supposed to be a House of Review, checking that any Bills passed by the House of Representatives comply with the conditions imposed by the Constitution. The Senate can also make suggested amendments to a Bill in order to have it comply. They can also make suggestions to make it work better - removing unintended consequences.

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