Alternative Structures

Discussions that don't belong elsewhere in the forum, but hopefully are still somewhat relevant to TTO.
Forum rules
As elsewhere in the TTO forum, no harangues, scurrilities, chicanery or mongering is permitted. However, repartees and irreverence is tolerated as long as they are not fatuous. Those who fail to abide by these rules may be subject to objurgation.  

Alternative Structures

Postby jrb16915 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:46 pm

I totally agree that the level of representation in the house is too small, by far. As an aside, one side effect of the arbitrary 435 number is that it makes the impact of the 2 Senate seats on the Electoral College proportionately very large. This is probably discussed elsewhere on the site, but thought I would mention it in case it wasn't. As both a small state and red state fan, I have to admit I kind of like that effect.

Left wingers, Right wingers and moderates alike all seem dissatisfied the current political environment. Lurching from one set of reps to another in the current system doesn't seem like its going to lead to much more satisfaction. It seems worth trying something different.

There is one practical difficulty with the thirty-thousand.org proposed structure. Even 435 representatives is a lot of cooks stirring the legislative pot, 10,000 would be pretty unwieldy. I suggest leaving the Senate as is, but dividing the duties of the house between two tiers. The first tier would be similar in size to the current house. That group would be strictly limited to drafting legislation and advocating for it but would have no votes. They would be located in Washington as they are now. The second group would be the larger group 6k to 10k depending on whether you want 30k citizens per rep or 50k citizens per rep. This number would grow with the population. This group would not be located at home and would strictly be limited to voting on legislation. Enlarging the population of voting reps undermines lobbyists and the big money needs. Staying home full time would allow much better citizen access. Separating the vote from the drafting, would nearly destroy the impact of big money lobbying. The tier 1 drafter/advocates will have no incentive to draft legislation that fails time after time. The really will have to address the need of the electors. To pay for the added electors, I would reduces the sizes of the drafting/advocate members in Washington's staff by 15-20 per member. The drafters would be able to rely on the elected reps at home for advice and feedback, and they would not need the staff they do now to wine and dine lobbyists. By having these members stay home, and only vote, voters in the election will simply be looking at there voting records, and not have to worry so much about "constituent" service and other issues.

In the event legislation is initiated in the Senate, the voting members would have a straight up or down approach on the Senate version before the drafters/advocates got involved in the process. Any drafting member of the house could initiate legislation.

I think this structure would have all of the benefits of the main proposal, but be more practical. The main drawback, is that it seems as though simple legislation could implement the thirty-thousand.org approach, while this proposal clearly needs a constitutional amendment.
jrb16915    
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:13 pm

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby sbozich » Tue May 10, 2011 11:23 am

I don't dislike your idea. It is apparent that the country has swelled to the point of being ungovernable, as evidenced by the persistent gridlock in Washington. It seems that the only time something does get done is when tectonic political plates shift rapidly, and the result is often as destructive as the natural version. Textbook examples would be the passage of the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act of 2010, and the lack of "Comprehensive" Immigration Reform (that actually maintains the borders of the country).

I am happy to see a site like this exists, and furthermore that intelligent, thoughtful posts seem to be commonplace. I would like to take this opportunity to ask that we consider another possibility:

The main thrust of this site seems to be to improve representation through the denominator effect; that is, increasing the number of representatives per voter. Should we also consider the possibility of improving representation through the numerator effect, or reducing the number of citizens eligible to vote. Our War of Independence was fought and won with (among others) the slogan "No taxation without representation", yet today we see an explosion of representation without taxation. From a purely theoretical standpoint, surely we can agree that a society that allows 51% to vote for themselves the wealth of the other 49% is little more than a tyranny.

Thus, I would like to take this opportunity to open the door for discussion regarding limiting the right of citizens to vote. I would begin the conversation by asking if there is some basic principle upon which we could all agree? Should someone who pays no income tax be empowered to vote? What of those recieving government transfer payments like SSI or even the EIC? I know it is a sensitive subject, but that makes approaching it in an intelligent and mature manner ever more important. I am confident this forum is an appropriate environment for such a discussion.
sbozich    
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 11:08 am
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby JEQuidam » Fri May 13, 2011 6:35 pm

I moved this discussion to the "Whatever..." category (because it had nothing to do with "One Person, One Vote").
User avatar
JEQuidam    
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:45 pm
Location: Dunwoody, Georgia
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby JEQuidam » Fri May 13, 2011 6:49 pm

Stephen, for the record, TTO would never expand its mission to include the concept of disqualifying citizens from voting. However, I have no objection to the concept being debated in this forum. Since you asked about it, I’ll add my 2¢.

We already disqualify citizens to some extent in that felons are prohibited from voting, but that is an unambiguous delineation to make. There are probably disqualifying circumstances on which most people would agree. For example, a few weeks ago I saw a news story about a mentally handicapped man who was driven (with other patients) to the poll and told for whom to vote. This man’s parents reported the event. The poor man didn’t know for whom he voted, or why. However, there is no way I would ever want to police that. Who decides where we draw the line? (Maybe some states have laws regulating this, I don’t know).

In any case, what you propose would require a constitutional amendment. From a strictly pragmatic perspective, you would never achieve agreement on the language of that proposed amendment; there are far too many subjective standards. And people who know history realize what a terrifying slippery slope we could find ourselves on.

From my point of view, the instances of poorly qualified citizens voting is really just statistical noise that should be overwhelmed by a much larger number of better informed voters. Therefore, I prefer considering enabling solutions for the problem you raise, rather than disabling solutions. I would much rather improve the quality of the electorate through better education and by having better information available to the voter. And it would help if we had an unbiased media that doesn't selectively distort the candidates' information on a partisan basis.

It is my firm belief that with smaller congressional districts, such as 50,000, the quality of the electorate would improve significantly. I believe this for many reasons, one of which is that a Rep in such a district would have every reason to better enlighten and involve his/her constituency. If the Rep isn't doing that, then his/her challenger will. Moreover, in smaller districts many more citizens will get involved. I have no doubt that many intelligent and thoughtful citizens currently abstain from the voting process because, in their oversized electoral district, they realize that their vote really won't make a difference. I discuss these points in “Taking Back Our Republic” and so won’t belabor them here.

Also, in much smaller districts, the role of the media becomes far less significant. This is important! In smaller electoral districts, the emphasis is on the candidate reaching out to the community, in person. This is a real game changer. Slick (and expensive) media campaigns will be replaced by very personal townhall meetings. When that happens, I have great faith that the electorate will almost always make the best decision.

Finally, I would be very happy if we could simply prevent non US citizens from voting in our elections.
User avatar
JEQuidam    
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:45 pm
Location: Dunwoody, Georgia
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby dogtired » Thu May 19, 2011 1:52 pm

Me and my friends have been kicking this subject around for years and we have come up with several ideas. I want to bring some of these up as food for thought and get other people's ideas and opinions. At this time I'm not set on any alternative solution but like most conservative people, I'm certainly open to entertain ideas and discussions.

One idea we came up with is to create a new voting rule for lower-house legislation. When each member votes, his vote is recorded on two different tally sheets. The measure must pass both sheets.

The first one is "one district, one vote" just like it's always been done.

The other tally records the number of people he represents, as he is essentially voting for them by proxy. Therefore, if a rep is representing a million prople, he gets a million votes, whereas, the guy representing a district of only 550,000 gets 550,000 votes. This would provide us the "one person, one vote".

In doing this, each measure or bill must pass by both district and population. Should a bill pass one tally but not the other, it fails.

While I do think there is some merit to this idea, it does not improve our accessibilty to be heard by the reps. And everyone needs the opportunity to be heard. Perhaps we might consider two tally voting regardless of whether we keep the magic number at 435 or expand the house because no matter what we do we can never have all districts with equal population.

I have other ideas but let's discuss them one at a time.
dogtired    
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:06 am
Stance: Anti-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby sbozich » Mon May 23, 2011 9:04 pm

I don't disagree that reducing the size of the congressional district would have the dynamic effect of improving the electorate. While that might lessen the noise caused by an uninformed electorate, what I fear is that the distortion caused by gerrymandering will offset any gains enjoyed by reducing the size of the congressional district.

Assuming such distortion, there needs to be a Constitutional amendment regardless: either we limit the state legislature's ability to gerrymander, or we limit the effect of gerrymandering by creating limitations on who can vote.

I understand the slippery slope argument. I do. But what of demanding that to vote, a citizen must at least demonstrate the ability to, say, master the material needed to obtain a high school diploma or GED? Indeed, my taxes pay for that high school degree, why can't I require that for someone to offset my vote, they must at least show a minimum level of competency?

I'm not arguing that TTO adopt the policy of the "denominator" effect. I'm just trying to expand the discussion. I feel that I am in good company here, and look forward to the views of others.
sbozich    
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 11:08 am
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby sbozich » Tue May 24, 2011 12:41 pm

dogtired wrote:
The first one is "one district, one vote" just like it's always been done.

The other tally records the number of people he represents, as he is essentially voting for them by proxy. Therefore, if a rep is representing a million prople, he gets a million votes, whereas, the guy representing a district of only 550,000 gets 550,000 votes. This would provide us the "one person, one vote".

In doing this, each measure or bill must pass by both district and population. Should a bill pass one tally but not the other, it fails.


But it doesn't actually reduce the ratio of voting citizens to representatives. If such a reduction took place, would this even be necessary? After all, the variance in representation per district would be, theoretically, much, much smaller. I like the idea, and think that if the idea of TTO were off the table, this would be an acceptable alternative, but I also would like to hear some of your other ideas. Of course, I could be totally wrong in my understanding of what you're suggesting, so I also look forward to hearing if I'm wrong!
sbozich    
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 11:08 am
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby dogtired » Wed May 25, 2011 1:47 pm

sbozich,

I'm not saying I support the idea I presented above. I'm just kicking the tires and wanted to hear what others (you) thought. I do think we should at least think about this regardless of what we do concerning district sizes. True, the idea of "one vote, but on two tallies" isn't new nor would it restore proper representation aka our accessibilty to our reps so that we can be heard.

But since it is virtually impossible to create equal-sized districts, this method would give those with the larger districts more vote on the popular tally than those with smaller districts. But on the other hand, the other tally gives each district gets an equal vote so therefore, the smaller districts are never rendered as insignificant.

For example, take our presidential election. Currently we use the electoral college (districts) and the bigger states get an unfair advantage over the smaller states because the winner is not required to carry 26 or more states. He just needs the majority of electoral votes to win. If he can carry the top 11 most populated states, then he wins. The other 39 states wouldn't matter at all. How would you feel if you were living in Wyoming knowing your vote never matters? But it would always count if the candidate had to carry BOTH the popular vote AND the majority of states.
dogtired    
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:06 am
Stance: Anti-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby JEQuidam » Wed May 25, 2011 4:36 pm

dogtired wrote:But since it is virtually impossible to create equal-sized districts...
Paul, as it turns out, if we increase the number of congressional districts so that there is one for every 50,000 people, the difference in size between the smallest one and the largest ones becomes almost insignificant!

I know this because I've done the math. (I have a model that develops the apportionment solution for every House size between 200 and 10,000 for every possible apportionment method.)
User avatar
JEQuidam    
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:45 pm
Location: Dunwoody, Georgia
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby sbozich » Thu May 26, 2011 9:17 am

dogtired wrote:

For example, take our presidential election. Currently we use the electoral college (districts) and the bigger states get an unfair advantage over the smaller states because the winner is not required to carry 26 or more states. He just needs the majority of electoral votes to win. If he can carry the top 11 most populated states, then he wins. The other 39 states wouldn't matter at all. How would you feel if you were living in Wyoming knowing your vote never matters? But it would always count if the candidate had to carry BOTH the popular vote AND the majority of states.


BTW, you can just call me Steve.

First, when was the last time a candidate won all of the 11 most populous states? Reagan? So while it is certainly possible that winning those 11 states confers the Presidency to a candidate that is less popular among the 39 other states, going to a popular vote won't change that at all. I am a proponent of adopting the Maine/Montana model for ALL states.

JEQ has argued in the past that the means by which a particular state chooses its electors ought to be up to it, but I would argue that since it is the only Federal office for which all states vote, the mechanisms by which the vote is tallied is rightfully in the hands of the Feds. To clarify, Maine and Montana use a winner-take-all method at the congressional district level for each representative electoral vote, and a winner-take-all at the state level for the two remaining senate electoral votes. I believe, in conjunction with the goal of TTO, and some slight additions to prevent rampant gerrymandering and other electoral shenanigans, this would go a long way towards restoring political power to the people, where it belongs.

It would also have the intended consequence of making third (or fourth, or fifth) parties more viable, insofar as they would be able to compete for a handful of electoral vote in a handful of districts. Given sufficient safe-guards to prevent a constitutional crisis (a la Florida, 2000) these alternative parties could find themselves in the position of king-maker, which would boost their party's prestige, and work to diversify the duopoly we have come to know and hate today. Will it be a bumpy road from time to time? Absolutely! But I'd rather the ruts of a constitutional republic, than smooth asphalt of tyranny!

Many people today believe that the course we are on now is unsustainable (myself included), and caterwaul about the supposed aftermath (myself not necessarily included). While I am not necessarily optimistic about quite a number of things, I am also a student of both history and physics; thus I know that history has a tendency to repeat itself, and for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I, therefore, do hold out hope that the damage being done to this country today will have to reverse itself, and that the means by which it does so will be just as dramatic as the manner in which said damage was accomplished. Indeed, our Constitutional amendments are not distributed equally throughout our 230-some years, but rather tend to be Poissonian, and come in fits. There will come a time, sooner rather than later, when the mood of the country will be ripe for reformation, and those whose voices will be the loudest among the din will be those who have invested the time today on crafting their thoughts into words.
sbozich    
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 11:08 am
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby sbozich » Thu May 26, 2011 10:51 am

jrb16915 wrote:
There is one practical difficulty with the thirty-thousand.org proposed structure. Even 435 representatives is a lot of cooks stirring the legislative pot, 10,000 would be pretty unwieldy. I suggest leaving the Senate as is, but dividing the duties of the house between two tiers. The first tier would be similar in size to the current house. That group would be strictly limited to drafting legislation and advocating for it but would have no votes. They would be located in Washington as they are now. The second group would be the larger group 6k to 10k depending on whether you want 30k citizens per rep or 50k citizens per rep. This number would grow with the population. This group would not be located at home and would strictly be limited to voting on legislation.


The more I think about it, the more I think I like it! I do believe there is more than "one practical difficulty", however. I really think that one of the main hurdles in making this a viable debate in the public square is that people will initially be apprehensive about the sheer size, and the logistical problems entailed. By keeping the majority at home, within their district, and bifurcating the responsibilities of the House, I think you kill multiple birds with a single stone. You lessen collusion and corruption, you make representatives more accessible, and solve the problem of where to put 6,000 bodies.

But let's consider some of the other obstacles, voting among them. I think you could essentially keep things exactly the way they are. Present day Congressional districts would remain untouched, but within them multiple new congressional districts would arise. So 600K+ of us would vote for one to go to D.C., and among those 600K or so, would be 20 "new" Congressional districts that would vote for our "stay-at-home" representative. The only major logistical challenge would be ensuring that people from the right district vote in the right election, but that already exists. It would be marginally more difficult, but the cost in relation to the benefit would be immaterial.

I'd also like to challenge this forum to consider some of the unintended consequences: Can state congressmen hold the federal position as well? Is this something that would be favorable, or would it create conflicts of interest? Would all congressmen continue to operate on a 2-year cycle? What kind of compensation would the "stay-at-home" (heretofore referred to at S@H) congressmen receive? Should term limits be put in place for either the D.C. or S@H rep's? Just some food for thought, I look forward to your feedback!
sbozich    
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 11:08 am
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby dogtired » Thu May 26, 2011 11:18 am

First, allow me to let you know more about me so you know where I'm coming from.

1) I am pro-TTO. I do not believe we have the proper representation as our framers had intended.

2) I do believe in the one man = one vote.

3) I've never been a fan of the electoral college. Unlike everything else, this was one idea our founders came up with all on their own with no previous models to study. I do not believe they completely thought this idea through. Thus Amendment 12, and yet still more problems.

4) I'm a "like to kick the tires before I buy" type guy. I'm using this board to kick around ideas before committing to any one solution. Why this board? Because I think you guys are smarter than the average bear.

5) As a new member I wasn't sure where to post my thoughts off the main TTO subject. Then Jeff got a hold of me and suggested I just start new threads under Whatever. That I will do soon.

I'm almost sorry I used the presidential elections to illustrate the concept of the "one vote on two tallies" idea because it changed the focus, which was voting in the House.

Whether it would make any difference or not, the two tally voting system does make every citizen count regardless of who he is or where he lives. But it does not an will not improve our representation.

I'll see you guys later under WHATEVER.
dogtired    
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:06 am
Stance: Anti-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby Pseudolus » Thu May 26, 2011 11:29 am

sbozich wrote:
jrb16915 wrote:There is one practical difficulty with the thirty-thousand.org proposed structure. Even 435 representatives is a lot of cooks stirring the legislative pot, 10,000 would be pretty unwieldy. I suggest leaving the Senate as is, but dividing the duties of the house between two tiers. The first tier would be similar in size to the current house. That group would be strictly limited to drafting legislation and advocating for it but would have no votes. They would be located in Washington as they are now. The second group would be the larger group 6k to 10k depending on whether you want 30k citizens per rep or 50k citizens per rep. This number would grow with the population. This group would not be located at home and would strictly be limited to voting on legislation.


The more I think about it, the more I think I like it! I do believe there is more than "one practical difficulty", however. I really think that one of the main hurdles in making this a viable debate in the public square is that people will initially be apprehensive about the sheer size, and the logistical problems entailed. By keeping the majority at home, within their district, and bifurcating the responsibilities of the House, I think you kill multiple birds with a single stone. You lessen collusion and corruption, you make representatives more accessible, and solve the problem of where to put 6,000 bodies.

But let's consider some of the other obstacles, voting among them. I think you could essentially keep things exactly the way they are. Present day Congressional districts would remain untouched, but within them multiple new congressional districts would arise. So 600K+ of us would vote for one to go to D.C., and among those 600K or so, would be 20 "new" Congressional districts that would vote for our "stay-at-home" representative. The only major logistical challenge would be ensuring that people from the right district vote in the right election, but that already exists. It would be marginally more difficult, but the cost in relation to the benefit would be immaterial.

I'd also like to challenge this forum to consider some of the unintended consequences: Can state congressmen hold the federal position as well? Is this something that would be favorable, or would it create conflicts of interest? Would all congressmen continue to operate on a 2-year cycle? What kind of compensation would the "stay-at-home" (heretofore referred to at S@H) congressmen receive? Should term limits be put in place for either the D.C. or S@H rep's? Just some food for thought, I look forward to your feedback!

There are countless ways to solve the problems of robust debate in an enlarged House. In other threads we've discussed other alternative solutions, such as local home presence and internet voting/debate, regional branches of the House who debate then select specific representatives to represent their unique sides at the national branch while the others communicate and watch from their various localities using the web, which would allow Congressman to specialize in various fields of policy, etc.

The benefits in these methods become overly numerous because it also serves to make the country more secure since a terrorist attack or break down in national communication wouldn't fully break down the federal government because the regional offices could take temporary control and/or serve as relocation outlets.

Take a few moments to check out some of the other threads, because I know there are lots of ideas on them. The main point is, how to handle robust debate in an enlarged House is a solvable challenge that can and will be discussed by an even larger group than the few of us once we expose the need for such an enlarged House.
Pseudolus    
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:34 am
Location: New York, NY and New Orleans, LA
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby sbozich » Thu May 26, 2011 12:00 pm

I am wary of leaning too hard on technology, as I am on the concept of one man, one vote.

Technology is wonderful, but classical representation is designed to quiet some of the noise, and quell some of the distortion that arises from direct democracy (or, as I like to call it, the tyranny of the 2%; assuming two opposed camps sitting at 49%).

The benefit of S@H representatives is that they could communicate with each other and us away from the raucous and rancor of D.C. But using real-time internet voting (assuming that is one of the things you were suggesting) relies too much on technology for my tastes. I am cursed with Time Warner Cable; what happens when I my internet connection drops unexpectedly? What if I despise TWC so much I choose to do away with my internet connection altogether (which I am more inclined to do every billing cycle)? I have more of a vision of a local leader that is accessible to the populace on a daily basis, on-line or IRL, that can directly gauge the mood of his or her electorate, and vote accordingly.

Furthermore, he or she, having been chosen as the representative of said populace, can, when *, go against the will of the people. In doing so, that particular representative will have the opportunity to make their case for their actions directly to the people, without having to negotiate the media echo chamber.

The pitfall of direct democracy is that it dispels the possibility of actual leadership. The big picture is often subordinated to the immediacy of the here and now. The purpose of the House, is to allow the people the benefits of both direct representation and visionary leadership (albeit limited to a two-year horizon based on the election cycle), while the Senate acts as the "saucer" that takes a longer, more sober view.

That is the genius of the Founders, but various events (to include the 17th, and the explosion of the ratio of constituents to representatives) has conspired to undo it. Now, the 17th is a different matter for a different thread, but I do think that creating a means for greater representation (although less than 1:1) balances all of the costs and benefits appropriately.

Which brings me back to the original question: how to accomplish it?
sbozich    
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 11:08 am
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby JEQuidam » Fri May 27, 2011 8:30 am

sbozich wrote:I am wary of leaning too hard on technology...
The Luddites have already lost this battle ;) Our representation is currently dependent upon technology, starting with the all the technology required to transport them from their home districts to Congress every week. Then there is the voting technology used within Congress, as well as the communication technology they use in their meetings, and to communicate with distant constituents, et cetera.

People who are familiar with the technology being used by the military to communicate and hold virtual meetings will tell you that it is extremely robust and reliable. That same technology could be used to enable Congressional votes even if the members are residing in their home districts. This ain't Comcast or Time Warner.

We do not need to virtually enable full house deliberations of the House of Representatives as they don't do that even now, even though they are all in D.C. Any citizen who has visited the House while they are supposedly in session has been disappointed by lesson: There is sparse attendance. Congressman are hustled in by their aids for key floor votes, then they return back to their usual activities. All the productive work is done in committees, a practice that will continue in a 6,000-member House. I would expect that the 5% to 10% of Reps who are then on committees may continue to travel for committee meetings, but the rest can read proposed legislation back in their home districts while answering questions from their constituents.

I am certain that the benefits of having the Reps living among their constituents outweigh any technical issues that may arise. And, as I point out on TTO's home page, decentralizing the House drastically reduces the decapitation risk (the intended objective of the last two commandeered commercial flights on 9/11/2001).
User avatar
JEQuidam    
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:45 pm
Location: Dunwoody, Georgia
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby Pseudolus » Fri May 27, 2011 8:40 am

JEQuidam wrote:
sbozich wrote:I am wary of leaning too hard on technology...
The Luddites have already lost this battle ;) Our representation is currently dependent upon technology, starting with the all the technology required to transport them from their home districts to Congress every week. Then there is the voting technology used within Congress, as well as the communication technology they use in their meetings, and to communicate with distant constituents, et cetera.
Not to mention that President Obama just used technology to sign the Patriot Act into law yesterday while he was overseas in another country! It's a gadget called the "auto-pen" that mimics the handwriting of the user who is in a remote location even as far as the other side of the world--crazy!
Pseudolus    
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:34 am
Location: New York, NY and New Orleans, LA
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby JEQuidam » Fri May 27, 2011 4:04 pm

Pseudolus, that's interesting. If it is acceptable for the President to electronically sign legislation into law on foreign soil, then the people will certainly not object to their Representative voting on legislation in their home district.

Personally, I would not care if my Representative voted on legislation from the ninth green, as long as I know they have read and understood the bill. In a smaller district, we should be able to find our Representative in their office to explain both the legislation and their vote, thereby convincing us of their extensive knowledge of the matter. Otherwise, the Representative will find themselves in a very precarious position come the next election.
User avatar
JEQuidam    
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:45 pm
Location: Dunwoody, Georgia
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: Alternative Structures

Postby Pseudolus » Sat May 28, 2011 11:52 pm

JEQuidam wrote:Pseudolus, that's interesting. If it is acceptable for the President to electronically sign legislation into law on foreign soil, then the people will certainly not object to their Representative voting on legislation in their home district.

Personally, I would not care if my Representative voted on legislation from the ninth green, as long as I know they have read and understood the bill. In a smaller district, we should be able to find our Representative in their office to explain both the legislation and their vote, thereby convincing us of their extensive knowledge of the matter. Otherwise, the Representative will find themselves in a very precarious position come the next election.
I agree.

The autopen, I believe, was developed in the Bush administration; but Bush opted never to use it for fear the Supreme Court would declare the autopen-signed law invalid (so I suppose there's still a floating question about validity). To my knowledge, this is the first time the autopen has ever been used for federal law (and a controversial one at that); but I don't see much outcry so I doubt there will be a Supreme Court challenge, instead everyone seems to like and accept the new technology.
Pseudolus    
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:34 am
Location: New York, NY and New Orleans, LA
Stance: Pro-Enlargement


Return to Whatever...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron