Republic vs Democracy : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Starting again, the TOO BADD, and "them voters are blind" remarks heating up I see. Which of course have merit but is troubling for several reasons.

This nation here was founded by Rich White Male Protestant Slaveowners. The issue of a direct vote of the People is not directly addressed in the Constitution. It is inferred, but clearly indicates since they believed power rested in the individual(Rich White Male Protestant Slaveowners-ie WASPS), in the States, National "elections" were but a formality carrying out the will of said. This was the ultimate "good olde boys club". National issues basically amounted to defensive strategies and trade issues. Power however, and thus control they reserved for themselves on their own plantations, i.e. states.

The current Debate, the ONGOING debate which manifests itself in every issue in this land revolves around the fact this Country was founded as a Republic, but is assumed to be run by most as a Democracy, for good reasons, it largely is run as a Democracy on the surface.

The TOO BADD and "they are just stupid" crap has its roots in the same arrogance which founded this nation. The belief slaves but 3/5ths of a person, Women less than this, Indians, well you get the picture.

The vote in Florida, the vote in the nation is screwed up, ballots are different, elections follow many protocols etc because Elections directly by the People was NEVER addressed in the original documents. The "boys" had little use for any of this since they all "knew" ultimately any disputes would be dealt with down at the CountryClub, i.e. the House by the "members". Not much room for dispute anyhow when one understands what the "relationships" were, and for what reasons they had a national government, trade disputes and mutual defense.

Since those days, many things have happened. Times have changed. Along with it our government. Most citizens today believe America is a Democracy. Well it is largely but NOT fundamentally. The last few days CLEARLY shows the divide.

This is very dangerous territory. Many "Conservatives" believe the Constitution almost the word of God. Anyone wanting fundamental change(almost any change it seems) from said, is labeled Evil, or the more well known Liberal.

I don't have all the answers, but I also believe the founding documents have served us well and any talk of massive change is counterproductive. We are a Nation of Law. Mob rule is NOT attractive and will spell the end to Freedom and Liberty. Florida the last few days is Mob Rule.

I do however think these BASE issues need to be discussed openly. Too many times we devolve into discussions and the like having very little to do with the base issue which many times is Constitutional in nature. We see it clearly when one talks Guns, but beyond that most do not understand most issues are Constitutional in nature. We have the division because half see the country as a Republic with laws/dogma set in stone, the other a Democracy ruled by the will of the People. This IS the battle, this IS the what divides us. One should also understand there really is very few hardcore Constitutionl types. GW Bush is no Constitutionalist. Maybe much more of one than Al Gore, but the differences I believe are more in style than substance.

Ignoring this fundamental philosophical divide is destroying the Republic-Democracy. May not be apparent on the surface, but this issue is the cancer eating away every day, every year as it goes unaddressed.

It is obviously TOO LATE now to return to late 18th century rule. I do however strongly believe the issue of elections must be clearly addressed in the documents, it is not currently. Fine to give Women and 18year-olds the "right" to vote as it means little. Without anything before it clearly stating what this really means, this "right to vote". These Amendments I consider pandering.

Adding Amendments is no easy task, for good reason. When discussion involves one of fundamental power, they become even harder. TPTB are NOT going to jump at the idea of lessening their power. They like the ambiguity. I do however feel we need to clearly define what VOTING means, how it is to be carried out, and how exactly the will of said will be carried out. Some will agrue rightly so it already is. I beg to differ and hold-up the current mess as evidence.

Anyhow I throw this out as maybe to clarify my feelings on all this and maybe stimulate more discussion. I am NOT calling for tossing the founding documents, far from it. In fact I truely believe many of this nations' difficulties solvable by 2 items in ONE new Amendment. Ending the Electoral College system and honoring the Popular Vote. And two, writing real Campaign Finance Reform into the same Amendment. I also believe solutions involving mere tweaking of the EC to better reflect the will of the people, in each state also an option. The winner-take-all deal I feel is not serving us.

-- Doc Paulie (, November 10, 2000


The TOO BADD and "they are just stupid" crap has its roots in the same arrogance which founded this nation. The belief slaves but 3/5ths of a person, Women less than this, Indians, well you get the picture.

Yeah, I am getting the picture. You want Super Bowl interceptions to be played over, so that it is not TOO BADD, and so the "they are just stupid" team gets a fair chance. Give them back the ball and let them try again because the quarterback surely didn't want the other team to have the ball. He was confused by the defense, and it hardly seems fair.

And that "belief slaves but 3/5ths of a person". Do you have ANY idea why the Constitution says that?

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 10, 2000.

"I beg to differ and hold-up the current mess as evidence."

This has been around for two hundred years. Discussed in congress - Dole proposed legislation to change the EC. It didn't pass. Well this mess is a result of your whinning candidate (not the process), like the school yard sore loser. "Do over", he claims. He knew the rules going in and said he'd abide by the electoral count. Now he reneges.

-- Maria (, November 10, 2000.

Though I'm no big Bush fan I must agree with the last two. Geo has won the election by the present rules. Chicanery or not,Gore ought to concede,rather than plunge the country into more bitter devisiveness thru lawsuits. Nixon,in one of more statesmanlike moments, conceded to JFK in '60,even though there was ample evidence of fraud in Illinois.

Whether the Electoral College can or ought to be changed are separate issues at this point.

-- h (, November 10, 2000.

Even the clinically ignorant can see through the Clinton/Gore machine on this one. They will destroy our democracy and put us up for scorn to the rest of the world before they concede and say lets move on. They could care less about America for to them it is all about serving the interests of their pimp masters. Al Gore and his handlers should be hung for treason.

-- I (h@ve.spoken), November 10, 2000.

What freaking thread are you people responding to here? Where did I say anything about Al Gore's ability to admit defeat?

-- Doc Paulie (, November 10, 2000.

"The winner-take-all deal I feel is not serving us."

Where was this discussion before the election results? You seemed content at that time. Just because you disguise it around the Constitution doesn't hide the fact that you promote Gore's point of view. Like so many Y2K arguments, you take your position and mold the logic to fit it.

-- Get off (, November 10, 2000.


Can I buy you a beer?

-- L (, November 10, 2000.

Damn Doc, are you taking lessons from Flint? Heh.

The ships that brought slaves to America were owned by Jews. It's a matter of public record. Whenever you get a lot of people together, more than half will be assholes. For example, I try to educate fellow citizens like yourself about being duped by socialist beauracrats, and look at the dumb shit that I have to put with. It's a miracle that the founders of America could get the Constitution together at all, and not everyone was a slave owner.

The phrase "rich white slave owners" is the latest socialist invention to try to undermine the Constitution. It's becoming almost meme-like. I've had several idiots tell me that the Constitution is outdated, so, it seems to be working. BUT; (Note to Parasites: Not everyone is asleep. Your problem has always been that you overplay your hand.)

-- KoFE (your@town.USA), November 10, 2000.

everyone else:

I just figured out why Doc has his shorts in a bunch:

GOP ends 12 year losing streak in Nevada Senate race

John Ensign

"(CNN) -- Former Republican Rep. John Ensign's victory tonight over Democratic trial attorney Ed Bernstein gives the GOP its first Nevada Senate seat since 1988.... "

Explains alot, doesn't it?

-- L (, November 10, 2000.

small>dam damdam!

-- L (, November 10, 2000.

"And that "belief slaves but 3/5ths of a person". Do you have ANY idea why the Constitution says that?"


.....I do; the south wanted the slaves to count in the census as a whole person each in order to get greater representation in the house and senate... the north made them compromise to the 3/5ths level in order to sooth all involved... the irony is that the north has, ever since, declared that the south was racist due to the fact that they only "saw" blacks as 3/5ths of a person... what whores...

-- Patrick (, November 10, 2000.

You are correct sir. Give that man a cigar!

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 10, 2000.

Thanks, Unk...

.....Just don't borrow it from Clinton; I wouldn't want to have to think of "smoked fish"...

-- Patrick (, November 10, 2000.

Nah, I wouldn't ever give a guy a soggy smoke. Gimme a little time, I'll round you up a gen-u-ine Cohiba, just like Castro sucks on.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 10, 2000.

November 9, 2000

The Electoral College, Unfair From Day One


NEW HAVEN B As we await results from the Florida recount, two things should be clear. First, if George W. Bush, having apparently lost the popular vote, does indeed win at least 270 electoral votes when the Electoral College meets, he is the lawful winner, who played by the Constitution's rules and won.

Second, we must realize that the Electoral College is a hopelessly outdated system and that we must abolish it. Direct election would resonate far better with the American value of one person, one vote. Indeed, the college was designed at the founding of the country to help one group B white Southern males B and this year, it has apparently done just that.

In 1787, as the Constitution was being drafted in Philadelphia, James Wilson of Pennsylvania proposed direct election of the president. But James Madison of Virginia worried that such a system would hurt the South, which would have been outnumbered by the North in a direct election system. The creation of the Electoral College got around that: it was part of the deal that Southern states, in computing their share of electoral votes, could count slaves (albeit with a two- fifths discount), who of course were given none of the privileges of citizenship. Virginia emerged as the big winner, with more than a quarter of the electors needed to elect a president. A free state like Pennsylvania got fewer electoral votes even though it had approximately the same free population.

The Constitution's pro-Southern bias quickly became obvious. For 32 of the Constitution's first 36 years, a white slaveholding Virginian occupied the presidency. Thomas Jefferson, for example, won the election of 1800 against John Adams from Massachusetts in a race where the slavery skew of the Electoral College was the decisive margin of victory.

The system's gender bias was also obvious. In a direct presidential election, any state that chose to enfranchise its women would have automatically doubled its clout. Under the Electoral College, however, a state had no special incentive to expand suffrage B each got a fixed number of electoral votes, regardless of how many citizens were allowed to vote.

Now fast-forward to Election Night 2000. Al Gore appears to have received the most popular votes nationwide but may well lose the contest for electoral votes. Once again, the system has tilted toward white Southern males. Exit polls indicate that Mr. Bush won big among this group and that Mr. Gore won decisively among blacks and women.

The Electoral College began as an unfair system, and remains so. So why keep it?

Advocates of the system sloganeer about "federalism," meaning that presidential candidates are forced to take into account individual state interests and regional variations in their national campaigns.

But in the current system, candidates don't appeal so much to state interests (what are those, anyway?) as to demographic groups (elderly voters, soccer moms) within states. And direct popular elections would still encourage candidates to take into account regional differences, like those between voters in the Midwest and the East. After all, one cannot win a national majority without getting lots of votes in lots of places.

Direct election could give state governments some incentives to increase voter turnout, because the more voters a state turned out, the bigger its role in national elections and the bigger its overall share in the national tally. Presidential candidates would begin to pay more attention to the needs of individual states that had higher turnouts.

The nation's founders sought to harness governmental competition and rivalry in healthy ways, using checks and balances within the federal government and preserving roles for state governments. Direct presidential elections would be true to their best concepts B democracy and healthy competition B rather than to their worst compromises.

Akhil Reed Amar, a law professor at Yale, is author of "The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction."

Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company

-- Doc Paulie (, November 13, 2000.

For you EC-phobes: OK, let's say the President is elected by the popualar vote. What happens if the popular vote nationally is as close and as confused as the popular vote in Florida is now? A national recount by hand? What is the accuracy of the national popular vote? Five percent? What do you do about any candidate who wins by a lesser margin?

There are many other arguments for an EC, not the least of which is protection of minorities, but I just ask the question above. I don't think it is an impossible scenario at all.

-- lars (, November 13, 2000.


Real quick...need standardized ballots. I would side for this new improved EC Amendment to deal ONLY with the Presidential race. There would still be state elections etc, these however would not include the Presidential question on their ballots. States would retain their control of their election and governance processes.

I would side with mail only Presidential elections. Having a postmarked by date. Received back at the Federal Elections Department in DC(NOT the private VSN operated by the Networks for tabulation)for the actual count, multiple times(at least 3). This process would be an OPEN process viewable by anyone. Any computer source codes used in the process would be also available for review. When complete, the results would be released to the public all at once. Say a week after the final date to mail-in your ballot at noon EST etc.

A mere rough draft of where I think this Presidential vote needs to go.

We have to get this thing OUT of the special interest's hands. This includes the regional crap going on in Florida which is holding the rest of us voters and the country hostage to their laws and incompetence. Taking out the Voters News Service and the TV Networks is also critical to returning the power back where it belongs.

What would happen with this type of Popular vote contest? Well for one we would get candidates who LISTEN. No longer would we get the extremists we get. The GW's who appeal to "Biblethumper 1950's overtaxed and tired of its". Or the equally ridiculous Gore "Welfare treehunging tattooed sloughs and Unionites looking for a handouts". We would get candidates who appeal to the rest of us, the Americans, the majority. Expect close races as the norm. Which BTW, they are now but many times the EC makes it look as if the winner has won by some landslide.

I believe in the people. I believe in the FreeMarket, in all areas including the strength of concensus, ideas. I believe it is a crime we have a significant number of Americans casting votes of rejection. Folks who have chosen(voted)to not play the game of chosing between the lesser of two evils.

A standardized mail ballot is easy, efficient, and secure. Resulting in what I believe would be a return of Statesman.

If you like the system now, why all the bitching around here? Is this healthy for our country?

-- Doc Paulie (, November 14, 2000.

This bitching is healthy for the country. "We have to get this thing OUT of the special interest's hands" That's exactly why we have the EC. Each state has a say, not just the heavily populated areas.

Doc, it looks like the orchestra is warming up. The fat lady is coming onto the stage.

-- Maria (, November 14, 2000.

Maria, you say that the EC is good because each state has a say, versus the heavily populated areas having MORE of a say.

Well, why should a state with a million people have as much of a say as a state with 20 million people? How is that fair? I have to laugh at the irony of a Republican wanting to "level the playing field" in any way because when a Democrat wants to do something similar, it's "welfare" and "preferential treatment".

The very nature of the EC as it stands today pretty much negates "the will of the people" (though there are times when it does coincide). And it is self-serving to both Republicans and Democrats to keep it this way.

But which do you want -- the will of the people or the will of the politicians?

-- Patricia (, November 14, 2000.


I completely agree that an improved voting method is necessary. How do get there from here, I haven't a clue? Voting by mail I like; I do it myself but I assume it's read by an optical machine ("use a #2 pencil to mark your ballot") so maybe there is the equivelent of chads or other innaccuracies/frauds in this method also.

Wouldn't it take a Constitutional Convention to change the EC? Talk about opening a can of worms.

-- Lars (, November 14, 2000.

We are the UNITED STATES, a union of independent soveriegns. The congress is set up to represent their people. Senate represents equal say to all states, House represents the "popular" vote. The number in the EC is exactly the number in congress, the will of the people and the will of the state, both being important. Now maybe we should have the EC vote differently but I don't think we should throw out the EC.

We most definitely need to change our system to measure "the will of the people".

BTW, Pat, where were you discussing this issue when you thought that your boy would win the EC but not the popular vote? Just curious.

-- Maria (, November 14, 2000.

Lars, perhaps it would be a "can of worms", but maybe that's just what we need. The general ideas set forth in the Constitution don't change from when the document was written. But the interpretation has changed, because the world has changed and the nation has changed and will continue to change as the world changes some more.


Maybe it's just what we need.

-- Patricia (, November 14, 2000.

Maria, I'd love to see a citation where I said that "[my] boy would win the EC but not the popular vote". Funny, I seem to remember purposely posting no predictions, because frankly, I wasn't sure who was going to win.

Turns out I was right :-)

-- Patricia (, November 14, 2000.

I wonder if Maria will unearth Patricia's "prediction." Maria just makes things up to suit her own failed predictions. She's a raging absolutist bent on distorting reality to fit her narrow perception of the world. Anyone can momentarily fall into her plastic, made-in- China mouse trap of a mind. Thankfully, if you have the misfortune of stumbling into Maria's mouse trap, it's easy to extricate yourself using second-grade logic.

-- More distortions from Maria (, November 14, 2000.


Is it true? Are you a "raging absolutist"? Me too; I love good vodka.

-- Lars (, November 14, 2000.

Yes, it's true, Hawk knows me all too well! I can't deny my true feelings, raging as they are.

Well Lars, let's go toast the new democracy (or lack thereof)! :)

Pat, you're right you made no predictions. You did seem pretty quite on some of those threads.

-- Maria (, November 14, 2000.

We are the UNITED STATES, a union of independent soveriegns.

Maria dear, how long have you been snoozing? Must have been quite a nap. Oh sure, things were MEANT to be like that, but things, like the old song says, ain't what they used to be.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 14, 2000.

Unc, No kiddin'! My daughter in her gov law class is learning about the departments in the executive branch. I had a tough time naming all 14 (we really have that many!). Can you name them without looking them up on the internet? But this is the real kicker, when were they established?

-- Maria (, November 15, 2000.

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