Is it truly "of the people, for the people, by the people"

This is a discussion on Is it truly "of the people, for the people, by the people" within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Thank you guys for sahring the info i did not know.. I think the problem of one man one vote ...

  1. #16
    Its not rocket science vasanth's Avatar
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    Thank you guys for sahring the info i did not know.. I think the problem of one man one vote is there even in our system (which is british..)



    consider 3 states 1 and 2 and 3 with the following population



    Population vote for party A vote for party B

    1 10000 9000 1000

    2 1000 100 900

    3 1000 100 900


    Now the party B in the country can form the government since it has more or 2/3 of the MP's. but dont you think overall in the nation more people prefered party A to be in power...

  2. #17
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    The state legislatures are elected by the people, they are not appointed. As for America, it has two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    The House of Representatives has 435 members, which are proportioned to the states by population. The Senate has 100 members, two to each state. One state must have at least 3 representatives; one rep & the two senators no matter the size/population of the state.

    The Electoral College is based on this number, 535 members. Since California has 54 members, whoever wins the popular vote in that state wins the state in the electoral college. The person with 270 votes wins the presidency. #BEEP#, you are correct, candidates will want to win larger populated states for the reason of winning electoral votes; however, the one vote one value still resides, just taking into account the whole nation. Yes, larger populated states have more reps, but they have more population. The rep to population ratio is the same no matter what state you live in. I believe it is around 1 rep to 640k people, this is an estimate though.

    Congress is elected by the people, as is the president; unlike how the PM is chosen in Britain, like previously mentioned. Also, the Cabinet equivalent in Britain is chosen by the PM, and is usually from Parliament. This is different from America, because most members of the Cabinet are not from Congress, and cannot serve the two positions. If he/she is pulled from Congress, which is rare, his/her position in Congress must be replaced.
    vasanth, the American system is not really centralized. The President does not have much power over Congress(the legislative branch). The legislative branch is split up into numerous committees, the power committees being; for the House of Representatives: Rules Committee, Appropriations, and Ways and Means; The Senate: Appropriations, Finance, and Foreign Affairs. This committee system is seen mostly in the process of Bill to law. Which brings me to minesweeper's idea of federal laws only being about organized crime, etc. Partially true, but it is national concerns as you stated. However, anything can be decided at federal and/or state level. Crime and punishment laws can be decided by federal, however, states can decided to strengthen that law or not. For example, some of the Bill of Rights apply to crime and punishment, such as the eighth amendment, dealing with unusual punishment and unreasonable bail.

    The whole system deals with checks and balances, and separation of powers. This gives, from the looks of whom has the most power, that the legislative branch is the most powerful branch. However, they are not powerful enough. The president and the judicial branch have checks on the legislative branch as well, however, not as much. Congress has quite a bit of power over the president, i.e. can override vetoes, etc.

    The system in Britain contains the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which is similar to America's system by it being a bicameral legislature. Similarities occur in voting for reps, but then differences occur in voting for the PM/President.

    The president does not have that much power over war. Afterall, it is Congress's power to declare war. Yes the president can send troops over, but if Congress does not approve, then the troops must return after 90 days. Also, if the president does not inform congress before he sends troops over, then he must notify congress that he sent troops within 48hours of sending them.

    I think I may have already touched upon the decentralization of congress, which means a decentralization of government. As vasanth said, power is too centralized and too much power in the hands of one person, which is not the case. Yes arguments can be made either way, but I believe that it is decetralized because congress has the committee structure. If a congressmen wants something done, a position in a power committee is beneficial. Also, a rep would want to be in a committee that represents their district(rep)/state(senator).

    Since bills that the president wants are passed by Congress, this means that he does need to be nice to congress. Difficult bills are going to be difficult, i.e. bills that are going to be controversial. Pork-barreling projects and casework is not very controversial for congressmen, but legislation can be. Enemies can be made from the representative state. Even with the way it is set up now, Republican president, Republican majority legislative branch, does not guarantee easy passing of bills. There are quite a few liberal republicans, as well as conservative democrats, and then the moderates. I believe it will still be difficult to pass legislation. But, we'll just have to see.

    The president's position is secure, however, he can still be removed from office if Congress chooses to do so. If the president does something for reason of impeachement and possible removal of office, i.e. Clinton scandal, Watergate, etc.; then the House of Reps originates the impeachment and the Senate tries the case.

    congress is said to be slow, and it can be. It is efficient to some degree though. A senate filibuster can lead to a long process, and the bill does not have to be passed. The process of bill to law is long and must pass through several committees.
    The Process:
    The idea comes from the President's State of the Union. Then the bill is placed in proper legislative form. It is then placed in the House of Rep "hopper". It is introduced in the House, where the Speaker of the House refers it to a committee. This committee, in the House of Reps, listens to public hearings, and then reported out. If it is reported out favorably, then it is debated and voted on. If it passes this vote, it is then sent to the Senate and introduced. The bill is sent to a similar committee in the Senate to that of the House. At this point, this committee can add "riders" to the bill, which are amendments, and most of the time do not relate to the bill. It is then debated and voted on, and if passes this state, goes to a conference committee, where the House and Senate can agree on the bill if amended. The House and Senate approve the compromise bill, and then it is given to the president. The president can now sign the bill into law, veto the bill, pocket veto the bill, or leave the bill while Congress is still in session. If the bill is left or signed, it becomes law. If it is vetoed, Congress can override the veto and then the bill can become law. Once the bill becomes law, the Secretary of State places the "Great Seal of the United States" on the bill.
    This can be very inefficient, but at the same time can be efficient.

    This post has become kindof long, and I can't remember much else to say right now. If I think of anything else, or forgot to say something, I'll post again.

  3. #18
    Funniest man in this seat minesweeper's Avatar
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    Thanks alpha for the information and the corrections. Just a couple of things.

    I was once told that the American Marine Corp is kind of like The President's own Army. They are completely at his disposal and answerable only to him. Is there any truth in that?

    It can also be quite hard for The Cabinet to get a law passed due to the House of Lords. Getting it through Parliament can be easy if, like the Labour Party, they have a huge majority of the seats in Parliament. The House of Lords however can veto laws at their discretion. The classic case is Fox-Hunting. Many of the Lords are still the hereditary peers as hereditary peership was only abolished recently. These Lords are the old landed gentry and many participate in or hold fox-hunts on their land. The government wants fox-hunts banned but as soon as it gets to the House of Lords, it gets vetoed.

    I am not 100% sure on the power of the PM over the armed forces. I know The Queen is in charge of them but this is really insignificant. As we all know, British troops have been sent to The Gulf. However, the issue of war with Iraq has not yet been debated in The Commons. Judging by this I guess he must have ultimate power to do that. However he does also run the risk of alienating MP's and being voted out so I suppose that is our method of keeping tabs on his actions.

  4. #19
    Unregd
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    I actually think the really low-population states like North Dakota and Wyoming are overrepresented in presidential elections. Each state gets two senators and at least one representative no matter what their population is. Therefore, Wyoming gets three electoral votes, which gives Wyominglings relatively too much clout. The whole Electoral College should be gotten rid of so that the president and vice president can be elected directly by the nation.

    As far as the British Parliament goes, I always thought the House of Commons controled politics with the House of Lords playing a pretty much symbolic role now.

  5. #20
    Funniest man in this seat minesweeper's Avatar
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    >>As far as the British Parliament goes, I always thought the House of Commons controled politics with the House of Lords playing a pretty much symbolic role now.<<

    Nope. They still get to veto anything the government wants to push through. Things have changed so that you can't obtain peership through inheritance. This gives the government greater power to determine who sits in The House of Lords. But if the role of The House of Lords was removed and the party in power had a huge majority, it would almost become a dictatorship.

  6. #21
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    I know that it can be difficult to pass legislation in Britain. I think I may have misunderstood an earlier post regarding that it is easy to pass in the US, when it could be just as difficult.

    Thanks for the info.

    edit: forgot to answer your question. Yes, the president is Commander in Chief, in which he has the ultimate authority, over anyone else, even the Secretary of Defense, etc. to control the military. He can send them anywhere, and his orders surpass anyone elses.
    Last edited by alpha; 02-16-2003 at 01:15 PM.

  7. #22
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    >> In most representative democracies a deciding vote is worth the same no matter where you live. Ie. A deciding vote is worth the same whether it is in some small out of the way rural community or the inner city of the largest city. It is worth one seat.<<

    What if the area is vastly different ie inner city v's outback desert.

    Called a 'gerrymander' if done for gain. Happens here where a country electorate may be less than a 100 thousand people in an area the size of England.

    >> I was once told that the American Marine Corp is kind of like The President's own Army. They are completely at his disposal and answerable only to him. Is there any truth in that?<<

    AFAIK No.
    The president can commit the US armed forces for a maximum of 60 days without congress approval. See the 'War Powers Act'.

    Past presidents had used the state of emergency declared against Japan (in 1941 but not reversed until 2001) to by pass this as needed.
    "Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter."
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  8. #23
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    I did mention the idea that the president must notify congress if he is sending troops. i said in my above post that he has ultimate authority, in the case that they are already in war and the troops are there with congressional approval, the president's orders surpass anyone else's orders.

    What if the area is vastly different ie inner city v's outback desert.
    Called a 'gerrymander' if done for gain. Happens here where a country electorate may be less than a 100 thousand people in an area the size of England.
    gerrymandering - drawing the boundaries of political districts in bizarre or unusual shapes to make it easy for candidates of the party in power to win elections in those districts

    this deals with the (re)drawing of district lines. yes it is done for gain, but this does not change the fact that one vote equals one seat.

  9. #24
    ohr...
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    What if the area is vastly different ie inner city v's outback desert.
    Called a 'gerrymander' if done for gain. Happens here where a country electorate may be less than a 100 thousand people in an area the size of England.
    The seat of Kalgoorlie (the world's largest electorate) has roughly the same number of people and the same value as a seat in inner city Sydney. Changing of electoral boundaries is done by independent bodies in most countries.

  10. #25
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    >> The seat of Kalgoorlie (the world's largest electorate) has roughly the same number of people and the same value as a seat in inner city Sydney. <<

    According to the West Aust electoral commision 2001.

    The Mining and Pastoral electorate has an area over 2,250,000 sq km for less than 67,000 people (0.03 pop/sq km).

    South Metro Perth (in the Capital city of the same state) has <600 sq km with over 250,000 people (or nealy 4 times the population) (417 pop/sq km).

    Not realy the same number of voters is there?

    To put some perspective on how remote and huge the Mining and Pastoral electorate is, Englands total land area is approx 130,000 sq km with nearly 50 million population.
    "Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter."
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    "I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars......the rest I squandered."
    George Best

    "If you are going through hell....keep going."
    Winston Churchill

  11. #26
    Funniest man in this seat minesweeper's Avatar
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    >>Englands total land area is approx 130,000 sq km with nearly 50 million population.<<

    Nearly 60 million.

  12. #27
    fou
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    Exclamation

    You're talking about the weird WA electoral system. I seem to remember that the new governement there is going to change it. However I was talking about the federal system (Sydney is not part of the WA electoral system).

    Kalgoorlie - Enrolment: 82 534
    http://www.aec.gov.au/_content/who/p...kalgoorlie.htm

    Sydney - Enrolment: 86 143
    http://www.aec.gov.au/_content/who/p...s/s/sydney.htm

    Perth - Enrolment: 82 049
    http://www.aec.gov.au/_content/who/p...es/p/perth.htm

  13. #28
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    I have done quite a bit of research into the JFK assasination, which by the way, occurred right here, just about 2 miles from my house . Here is what I think:

    JFK is dead for several reasons.

    1) He and his brother created more havoc with mob relations since Elliot Ness did back in the 30's. They wanted the mob destroyed, not something to be taken lightly, to be sure.

    2) He and his brother made several attempts at Castro's life, again, not something to yawn at.

    3) Many other enemies.

    Lee Oswald was an intelligence officer and in fact played a role in monitoring U2 spy plane communications when Gary Powers was shot down over Russia. Moreover, his 'Fair Play for Cuba' organization was positioned next door to at least 3 U.S. intelligence offices in New Orleans. Thus the 'lone nut' theory just doesn't pan out.

    Further, when you stand in Dealy Plaza, it becomes rather obvious that the bullet that struck Kennedy in the front of the head had to come from the train overpass, the fence that runs down from that overpass, or somewhere nearby, which is directly opposite of the Book Depository building. In fact a deaf eyewitness went to the FBI the day of the assasination and informed them that from his vantage point (behind the fence area), he plainly saw two men behind the fence (albeit from about 300 yards away), a plume of smoke rise, and the men exiting via those train tracks. His account was never presented to the Warren Commission, by the way.

    In short, this is not a theory but a fact! Kennedy was indeed killed by conspiracy, but objectively speaking, he 'had it coming', in the sense that he had just made too many enemies (as well as did his brother, also assasinated of course, five years later).

    They are actually considering moving/rebuilding the monument set up in his memory, partially because it is an eyesore and partly because they want to put something else there. We'll see. Anyway, I hope I didn't say anything bad about the mob - 'Vive La Cosa Nostra!' and all that.
    Code:
    bool fun(bool value)
    {
        return std::pow(std::exp(1), std::complex<float>(0, 1) 
        * std::complex<float>(std::atan(1)*(1 << (value + 2))))
        .real() > 0;
    }

  14. #29
    cereal killer dP munky's Avatar
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    >>He and his brother made several attempts at Castro's life, again, not something to yawn at.

    you left out the part about wanting troops out of vietnam, the d party wanted a war w/the vietnamese, yet kennedy signed a document to withdrawl all the troops from the area, they all would have been home by christmas of the year he was killed, the day after he was killed LBJ COMMITED troops to vietnam ...
    guns dont kill people, abortion clinics kill people.

  15. #30
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    Minesweeper,

    I didn't see an answer to your question, so...

    No, the Marine Corps is not the President's "personal army".

    The Marine Corps, whether they like it or not, are subsidiary to the U.S. Navy and receive their funding through the Department of the Navy.

    The Marine Corps has been entrusted with the duty of providing some of the security at the White House - as you've, no doubt, seen on television - but also provides security at American Embassies abroad. An important, but minor, role that the Corps plays.

    An analogy, within the U.S. spectrum, is that of the U.S. Secret Service, which most Americans even believe has the major role of protecting the President, ex-Presidents, etc. Actually, this is a minor, if critical role, that it is entrusted with.

    The Secrect Service was established to counteract counterfeiting following our Civil War in 1865. Counterfeiting currency was a major problem following the war, and the Secret Service was established by President Grant, to counteract that threat to our economy.

    With Federal troops being discharged in large numbers after the war, the Secret Service 'inherited' the job of providing security for the President. That task remains in place today, though the Service's primary role is still to enforce laws against counterfeiting, forgery, credit card forgery, etc.

    Truth be told, Presidential security is one of the lousier assignments for a Secret Service agent. (Ronald Reagan was, reportedly, very easy to work for while Jimmy Carter was, reportedly, a pain in the backside.) Go figure.

    -Skipper
    "When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail." Abraham Maslow

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