Skip to comments.California testing limits of the American form of government
Posted on 01/24/2005 12:31:14 PM PST by SmithL
Those who created the American system of government, and encased it in the U.S. Constitution, were attempting to balance two equally insidious forces - tyranny and chaos.
They had fought a revolution to escape the former, but had experienced the latter in the years following the war under the too-weak Articles of Confederation. The Constitution, therefore, embodied what were called "checks and balances," creating a stronger central government but diffusing its authority among two legislative branches, a separately elected presidency and an independent judiciary.
The structure reflected the belief, as James Madison states it in the Federalist Papers, that "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
Despite our example, other democracies that emerged during the 19th and 20th centuries, including those in Europe and in neighboring Canada, tended toward the parliamentary system, in which the party or coalition controlling the legislative branch also names the executive.
There are crucial differences between the two, the most important being the parliamentary system's concentration of power and responsibility - the antithesis of the decentralized American system. In a parliamentary government, such as Tony Blair's administration in Great Britain, the governing party has an absolute mandate to act and cannot pass the buck.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
The tyranny is the legaslature et. al. writing themselves into a permanant paychecks. What is needed is more citizen representatives, rather than career political technocrats. Term limits is jsut a start. Guys like Bustamante wouldn't know what to do with themselves if there wasn't a public teat to suck.
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.
Would a parliamentary system count?
"It's an oversimplification, but perhaps California has too much democracy..."
It's not a problem of too much or too little. It's more a problem that the electorate is simply not responsible. They somehow got the idea that they can use government to take other people's property, either thru regulation or taxation. The result is that California is one big free-for-all, everyone grabbing at everyone else's stuff. It's not a matter of reforming government. It's a matter of re-educating California's voters.
Stripped to essentials - but without saying so explicitly - that's what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appears to be advocating on several fronts, whether it be in reorganizing state government to put more power directly in the governor's office, or in changing the budgetary system to provide for automatic spending reductions if revenues fall short of projections.
Some is this is questionable on constitutional grounds, but then again, California is pretty screwed up under it's existing system. The only part I agree with completely is the automatic spending reductions.
Phooey. Who says a government that cannot act is bad? I happen to prefer government gridlock. The less the government does, the better.
a dose of realism sounds better
Denny Crane: "I look to two things: First to God and then to Fox News."
OOPS! I fergot!! It's "No Name-Calling Weak!!!"
Parliamentarianism's got nothing to do with it. He should try rewriting this using "Constitutionalism" as needed.
Not a chance on this Forum. it's going on over here:
Are you sure you don't mean Calistocracy?
In New Hampshire, state legislators are paid about $200 per year, and that's set in the Constitution.
The problem behind the scenes here is the 17th amendment to the Constitution which takes the power away from the state government to appoint a state senator and gives it to the people to vote every six years. While the term was still 6 years, the state legislature could always vote to recall them ( a process much easier than getting the population to do the same). Under this system the senators were always accountable to someone and the states had some say in federal issues.
Just yesterday a Republican Party loyalist defended Walters as a conservative. What hog wash.
Here's Walters again peddling the inevitability of a multicultural society.
Senators could not be recalled before the 17th Amendment either.
At some state ratification conventions antifederalists argued that the Constitution should be amended to allow recall of Senators but it wasn't.
"The federal system, including California's version, works if there is a broad social or civic consensus on what government should be doing, but when that consensus breaks down, as it has in California, the "checks and balances" can become insurmountable hurdles. They provide the means by which any single-purpose interest group - be it cultural, ideological, geographic or economic - can wield a virtual veto on any major issue."
The Federal system works when nothing happens! That what "checks & balances" means. "Check" to halt. "Balance" to prevent from tipping to one side.
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