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.
Thankfully, we will NEVER have "rule by referendum" on a national level. We are a Republic folks, NOT A DEMOCRACY!
BINGO! That is why you have that "rule by referendum" mess.
I'm pingin Grampa Dave cause that's over in his county and I like to poke sticks at his county, even though he never pokes sticks at mine, because we'd never let him back in here to fly fish if'n he done that to us!!!
Larry J. Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia and editor of a book on initiatives, described Schwarzenegger's style as "elite direct democracy . It's 'Trust the people, after I have informed them.'
Calistoga is rapidly becoming Berzerkley North.
Well... Here's the essence of the rest of the article!!!
Now... How's that grab ya???
California's laws have a lot more basis in populism than other states, and that has been manipulated and abused by special interest groups for several decades now.
Combined with a liberal judiciary that is more than willing to overturn initiatives from conservative special interest groups, it's driven California politics further and further to the left, and without an ability to get a lot of needed things accomplished.
Walters isn't really suggesting a european parliamentary solution. He's suggesting that the governor should have more power than the bureaucracy. He's probably correct, but the liberals in the California legislature and the special interest groups can prevent that from happening.
And as a consequence, we will never have anything like California's tax limiting initiative, Proposition 13 (without which, home ownership would be just as impossible in California as it is in New York)
Me thinks he's prolly right about der Schwarzenrenegger!!! Creator of massive GANG-GREEN elitist bureaucratic/autocratic land-locking CONservacancies in CA!!!
Also, the Washington auto license limitation fallos in the same category.
Man! You have a fantastic FR homepage!!!
See? That all depends on whether you want your Governator "gruntled" or "dissed!" Actually I'm already disgruntled with mine, but then I sorta think you already gnew that, right?
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT AS CONSERVATIVE AS YOU THINK! Adopting "rule by referendum" is SELLING THE PROTECTION OF OUR RIGHTS DOWN THE TOILET! If you can't get the laws you like by electing representatives that actually represent your interests, then you get the politicians you deserve.
I really appreciate you deeply thoughtful, insightful and penetrating analysis, Mr. Gone!
He has dispaired over CA's "Ungovernable Situation" many a time in print as he doesn't dislike the initiative, referendumb and recall processes on their own populist merits as much as he despises the way they've been hi-jacked by pollsters, consultants and lobbyists for severe and obscene special interests.
A perfect example is the Prop 98 passage by the teacher's yoonyuns with Celebrity Jack Lemon lying his virtual ass off to the people on multi-millions spent by said yoonyuns on totally deceptive TV commercials!!! It's what's at the core of the up-coming budget WAR with Senor Schwarzenegger that they're calling the "renegger" in the press, right NOW!!!
We used to sorta respect elected leaders in CA to some degree... now they're all a joke and cannot be "statesmen" as they live in fear of being "second guessed" by the people at the ballot box. So now we simply have "government by whim" an that makes the state ungovernable. There are certainly no leaders... only followers acting like leaders if the media plays along to make them look good.
The media loves it, just like they thought they'd love campaign finance reform laws, cause it gives them more power than anyone else!!! That sucks canal water!!! Think about it, will ya???
But their reappointment was not the shoo-in that it is today. And if it was, then it was an incentive to pay more attention to who got votes in the state legislature.
I meant to ping the two of you to my last reply on this thread, as well...
And, of course, your media is dominated by the SF Chronicle and the LA Slimes. The Sacramento Bee is a distant third in influence.
Fundamental reform is needed in California, but the political establishment, the liberals and their supporters in the media, aren't going to give that up easily. If anything, they're trying to make it even more secure.
When did the government get the idea that it's function was other than to protect individual rights?
For a fraction of a second, I thought you had left the "h" out of "third!"
(I know... I know... That answer was way too flip!!!)
(But your question was way too rhetorical!!!)(grin)
This writer continually advocates regional government and is now asking to have our constitutional government replaced by a parlimentary system. I am appalled that the editor publishes his columns without a disclaimer that the man's suggestions are unconsititutional.
By not disclaiming this man, the newspaper is tacitly agreeing to overthrow our constitutional government.
Speaking of rhetorical questions, can Ahhhnold declare a state of emergency due to the stupidity of the voters in California?
I'm still not sure if either Gray Devious or A. Schwarzenrenegger have rescinded the emergency Davis issued during the energy crisis!!!
"Would a parliamentary system count?"
I just knew you'd clear things up!!! (grin)
Didn't you mean fecestrocracy?
Well, that's for the REALLY feckless and reckless!!!