We tried other options, as well as a very similar flag as to the US, check it out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Brazil
#define STARS 12
(The bill proposes that a small federal district - basically just the contiguous territory of the White House, Congress, Supreme Court, and other federal buildings - be carved out of DC and become the actual capital, and the remainder of DC become a new state.)
In any case I do believe the filibuster should be eliminated if Republicans obstruct just for the sake of obstruction.
That is very dangerous reasoning.
Filibuster should be kept or eliminated regardless of political preferences and current majority in congress.
If the system starts get adjusted too easily for the needs of current majority, it might be beneficial in short term, but in the long term it will shatter the democracy: what is the point of having election laws if any of them can be changed by those who are in power now.
This is the same reason why the court should not be packed: it might seem be the fair thing for the current democratic majority, but it will damage the system credibility.
This is the same reason why gerrymandering need to be fixed.
The reason is not "The filibuster should be eliminated because Republicans use it, and I don't like Republicans."
The reason is "The filibuster should be eliminated because it's possible for one political party to abuse it, and moreover, that has happened."
That reason may be based on facts or not, or convincing or not, but it is an argument that is not based on personal dislike of one party, except insofar as one party is doing something that would be bad if any party did it, and you are prepared to dislike any party that does it.
If I said "Gerrymandering is bad because Republicans have used it to their advantage," I would be agreeing with your argument about gerrymandering, because both of us would be prepared to say the same thing about any other party were that party to use gerrymandering to their advantage.
I remember the Democrats threatening court packing and DC/PR statehood with the merest of advantages.
And now they have it.
Which means the Democrats will probably reinstate the filibuster out of collegiality or some other insane reason. The Democrats are averse to winning.
You don't preserve Democracy by making it difficult to Govern. When politicians are elected, they should be given the opportunity to actually govern on the agenda they ran on. Otherwise, elections becomes completely meaningless as everyone knows that meaningful change can never be implemented no matter what. I would argue that is more dangerous to democracy. The modern world evolves rapidly and a country needs a Government that's able to respond effectively to those changes.
The argument that an elected majority, elected by free and fair elections, should not be able to implement the platform they ran on seems fundamentally anti-democratic in itself.
What prevents an elected majority from consolidating power? Well, that's why we have 3 different branches of the Federal Government, and staggered election to bicameral Congress.
That is a reasonable argument against filibuster. I may agree with it or disagree, I don't know where I stand.
But the argument "because Republicans" should not be acceptable.
> The argument that an elected majority, elected by free and fair elections, should not be able to implement the platform they ran on seems fundamentally anti-democratic in itself.
It is more complicated than that.
In the real world the democratic system should also protect against "tyranny of the majority". Many checks and balances exists in particular to avoid that tyranny, not just three branches you mentioned.
Again, I'm not saying filibuster is good or bad.
It should be acceptable. I am not sure what perspective you are making that statement from. I am coming at it by looking at the actions of Senate Republicans for the past decade. We absolutely must judge parties by what they do. A party that exists simply for the sake of obstruction, while claiming lies as its policy platform during elections, must be called out as such: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/courts/news/2016/07/...
> In the real world the democratic system should also protect against "tyranny of the majority". Many checks and balances exists in particular to avoid that tyranny, not just three branches you mentioned.
They haven't really succeeded in doing that, if you look at American history. The majority in the US has always behaved in a tyrannical fashion, making it difficult or impossible for the minority to succeed. This happened first with the Protestant majority, then the White majority. When it couldn't do so explicitly, it did so via implicit structures that enforced this.
So the argument of filibuster as a check against the "tyranny of the majority" also doesn't really hold, through experience. Its also a fundamentally racist structure: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/senate-fil...
>It should be acceptable.
I think you may be talking past each other. The argument I think you are making is that, "The filibuster is regularly abused and no longer serves sufficient purpose relative to its cost." The evidence can be argued from republican actions. But the reason should not be "I don't like republicans so I want to reduce their power." The abuse scenarios apply equally to democrats or other theoretically parties.
A similar discussion is highly disturbing with relation to the Supreme Court. That narrative seems to be, how can we maneuver to pack it with people sharing my views, rather than something like: "How can maintain the neutrality and de-politicalization of court?" Perhaps because we already cross the line of no return, or it was naive to ever think it existed.
I didn't really find anything.
I think it would introduce a fascinating effect: since cities are the financial lifeblood of states, the suburbs on the border would flock to be in that budget, rather than the rapidly diminishing one.
Kansas City is the #1 city I can think of that should secede though. It's population is doubly diluted by two states.
Both have amazingly nice people in places, and bad ones in others.
But if secession hasn't happened there, I don't see it happening with any city (which is good in my opinion).
Also, I used to live in upstate NY.
The founders thought so. It's called the US Senate.
This is known as the Connecticut Compromise and, if it had not been adopted, we likely wouldn't have had a Constitution.
Edit: Added detail WRT the Connecticut Compromise.
The wisdom of the Senate was quite literal--30-year minimum age limit, 6-year terms, and an expectation that states would send elder statesmen as it was legislatures that selected their senators. As Alexis De Tocqueville described it,
> At a few yards' distance from this spot is the door of the Senate, which contains within a small space a large proportion of the celebrated men of America. Scarcely an individual is to be perceived in it who does not recall the idea of an active and illustrious career: the Senate is composed of eloquent advocates, distinguished generals, wise magistrates, and statesmen of note, whose language would at all times do honor to the most remarkable parliamentary debates of Europe.
> The founders thought so. It's called the US Senate.
No, they were trying throw a bone to states like Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey, which were land-locked out of Western expansion. It was the more 'rural' states that actually preferred to balance Congressional power on population.
[ed: As the more rural states saw their own populations likely to increase over time. The Senate's existence had absolutely nothing to do about balancing rural vs urban interests].
As GP said above -- a counterweight to to heavily populated areas. Which the more rural areas were at the time.
The more rural states (like Virginia at the time) had most of the population, which is why they preferred representation based on population.
The argument was one of population (whether current or expected), as writings by all involved in it will tell you explicitly.
Regardless, the US Senate was created with two senators from each state provided equal representation to each state in that house.
Which was and still is, a counterweight to heavily populated areas. Rural or urban really doesn't make a difference.
Edit: Clarified rural vs. urban importance WRT US Senate representation.
I think there's a lot of wisdom in protecting the rights of various minorities of all sorts of types, but a) that's a general problem we should solve, and I don't see why urban/rural is a special case b) that's generally solved by either adding supermajority requirements or adding structural protections for certain groups, not by weighting people's votes and flipping who's the majority and who's the minority.
It has nothing to do with urban/rural. The United States is a federation of separate legal jurisdictions (states). The House of Representatives has seats aligned with “one person, one vote” and the Senate is aligned with “one state, one vote” in an attempt to balance these interests.
The obvious consequence is that federal legislation will only move forward when most states and most people are in agreement — which I think is the intended outcome. This is often framed as “rural voters have more influence” but this is over-simplified: you need agreement from both houses to legislate. Rural voters can’t push their agenda any more than urban voters, but less populous states effectively get a little extra veto authority.
Besides, states are quite free to exercise their authority and many have large, active governments. Californians may be happy with their state government, but I’m not sure many smaller states would agree that their large population entitles them to impose their will on other states.
The fact that this manifests in the electoral college is weird, but that’s a separate issue from the core argument.
We have a two party system, it's a matter of a controlling majority seeing the advantage in DC and PR being states like they did with AK and HI.
If you haven't been to DC or looked closely at a map, it might surprise you that the vast majority of it is an ordinary city with residences and shops and schools, and the seat of federal government is a pretty small area. I didn't actually realize that until poking at a map and talking with friends who have lived in DC - I had the impression that DC was already small and most non-federal stuff was across the border in Virginia or Maryland, but that isn't actually true. DC is larger in area than SF!
(Also, federal districts like DC are relatively rare: most other countries don't have them. The hypothesis may not have changed since the founding, but we have a couple of centuries of experimental data now. Even the UN has buildings in Manhattan that are part of Manhattan and the US and not a separate UN exclave - I can and do bike down First Avenue, with UN buildings on both sides, without going through a border crossing.)
Are you under the mistaken impression that DC Statehood would give DC undue influence over the Federal government?
The reason this is a difficult question is that, while the US is a federation of states, there's no real guidance on what a state should be. The idea of "one person, one vote" is pretty clear. We can debate what the voting age should be, whether non-citizens should vote / what type of residence status you should have, whether your right to vote can be rescinded as a criminal punishment, etc., but we're starting from a common framework. Even in cases where we know that certain sub-populations have higher birth rates than others, there's no serious proposal to try to "correct" for that effect, because it's not seen as incorrect.
The principle of "one state, one vote" has no corresponding mental model for us to follow. If the US had no states, and someone said "States are a good idea," how would you draw the boundaries? Why would you draw a line across the Dakotas but not across California? Why would you separate Wyoming and Colorado? Why would Manhattan and Long Island be assigned to New York?
(Note that residents of a state have very limited ability to have opinions about their state boundaries - new states require "the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress." Concretely, if Californian voters wanted to split North and South California, but senators from other states said no because it would change the balance of power in the Senate, it wouldn't happen.)
And again - what is special about rural voters and only rural voters that they need this system? Why not give renters an extra veto, or the working class, or people in service industries, or racial minorities, or religious minorities, or field-of-employment minorities, or whomever? You can do this straightforwardly by having a Senate with either elected or appointed members from specific constituencies.
Hong Kong, for instance, elects half its legislators from "geographical constituencies" and the other half from "functional constituencies": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_constituency_(Hong_... These are generally industries, but one of them is specifically a representative of rural interests.
Because of specific sectarian conflicts, Lebanon's legislature is divided equally between Christians and Muslims: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_of_Lebanon#Allocati... And they have a concrete reason to want this (it was negotiated as part of a peace settlement after a 15-year civil war). I don't think the US has anywhere near as strong of a reason to privilege rural voters.
Also - the current system doesn't even privilege rural voters. It privileges rural voters in states without significant numbers of urban voters. There are tons of rural voters in states like New York and California who do not get to control their state government because major cities are more populous. California is even the biggest agricultural exporter among the states, so it's hard to say that the current system actually does give rural voters extra veto authority.
All it does is what you said - it gives less populous states extra veto authority. This is the same axis as "one person, one vote," just in the opposite direction. So what's the reason for it?
If we start considering the people living in an area as the likely maintainers and experts of their field, I could imagine that we might want to assign the importance of votes based on the total importance of the "produced goods" in that area. That way these "maintainers" have a say in politics relative to their actual importance in society. I guess?
I don't have a good sense of how well this works in practice, and of course it is confounded by Hong Kong being a very unusual jurisdiction to start with. But yeah, I think it would be a more principled approach than having this one feature in our government to nominally give extra voting rights to rural populations in particular. It's difficult to figure out what those importances really are and it's unlikely everyone will agree, but I think everyone can agree that the answer is not that rural voters are the only special constituency.
Alternatively, there's a simpler argument - those things that are important in society are important because everyone cares about it, and therefore an urban legislator is unlikely to say "We don't need farms," because the urban legislator needs to eat. If the agricultural constituency says they need some measure, they already have the ability to convince the general voting public in proportion to their importance in society.
(Also, it's not like our current system effectively gives rural voters an additional voice. California is our top agricultural exporter, but it tends to vote in the opposite way from the smaller-population states. And even if you did give a specific voice to California's agricultural interests, it's highly likely that they'd disagree with the policies advocated by smaller-population states to reduce immigration and increase deportations, for instance.)
Who decides what's important? Who decides the relative importance of "maintainers?"
Even if that were a good idea (I don't think it is), there's no reasonable way to make something like that work.
There's some precedent for something like that:
The constitutionality of DC statehood is also very controversial, so SCOTUS could probably kill it without having to stretch their logic much.
So an actual (slim) majority in favour of statehood is a very recent thing, and not even Puerto Rico itself lacks the 60% required for a senate vote.
People seem to forget this. Imagine asking the people who actually live there what they want...
Also, Puerto Ricans were asked and did consent. Their opinion really changed after the non-response to Maria. In recent global politics entire brexit happened due to similarly slim margins.
Which was not a good idea, intensely controversial, and will have negative effects for years or decades to come.
And people have been talking for years about this without seemingly caring what the actual Puerto Ricans think. But of course, middle-class liberals who never even been there know what's best for poor brown people, right? Those poor uneducated people need saving by smart white people!
The real issue at play is not having 51 "real" votes in support of a particular measure. The filibuster is a stupid procedural distraction used to excuse inaction, and the people shouldn't be tricked by this nonsense.
Quick, file for copyright!
[EDIT] by map I mean flag.
"According to the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, the United States flag never becomes obsolete. Any approved American flag may continue to be used and displayed until no longer serviceable." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_the_United_States#Poss...)
Yes - need to drink coffee before posting.
For example, Walt Disney World's Main Street USA has 45-star flags on top of each building . I've heard two reasons for this; that was the flag used in the early 1900's (the period where Main Street USA is set) and because it's not an American Flag they do not need to be illuminated or taken down at night. That last part contradicts what was said above. While this fact comes up a lot, I've never heard of anyone spontaneously noticing or object to how they're treated.
It may be a subtle political statement used by some, but I'm sure someone had done it with the 48-star flag. That's more noticeable because the stars were laid out in a grid instead of a checkerboard.
If you think about the US flag as a brand, its tarnished by the "patriots". I'd love to see a counter movement to this. It's not just US, but extreme right wing movements in Germany, France, UK - all embrace the flag. Thoughts?
As a practical matter, it can be physically dangerous for leftists to bring a flag to a protest if Antifa is there, since they are violent to those they perceive as fascist, and the USA is considered fascist by them
This is a video of a leftist man beaten for just that in last year's Portland protests (later riots)
I live in Florida. Is it fair for voters in New York to dictate how I live my life? Likewise, is it fair for any New Yorker to be affected in any way by the votes of someone who lives in Florida? Isn’t this “spooky action at a distance” the very definition of tyranny?
An amicable divorce among the states would ease tensions and focus minds on creating a framework for cooperation. Instead we seem to be fighting for peace in an abusive household.
You've been living the good life for so long that you're become blind to the bad life (normal life for many others). The Brits won't invade you, but every big country will try to bully you, some even openly. Look at what happened to Taiwan, Armenia, Iraq, Lybia, Korea, etc.
You won't be invaded, just pushed around to the benefit of third parties.
How much is your daily life affected by Federal law?
I really only run into it when I go to an airport or a post office.
I'm not being snarky here. The vast majority of laws that affect us directly are state and local laws.
Federal law rarely intrudes on everyday life, in my experience.
Some examples: Agriculture, Food and Drugs (FDA), Banking, investments (SEC), imports and exports (Customs), taxes (IRS), the internet and telecommunications (FCC), the interstate highway system, health insurance (ACA), intellectual property (patents, copyrights, trademarks), national parks, railroads.
The Feds do make life much harder and safer for everyone.
I suggest you set up a meeting with Mr. DeSantis and get the ball rolling. I suspect that it would be a pretty hard sell, not just with Ron, but with most of your fellow Floridians.
Then again, I hear they don't have all those pesky laws in Somalia. Perhaps you'd be happier there.
I’m not the Floridian. I replied to your post because I thought you were overlooking how much federal law impacts daily life.
I should have looked at the username before responding. My apologies.
If your return is so complicated that it really does take you that long, you could probably just hire an accountant to do if for you and it would cost much less than a week's pay.
Do you consider China to be a rising totalitarian world superpower? Strength against foreign manipulation (e.g., markets, trade, diplomacy) is a great reason for national unity.