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Civics 101

March 3, 2013

Lately there have been a number of letters concerning the nature of the United States, states’ rights – especially secession, and possible political consequences foreseen by a writer as regards GOP......

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CHayes

Mar-03-13 5:52 AM

"I suggest allocating the electors as follows: one each to the winner of the popular vote in each congressional district, one for winning the majority of said districts, one for winning the state-wide popular vote. This would force parties and candidates to widen their bases."

Had electors been allocated like this nationally in the 2012 election, it would have resulted in the guy that lost the popular vote by over 5 million votes, actually winning the election by around 30 electors. How? The same way Republicans held on to a 33 seat majority in the House after their candidates received over a MILLION less votes than Democratic candidates. Gerrymandering.

If Congressional Districts were set up properly, the party that received many more votes in an election would generally control the House.

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Tedeaux

Mar-03-13 5:55 AM

The writers arrogance in believing that the question of session was finalized in 1865 with the surrender of Robert E. Lee, no such barrier exist! Now don't assume that I'm advocating the second American War Between the States, but someday the Union shall be challanged again. When, I could not say, but someday it will come to pass....As Americans, are we so arrogant to realize that all of the great civilizations in history have had their run and then disappeared into the dust from which they came? When the thugs of this society figure out that the only thing protecting our union is the agreement of the majority of the people to live by rules that they may not necessarily agree with, then anarchy will rule! We're getting closer by the moment these days!

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eriklatranyi

Mar-03-13 7:27 AM

CHayes:

That is the beauty of the current system....not allowing mob rule.

Surely, you are not advocating pure democracy?

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CMReeder

Mar-03-13 8:33 AM

Then why do the Republicans try to get mob rule?

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enigma

Mar-03-13 8:54 AM

While I think that Mr Dincher left some important details our of his Civics lesson, I like his idea for allocating electoral college votes. This would, in a small way, give back to the states, some of what they lost with the passing of the 17th amendment, not much, but some. The problem with the arguments from the left about the popular vote is that this was never intended to be a popular vote. In order for the federal government to properly represent the country, we cannot have the president elected by a handful of large cities, as is the case now. We are supposed to have a federal government, not a national government. The founders knew what would happen with a strong central government and put protections into the constitution. We removed the best of those protections with the 17th amendment, but we should resist removing any more.

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JerryfromRI

Mar-03-13 9:37 AM

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is for the PA GOP, in all its wisdom, to change the way electoral votes are allocated in 2016. Please put PA10 in play, pretty please.

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Bufftrev1

Mar-03-13 10:10 AM

HAHAHA!! Great comment, jerry..

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JerryfromRI

Mar-03-13 10:25 AM

@Bufftrev1

Good morning to you and thank you.

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CMReeder

Mar-03-13 10:33 AM

The GOP can't convice people to vote for them they have to manipulate the votes in order to do that.

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WKnapp

Mar-03-13 1:32 PM

One enormous paradox, irony and hypocracy occurred during the Civil War. That was the unconstitutional assertion by Abraham Lincoln that existing states may not secede from the fed, but a portion of a state may secede from a state, in the instance of West Virginia being encouraged, aided and abbetted in secession fom Viginia.

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CMReeder

Mar-03-13 2:31 PM

The right favors alienation to nation.

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enigma

Mar-03-13 2:43 PM

I don't know what the big deal is with changing how electoral college votes are assigned. If all of the states made the change, it would not likely have a huge effect on the outcome of elections, but it would make a big differnce in campaigns. Now if we could get all states to have their primaries at the same time, we could all have a say in what candidates each party puts forward. I'm not looking for an advantage, just for the way it's done to make some kind of sense.

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JerryfromRI

Mar-03-13 3:06 PM

@enigma

Here is why it's a big deal for PA10. In non-presidential election cycles turn out in the counties that make up PA10 are predictably light. The district votes red nearly 2 to 1 but if you dig into the numbers you find that if a motivated blue electorate turns out in an off year it needs to pick up only a couple of thousands votes to pull off an upset win.

But even an upset win is all for nothing UNLESS some other factor puts the district in the spot light in 2016. That other factor is big bucks, big national campaign bucks hoping to woo PA10's electoral college vote. That extra attention may be enough to keep PA10 blue in back to back elections.

And a back to back PA10 Representative is in great shape for the next off year cycle.

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Ritty77

Mar-03-13 6:40 PM

enigma, the most recent column by Charles C. W. Cooke addresses the "democracy" and 17th amendment issues. It's a good read.

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CHayes

Mar-03-13 10:17 PM

"That is the beauty of the current system....not allowing mob rule.

Surely, you are not advocating pure democracy?"

There is no "beauty" in gerrymandering. It's really nothing more than election rigging.

Pure democracy? I didn't say anything about that. Again, voters are supposed to pick their politicians, and gerrymandering is simply that idea reversed.

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CHayes

Mar-03-13 10:23 PM

"I don't know what the big deal is with changing how electoral college votes are assigned. If all of the states made the change, it would not likely have a huge effect on the outcome of elections, but it would make a big differnce in campaigns"

You better reevaluate that. You know theres a reason that Republicans made a huge deal about this, then suddenly dropped it. The reason they dropped it so quickly, is that they figured out that it shines a REALLY bright light on the fact that Republicans have gerrymandered CD's across the nation.

The notion the letter writer proposed, simply rigs Presidential elections, the way Congressional elections are currently rigged.

Eliminate 100% of gerrymandering that currently exists, and I might consider it.

I, and anyone with i lick of common sense, should oppose a plan that would have installed as President, a guy who got over 5 million votes less than the actual winner. It's indefensible.

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CHayes

Mar-03-13 10:32 PM

I think it needs to be said again, that Congressional Republican candidates received over ONE MILLION LESS VOTES, than Democratic Congressional candidates, and maintained a 33 seat majority. The system is broken, and it has been broken intentionally by REPUBLICANS to try and steal elections. Plain and simple.

Cheating to win by EITHER party, by trying to rig the composition of Congressional districts is despicable, and should be punishable by LONG prison sentences.

Congressional districts should not be set up to favor one party or another, neither should they be set up to be produce close races. They should be set up based on geography, NOT demographics.

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CMReeder

Mar-04-13 8:48 AM

"enigma, the most recent column by Charles C. W. Cooke addresses the "democracy" and 17th amendment issues. It's a good read."

This is how twisted the right truly is. I read the column and on the surface it is very persuasive. Let the State appoint the senators by the people who where elected to govern the state, but it is not the people who put those people into power who get to have a state but the party that is swept into power that gets to select the representatives to the Senate. That the people of the state who selected the governing body of their state have no right to select and vote for their Senator. It is un-Constitutional as originally written. His argument is that the House of representaives if for the people and the Senate is for the states. The people have no rights to the Senate.

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CMReeder

Mar-04-13 8:50 AM

What he failed to mention is that the 17A was constitutioanlly created and passed. The people have the right to amend the Constitution.

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Ritty77

Mar-04-13 4:25 PM

"This is how twisted the right truly is."

No. "The Right" isn't twisted. Mr. Cooke wrote an article expressing his opinion about the 17th amendment. He made a good case including quotes from James Madison which ALL the founders agreed to and then set up how the Senate was to be elected.

Apparently, in 1913, those who wished to repeal it, also made a strong argument, and it was repealed,

I can't imagine it makes that big of a deal in the net makeup of the Senate, it is not a hot issue for most people (Left or Right), and I only referenced the article to enigma because he has brought up said amendment. I don't even necessarily agree with the author, but it was an interesting read. I learned a few things.

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Ritty77

Mar-04-13 4:35 PM

"What he failed to mention is that the 17A was constitutioanlly created and passed. The people have the right to amend the Constitution."

Yeah, he failed to mention that because he was talking about REPEALING an AMENDMENT. He probably didn't feel the need to waste the space reviewing how Constitutional amendments are accomplished or whether the people had a right to do so.

Chuck, I know you feel that the only way anyone will care what you think is if you take the opposite side of things just to be noticed. You figure that getting someone to think you're an idiot is better than your being ignored.

Happy?

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JerryfromRI

Mar-04-13 6:17 PM

I will add my voice to the chorus that the 17th Amendment has to go.

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CMReeder

Mar-04-13 11:59 PM

You did not learn anything ritty. You are a complete moron.

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USABorn

Mar-05-13 5:20 PM

It's not enough that the feds want to take away states rights, now the UN is trying to do it. They are demanding something be done because 2 states voted to legalize marijuana and that is against international treaties.

We need to get out of the UN and get the UN out of the U.S.! It is costing us billions that would better be used elsewhere. The rest of the world doesn't pay nearly as much.

Funding is as follows:

U.S. 22.000%, Japan 12,53%, Germany 8.018%, UK 6.604%, France 6.123%, Italy 4.999%, Canada 3.207%, CHINA 3.189%, Spain 3.177%, Mexico 2.3565, S. Korea 2.260%, Australia 1.933%, Netherlands 1.855%,RUSSIA 1.602%, Other members COMBINED 18.536%.

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WKnapp

Mar-05-13 8:08 PM

CMReeder

Mar-04-13 8:48 AM

That the people of the state who selected the governing body of their state have no right to select and vote for their Senator. It is un-Constitutional as originally written.

You need to reread the Constitution! If it was originally written for the people to elect the Senators, there would be no 17th Amendment, which provides for direct election of Senators instead of appointment by state legislatures. The Senate was formed to represent, and be accountable to, the states. The House of Representatives was to represent, and be accountable to, the people.

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