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Thread: Majority Rule

  1. #1

    Default Majority Rule

    Should the majority be the ruling factor in settling all important decisions in the U.S. ?

    Should there be more binding referendums so the will of the majority can be known and acted upon?

  2. #2

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    What exactly are we talking about here? Can you give some more information? Maybe an example?

    Like Majority rule when it comes to things like laws and stuff that are passed? If we're talking about that, I'm confused by the second part of this.

    If we're talking about majority rule, being the final decision when it comes to laws, then no. You need a system that has check and balances, and protects the minority. Because the person that's in the majority today passing laws they like, might one day find themselves in the minority, and be subject to the laws of the new majority. Most if not all of the civilized countries in the world, have some sort of "checks and balances" to their laws.

    Where I live, laws can be voted on and passed by a majority of voters. Those laws can then be challenged in court, and if found to be illegal, will be overturned.

  3. #3

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    The US of A is a democratic society, pretty much meaning meaning majority rules. As more and more realize they can vote for handouts the political partys will buy votes with promises of entitlement programs for their voting group until there is no one left working to tax to fund it all and it collapses.
    Or in my case...
    In my small town taken over by a bunch of NYC commuter types they decided they did not want to look at small houses so they passed a law requiring a thousand square foot minimum. I pay tax on and heat a house I only use a third of!
    The United States of America is not a "free" country!

  4. #4

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    There was an excellent editorial yesterday in The Washington Post on this very subject, and in part, dealing with gay marriages. We don't have a democracy in the sense that we vote directly on issues, but rather, we have elected representatives who represent the interests of the general public. This form of government was created by our founding fathers because the didn't trust the general public and at the same time, they didn't trust governments such as the one they just cut ties from.

    Suppose the public wanted one day (this was in a movie) where the public could go crazy and do anything they wanted. Suppose the public created a referendum and voted yes on this, would this be a good idea? The theory is that elected officials should have that which is best for the country and thus, society, in mind when laws are past. This of course doesn't always happen, as in medical marijuana laws. Marijuana is still considered a class one narcotic, right along side heroin and crack. The law originally said it had no medical value, yet we now know that's not true, yet legislatures refuse to make medical marijuana a legal substance.

    I think Nam Repaid has stated it best in that we as a people, have a responsibility to elect better representatives than the ones we have elected in the past. I think that's what he was saying.

  5. #5

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    Majority rule is 3 wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nam Repaid View Post
    The US of A is a democratic society, pretty much meaning meaning majority rules. As more and more realize they can vote for handouts the political partys will buy votes with promises of entitlement programs for their voting group until there is no one left working to tax to fund it all and it collapses.
    Or in my case...
    In my small town taken over by a bunch of NYC commuter types they decided they did not want to look at small houses so they passed a law requiring a thousand square foot minimum. I pay tax on and heat a house I only use a third of!
    The United States of America is not a "free" country!
    Oh what a naive idea! Large lot sizes and large minimum home sizes, especially in locales desired by middle- and upper-middle class types, is a function of trying to legally keep certain types of people out of their community by way of zoning. Sadly, race is still often conflated with class and vice versa, so zoning for large lot sizes and large minimum home sizes effectively zones out those of lower classes, especially including minorities that often fall into lower socioeconomic strata. There are other ways of doing it, but large setbacks, large lot sizes, restrictive use allowances (keeping everything R1 instead of allowing diversity of uses), and minimum Floor Area Ratios and minimum footprints are amongst the most common.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusionary_zoning

    So your 'burb didn't succumb to NYC commuter types not wanting to see small houses. It succumbed to NYC commuter types not wanting to look at or be near people of the type that might live in small houses.




    And that's the kind of shit that happens in pure democracy. The people with the power vote themselves the power and the benefits and call it fair because it went to a vote.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    There was an excellent editorial yesterday in The Washington Post on this very subject, and in part, dealing with gay marriages. We don't have a democracy in the sense that we vote directly on issues, but rather, we have elected representatives who represent the interests of the general public.
    Jeb Bartlett said it well in The West Wing: Most people forget that we're a Republic. A democratic one, but still a republic.

  8. #8

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    I live in Canada, but my perspective is that we already have referendums; they're called elections.

    There is so much that could go wrong if major issues were put to a referendum. Every time a majority 'wins' a vote there is a potential for the minority to lose their rights. Referendums are based on popular opinion, but there is nothing to ensure that it is an informed opinion. A century ago, the majority would have voted in favour of continuing slavery and denying service to Black people. Today a referendum could deny rights to other marginalized groups, such as shooting down gay marriages.

    Disenfranchised populations such as youth, the poor, people with disabilities do not vote and would be most at risk of losing their rights. For example; The rich overwhelmingly vote and would likely favour a tax cut that could be achieved by cutting back social services to people living in poverty. It may be popular based on the people who voted, but it wouldn't make it right.

    Several decades ago, our government was debating about holding a referendum about bringing back capital punishment. They believed they had the popular opinion to get it through. As the debate progressed however, the public opinion shifted as people learned more about the issue. So the government dropped the referendum idea sensing imminent defeat. The referendum was a great idea for the government until they realized it would work against them. Popular opinion can change quickly.


    Here's a classic video concerning a referendum idea that was proposed by the leader of the opposition conservative party, Stockwell Day. He launched a campaign to have more referendums to decide public policy, Rick Mercer, one of Canada's better comedians, started a petition to have a referendum to force Stockwell Day to change his name to Doris. Millions of people across the country signed the petition, and Day never brought it up again.

    Last edited by Starrunner; 21-Apr-2015 at 13:36.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    Should the majority be the ruling factor in settling all important decisions in the U.S. ?
    Absolutely not. Too often you get sentiment whipped up by media (social and driveby), then out come the torches and pitchforks. Same can happen with a charismatic speaker. Rather than invoke Godwin's Law by suggesting that's how you get group showers at Auschwitz, I'll say that's how you get a guy with no relevant experience as president.



    Should there be more binding referendums so the will of the majority can be known and acted upon?
    Undecided, but leaning toward yes. Some decisions (not all, not most, but some) really can be answered by a simple yes or no. It seems that nothing in any of our legislative bodies gets done without tortuous wrangling, amendments, compromises, poison pills, and weasel words. I'll stay out of specifics so as not to derail the thread.

    I really wish our legislators and executives would go back, read the Constitution, consider what their oath of office really means, and do their jobs as they were meant to be.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by Starrunner View Post
    Disenfranchised populations such as youth, the poor, people with disabilities do not vote and would be most at risk of losing their rights. For example; The rich overwhelmingly vote and would likely favour a tax cut that could be achieved by cutting back social services to people living in poverty. It may be popular based on the people who voted, but it wouldn't make it right.
    Easy there Mr. Marx, you're making assumptions based on facts not in evidence, and you're making a value judgement that generational theft and legislated redistribution are "right", or is that one of the commandments of your state religion? You're also confusing "rights" with "government social services". Rights, in the constitutional sense, are the aspects of your life the government can't touch. Much more of an absolute than social services that depend on the legislative mood and available resources.

    There aren't enough rich to overwhelmingly vote in anything. Unless your definition of rich means anyone who actually owns a house or a car outright. Or someone who worked and managed to save enough over several decades to retire.

    In the U.S., very close to half the population gets some form of government assistance. That's plenty to ensure bread and circuses continue, at least until bankruptcy intervenes. Its not my fault if someone else chooses not to vote, regardless of skin color, bank balance, educational achievements, or understanding of the evolved purpose of their naughty bits.

    Note: When I was in school, back in the days of chisels and stone tablets, taking and passing a Constitution test was required to graduate from eigth grade. A quick search was inconclusive as to whether that is still a graduation requirement.




    Several decades ago, our government was debating about holding a referendum about bringing back capital punishment. They believed they had the popular opinion to get it through. As the debate progressed however, the public opinion shifted as they learned more about the issue. So the government dropped the referendum idea sensing imminent defeat. The referendum was a great idea until they realized it would work against them.
    That's as much an argument in favor of referendums as against. Point being, some questions can be answered "yes" or "no".
    Last edited by Maxx; 21-Apr-2015 at 14:13.

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    There aren't enough rich to overwhelmingly vote in anything. Unless your definition of rich means anyone who actually owns a house or a car outright. Or someone who worked and managed to save enough over several decades to retire.
    There aren't enough rich to swing the vote one way or another, but they do have enough money to "inform" the uninformed masses to vote the way they want them to.

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