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Alistair
March 5 2013, 03:02:40 PM
Many Governments, as part of their system, have a "Vote of No Confidence". The U.S. does not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_of_no_confidence for a very basic explaination for those who might need one.

I especially want to focus of the portion of the above that states that (in some systems) if the Government cannot pass a Supply Bill (i.e. a Money Spending Budget in the U.S. system) it can and does lead to either the mandatory dissolution of parliment (congress) or the stepping down of the Government (i.e. Administration).

In light of the many, MANY difficulties the U.S. has faced of late regarding an inabillity to pass a budget (5 years running now), the problems in passing the continuing resolutions required in place of a budget (i.e. temporary funding measure to keep Govt. operating), and the problem of the current Sequestration Issue, it is quite clear that the U.S. Govt. has faced a period of what would qualify as a "No Confidence" point under other systems, i.e. a Govt. totally hamstrung and at loggerheads over spending, i.e. doing the Governments Business.

And yet, in our system, we have no equivalent to the "No Confidence" vote apart from the not-quite-the-same passing of articles of impeachment, somethign designed for a very different purpose.

So the "serious question" here is this: Would the U.S. be better off being like many Euro and other nations, with a system that provided for a Vote of No Confidence, dissolution of either Congress/Administration or both, and a mandated no confidence dissolution upon failure to pass a Budget in a timely manner each year?

If so, how would we be better? If not, why not?

Zeekar
March 5 2013, 03:06:53 PM
Well from a comedy stand point it would be a lot better. Election every year would be fun.

Keorythe
March 5 2013, 03:14:33 PM
I think that only works with a Parlimentary system where they appoint the Head of State rather than the public voting him in. The Head of State is technically held accountable to the legislature, not necessarily the people. No one cares if Congress has confidence in the Pres. or not. To do so would require something of a nationwide poll.

rojomojo915
March 5 2013, 03:28:56 PM
The problem isn't the parties themselves, it is the lobbyists behind the parties that cause these huge issues. The last thing anyone in Washington wants to do is piss off their main financial backers. All the young congressmen and women who have aspirations of changing things in D.C. soon come to realize this and that is why they always fall in line with the rest of their party instead of doing what they promise during their campaigns.

But that is a different issue for a different thread.

Straight Hustlin
March 5 2013, 03:47:29 PM
tbh I think fillabuster reform is form more neccesary and useful within the framework of our governement.

Alistair
March 5 2013, 04:17:44 PM
tbh I think fillabuster reform is form more neccesary and useful within the framework of our governement.

Everyone in America wanats fillabuster reform......when their party of choice is in power.

As soon as they're no longer in power, their desire to reform the fillabuster immediately dries up, and the fillabuster becomes (to them) the greatest tool in governmental history for protecting the minority from the abuses of the majority.

Hence why we'll never get fillabuster reform. No one wants to give it to "the next guy" when they fear "the next guy" is another G.W. Bush or B.H. Obama.

dpidcoe
March 5 2013, 04:27:08 PM
I'd go for fillabuster reform such that they actually had to show up and talk, rather than just say "lolfilabuster" and then go out to dinner.

Straight Hustlin
March 5 2013, 04:34:52 PM
I'd go for fillabuster reform such that they actually had to show up and talk, rather than just say "lolfilabuster" and then go out to dinner.

pretty much. Its retarded that the entire legistlative process can just be stop by someone deciding to go up and talk for hours about something that has fuck all to do with the legislative issue.

Bottom line, the session should not end until there is a vote, you wanna fillabuster for 18 hours, better hope your congressmen are still awake to vote.

Synapse
March 5 2013, 04:54:26 PM
The problem isn't the parties themselves, it is the lobbyists behind the parties that cause these huge issues. The last thing anyone in Washington wants to do is piss off their main financial backers. All the young congressmen and women who have aspirations of changing things in D.C. soon come to realize this and that is why they always fall in line with the rest of their party instead of doing what they promise during their campaigns.

But that is a different issue for a different thread.

Because of this, I'm pretty certain whoever we voted in to replace the current ones would be just as stuck as the outgoing bunch.

Alistair
March 5 2013, 05:05:01 PM
You really don't think it might just be one party abusing it?

It's not "fighting oppression of the minority", it's the GOP stamping its feet like a small child not getting what it wants.

Tell me, when the Democrats had full control of the U.S. Government, President, Senate, House.....why, would you guess, were Fillibuster Rules not changed then, knowing (R) is what (R) is and what (R) does, as you say, regarding said feet stamping?

Total power (at least on parlimentary rules such as this), and what was done......nothing.

Why do you think that is?

And why do you think (D) used the Fillibuster so much from 1995ish to 2006ish? If they were against it....why use it on the same levels as (R) previously did?

I'm personally more than willing to support fillibuster reform, and agree it's rediculous generally speaking and far in excess of it's intent. But you'll have to get (D) on board, because when opportunity has existed for them to push for it....they don't.

Aurora148
March 5 2013, 05:12:50 PM
You really don't think it might just be one party abusing it?

It's not "fighting oppression of the minority", it's the GOP stamping its feet like a small child not getting what it wants.

Tell me, when the Democrats had full control of the U.S. Government, President, Senate, House.....why, would you guess, were Fillibuster Rules not changed then, knowing (R) is what (R) is and what (R) does, as you say, regarding said feet stamping?

Total power (at least on parlimentary rules such as this), and what was done......nothing.

Oh you must be referring to that 6 week period between when Al Franken was sworn in and Ted Kennedy stopped breathing (he was probably in a coma).

The senate supermajority that never was.

Alistair
March 5 2013, 05:31:07 PM
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-24/senate-leaders-said-to-agree-on-filibuster-rule-changes.html

Interesting reading on the most recent (Jan. 25th) fillibuster changes.

Vortex
March 5 2013, 07:29:10 PM
I'd go for fillabuster reform such that they actually had to show up and talk, rather than just say "lolfilabuster" and then go out to dinner.

pretty much. Its retarded that the entire legistlative process can just be stop by someone deciding to go up and talk for hours about something that has fuck all to do with the legislative issue.

Bottom line, the session should not end until there is a vote, you wanna fillabuster for 18 hours, better hope your congressmen are still awake to vote.


Nobody actually freezes a session through a literal filibuster anymore. Its more of a notification to the other party that they intend to filibuster, so the party doesn't even bother to open discussion of that bill because it would be a waste of time. In this way, filibustering has become a routine parliamentary procedural action in the senate, not a large, fullscale protest like in ye olden days.


Anyways, as much as I'd love to see something like this in the US, a vote of no confidence doesn't really have a meaningful counterpart in presidential systems. The president and congress are both elected separately, and the election of a president is a much larger deal than the selection of the PM is in a parliamentary system. Then the US stacks the electoral college on top of this, and states themselves chose the method of choosing electors (really, there is no reason at all they would need to make it a vote. They could make the candidates play out a game of pokemon cards or a freestyle rap battle if they wanted and give electors to the victor). Hell, in the vast majority of states, electoral college electors don't technically need to vote for the candidate they were even chosen to vote for, nor can they usually be legally punished for dishonorable votes (in fairness, dishonorable electors almost never happens).

In the United States, states themselves (with some technical exceptions) have control of their own voting laws and procedures, which would cause all manner of constitutional issues for the federal government to kick out an honorably elected representative from one of the semi-sovereign states. Even if it could, the state's would need to lose control of their voting laws, in order to do away with single-member congressional districts, first past the post voting systems, etc. Even if you sent all of congress back to the voting booths in a vote of no confidence today, the vast majority of those existing members would show right back up due to the ridiculously stacked advantages most incumbents will enjoy (unless you banned all incumbents from running again or something, but you would still likely see a similar ratio of R and D representation due to safe districts).

Implementing something like a vote of no confidence in the US would be the mother of all constitutional amendments to implement due to the number of voting laws and procedures you would have to overwrite, both at the federal level and at the state. Our voting system is just too fucking arcane to implement something like this.

SAI Peregrinus
March 5 2013, 08:08:54 PM
I'd like to see a vote of No Confidence of a different form:
In the normal elections for an office the option of "No Confidence" shall be added to the list of candidates. If "No Confidence" wins, all those candidates will be disqualified from running for that office during this election cycle and a new election shall be held after a period of time.
Basically make a "they're all shit" option.

Vortex
March 5 2013, 08:39:00 PM
I'd like to see a vote of No Confidence of a different form:
In the normal elections for an office the option of "No Confidence" shall be added to the list of candidates. If "No Confidence" wins, all those candidates will be disqualified from running for that office during this election cycle and a new election shall be held after a period of time.
Basically make a "they're all shit" option.

Nobody knows who their candidates are or what their voting history is. The vast majority of the populace will still look for the (D) or (R) next to the name, (in)correctly check the box, and call it a day. No Confidence votes would just dilute the already thin spread of third party votes. In particular, this would have absolutely no impact on safe districts due to gerrymandering.

Synapse
March 5 2013, 09:03:24 PM
I do think determining electoral college electors by rap battle would be a significant improvement.

Not only is rap culture steeped in individual self expression which might better resist the "why aren't you voting with the herd" mentality, but also we'd at least be selecting for someone who knows how to work hard enough to perfect one skill. I'm skeptical our current political class knows how to do even that.

It's not by far the best improvement one could make, but I think the bar for improvement is _that low_.

Alistair
March 6 2013, 06:41:29 PM
..rap culture steeped in individual self expression which might better resist the "why aren't you voting with the herd" mentality...

Rap Culture, i.e. predominantly an African American invention/cultural expression, a group that votes ~90-98% one way in every Presidential election. Is that resisting the herd?

The point (back on topic) of a NCV in the U.S. would be primarily for times like right now, when we have an impenitrable morass of disagreement, blocking all fiscal action and budgetary responsabillity and risking the Nation itself by playing politics with things like the debt ceiling, etc. While I agree fully with the "we voted for them, so they can't be kicked by fiat" ideal, there are still times where the Government ceses to govern due to almost total gridlock. I wouldn't suggest a NVC be used weekly (and hence would need to be designed to be of rare use), but frankly, right now, I'd be happy to see every damn member of the House and Congress fired, barred from running again, and an entire new group elected to both houses....because lets be honest, they couldn't do worse.

Victoria Steckersaurus
March 6 2013, 07:10:33 PM
because lets be honest, they couldn't do worse.

have you seen the shit tea partiers in local governments have tried to do? Yes, yes they can be worse. I don't think it's likely, but it's absolutely possible.

rojomojo915
March 7 2013, 01:07:25 PM
This (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/rand-paul-does-not-go-quietly-into-the-night/?partner=rss&emc=rss) is exactly why we need fillabuster reform. As long as you can keep talking and don't mind pissing in your pants, you can prevent the senate or house from getting anything done. Its absolute bullshit and makes me think if people that we elect to get shit done are going to act like 4 year olds, then we should just elect 4 year olds.

Melichor
March 7 2013, 01:46:26 PM
Only problem with getting rid of congress (with its sub 30% approval rating iirc) is the fact that americans are so fucking stupid they would vote them right back in.

Sent via magic

Lallante
March 7 2013, 02:22:51 PM
Nah I think "Congresswoman Kardashian" is just as likley

Aurora148
March 7 2013, 06:42:33 PM
This (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/rand-paul-does-not-go-quietly-into-the-night/?partner=rss&emc=rss) is exactly why we need fillabuster reform. As long as you can keep talking and don't mind pissing in your pants, you can prevent the senate or house from getting anything done. Its absolute bullshit and makes me think if people that we elect to get shit done are going to act like 4 year olds, then we should just elect 4 year olds.

Actually there is absolutely no reason why he had to stand there talking for 12 hours, a filibuster is as simple as saying that you have enough votes to prevent a cloture (end of debate) motion.

Also the senate can continue with other matters like committees ect during a filibuster, due to "dual tracking (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/03/how_dual-tracking_destroyed_th.html)".

Under old senate rules it was single track (ie a filibuster stopped all senate business) and the filibuster'er had to speak for the length which generally lead to phonebook reading.

Sponk
March 7 2013, 11:36:23 PM
Actually there is absolutely no reason why he had to stand there talking for 12 hours, a filibuster is as simple as saying that you have enough votes to prevent a cloture (end of debate) motion.

Virtual filibusters are shit and should be removed.

Victoria Steckersaurus
March 8 2013, 03:28:14 PM
Actually there is absolutely no reason why he had to stand there talking for 12 hours, a filibuster is as simple as saying that you have enough votes to prevent a cloture (end of debate) motion.

Virtual filibusters are shit and should be removed.

This. If someone wants to filibuster by getting up there and actually talking, I have no problem with that - that's what the filibuster is for. That shows that you care passionately enough about an issue that people should take notice.

The ability to block a vote simply by having 41 people who don't like it is what's fucked up.

Alistair
March 9 2013, 12:14:07 PM
Actually there is absolutely no reason why he had to stand there talking for 12 hours, a filibuster is as simple as saying that you have enough votes to prevent a cloture (end of debate) motion.

Virtual filibusters are shit and should be removed.

This. If someone wants to filibuster by getting up there and actually talking, I have no problem with that - that's what the filibuster is for. That shows that you care passionately enough about an issue that people should take notice.

The ability to block a vote simply by having 41 people who don't like it is what's fucked up.

+1 and +Rep, exactly right.

Debate, should the actual legisltors wish to engage in it, should be permitted till they can engage in it no more (and if it's on-topic, no reading the phone book ffs).

The "filibuster by 41 vote assumption/parlimentary move/no actual filibuster" is fail, and needs changed.

But if it's changed, it needs to stay changed. Not "oh, (R) won the Senate, noaw we need filibuster again cause facists!" we typically get over rules like this over here.