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DeltaMD90
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Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:17 pm

I think most people would agree that the state of politics in the US is pretty sad to say the least. Although the US isn't officially a 2 party system, voting for anyone else is basically a waste of a vote. So who do I vote for? Both sides have their terrible, partisan ugly sides. Do you think we'd be better off with a parliament like system so we could have multiple parties that better suit our needs??
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soon7x7
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:29 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Thread starter):


Negative...the system that was founded was and is fine...it was based on principals...all we need back in place are the men that possess these principals and the visions this nation was once focused on. Lying and greed as we see today are not the principals that mold great nations and sustain them.
 
TheCommodore
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:41 pm

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 1):
all we need back in place are the men that possess these principals and the visions this nation was once focused on.

What ?

Politicians with principles and vision, when you find one will you let us all know !

I think this species that you talk of, is now extinct and has been for some time.  

We have a parliament system here in Australia, The Westminster System, and its not without its foibles, but generally speaking, its a system that works very well.

Not sure how it would go in the US. Many people would need to be educated, as to any advantages a Parliament system might provide.

[Edited 2011-04-12 16:42:36]
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:44 pm

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 1):

Negative...the system that was founded was and is fine...it was based on principals...

This is the kind of religious Americanism that is going to kill us.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION IS NOT THE WORK OF GOD, NOR IS IT INFALLIBLE.

The Constitution actually allows for a parliament and prime minister. It would require a lot of amendments, but it could be done without ratifying a whole new Constitution.

Admittedly, it might be simpler to do so, but it is not absolutely necessary.
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:51 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Thread starter):
Do you think we'd be better off with a parliament like system so we could have multiple parties that better suit our needs??

And you're going to end up with a parliament with two parties. . .
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:05 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Thread starter):
Do you think we'd be better off with a parliament like system so we could have multiple parties that better suit our needs??

No. We need a small government.

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squared
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:06 am

The American legislative system has problems, but so do other systems. No system is perfect...

Two-Party Systems
Parliamentary systems can still result in, what amounts to, a two-party system... The Westminster style of Parliament has often resulted in power shifting between two major parties, with an occasional third party providing support in times of minority governments.

Partisanship
Partisanship is still pervasive, and can be even stronger in Westminster Parliamentary systems as governments can fail if government members don't support bills (even those that might be detrimental to the particular MPs' ridings). Party discipline is crucial in parliamentary systems, which means politicians tow the party line, and rarely veer from it.

What is admirable about the American system is that, in theory at least, local representatives can be more attuned to local concerns, and can express concerns more freely by voting accordingly. In Westminster systems, those local concerns are often overridden by fears of triggering the failure of the government, and hence government MPs are "whipped" to vote with Cabinet's decision on a particular bill. As such, backbench MPs of the the governing party are more like benchwarmers; they mindlessly vote with Cabinet to ensure the government's continued survival, and their voices are only heard during caucus (a dubious assertion, perhaps).

Alternatives
Some of these concerns can be addressed with proportional representation systems, but they can be notoriously unstable. They often require grand coalitions piecing together disparate parties under one general banner, and can lead to frequent elections (which leads to inefficient governance).

Conclusion
Every system has problems, some are more serious than others. But replacing Congress and the Presidential system with a Parliament is merely importing different problems into the same environment. I'm not sure if it would really solve anything...
 
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:09 am

Seems to me a parliamentary system in the US would be even more unstable than what we have. I could see successive governments falling one after another due to inability muster votes in parliament, forcing yet a new election.

At least with current system we have some stability as one president and party is given the chance to push along their agenda for the nation for a fixed amount of time, and then it becomes a sink or swim for them at the ballot box. There is less worry about the next election as its at a know time frame, not potentially next month if things fall apart in parliament.

A potential good I would say however with a parliamentary system is that unless if we mandated some minimum thresholds for entry, there would likely be the opportunity for more 3rd party candidates and views to get elected directly and participate.
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:17 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION IS NOT THE WORK OF GOD, NOR IS IT INFALLIBLE.

Which is why it was created with an ammendment provision. As long as that is complied with, the rule of law is still satisfied.
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:19 am

I wouldn't think so, IMHO it doesn't really matter too much once you are talking about a large country like the USA.
What I personally think needs to change in the USA is the lobby/special interests influence on politicians... Basically it borders on corruption on how much influence can be had by paying money... Also there does need to be a move away from just having two parties. I think the best system is when you have 2 main parties (left and right) with a smaller center party that helps to stop the partisan politics, perhaps several independants also just to keep everyone honest. There will be times when one of the main parties does really well and can govern perhaps with just a few of the independants, other times they will just need the center party.

America has become more partisan as the years go by, particularly ever since Vietnam War. They seem to spend more time blocking each others efforts and spending massive amounts of money undoing each others efforts for little net result.
This causes the government to be a lot bigger in areas (Republicans don't like this) that it shouldn't be, whilst not providing a lot of services that most other developed nations offer their citizens (the Democrats cause).
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:24 am

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 2):
We have a parliament system here in Australia, The Westminster System, and its not without its foibles, but generally speaking, its a system that works very well.

It does generally work well, for the most part - with the exceptions of where you have minority governments, then things become quite slow. One thing that is important is rules preventing members wasting time of the house - eg, trying to talk down bills (what Americans might call filibustering).

Quoting squared (Reply 6):
governments can fail if government members don't support bills (even those that might be detrimental to the particular MPs' ridings).

That's why you have a Whip whose job it is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. That includes mandating members to turn up for votes on bills tabled in parliament, etc. It's very necessary for "broad-church" type of parties.

However, we have an upper house which can vote down legislation too and send it back to the lower-house. But then of course, you have the possibility of the double-dissolution election in certain circumstances:

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1...ctbox-what-is-a-double-dissolution

But it's for nothing if there is partisan politics.
 
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:34 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Thread starter):
Do you think we'd be better off with a parliament like system so we could have multiple parties that better suit our needs??

No. We'd end up with all sorts of crazy ass parties standing for this and that and actually getting votes. It's better having two non-ideological parties that don't stand for anything.
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:45 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 11):

No. We'd end up with all sorts of crazy ass parties standing for this and that and actually getting votes.

Not likely. You'd most likely end up with the usual centre-left and centre-right parties in power, with some far right extremists getting a few votes here and there.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 11):
It's better having two non-ideological parties that don't stand for anything.

Er, if I'm not mistaken, they are both idealogical, just at the extreme ends of each spectrum, if we are to believe the rhetoric thrown around on this forum. Non-ideological parties just wouldn't work in America.
 
474218
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:46 am

No way!

I remember some years ago the parliamentary elections in Trinidad. The two major parties captured the same number of seats. A minor party won just two seats. It put the minor party in charge, because whom ever they went with would form the government.

And you think the American system is bad?
 
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:50 am

Quoting cpd (Reply 12):
Er, if I'm not mistaken, they are both idealogical,

No, they aren't. Put 100 Democrats or 100 Republicans in a room and see how much they agree on. The party in American politics is about like a record label.
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rfields5421
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:53 am

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 1):
the system that was founded was and is fine...it was based on principals...all we need back in place are the men that possess these principals and the visions this nation was once focused on.

Unfortunately those principals had disappeared and were replaced by two parties at each others throats and partisanship over principlals by the elections of 1796 in the United States.

Quoting Carlisle (Reply 5):
We need a small government.

Unfortunately we have a large country. We cannot have a small government unless we have a smaller country.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 9):
it doesn't really matter too much once you are talking about a large country like the USA.
What I personally think needs to change in the USA is the lobby/special interests influence on politicians...

Every government in every country has special interests which influence the political process and politicians. You can't legislate that out of any system.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 9):
America has become more partisan as the years go by

It is not currently the worst it has been in our history. The one difference today is the intense media coverage.

Politicians cannot be statesmen when every time they try to behave in the best interest of the country, they talk show criticism, partisian TV reports, e-mail campaigns and internet forums screaming at them.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:55 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 13):
And you think the American system is bad?

Because I'm a newly born moderate and voting for either party goes against a bit of what I believe. I think Democrats have a lot of great ideas and intentions but (these democrats at least) cannot be trusted to put them in place--they just form inefficient messes. And I wouldn't mind voting Republican, but they are so homophobic (among other things) they turn me off too. I guess I know the plight of the moderates and just gotta suck it up and vote for someone I might disagree with on a lot of issues (or just vote for Mickey Mouse or something, what a waste)

Keep in mind what I just said is my current opinion and is very simplified, I don't want to debate this or that on what each party stands for, that's not the point. I still think this sentence sums it up the best:

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 9):
What I personally think needs to change in the USA is the lobby/special interests influence on politicians.

Focus on the PEOPLE!
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:57 am

Great people created the American system of checks and balances. I know they are greater than me. If I set up the system, it would be simple. All the people fooling around not doing the right thing, can go to the guillotine. Lobbying for no-bid drug provisions in Medicare? Try it headless. Agitating for war? Instant beheading. Trying to repeal environmental protections? What's that? Can't hear you without your head. As I say, the Founders taught us a better way.
 
PacNWjet
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:38 am

This question requires clarification because it conflates two distinct issues of democratic governance: 1) Form of government and 2) electoral systems.

1) Governments can take on a variety of structures. Among democracies, the two most common forms of government are presidential and parliamentary systems. In presidential systems the head of state is elected independently of the legislative branch of government. The United States employs a presidential system. In parliamentary systems the head of government (usually called the prime minister but also known with other terms such as the chancellor in Germany) is elected by the legislative branch of government. Parliamentary systems typically also have a head of state (either a monarch or elected president), but typically the head of state has very limited political powers. Most Western European countries have a parliamentary form of government. There are also hybrids known as dual-executive systems in which there is both a president with real political power and a prime minister. France employs the dual-executive system.

2) There are any number of electoral systems, any of which could be utilized in presidential, parliamentary, or dual-executive systems. The two most common electoral systems in democracies are single-seat winner-take all and proportional representation. Among countries that use single seat winner-take all are Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Among countries that use proportional representation are Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. However there are hybrids and variations on these themes. For example, Germany uses a combination of proportional representation and single-seat representation, while France uses a variation on winner-take-all known as the double ballot system. There are also other electoral systems that are used throughout the world including limited vote, preference voting (sometimes known as single transferable vote), and cumulative voting.

Now, here is the important point: The form of government a country has (presidential, parliamentary, dual-executive) is not synonymous with any particular electoral system (winner-take-all, proportional representation, limited vote, preference voting, cumulative voting, etc.). A country can have a presidential form of government and any type of electoral system. A country can have a parliamentary form of government and any type of electoral system. A country can have a dual-executive form of government and any type of electoral system. The original poster conflates the United States presidential system with winner-take-all electoral systems that typically result in two parties. However, and here is the rub, presidential systems can exist with proportional representation electoral systems which typically result in multiple viable parties, and at the same time parliamentary systems can exist with winner-take-all electoral systems which typically result in two main political parties.

So, by confusing the U.S. electoral system (winner-take-all) with the presidential form of government, the original poster mistakenly assumes that switching to a parliamentary form of government will result in multiple viable parties in the United States. But if what the original poster wants is a multi-party system in the United States, the best way of bringing that about is not by changing the form of government, but by changing the U.S. electoral system from single-seat winner-take-all to proportional representation.

[Edited 2011-04-12 20:04:38]
 
janmnastami
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:49 am

Quoting PacNWjet (Reply 18):
Most Western European countries have a presidential form of government.

I disagree. Can you list them?
 
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:03 am

Quoting janmnastami (Reply 19):
I disagree. Can you list them?

Woops. Typo. I meant to say that most Western European countries have a parliamentary form of government. I have made the correction. Thanks for the heads-up.
 
seb146
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:30 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
Put 100 Democrats or 100 Republicans in a room and see how much they agree on. The party in American politics is about like a record label.

What I have noticed is (using the example provided) 100 Democrats will have 100 different ideas and want to have them all included in any talks. 100 Republicans will have a small minority scream and shout their ideas and demand it is their way or the highway because that is the way it is and anyone else is a traitor. Neither way is really helpful.

What I think should happen is completely get rid of money and favors from politics. Elections, lobbyist, staffers... all of it. Get rid of the Senate. Make the House a voluntary position with per dium pay.
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:44 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 16):
And I wouldn't mind voting Republican, but they are so homophobic (among other things) they turn me off too.

I gotta tell you, I am a firm believer in conservative principles - and I happen to believe that one such principle is that of keeping government the hell out of my life - and out of yours, too.

Very few folks I know, Republican folks, give a rat's teawhistle about another person's sexual orientation. That fits neatly into a clearly-defined box, the one labeled, "Nunya!"

Nunya business if I like men better than women.

Nunya business if I want to ride a motorcycle without a helmet.

Nunya business if I prefer simple, cheap incandescent bulbs over compact fluorescents.

Nunya business if I want to go visit Cuba.

For every example of some thing or another which "Republicans" think, I can cite an equally foul principle held by "Democrats." Which is to say, don't presume to know what thoughts are in the heads of people simply by virtue of their political leanings.

I am four-square for whomever it is who will recall that the government governs best, which governs least, and executes in accord with that essential truth.

I have no desire - and no right - to tell you how you should live your life; Don't tell me how to live, either. Don't take the hard-earned fruits of my labor to give to some other able-bodied, lazy-ass goofball.

Government is not the answer, and it almost never is.
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:05 am

The world is slowly moving towards Virtual Direct Democracy anyway.

Now this is 100% solely my theory, but with radio first, then television and now the internet, more and more governments (politicians), react in real time to public opinion to formulate policies. That did not happen 100 years ago, back then politicians had far more time to deliberate or stay a specific course. Not today.

I think this is a very long term process, I'm talking hundreds of years... similar to the transition from purely despotic governments to greco/roman republicanism and back to imperial rule with Rome. Then it tooks hundreds of years for the medieval monarchical Germanic system to take place... and then hundreds of years to go from the Strong monarchies of yesteryear to today's forms of government.

I think in 200 to 300 years, people will in real time from their homes, perhaps with their thoughts, determine the course of government actions, propose laws and debate. I even envision politicians evolving into ''aids'' and not as direct representatives, with them only smoothing out and making sure laws proposed are rational, dealing with budgetary issues, and voting on passage. It will the people that will deliberate and edit the legislative process.

Sort of a virtual wikipedia but where what is edited and updated is how nations are run.
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DocLightning
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:11 am

Quoting lowrider (Reply 8):

Which is why it was created with an ammendment provision. As long as that is complied with, the rule of law is still satisfied.

People act as if it's the Word of God. The Tea Party was a classic example of this. And then they started interpreting it just like people use the Bible.

There's a reason it can be changed and that's because the Founders were wise enough to realize that they couldn't write a perfect document.
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:45 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION IS NOT THE WORK OF GOD, NOR IS IT INFALLIBLE.

I disagree.

IT IS the best country in the world. IT IS that Light at the end of the tunnel. And that I tell you both as national and as a foreigner.

As for the Constitution, it was written by great men, but men non the less, who knew what they were talking about. To come together and to write the most profound document/s in human history is nothing short of divine intervention.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Thread starter):
Do you think we'd be better off with a parliament like system so we could have multiple parties that better suit our needs??

Negative, the US system is as close to perfect as you can get. The only problem is the people governing.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 1):
the system that was founded was and is fine...it was based on principals

Yes, indeed. The principals are bigger than the men who wrote them down. Certain God given unalienable rights, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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JBirdAV8r
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:46 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 1):
Negative...the system that was founded was and is fine...it was based on principals...
This is the kind of religious Americanism that is going to kill us.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION IS NOT THE WORK OF GOD, NOR IS IT INFALLIBLE.

How in the world did you extrapolate all that garbage from that one line? That's quite a leap to make to push your anti-religion diatribe yet again.

For all our problems I think our current government works pretty well. Of course it was based on "principles!" He never said "religious" principles. How about basic human rights.

And what's the problem with American exceptionalism? What's wrong with believing your country, for all its faults, does things the best way? That doesn't mean we think this country is bulletproof, infallible, that God himself moved the hands of the founding fathers in drafting our government. That's ridiculous. If you think another country is better than the United States, why don't you relocate?

What's wrong with Canadian exceptionalism, French exceptionalism for that matter? Nothing. A little national pride never hurt anything.

Shouting out platitudes in all caps doesn't make you any more right and generally indicates you're running thin on good arguments.   
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Geezer
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:46 am

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 1):
Negative...the system that was founded was and is fine...it was based on principals...

It's even better than that Soon; it's the best "system" ever conceived, so far; but the "system" isn't the problem; the problem for the past few decades is, "people"; In today's world, everyone wants to have all manner of extravagant "goodies"; the problem is, most people have "champagne appetites", but "beer incomes". Then, the really "smart people" ( they think), the people running Wall St. and almost all big Corporations, have become even greedier than they were a hundred yrs ago, (and they were pretty "greedy" even then) Then we have all the big "special interests"; if they don't like the law "as is", they just have their "lobbyists" throw a bunch of money at all the politicians, ( who naturally want to keep their "cushy jobs"), and next thing you know, the law gets changed to their liking! ( Take a close
look at General Electric Corp. right now)
So you're quite correct, it's a great "system", but before any "system" is going to work, you must have some "great " people "running things". Don't be so naive as to blame this whole "mess" on the politicians; a few of them are pretty good people; and a lot more of them are greedy, self interested lunatics. (I won't even attempt to say which "side" has the most lunatics) They both have far too many.

Now we hear from our resident paragon of intellect......( who really is a very smart fellow ), but unfortunately, this time he "loses it"!

Quote= DocLightning, reply=3
This is the kind of religious Americanism that is going to kill us.

"Religious Americanism" ? ( I'm sorry Doc, but that almost sounds like an agnostic or even an atheist view; ) either way, both are only "opinions", ( to which you are quite entitled to ), the problem being, there are quite a few million American Citizens who just do not share your opinion! And now is where you "lose it"...........you must be angry, because now you're shouting! Now you have just made a very opinionated, (and very unsupportable) statement having to do with my country. Are you prepared to back that statement up Doc? Are you ready to point out to everyone on this forum just where all these other countries are at, that are "superior" to the USA ? You you like to go practice medicine in the middle east, or perhaps Europe? I think you would quickly find that those places have problems also.

Yeah, we have a lot of problems, no doubt about it; but at the end of the day, there are still several hundred million Americans ( myself included), who think this is still the best place to live, get rich, shout out your opinions, (however nutty they may be), and I don't think it's likely that your apparently anti-religion, liberal view of America is ever going to be part of the "majority" of thought. Something else that troubles me; you just made that "religious Americanism is going to kill us" statement; you are a well educated young man Doc; I wish you would explain to the forum just what you mean by that ? ( And also where all these "superior countries" are at ? )

Quote= DocLightning, Reply=3

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION IS NOT THE WORK OF GOD, NOR IS IT INFALLIBLE.

Perhaps you would like to point out to us something which is superior Doc? You don't seem to care too much for our country, you apparently don't like ( or don't believe in ) god, ( which again, is your right ), but you haven't mentioned any alternatives. You may not think America is the greatest place Doc, but I could show you a few hundred thousand graves in Washington DC, that the men in those graves thought America was worth dying for; have you ever had anything worth dying for Doc?


quote=Flighty,reply=17

Great people created the American system of checks and balances. I know they are greater than me. ( I'm with you so far Flighty)

If I set up the system, it would be simple. All the people fooling around not doing the right thing, can go to the guillotine. Lobbying for no-bid drug provisions in Medicare? Try it headless. Agitating for war? Instant beheading. Trying to repeal environmental protections? What's that? Can't hear you without your head. As I say, the Founders taught us a better way.

That's a pretty "extreme" solution Flighty, but I'm afraid it just won't work anymore! All sorts of reasons why...........( like who gets to choose who get his head lopped off, etc ); I think they tried that in France once........I don't think it worked too well even back then.

Now if you want to talk about "going that route" with that bunch down at "Gitmo", I'm all ears! ( I'm hoping for something a bit more "modern" though); like maybe a length of rope and a stout tree; or better yet, a squad of WW2 and Korean Vets equipped with AK 47's, from 50 feet? ) ( Maybe they'd let me "participate" in that effort? )

Anyway, almost everyone replying to this thread is making things too complicated. Let's face it........the world has a lot of bad people in it anymore; only now, some of the worst people are "running things"; we have a President who chooses to 'hang out" with known anarchists, who travels the world "apologizing" for all the "terrible" things America has done to............( just who are we supposed to have done all these terrible things to? )
We have the CEO of the largest Corporation, on the one hand, "slurping at the public trough", making un-told millions for himself, ( but not for his stockholders), all the while practically on Obama's cabinet..........we have Congress"people" voting for things they never even bothered to read about, then when (and if) we ever get around to "throwing them out", they just run and get a quick 7 figure "job" spreading money around, buying their former colleagues votes. And I suppose we still have military procurement contracts paying $ 900 for toilet seats!

None of this is because we have such a faulty "system" people; it's because we have so many greedy, dishonest, power hungry people "running the show". But that all begs just one more question..............who put them there? Who keeps them there, even after they have proven to everyone how corrupt they are? Obviously, they were put there by.........voters! So who gets to vote? Depends on who you ask; One thing is for sure; if you promise enough people a "free ride", over a long enough period of time, they'll vote for anyone they think is giving them that free ride; but the problem with that is, it is only "free" to the people making the promises! It's not free at all to all the people who work their butts off to pay the taxes that fund all these "free rides".

I'm sure no math "whiz"........but I've bought and sold several dozen homes "in my day', and I had to pay a lot of "rent" on all the money I borrowed to buy those houses; and I had to have something that indicated a reasonable expectation of being able to keep up my payments. Those days are no longer with us folks! Today, if you are "poor". ( or lazy, or just too sorry to work, or can't be bothered with "providing" for all the babies you have had) , you can buy a home and someone else will be obliged to pay for it! ( One of those free rides I mentioned ) Ever wonder who's paying for all these "free rides" ? Here's a tip: they all became so "up to here" with it all, they got together and started their own "group"; got some things done too; But guess what ? Because they are tired of paying for all those free rides, all the people getting the free rides started calling them names! And throwing rocks, and doing all sorts of nasty things, because..............why else? They don't want their "free rides" to stop! They have become so "comfy" that they want to keep on getting "free stuff"!

This may all sound like there is "no hope"; no, actually there is "hope"; but someone is going to have to make some drastic changes, ( and in the not too distant future ), or things are going to get a lot worse than they are now.

Is there a better way ? Absolutely! Anytime the "present way" is terrible, there is always going to be a better way.
The big problem is, not too many people who have "bought into" the "free ride" system are going to like it too much.

But that's another story for another day........................

Charley
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ba6590
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:41 am

Quoting flanker (Reply 25):
To come together and to write the most profound document/s in human history is nothing short of divine intervention.

Seriously? divine intervention?
Now I'm not even going to debate if the US system is perfect or not, partially because I don't know the system enough and partially because I'm going to get flamed.
What I find worrying is that some people aren't even willing to debate the thought that the constitution MAY not be perfect. It was written by human beings, humans are far from being perfect and times change.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 27):
You may not think America is the greatest place Doc, but I could show you a few hundred thousand graves in Washington DC, that the men in those graves thought America was worth dying for; have you ever had anything worth dying for Doc?

I could show you the graves of several hundreds who died for fundamental Islam. Just because someone finds something worth dying for doesn't make it perfect.
We just need to keep an open mind. What makes us great it our ability to debate and accept the fact that we might be wrong.
 
airtran737
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:20 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
This is the kind of religious Americanism that is going to kill us.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.



You're wrong. As someone who spends most of his time out of the country (260 days last year alone), I wouldn't pledge my loyalty to any other land on the planet. Sure I could live on the beach in Tahiti, but I would never be loyal to the country, and would never lay my life down for it. America has lost its way, but we will wind it again, and when we do, once again we will be the beacon of light, the shining city on the hill. This is the greatest nation on the planet, and while we do make errors people still die trying to get into the confines of our borders.
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jwenting
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:25 am

you mean would the US be better off with noone telling Obama he has to watch his budget a little bit?
They're doing a poor job, but if they weren't there things would be infinitely worse.
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kc135topboom
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:07 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 1):

Negative...the system that was founded was and is fine...it was based on principals...

This is the kind of religious Americanism that is going to kill us.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION IS NOT THE WORK OF GOD, NOR IS IT INFALLIBLE.

The Constitution actually allows for a parliament and prime minister. It would require a lot of amendments, but it could be done without ratifying a whole new Constitution.

Just where did 7x7 mention religion?

Why is religion going to kill us?

You are free to go find your definition of the "best country in the world". Or if you cannot find one, you are also free to start one.

No one ever said the Constitution of the United States was written by God. You are right, it is not infallible, but it is amendable.

The Constitution of the United States begins with perhaps the 3 most important words ever written by man, "WE THE PEOPLE". It does not start out with "I am God", or anything like that.

Yes, the bases for our Constitution is the 10 Commandments. So, what? Almost every country on Earth has laws based on the 10 Commandments. Not every country follows all 10 Commandments, including the United States.

The US Constitution garantees every US citizen the freedom OF religion, as well as the freedom FROM religion. The choice belongs to each and every one of us.
 
StarAC17
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:36 pm

There is good and bad to both.

The biggest issue I think with the US government is the senate, it needs to be eliminated or adjusted based on population, the founding fathers couldn't have foreseen the population gap between the states. I feel it has too much power especially with things like the filibuster, checks and balances are good things but when they get overused especially when the other power is in a majority just to stop them.

It makes no sense to me that states like California, New York, Florida, and Texas all with large populations have 2 senators. Where states like Idaho, Wyoming and Alaska have 2 senators and only one member of the house in some cases.

In the parliamentary system its more streamlined and when you have a majority you can do what you want and if the people don't like it you give them a minority or vote them out.

What is good about the US is that the executive branch and the legislative branch are separate entities that have to agree to get anything done.

Quoting flanker (Reply 25):
As for the Constitution, it was written by great men, but men non the less, who knew what they were talking about. To come together and to write the most profound document/s in human history is nothing short of divine intervention.

For guys who were rebelling against religious oppression, I'm not sure they agree   .

They also said that the constitution should be looked at every 50 years or so as countries continue to evolve along with demographics. What was written in 1776 was never supposed to be taken literally today.

Quoting flanker (Reply 25):
I disagree.

IT IS the best country in the world. IT IS that Light at the end of the tunnel. And that I tell you both as national and as a foreigner.

The US still might be a beacon for freedom and liberty, but it is a fact that the country doesn't rank number one in anything that is beneficial to the country. It did at a time and might again at some point but not now.
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:09 pm

The problem with a parliament system is that it often collapses. Then elections need to be scheduled to form the next government. But if a hung parliament occurs, then who is in charge? Should the president ask for a minister to form the next government? should minority parties ally themselves with other parties and form a coalition?

It can be done, but it's too much of a burden having to maintain an efficient government so that is does not collapse.

The system I believe is the best is Switzerland's federal council. Six officials are elected to form the council that will lead the country. And any laws passed by them can be challenged by citizens in referendums. Citizens can also propose laws which can pass if the citizens approve of them by referendum. Direct democracy. No more having a Congressional consent on laws.

Quoting flanker (Reply 25):
IT IS the best country in the world. IT IS that Light at the end of the tunnel. And that I tell you both as national and as a foreigner.

Then why is it that your northern neighbor everyday seems a better option to live in? Or the Scandinavian countries for that matter? So as has been said, the US WAS the greatest country. It's still among the best, but it's no longer THE best.

Quoting flanker (Reply 25):
As for the Constitution, it was written by great men, but men non the less, who knew what they were talking about. To come together and to write the most profound document/s in human history is nothing short of divine intervention.

Had the Constitution been as great as it was when it was originally written, the amendments made throughout the years would have not been necessary. Yet the Constitution (as great as everyone claims it is) did not address gender discrimination, race discrimination, nor other rights initially. So if the "divine interpretation" allowed for slaves to be kept, then we are not in tune with one another.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:34 pm

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

“Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either [aristocracy or monarchy]. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

- John Adams (2nd President of the USA)

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rfields5421
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:40 pm

Quoting flanker (Reply 25):
As for the Constitution, it was written by great men, but men non the less, who knew what they were talking about. To come together and to write the most profound document/s in human history is nothing short of divine intervention.



Might I suggest you take an early American history course.

Our current constitution was the second form of government tried in this country. It was not expected to be a permanent governing document for this country by its writers or other leaders of the revolutionary period. One of its principle goals was to create a strong executive leader, yet avoid creating a system where one family or one group (political party) controlled that position.

It did not support a party system - many of the founding fathers were against any party system. That is one reason they called for the VP to be the person who got the second most votes for President. (That was changed quickly). But by the time the second and third presidents were elected - partisan party politics had completely distorted the process.

The US Constitution borrowed heavily from existing forms of government, philosophy and history leading back to Roman and Greek times. The three branches comes directly from the Massachusetts Constitution written by John Adams who used Cicero and Aristotle as sources. The separation of powers of the three branches goes even farther back in history. Much of the separation concept comes directly from the English system and the system of government used by The Netherlands at the time.

The US Constitution was a brilliant combination of multiple ideas into one document. But it also proved to be flawed within the first administration, and people have been working to fix some of those flaws every since.

The US Constitution ignored the major social, economic and political issue facing the new nation - which resulted in the nation almost being destroyed about 75 years later.
 
lowrider
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:58 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 24):
People act as if it's the Word of God. The Tea Party was a classic example of this.

They just want it adhered to. And if someone changes it, and the amendment provision is followed, there could be no argument.
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Dreadnought
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:09 pm

Quoting lowrider (Reply 36):
They just want it adhered to. And if someone changes it, and the amendment provision is followed, there could be no argument.

Exactly. It is supposed to be the highest law of the land, and when we take so many liberties with it, with interpretations broad to the point of absurdity, it just eliminates any respect for the law that we might have.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
lewis
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:28 pm

Quoting airtran737 (Reply 29):
As someone who spends most of his time out of the country (260 days last year alone), I wouldn't pledge my loyalty to any other land on the planet.

Yes maybe because you are an American and unless you come from a country that oppresses you or threatens your life then you have no reason not to feel loyal to your country. Citizenship to a country also requires a level of loyalty towards it.

Quoting airtran737 (Reply 29):
This is the greatest nation on the planet

A bit subjective. It is certainly one of the best, I don't have that much experience in living in all countries of the world or at least the top 20 so I am not sure I can support "the greatest" characterization.

Quoting airtran737 (Reply 29):
people still die trying to get into the confines of our borders

People lose their lives trying to get into the confines of many countries, some offering a good quality of life and some not that much. That means absolutely nothing.
 
Superfly
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:35 pm

America already has a Parliament.
They started in Plainfield, New Jersey

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament-Funkadelic

Bring back the Concorde
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:00 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 15):

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 9):
it doesn't really matter too much once you are talking about a large country like the USA.
What I personally think needs to change in the USA is the lobby/special interests influence on politicians...

Every government in every country has special interests which influence the political process and politicians. You can't legislate that out of any system.

Actually you can and you would be surprised how many countries have much smaller levels of lobbying/special interests than the USA. You can ban politicians from taking rides in private jets, expensive lunches, paid for holidays, gifts, election fundraising, etc
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seb146
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:40 pm

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 26):
What's wrong with Canadian exceptionalism, French exceptionalism for that matter? Nothing. A little national pride never hurt anything.

There never has been anything wrong with national pride. The probem comes when people start believing their country is "the best" and all others should get out the way.

A perfect example of this comes up once in a while on the CBS show "Amazing Race." Teams travel to different countries and some get frustrated because no one speaks English and no one is willing to help the Americans. In general, the Americans act as though they own the place and they are the only ones that matter. It happens all the time to regular Americans traveling abroad. They want McDonalds, Starbucks, FOX, expect everyone to speak English, and people to drive on the right side of the road.

Or like baseball: "You come to Dodger Stadium rooting for the Giants and we will f*ck you up!" Extreme example, but you get my point.

That type of thinking makes us, as a nation, look foolish. Like religious zealots.

And, yes, I am Christian.
Life in the wall is a drag.
 
lowrider
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RE: Would America Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:17 pm

Quoting seb146 (Reply 41):
It happens all the time to regular Americans traveling abroad.

We don't have a monopoly on this. I have several times been interrupted in airports by people rambling on in French, Arabic, or other languages I don't understand and after failing to communicate what ever was on their mind, storming off in in frustration.
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