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View Diary: Dem Econ Agenda: Budget Balancing = Reforming Government (236 comments)

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  •  As a long term goal (5+ / 0-)

    I think it's a great idea.  While there are numerous questions to be asked and answered, it would remove a ton of problems from the policy arena.  

    My main concern is constitutional -- that is, could someone argue it violated the 1st Amendment.  I don't know, but that is the challenge I would expect.

    "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

    by bonddad on Mon Jul 10, 2006 at 04:55:41 AM PDT

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    •  Time limit (5+ / 0-)

      I would suggest that there be a time limit set on campaigning.  In Britain, they can only campaign like 3 months.  I get so sick of political ads.  Think of all the money that would be saved.

      I remember reading somewhere that the Bush govt. has hired something like 978,000 new people.  I remember one months new jobs figures and 3/4 of the new jobs were govt. jobs.  Just how many employees are there?

      •  I love that idea (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lcrp, 4jkb4ia, CD in TX, Ellicatt, Wary

        three months before the election, it's quiet.  It allows campaigns to do what they need to do to get organzized, then hopefullt hit the ground running.

        "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

        by bonddad on Mon Jul 10, 2006 at 05:02:59 AM PDT

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      •  Wondering ... (0+ / 0-)

        Just what would that time limit morph into?

        My W.A.G. would be that it would serve as more incumbent protection. After all, town-hall meetings with an elected representative wouldn't be considered "campaigning", would they? ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

        by wystler on Mon Jul 10, 2006 at 09:42:38 AM PDT

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        •  Rules (0+ / 0-)

          Most countries that have campaign time limits have a start date when TV, Radio and newspaper ads start and must end.  They have debates which are scheduled like town hall meetings.  Politicians are basically forced to put out a platform of what they are running on.  Real media would provide the pros and cons of an incumbent and it would be up to that person to defend their record to the voters.  It's intense campaigning and doesn't leave a lot of time to work up swift boating campaigns, etc.  

          •  I do understand that (0+ / 0-)

            I'm aware of what currently happens in most countries (most of whom, btw, run parliamentary systems that leave the selection of chief executive to their legislative body).

            The concern I'm expressing is based on the Law of Unintended Consequences.

   ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

            by wystler on Mon Jul 10, 2006 at 11:24:58 AM PDT

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    •  The issue of corporations... (17+ / 0-)

      And their participation in the political processes of the nation is of grave importance.  Certainly, within the current framework, there are Constitutional questions.  For instance, you cite 1st Amendment concerns, which have been the subject of court cases and a rallying cry for corporatists.  But, consider...

      • Nowhere in the Constitution is the word 'corporation' or any of its forms mentioned.  At the time the Constitution was written, it was understood that the term 'corporation' referred to a form of legal ownership and nothing more.
      • The provisions of the Constitution are clearly related to 'natural persons', which a corporate body is not.  It is only by (insertion by a clerk of the Supreme Court?) court judgements that corporations are considered as 'citizens', a purely legal construct.  Historically, incorporation refers to a form of legal ownership, just as does 'partnership', 'sole proprietorship', and other legal forms of ownership... each prescribing legal rights as to entitlements relative to profits, responsibilities for debt, and claims on assets in the event of sale or disolution.
      • It is clearly demonstrable that corporations cannot even perform the duties of citizenship beyond simply obeying law that is directed toward those bodies.  They cannot vote, do not count in a census, cannot as a body 'bear arms', cannot serve as jury members, etc.

      These are only 'starter' ideas as to the realities of corporations in society.  But, to get the corporate money out of politics, the first step might be to specifically regress to a definition of corporations as a legal form of ownership, not persons; that being only legal constructs, they enjoy neither the inherent rights nor protections of citizens who are natural persons.

      An uphill battle, granted.  But it is one that must be fought, now or later.  If not, the accumulation of influence in corporations (think money) will only increase.  Already, in the face of that money, the vote of a single citizen is diluted and the preferences of the electorate are either manipulated or simply ignored.  The logical conclusion by extension is, if corporatism is allowed to proceed on the same course, the voice of the nominal citizen, the natural person, will become so relatively weak as to have no impact at all.

      You may think that a radical view; if so, so be it.  Only my opinion.  

      Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

      by wgard on Mon Jul 10, 2006 at 05:39:20 AM PDT

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