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Izzy

Government for the people. How?

Question

The objective of this thread is to altruistically* design a political structure wherein the needs and interests of EVERY inhabitant of this country are met. (None of this "general public" crap, we should try to make everyone happy. smile.gif ) It's impossible to not be aware of how inconceivable this sounds, but I think by being mindful of what we're trying to accomplish, but.. just might be feasible?**

Now, before we can even begin devising laws, creating our constitution, bill of rights, etc., I think it's best we assemble a list of what people want from their government. Feel free to contribute ANYTHING. (I stole some of these from the world's smallest political quiz and the bill of rights. >_>)

1. Government should not censor speech, press, media, or internet.
2. Military service should be voluntary.
3. There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults, where a consenting adult is anyone of 16 years of age or older.
4. Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs.
5. End government barriers to international free trade.
6. Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security.
7. Keep government welfare, but no taxation without representation.
8. Freedom of speech, religion, sexuality, peaceful protests, and petition.
9. Soldiers may not be quartered in a house without the consent of the owner.
10. People may not be unreasonably searched or kept in captivity.
11. The right to a free, public, and speedy trial.
12. Laws are to remain the same from State to State.
13. Eventual globalization is a priority.

*We can get into the semantics of altruism later. I have.. mixed feelings, but this most closely elucidates my intentions. (Lol, I swear, I bounce back and forth from being the apathetic hippy civilian who just wants to live to the extremely fervent humanitarian practically daily. >_>)
** Eh, truthfully, it isn't. Too many people disagree on matters of religion, which define the moral code for a LOT of people (even if they don't strictly adhere to it, haha). We need to agree now to define morals for ourselves and not base them off of religious texts. Like, if someone proposes "Don't kill", that's perfectly acceptable, and I expect it to be fully ratified. If someone else suggests "Love God", this is more open to debate. While you can submit ideas that coincide with religious texts, submit them because they are mandates you want and agree with, not just because your scripture of choice tells you to follow them.

Edited by bonanova

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Yeah, that won't be eliminated, just like we still have governors and mayors while we have a president. We'll just take the hierarchy one step further, and above the presidents of countries will be some sort of supreme overlooker or something.

..You know, honestly, this thread has made me wonder if I'm libertarian. I think I'm more like liberal + wanting the rights to my body. For the most part, I think we need a government in place to maintain order and peace and whatnot.

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Yeah, that won't be eliminated, just like we still have governors and mayors while we have a president. We'll just take the hierarchy one step further, and above the presidents of countries will be some sort of supreme overlooker or something.

..You know, honestly, this thread has made me wonder if I'm libertarian. I think I'm more like liberal + wanting the rights to my body. For the most part, I think we need a government in place to maintain order and peace and whatnot.

Despite what people say, there's more than just Left and Right, Liberal and Conservative. Libertarian ideology sort of falls in-between because they are for smaller, limited government (which does seem completely counter to your ideals here) and personal freedom. That's not an inherently conservative position, but since the Republicans have been expounding the virtues of small government (without really doing anything to make government smaller :rolleyes: ) for the last 30 years, the libertarians have allied with the conservative cause. I think that some Libertarians are breaking ranks with the Republicans (some of the "Tea Party" stuff) because the Republicans have never really followed through on their stated goals of smaller government (especially considering that Clinton was the most fiscally responsible President in recent memory :duh: ).

In any case, I don't really like labels like that anyway since everyone has (or ought to have) an unique political philosophy, developed from their own life experiences. So you can be libertarian in some ways, while supporting more liberal ideas in other areas. I do think that world government is probably antithetical to full-on libertarianism, but there are still some aspects where they can overlap. I would be happy with a smaller government if I felt that it could provide the sorts of protections I think that government should provide. I don't want a particular type or size of government, I just want a good one that protects as many of its people as it can. Larger, more integrated governments are the only feasible ones that I currently see will work the way I think they should. If someone shows me a better way, I'd be happy to support it.

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Yeah, I took a political quiz, and it said I was a 'moderate liberterian liberal.' So, yeah. =)

Um...What do we do about congress? We've already discussed why it needs improvement, but what do we do to improve it? (I say either a) eliminate it or b) Eliminate political parties, which would eliminate the problems Obama is having.)

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b) Eliminate political parties

Well, we can't do that. That's pretty much on par with impossibility as eliminating stereotypes in high schools. The overwhelming majority of people are always going to have a way to distinguish themselves from other people. Even if you get rid of the names, you're still going to have your extremely left and your extremely right people, who are going to oppose each other regardless of political affiliation. ...Lol, the only difference is that people are actually going to have to do some research. ..That's... probably a good thing. :lol:

Edited by Izzy

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Well, we can't do that. That's pretty much on par with impossibility as eliminating stereotypes in high schools. The overwhelming majority of people are always going to have a way to distinguish themselves from other people. Even if you get rid of the names, you're still going to have your extremely left and your extremely right people, who are going to oppose each other regardless of political affiliation. ...Lol, the only difference is that people are actually going to have to do some research. ..That's... probably a good thing. :lol:

In his farewell address, I believe that Washington begged his successors not to form political parties because it would unnecessarily divide the country, but that's promptly what everyone did. Having the parties isn't really the problem (though I would be happy to abolish parties if it were feasible), the problem is when loyalty to party begins to trump loyalty to country. Rep. Anthony Weiner took to the House floor last week in an extremely passionate speech to exhort on that very point. If you support an issue, but your party doesn't, you should still vote for it (or against it as the case may be). The nonsense in the Senate where you scrape together these ~60-40 cloture votes and then the bill passes 98-0 on the final vote is worse. If there's such wide appeal for the bill, there's no reason to drag things out with the cloture vote, it should just be passed by unanimous consent... :dry:

The current rules in the Senate are particularly archaic and for the most part depend on gentlemanly conduct of the members and the theory that even in opposition, the minority party is going to work in good faith with the majority to pass good legislation. Instead, what we're seeing is the Republicans pulling every procedural tactic they can find to slow or stop legislation from passing at all. If they worked together with the Democrats, they might be able to influence bills in directions that they would like better (being in the minority, they can't expect to get everything they want), but instead they choose to do nothing except to obstruct most every bill from passage. The Constitution gives Congress the power to set its own rules, so they have the ability to change them, but the entrenched politicians have no interest in revising the rules for the 21st Century. :rolleyes:

But I agree that breaking down political parties would help with some problems since there are a lot of people who are Democrats because their dad was a Democrat or a Republican for the same reason. They'll vote the Democratic or Republican ticket because that's what they've always done, not because they know what each candidate actually stands for.

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Yeah, that's what I meant. See, I consider myself a liberal, not a democrat. I don't think that we need political parties. It would be better if we just determined things and voted for based based on political ideals and beliefs.

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To add what I was saying about the Senate above, I just finished a long article about the Senate's increasing partisanship from the New Yorker. It's really long, but it covers what I was saying and a whole lot more. It documents the degradation of the Senate's deliberativeness while exploring the Senate's history. I certainly think it's worth skimming, even if you don't find time to read the whole thing. It might provide some insight into ways to improve the Republic system (or convince you to scrap it entirely, maybe :unsure: ).

Just clarifying, I wrote my previous post before I read the article... :)

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Yeah, that's what I meant by people actually having to do research if we scrap political parties altogether. :P It isn't a bad idea, I just don't think it's possible right now. I totally agree that if people vote based on issues rather than parties, we'd be better off. Personally, I think it'd be funny to become a politician just to run under the Republican name and propose fully liberal ideas just to see them ratified. :P (Unlikely, but hey, when you live in a nation where an astounding amount of people vote becasue someone has a D or an R next to their name, who's to say I won't get elected?)

...On second thought.. maybe it is possible. How outraged will a nation be if we make it illegal to out your political party if you are a politician? The only way I can see them no longer existing is if they go out of use for a long time. Or if everyone just starts campaigning under the independant title. ..Tricky. Doable. Maybe.

I'll look into the article when I have some more time.

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This article showed how ridiculous congress, especially the senate, are. These people are worried about the success of their parties more than the success of America. The fact that the democrats even denied some of the things they wanted because the republicans suggested it, and supposedly vice versa... it's unbelievable.

Political parties must go. They're bothersome, and do more harm than good. It wouldn't hurt to have people do some research. maybe we can start to regain our place amongst the world's smartest nations.

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Similarly, we were watching a video in biology about a disease that was eliminated in the northern parts of the world because of vaccinations, because still active in the south. Over a decade, scientists funded through some charity tracked it down, vaccinated people, and completely erradicated the disease. If globalized, this would have happened much sooner.

Limitations on information will be removed. Do you see this network of infintie knowledge you're staring into? Places like China (and possibly New Zealand/Australia :mad: ) restrict internet search content, isolating their citizens from the wonders of information! We can end that, y'know. We can, but we don't. =/

Uhh.. Yeah.

The disease you're talking about is smallpox, which is the only disease ever to have been eradicated by people. This was relatively easily done because this disease spread only from person to person. However, some countries still have lab samples of it, and I'm not sure if they still vaccinate the military, so the threat of biological warfare is there.

:lol: There's a loophole to china's now. Google recently stopped filtering search results, saying it was against their philosophy, which made china mad and unfortunately made google's stock go down. Google.cn (chinese google), now automatically redirects you to google.com.hk, hong kong google, which has no search filters. Go google!

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This article showed how ridiculous congress, especially the senate, are. These people are worried about the success of their parties more than the success of America. The fact that the democrats even denied some of the things they wanted because the republicans suggested it, and supposedly vice versa... it's unbelievable.

Political parties must go. They're bothersome, and do more harm than good. It wouldn't hurt to have people do some research. maybe we can start to regain our place amongst the world's smartest nations.

Not exactly go, I mean, people still have to have some political standing. But no more parties paying for campaigns, no more (D) or ( R) next to people's names on the news. Make it less official.

EDIT: ( R) without space goes to copyright symbol.

Edited by NickFleming

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Yes, they have to have a political standing, but not a political party. 'Liberal' is a political standing, but not a party. Parties are unnecessary.

BTW, I'll be in the Bahamas for the next week, so I won't be posting. I'll start again when I get back.

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Mmm, got bored, took a political quiz, still stand pretty much where I expected myself to at left social libertarian with the pacifists and anti-war activists. I'm left 4.05, libertarian 6.32. -5.59 in foreign policy and -7.88 in the culture war. Apparently. I'm fairly left for libertarian. (Which is why the labels are off, meh.) I was talking to Unreality on AIM the other day, and he said something that made a lot of sense. One can still be anti-Authoritarian and want a smaller government while still advocating life's necessities like health care, welfare, etc. So, I think that ties up my thoughts fairly well. The government should be less of a control mechanism and more of a beneficial service. Bear with me, I'm about to combine a few contrasting views, but I am, offically, a left-leaning socialist libertarian with moderately conservative economic views. ..Yeah, I think that's about right.

Anyway, enjoy: http://www.gotoquiz.com/politics/political-spectrum-quiz.html

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<b>My Political Views</b><br>I am a left moderate social libertarian<br>Left: 4.88, Libertarian: 1.87<br><img src="http://www.gotoquiz.com/politics/grid/10x24.gif"><br><a href="http://www.gotoquiz.com/politics/political-spectrum-quiz.html">Political Spectrum Quiz</a><br>

Sounds right. I am slightly libertarian;there are some things people should be allowed to choose.

<b>My Foreign Policy Views</b><br>Score: -3.92<br><img src="http://www.gotoquiz.com/politics/grid/n30.gif"><br><a href="http://www.gotoquiz.com/politics/political-spectrum-quiz.html">Political Spectrum Quiz</a><br>

Yep.Towards the side of peace.

<b>My Culture War Stance</b><br>Score: -5.18<br><img src="http://www.gotoquiz.com/politics/grid/c24.gif"><br><a href="http://www.gotoquiz.com/politics/political-spectrum-quiz.html">Political Spectrum Quiz</a><br>

Cultural liberal. Again, sounds right.

Any other issues we can think of?

... Maybe we should bring UtF back. At least there was a discussion =)

Edited by gvg

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Ummm.... I still stand with my idea about the army and illegal immigrants. Those who can't serve lead an average lifestyle, while those in the family that can must until they become legal.

And I guess you're right....

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about me, according to said quiz:

"You are a center-left social libertarian.

Left: 2.06, Libertarian: 7.65"

Foreign Policy -8.72 (pacifist / non interventionalist)

Culture -8.75 (culturally liberal)

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You are a centrist moderate social authoritarian.

Right: 0.28, Authoritarian: 2.61

Foreign Policy:

You scored: -1.29

Non-Interventionalist

Culture:

You scored: 2.09

Culture Conservative

Now can someone help me to make sense of this??? I don't do Politics, so I have no idea. I will still try and contribute, but for the most part I am just being a spectator.

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Okay, for the foreign policy thing, it means you don't oppose war, but you don't agree on intervening in other countries' affairs. Authoritarian is the opposite of anarchist. Basically, you want laws forbidding drug use and you want the government to set out specific rules and shove them all down your throat. For the culture, way to the left means you support personal freedoms (abortion, drug use, gay rights, etc.) and way to the right means you oppose them. But you're fairly in the middle on all accounts, so it means you sway back and forth between issues. (For example, you can adamantly oppose abortion but be pro gay rights, putting you somewhere in the middle as opposed to someone that either supports or is against both.)

Also, lmfao: http://www.sjgames.com/illuminati/politics.html

Libertarian ftmfw. "LIBERTARIAN/ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull."

..So much better compared to, "PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk."

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:unsure: idk much about politics. i got "You are a center-left social libertarian. Left:2.26 Libertarian:3.93 foriegn policy:-3.75 culture:-3.95" :huh: can someone please tell me what that means :huh: Edited by yuiop

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:unsure: idk much about politics. i got "You are a center-left social libertarian. Left:2.26 Libertarian:3.93 foriegn policy:-3.75 culture:-3.95" :huh: can someone please tell me what that means :huh:

basically less extreme me :lol: You are slightly to the "left" economically, believing the government should run and regulate some aspects of the otherwise free market. You are like thirdway moderate-ish libertarian, meaning you seek personal freedom, making your own choices, and finding your own happiness - you prefer individuality over commonality, even if that means sometimes you fail or sometimes others do better than you in various ways for various reasons. You are pacifist but not extremely, you probably believe that sometimes it's necessary to go to war. You are culturally liberal so you are in favor of society's progression into a new/better future with things like gay rights, technology rights, etc.

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Here are my quiz results. I imagine there won't be many surprises here:

You are a left moderate social libertarian.

Left: 7.35, Libertarian: 2.23

Foreign Policy: -6.8

Culture: -7.4

I guess I'm something of a flaming liberal! :D

That grid they display at the end shows why it kind of makes sense to have four basic parties (rather than the two we currently have). There are left libertarians and left authoritarians and a right version of each of those as well. So by forcing a dichotomy in this country, we require that a lot of opposing views get squeezed into the same party. Hence the difficulty the Democrats had in passing some of their recent initiatives, even amongst themselves.

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Enjoyed the quiz, Izzy. I came out Left 0.88 (pretty close to center), Libertarian 3.58; and with -5.33 non-interventionalist foreign policy and -4.2 Cultural Liberal. I'd say that quiz did a pretty good job of nailing me.

Edit: But I kept wanting to qualify my answers!

Edited by seeksit

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I've been waiting all my BrainDen-life on this thread <3 yet it appears during the one month I leave :(. I've spent hours reading it all.

Took the quiz, (was US-centric for me but still interesting), and no real surprises to anyone who knows my stand on things.

You are a far-left moderate social libertarian.

Left: 8.68

Libertarian: 2.88

Foreign Policy: -8.72

Culture: -6.37

On healthcare; I think it's a basic right of every human being, regardless of creed, colour or social standing. I find it strange how governments and countries can justify running the health of people as a market. It's not a market. People's lives aren't the basis of a 'market' in which to make money. There should be no value placed upon an individual's life, no cost placed upon examinations, treatments or operations - even having a system based on health insurance I find extremely immoral and disgusting. :blush:

On Globalisation/Free Trade: Having complete globalisation with trade barriers are incompatible ideas. Globalisation is a product of Free Trade (or in some cases vice-versa). Both are harmful to both the poor and middle-classes, by eradicating the most of the middle-classes and widening the gap between rich and poor. If you lived in a settled, equal world, globalisation/free-trade would be ideal, but implementing them before this utopia has been reached would place an even greater burden on people in poverty.

Though I fear I've come too late :rolleyes: but it was enjoyable reading your debate with UtF :P. His extremity in valuing material possessions over human life was pretty scary :unsure: .

Edited by Joe's Student

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Though I fear I've come too late :rolleyes: but it was enjoyable reading your debate with UtF :P. His extremity in valuing material possessions over human life was pretty scary :unsure: .

Hmmmm....

By the way people, I have become less conservative since I argued on this thread a few weeks ago. I now realize that everybody, including myself, gets ripped off when we buy products from the giant businesses like Wal-Mart, etc. The owners of such large businesses become very very wealthy, not because they produce a lot (they don't), but because they rip a lot of people off a little bit at a time. In other words, by being rich they have the power to raise the price of their goods by a fraction of a cent and use that to get much richer. They personally are not really producing much, if anything at all. Rather, their money is allowing them to get richer (not what they personally produce) and I think this most definitely hurts society to allow them to continue raking in such huge profits. I had argued for anarchy from a moral perspective, but now I would consider myself merely conservative. I support "high" taxes on the rich (don't ask me how much is "high"; I don't know) because of this practical issue that practically everyone, including myself, buys many products from these large businesses on a regular basis, causing the owners of these businesses to siphon a lot of money out of our economy. The value of what these rich business owners do is not really worth millions of dollars... any fool could make the same profits that these rich folk make if they were given the ownership of the large company in the first place. Thus, when they make a ton of money, they are hurting society, unless society takes some of that money back. This obviously isn't a perfect solution, but I now support it as a better choice than reducing taxes significantly for all (to a libertarian level) in our current country.

About my "extremity in valuing material possessions over human life" that you called "pretty scary":

What are some material possessions that I value over an average person's life? Let's see: A billion dollars worth of food.

Now you (and many others participating in this thread) seem to think that this is "pretty scary." I, on the other hand, consider it rational and consider your view (that any human's life is more valuable than any amount of material possessions) to be extremely foolish. Because I know you all are not idiots then I would guess that you are simply blinded by some sort of moral instinct that humans are invaluable. It's quite a common view, but as intelligent people I think you would be glad for me to enlighten you as to why your view doesn't make sense for you to hold:

Think about how many human lives a billion dollars worth of food could save. You could provide food for every man, woman and child unable to get their own food for the rest of the year (more or less... I don't know how many starving people there are in the world). You could save so many more than just one life by spending your money on food for people living in poverty rather than on a lone baby requiring a billion dollar medical operation.

Thus, even if you think that human life is extremely valuable, this does not mean that you should should pay for billion dollar medical operations to save the lives of individual babies. That's extremely foolish: If what you value is human life, then spend your billion dollars on saving many thousand (perhaps millions) of lives by using the money to buy food for those living in extreme poverty. By spending it on an individual baby you are letting those thousands of other people starve to death.

So you might say that each human life is more valuable than a billion dollars, but if this is your view then be rational and spend your money on those requiring $10,000 operations to be saved and on those requiring $100 worth of food to be saved so that you can save as many human lives as you can. By saying that you are supporting having the government pay for a billion dollar operation to save an individual baby, you are saying that you are supporting having the government WASTE its money to save JUST ONE life when you could be having the government spend its tax money EFFICIENTLY to save MANY THOUSAND lives. Thus, regardless of whether or not human lives should be considered very very valuable, your view that we should spend X amount of effort to save 1 human life when we could be spending that same X amount of money to save 1,000,000 human lives is completely stupid in my opinion. I couldn't disagree with it more.

So yes, I do assign values to humans as I do with material possessions. But, that is not "pretty scary." It is rational. In this way I am able to look at a baby and a billion dollars and decide that the billion dollars is more valuable than the human life. The billion dollars is more valuable than the human life because it can easily be used to save a million human lives. Now, as long as the value of a human life is positive (whether its value be 1, 1 million, or positive infinity), then it is true that the billion dollars is more valuable than the human life. Period. Because the billion dollars can save multiple human lives.

Anyways, this is one way to blatantly show that when you are making a value decision (such as the decision whether you value a baby's life more than a billion dollars) you shouldn't hold the view that human life is more valuable than material possessions. "Material possessions" doesn't mention an amount. $1 dollar, $1,000,000,000, a house, every building in New York City. These are examples of material possessions. I would advice you all not to hold the view that human lives are invaluable when compared to such "material possessions." That's just silly.

---------------------------------------

So now to find out if you all have learned, I present a hypothetical situation (it's a question of values):

You're given a simple choice. Choose either A or B:

A) Randomly choose a human living in New York City and murder them

B) Evacuate the human lives from New York City (thus saving them) and then demolish all of the buildings in the city (material possessions)

I choose A. What is your choice? (everyone can answer)

Edited by Use the Force

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