Jump to content

Welcome to Nightly.Net
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Ryan quits Congress.


12 replies to this topic

#1
Ms. Spam

Ms. Spam

    MS.

  • Member
  • 17,875 posts
Ryan is bailing on the GOP and heading home after this term to spend time with his kids.

#2
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Can't say I blame him.



#3
Guest_El Chalupacabra_*

Guest_El Chalupacabra_*
  • Guests

If you ask me, more people in Congress (both House and Senate) need to just retire.  It should not be seen as a job you have for life.  There definitely needs to be a mandatory retirement age, term limits, and terminate any pensions or lifetime health coverage for reps and senators.  



#4
pavonis

pavonis

    Member

  • Member
  • 6,905 posts

So experience in a job should be penalized?  :devil:  

 

What if we end up with only the congenitally rich serving in Congress, trading the term-limited seats around like a bong at a frat party? 



#5
Guest_El Chalupacabra_*

Guest_El Chalupacabra_*
  • Guests

So experience in a job should be penalized?  :devil:  

 

What if we end up with only the congenitally rich serving in Congress, trading the term-limited seats around like a bong at a frat party? 

We don't have that pretty much already, minus the actual term limits????!!!!

 

 

News to me!



#6
pavonis

pavonis

    Member

  • Member
  • 6,905 posts

Yeah, maybe we do have that now. Here's a link to a discussion of the topic. There is evidence that term limits for legislators simply shifts power to un-elected agency bureaucrats and to the executive branch in general.

 

The people with the most time in their job tend to be good at the job. Removing people just when they're getting good at it doesn't seem like it serves the electorate as much as it might seem. People like term limits because they don't like politicians. More specifically, they don't like other people's elected politicians. With re-election rates for incumbents at 90% or more, at least at the federal level, it's not hard to see that the people like their own elected officials just fine. They don't like all the other jerks elected by the rest of the people. 



#7
Ms. Spam

Ms. Spam

    MS.

  • Member
  • 17,875 posts

I love to see Pelosi go too.


  • monkeygirl +1 this

#8
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts

Yeah, maybe we do have that now. Here's a link to a discussion of the topic. There is evidence that term limits for legislators simply shifts power to un-elected agency bureaucrats and to the executive branch in general.

Sounds like good cause for shrinking government in general.  A good chunk of the current dysfunction across the world in general can be found with people feeling that their votes don't matter.  One need only look at Trump and some of Europe's recent voting history to see it.



#9
pavonis

pavonis

    Member

  • Member
  • 6,905 posts

One could argue that the legislative branches, at least, should be enlarged, not shrunk. If people feel like their votes "don't matter", it is probably because so many people are being represented by only a few. The average ratio of population to Congressional representative is something like 600,000:1. The original idea was 30,000:1. Even with modern communication tools, it's not as easy to stay in contact with your representatives (they really don't listen without money and/or votes on the line anyway) and Congress doesn't do a good job of staying in touch with the populace. But there is no political will to increase the size of Congress, because apparently government is always "too big" even though no one has specified what the right size is, nor what kind of metric for "size" should be used. 

 

Maybe serving in legislatures should be more like jury duty, for at least a subset of the representation. Make it a chore rather than a life goal, but with a modicum of civic pride and duty attached, and more people might feel like their votes and other associated political activity matters.


  • Jacen123 and Ms. Spam +1 this

#10
Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

    Member

  • Member
  • 2,485 posts
The average ratio of population to Congressional representative is something like 600,000:1. The original idea was 30,000:1.

 

That is a problem.  However, I would mark that as another one in favor of a higher emphasis on a federalist-type of government.  Having a House of Representatives of 11,000 members doesn't strike me as a particularly effective way to make someone feel closer to their government.  I'd think that would pretty much advertise how insignificant their voice is and make people feel more powerless as their representatives would be funneled into a party's structure even more than they currently are.

 

Heck, the average Representative could address the chamber for a whole 25 minutes per year if the whole chamber did nothing but talk 12 hours a day every non-holiday weekday for the entire year if we had that many.

 

 

 

But there is no political will to increase the size of Congress, because apparently government is always "too big" even though no one has specified what the right size is, nor what kind of metric for "size" should be used.

 

I don't think federalism and size of the legislature are issues with a lot of overlap.  When I think of "big government" the number of legislators is nowhere on my mind.  You add another 200 people to the House and I don't think of government as expanding.  It's not like President Taft was all about the big government when he last increased Congress's size, or that Democrats haven't had ample opportunity to do so in the past hundred years during the New Deal era, dominance in the 60s, or even brief periods of unchecked power with Carter/Clinton/Obama.

 

It's just that it's not really something anyone really cares about, the people in power aren't all that interested in diluting their own influence, and so the 435 has become a staple in textbooks and I doubt many people realize just how easy it would be to change.

 

 

 

Maybe serving in legislatures should be more like jury duty, for at least a subset of the representation.

 

The dangers of talking about representation just after reading Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy.

 

In theory, we actually had that for the first century or so of our republic.  Washington as the modern Cincinnatus and all that and the precedent where presidential candidates rarely did more than accept a nomination and let their friends and party apparatus do the actual campaigning.  But the reality was, of course, quite different, and it was all political theater for what was acceptable behavior for politicians at the time.  Even Washington himself, who scrupulous as anyone has ever been about not appearing to want power, just so happened to start parading around in his military uniform when the 2nd Continental Congress just so happened to need to find someone to run their army.

 

It's a simple fact of life that if there's power to be had, someone is going to want it.  If the people in power themselves were to somehow be uninterested, well, then the unelected staffers and bureaucrats would assume the real power as they'd be the only ones who know how to get stuff done.  And then you just have the shell of a republic.



#11
pavonis

pavonis

    Member

  • Member
  • 6,905 posts

The dangers of talking about representation just after reading Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy.

Still it's an interesting idea.
 
Accidental politicians: How randomly selected legislators can improve parliament efficiency



#12
Ryn

Ryn

    Moonshadow

  • Moderators
  • 28,555 posts
That's a great trilogy.

#13
Ms. Spam

Ms. Spam

    MS.

  • Member
  • 17,875 posts

One could argue that the legislative branches, at least, should be enlarged, not shrunk. If people feel like their votes "don't matter", it is probably because so many people are being represented by only a few. The average ratio of population to Congressional representative is something like 600,000:1. The original idea was 30,000:1. Even with modern communication tools, it's not as easy to stay in contact with your representatives (they really don't listen without money and/or votes on the line anyway) and Congress doesn't do a good job of staying in touch with the populace. But there is no political will to increase the size of Congress, because apparently government is always "too big" even though no one has specified what the right size is, nor what kind of metric for "size" should be used. 
 
Maybe serving in legislatures should be more like jury duty, for at least a subset of the representation. Make it a chore rather than a life goal, but with a modicum of civic pride and duty attached, and more people might feel like their votes and other associated political activity matters.


I would honestly like to see something implemented. This could start when they look at how the gerrymandered districts are so they don't represent people well to begin with. For example in Texas we have a ultra weirdo wacko "Conservative" governor who makes me pine for the Rick Perry days again. But he lives in Austin which is a VERY blue area. Think a GOP Strawberry in a sea of Democratic Blueberries. If we opened it up to more seats in legislature though that would be messy and costly. But I like the big fat messy democracy.



Reply to this topic