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(Vox)   How to fix "America's fundamentally broken democracy," if you're really up for revolution   (vox.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Elections, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Congress, United States, Election, Voter turnout, voter ID laws, Voting Rights Act  
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1430 clicks; posted to Politics » on 14 Sep 2020 at 3:43 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-09-14 2:37:57 PM  
Missing: implement rank choice voting
 
2020-09-14 2:50:56 PM  
TFA tends to understatement: Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United v. FEC (2010) have largely gutted our ability to keep wealthy donors from having a disproportionate impact on elections.
 
2020-09-14 3:22:49 PM  
Congress needs a complete overhaul. Republicans are massively over-represented. The system is rigged.

The Constitution's promises of equality for all makes this over-representation blatantly unconstitutional. It needs to be eliminated.

America must not allow the public good to be held prisoner by a small group of malcontents with a misappropriated and undeserved political advantage.
 
2020-09-14 3:44:31 PM  
Education reform?
 
2020-09-14 3:45:54 PM  
Well, you know
 
2020-09-14 3:46:05 PM  
Get the big donors and PAC out of politics would be a good start
 
2020-09-14 3:47:10 PM  
Americans are too brainwashed by decades of American exceptionalism and individualism to put in the required work.

In addition, too lazy and selfish.
 
2020-09-14 3:47:24 PM  

MrBallou: TFA tends to understatement: Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United v. FEC (2010) have largely gutted our ability to keep wealthy donors from having a disproportionate impact on elections.


Treating corporate entities as if they didn't have a disproportionate amount of political influence is wrong, but the problem is people who are too greedy and selfish to realize that helping America as a whole, helps them too.
 
2020-09-14 3:48:34 PM  
Vote out the people determined to destroy it completely? Just a thought.
 
2020-09-14 3:50:49 PM  

bloobeary: Congress needs a complete overhaul. Republicans are massively over-represented. The system is rigged.

The Constitution's promises of equality for all makes this over-representation blatantly unconstitutional. It needs to be eliminated.

America must not allow the public good to be held prisoner by a small group of malcontents with a misappropriated and undeserved political advantage.


The simplest fix would probably be to just increase the number of Representatives.  That way, the "One Rep Minimum" doesn't so disenfranchise the large states.  We have a tiny lower chamber compared to the UK.  They have about 150% more MPs for only 20% of the population.  If you quintupled the number of Reps, Wyoming might have two now, but California would have a couple hundred.  Instead, we deal with a lower chamber who's size isn't based upon the true size of the nation, but on the architecture of the early 1800s.
 
2020-09-14 3:52:04 PM  
No mention in TFA of what can be done about propaganda orifices like FoxNews.
Fark user image
 
2020-09-14 3:53:29 PM  
Only the last point deals with the legalized bribery. That's the root of your dysfunction.
 
2020-09-14 3:55:27 PM  
Missing: Amending the amendment process so that it isn't ridiculously improbable to alter our base set of rules, in order to be able to keep up with a world that is changing at an ever-increasing rate.
 
2020-09-14 3:55:37 PM  

turingtester: Missing: implement rank choice voting


You live in a country where voter ID is a massive partisan barrier. Good luck with that. (but I like it too!)
 
2020-09-14 3:57:06 PM  
Stop the coup vote Blue, and stay that way.

The US is not a Kakistocracy, but the GOP made it that way.
 
2020-09-14 3:58:00 PM  

Smelly Pirate Hooker: Vote out the people determined to destroy it completely? Just a thought.


The problem is systemic, we can't rely on the "gentlemen's agreement" of bad actors not taking advantage of the system. Things like getting rid of the EC, increasing House membership to reflect the actual population instead of holding it to 435 members, getting rid of big money in elections and lobbying, getting rid of gerrymandering, getting rid of fptp voting, among many other things, are needed.
 
2020-09-14 3:59:25 PM  
Redistricting the states every 100 years will fix a lot of the problems in the Senate while preserving the founder's intent.
 
2020-09-14 4:00:23 PM  
Something along the lines of a Mitch Hedberg joke, with a little paraphrasing: "I think Pringles' initial intention was to make tennis balls. But on the day that the rubber was supposed to show up, a big truckload of potatoes arrived. But Pringles was a laid-back company. They said "F**k it. Cut 'em up!"

Yeah, cut 'em up.

And for what it's worth, Mitch knowing way back then that a big truckload of potatoes would arrive to fark things up in the country metaphor... dude was prescient!
 
2020-09-14 4:01:19 PM  
Snap elections for the President and Senators.  Once per term, set a deadline and requirements for when it can be called, put a priority on it to ensure any judicial challenges get worked out ASAP, and give it a two to three month turn-around from filing to election so it won't drag on for years at a time.
 
2020-09-14 4:02:34 PM  
America gets fixed when people realize that the individuals who founded this country weren't perfect, that the actions of its citizens ultimately determine the outlook for future generations and the importance of reconciling the past instead of ignoring it.
 
2020-09-14 4:03:06 PM  

Tyrone Slothrop: Smelly Pirate Hooker: Vote out the people determined to destroy it completely? Just a thought.

The problem is systemic, we can't rely on the "gentlemen's agreement" of bad actors not taking advantage of the system. Things like getting rid of the EC, increasing House membership to reflect the actual population instead of holding it to 435 members, getting rid of big money in elections and lobbying, getting rid of gerrymandering, getting rid of fptp voting, among many other things, are needed.


But to do any of that, we need to vote to remove Republicans from as many public offices as possible. Because they're sure as fark not gonna get rid of the Electoral College. Look what it's done for them in two separate presidential elections: handed the highest office in the land to their chosen idiot. The first idiot (Bush) was bad enough. But then it handed the office to the dumbest, lyingest, most appalling piece of shiat on the planet. He's mused about how great he gets along with tyrants and the import of that is clear.

To do the shiat you people want requires removing Republicans from decision making. At the very least.

Not sure what's hard to understand about that.
 
2020-09-14 4:04:41 PM  
STEP ONE: Identify ways in which the majority of American people can have faith in American Institutions.

No more of this split bullshiat. If you HATE the government, you MUST make a suggestion as to what can be done so that YOU HAVE FAITH in government again. Most people would agree that DESTROYING the government WILL NOT give them FAITH in the government.

We need to build UP our confidence IN our institutions...not tear them down.

STEP TWO: Identify ways in which systemic racism has woven into our culture. AND DO SOMETHING about it.

STEP THREE: All resources shift to deal with DOMESTIC terrorists. No more of this "THE OTHER IS COMING IN TO KILL US". We have the largest military in the world. We have a domestic terrorist problem...and guns are part of the problem.

STEP FOUR: Deal with the gun issue. Seriously.

STEP FIVE: Go back to increasing our confidence in American Institutions. We feel as if they have failed.
 
2020-09-14 4:04:53 PM  
Two words: FEMA Camps.
 
2020-09-14 4:06:10 PM  

phalamir: The simplest fix would probably be to just increase the number of Representatives.


That could be done with a statue passed by a simple majority of the House and Senate and signed by the President, if the Democrats controlled all three.

Some imminent practical problems would be a sudden shortage of office space in the Capitol Building, and a corresponding difficulty in having so many more Representatives wanting to address the issues.
 
2020-09-14 4:11:02 PM  
I'd add taking money out of politics with lobby groups, PACs, SuperPACs, and any other form of $$$$ sweet talking making politicians not listen.
 
2020-09-14 4:17:02 PM  
Huh, didn't mention Ben Sasse's idea to abolish the 17th amendment (i.e. let state legislators chose senators / no popular vote for senators).
 
2020-09-14 4:18:35 PM  

Nimbull: I'd add taking money out of politics with lobby groups, PACs, SuperPACs, and any other form of $$$$ sweet talking making politicians not listen.


So much THIS ^^^^^
 
2020-09-14 4:31:43 PM  
Vox should consider holding back the use of the word "revolution" right now. They are proposing "reforms" and reform is a good thing. They should save "revolution" for their articles about the election going wrong between November and January.
 
2020-09-14 4:36:35 PM  
We need to replace the system.

The united states was founded as a white supremacist oligarchy, regardless of the claims in the marketing materials, and attempts to maguyver the thing into a democratic system will always be thwarted or reversed by the entrenched machinery and its inertia
 
2020-09-14 4:37:04 PM  

Hellkite85: Americans are too brainwashed by decades of American exceptionalism and individualism to put in the required work.

In addition, too lazy and selfish.


This.

Plus, if it raises the price on a box of Oreos or a Big Gulp or a box of Twinkies or a gallon of gas then they are NOT FOR IT.
 
2020-09-14 4:37:07 PM  

phalamir: bloobeary: Congress needs a complete overhaul. Republicans are massively over-represented. The system is rigged.

The Constitution's promises of equality for all makes this over-representation blatantly unconstitutional. It needs to be eliminated.

America must not allow the public good to be held prisoner by a small group of malcontents with a misappropriated and undeserved political advantage.

The simplest fix would probably be to just increase the number of Representatives.  That way, the "One Rep Minimum" doesn't so disenfranchise the large states.  We have a tiny lower chamber compared to the UK.  They have about 150% more MPs for only 20% of the population.  If you quintupled the number of Reps, Wyoming might have two now, but California would have a couple hundred.  Instead, we deal with a lower chamber who's size isn't based upon the true size of the nation, but on the architecture of the early 1800s.


The main reason the House is set at 435? That's how many seats are available in the House chamber...which was set in 1929, when the US population was 1/3 of what it is now. Not a problem for the first few decades, but it is now.

If the EC reflected the population of each state, it may still have some value....but it doesn't. My calculations may be off, but if to truly have the EC reflect the relative state population (with 1 as the minimum), we'd need about 1300+ Reps in Congress.

So, what says all 1300 have to be in DC? Technology allows us to put them anywhere...so put the 435 most senior / committee leads, etc in DC, and the other 900+ serving in their home districts. Surely, it's possible to meet / coordinate and even debate using current technology. If we did that, the EC would simultaneously work....and no longer be needed. Kind of like Schroedinger's Electoral College.
 
2020-09-14 4:38:59 PM  

Nimbull: I'd add taking money out of politics with lobby groups, PACs, SuperPACs, and any other form of $$$$ sweet talking making politicians not listen.


I'd add term limits on SCOTUS, too.  Lifetime appointments should not exist ANYWHERE in the government, nevermind on unelected officials.
 
2020-09-14 4:39:02 PM  
1) Prosecute those who break the law, no matter what office they may currently hold.  Yes, including PotUS.  The same laws apply to everybody.
2) Eliminate the EC
3) Ranked choice voting, especially for PotUS (nice try, Maine)
4) Any politician or candidate that receives foreign money goes to prison.  Any organization that receives foreign money cannot participate in American politics in any form.  Any organization participating in American politics has to open its books and show where all the money comes from.

/DNRTFA
 
2020-09-14 4:39:25 PM  

abb3w: phalamir: The simplest fix would probably be to just increase the number of Representatives.

That could be done with a statue passed by a simple majority of the House and Senate and signed by the President, if the Democrats controlled all three.

Some imminent practical problems would be a sudden shortage of office space in the Capitol Building, and a corresponding difficulty in having so many more Representatives wanting to address the issues.


Practical problems that could probably be fixed via technology.
 
2020-09-14 4:43:35 PM  

PlaidJaguar: We need to replace the system.

The united states was founded as a white supremacist oligarchy, regardless of the claims in the marketing materials, and attempts to maguyver the thing into a democratic system will always be thwarted or reversed by the entrenched machinery and its inertia

Anyone in tech support will tell you that replacing the system while you are in it is a recipe for disaster.  If we could somehow get all 328 million Americans to spend the week somewhere else while we install America 2.1 and get it booted up, that would be great.
 
2020-09-14 4:47:44 PM  

flondrix: PlaidJaguar: We need to replace the system.

The united states was founded as a white supremacist oligarchy, regardless of the claims in the marketing materials, and attempts to maguyver the thing into a democratic system will always be thwarted or reversed by the entrenched machinery and its inertia
Anyone in tech support will tell you that replacing the system while you are in it is a recipe for disaster.  If we could somehow get all 328 million Americans to spend the week somewhere else while we install America 2.1 and get it booted up, that would be great.


Here is my proposal:

We revert america to the "British Colony" restore point.

We see if things get better from there. If we don't feel like that is working, we then install an updated "American Revolution Patch" which accounts for the fact that we have a lot of code that might still need to be replaced.
 
2020-09-14 4:48:32 PM  
Best country in the world. See Australia when the there's no hill of rights.
 
2020-09-14 4:48:44 PM  
What a shiat article. Campaign finance is number 10? K
 
2020-09-14 4:49:50 PM  

kokomo61: so put the 435 most senior / committee leads, etc in DC, and the other 900+ serving in their home districts.


The problem is that it locks in those 435 as the only one able to influence anything.  DC doesn't like to write things down.  Someone can always subpoena records.  But you can't subpoena a face-to-face meeting.  You can have the principals come in for a deposition, but if they keep their stories straight, you can't prove anything.  So, a lot of meat-grinder work is done by people talking to each other in meatspace.  The only ones able to do that in your plan are the Exalted Ones.  And they will end up that way because no one is traveling to DC on a daytrip two or three days a week.  Work doesn't get done in committees or the chamber - those are for being seen.  Work gets done when you are away from any way to record what you say and you can speak frankly.  900-odd mooks spread out everywhere are going to be locked out of meaningful insight or contribution, with the 435 running the show.  At that point, you have the Senate, The Other Senate, and the Proles.

Just go build a new capitol building.  Make it bigger, longer, uncut.  And build a campus of dorms for Congresscritters.  And, no, not slumlord hellholes, but decent upper-tier university dorms with enough space to not feel like they are prisoners.  If the Congresscritters want to live outside that, they can, but it would allow those that either don't have the money or don't want to beggar themselves a place to stay.  If you want more people like AOC, they can't be punished for wanting to serve, and they can't be bankrupted just trying to afford two residences.
 
2020-09-14 4:53:29 PM  

MrBallou: TFA tends to understatement: Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United v. FEC (2010) have largely gutted our ability to keep wealthy donors from having a disproportionate impact on elections.


That suggests that we had any ability to do so before those rulings.  Those rulings simply made it easier to do so without having to go through a lot of hoops and skullduggery.
 
2020-09-14 4:54:30 PM  

phalamir: kokomo61: so put the 435 most senior / committee leads, etc in DC, and the other 900+ serving in their home districts.

The problem is that it locks in those 435 as the only one able to influence anything.  DC doesn't like to write things down.  Someone can always subpoena records.  But you can't subpoena a face-to-face meeting.  You can have the principals come in for a deposition, but if they keep their stories straight, you can't prove anything.  So, a lot of meat-grinder work is done by people talking to each other in meatspace.  The only ones able to do that in your plan are the Exalted Ones.  And they will end up that way because no one is traveling to DC on a daytrip two or three days a week.  Work doesn't get done in committees or the chamber - those are for being seen.  Work gets done when you are away from any way to record what you say and you can speak frankly.  900-odd mooks spread out everywhere are going to be locked out of meaningful insight or contribution, with the 435 running the show.  At that point, you have the Senate, The Other Senate, and the Proles.

Just go build a new capitol building.  Make it bigger, longer, uncut.  And build a campus of dorms for Congresscritters.  And, no, not slumlord hellholes, but decent upper-tier university dorms with enough space to not feel like they are prisoners.  If the Congresscritters want to live outside that, they can, but it would allow those that either don't have the money or don't want to beggar themselves a place to stay.  If you want more people like AOC, they can't be punished for wanting to serve, and they can't be bankrupted just trying to afford two residences.


So, we're gonna have a a bunch of young, inexperienced Representatives drinking beer upside down while the rest of their "caucus" chants "CHUG! CHUG! CHUG!"
 
2020-09-14 4:54:42 PM  

phalamir: kokomo61: so put the 435 most senior / committee leads, etc in DC, and the other 900+ serving in their home districts.

The problem is that it locks in those 435 as the only one able to influence anything.  DC doesn't like to write things down.  Someone can always subpoena records.  But you can't subpoena a face-to-face meeting.  You can have the principals come in for a deposition, but if they keep their stories straight, you can't prove anything.  So, a lot of meat-grinder work is done by people talking to each other in meatspace.  The only ones able to do that in your plan are the Exalted Ones.  And they will end up that way because no one is traveling to DC on a daytrip two or three days a week.  Work doesn't get done in committees or the chamber - those are for being seen.  Work gets done when you are away from any way to record what you say and you can speak frankly.  900-odd mooks spread out everywhere are going to be locked out of meaningful insight or contribution, with the 435 running the show.  At that point, you have the Senate, The Other Senate, and the Proles.

Just go build a new capitol building.  Make it bigger, longer, uncut.  And build a campus of dorms for Congresscritters.  And, no, not slumlord hellholes, but decent upper-tier university dorms with enough space to not feel like they are prisoners.  If the Congresscritters want to live outside that, they can, but it would allow those that either don't have the money or don't want to beggar themselves a place to stay.  If you want more people like AOC, they can't be punished for wanting to serve, and they can't be bankrupted just trying to afford two residences.


...Why can we not have them all have offices in their own states' capitol building, and do the business of legislating by teleconference? Only show up in WA for specific needs, like committees handling defense matters, etc.
 
2020-09-14 4:58:46 PM  

phalamir: kokomo61: so put the 435 most senior / committee leads, etc in DC, and the other 900+ serving in their home districts.

The problem is that it locks in those 435 as the only one able to influence anything.  DC doesn't like to write things down.  Someone can always subpoena records.  But you can't subpoena a face-to-face meeting.  You can have the principals come in for a deposition, but if they keep their stories straight, you can't prove anything.  So, a lot of meat-grinder work is done by people talking to each other in meatspace.  The only ones able to do that in your plan are the Exalted Ones.  And they will end up that way because no one is traveling to DC on a daytrip two or three days a week.  Work doesn't get done in committees or the chamber - those are for being seen.  Work gets done when you are away from any way to record what you say and you can speak frankly.  900-odd mooks spread out everywhere are going to be locked out of meaningful insight or contribution, with the 435 running the show.  At that point, you have the Senate, The Other Senate, and the Proles.

Just go build a new capitol building.  Make it bigger, longer, uncut.  And build a campus of dorms for Congresscritters.  And, no, not slumlord hellholes, but decent upper-tier university dorms with enough space to not feel like they are prisoners.  If the Congresscritters want to live outside that, they can, but it would allow those that either don't have the money or don't want to beggar themselves a place to stay.  If you want more people like AOC, they can't be punished for wanting to serve, and they can't be bankrupted just trying to afford two residences.


If you want them all in one place, yep, you'll need a new building....with enough office and auditorium space to fit an ever-expanding number. That's why I suggested going virtual.

There's no real reason for a lot of the agency buildings to be in downtown DC - you could move the EPA or FAA out to the burns and nobody would blink. Take over that real estate over by L'Enfant Plaza, or even better, put it in Southeast over in Anacostia. You'll see public safety be a lot bigger consideration than it is today.
 
2020-09-14 4:59:57 PM  

Nimbull: I'd add taking money out of politics with lobby groups, PACs, SuperPACs, and any other form of $$$$ sweet talking making politicians not listen.


Campaign money is only half the problem.  The other half is the promise of high paying "consulting" jobs to congresscritters after their term in office is done in order to get them to vote the way they want now.
 
2020-09-14 5:00:27 PM  

phalamir: bloobeary: Congress needs a complete overhaul. Republicans are massively over-represented. The system is rigged.

The Constitution's promises of equality for all makes this over-representation blatantly unconstitutional. It needs to be eliminated.

America must not allow the public good to be held prisoner by a small group of malcontents with a misappropriated and undeserved political advantage.

The simplest fix would probably be to just increase the number of Representatives.  That way, the "One Rep Minimum" doesn't so disenfranchise the large states.  We have a tiny lower chamber compared to the UK.  They have about 150% more MPs for only 20% of the population.  If you quintupled the number of Reps, Wyoming might have two now, but California would have a couple hundred.  Instead, we deal with a lower chamber who's size isn't based upon the true size of the nation, but on the architecture of the early 1800s.


I would prefer some version of the "Wyoming rule" whereby the least populous state (currently WY) sets the number of people equal to one representative. States get the number of representatives equal to how many full Wyoming the have. Under such an arrangement the House would only grow to about 571.
 
2020-09-14 5:01:49 PM  

Outshined_One: Snap elections for the President and Senators.


Think bigger.

No regularly scheduled elections for House or President. When an election is called, it takes place 60 days later. Each state elects a number of Representatives proportional to their population, with the minimum being 5. Each state's representatives are allocated proportionally to the vote in that state. The President is the leader of the largest party in the governing coalition.

No monies fundraised outside the 60-day electoral period may be spent on the campaign. Also no using one's own wealth to campaign.

The Senate is expanded to three senators per state, one elected every two years. The Senate may veto a bill from the House by simple majority, but may not propose bills or amendments. It may also veto a presidential appointment by simple majority, but if it declines to do so within 90 days the appointment is confirmed.

The House appoints all cabinet secretaries from the ranks of the Senate, where they will maintain dual appointment. Each executive department (except the Presidency) shall be overseen by a committee of the House. The House may remove any political officer of the executive branch for cause by a majority vote of either the full House or a three-fifths vote of the supervising committee. If the House removes the President in this fashion, it shall trigger an election. The House may by a two-thirds majority remove an executive officer and ban them from holding office for seven years.

The House may vote to call an election at any time without removing the President. No laws passed by a Congress, save budgets, shall go into effect until the following Congress is seated. At each general election, whether regular (Senate) or irregular (House/President), all bills passed since the previous election except budgets may be vetoed by the voters; a majority of registered voters must vote to veto for such veto to take effect.
 
2020-09-14 5:06:10 PM  

gameshowhost: Missing: Amending the amendment process so that it isn't ridiculously improbable to alter our base set of rules, in order to be able to keep up with a world that is changing at an ever-increasing rate.


How can you say it's too hard when no one has even attempted it in 49 years?

If people feel the need to fix the Constitution, why not do so with the method it provides?
 
2020-09-14 5:46:50 PM  

MrBallou: TFA tends to understatement: Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United v. FEC (2010) have largely gutted our ability to keep wealthy donors from having a disproportionate impact on elections.


Hate to break it to you, but this has always been the plan ever since the Great Compromise. The very point of the Senate was to protect land (money) from populist sentiment in the House. The only thing that was missing this whole time was the will to break the system. It took two generations of Republicans testing the waters and pushing the limits, but the Internet's ability to spread lies faster than laws can keep up accelerated everything. Now we have our dictator and only one very tenuous election between him and power for life.
 
2020-09-14 5:50:39 PM  

gyruss: MrBallou: TFA tends to understatement: Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United v. FEC (2010) have largely gutted our ability to keep wealthy donors from having a disproportionate impact on elections.

Hate to break it to you, but this has always been the plan ever since the Great Compromise. The very point of the Senate was to protect land (money) from populist sentiment in the House. The only thing that was missing this whole time was the will to break the system. It took two generations of Republicans testing the waters and pushing the limits, but the Internet's ability to spread lies faster than laws can keep up accelerated everything. Now we have our dictator and only one very tenuous election between him and power for life.


No, the point of the Senate was to represent the states as equal, sovereign entities. But I guess that doesn't play into the "everything about America is evil" narrative the kids love so much.
 
2020-09-14 6:14:09 PM  
Dynamite and bullets.


Or I guess you could stand in front of the blackshirts and shout "VOTE" as they disappear you.
 
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