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  #51  
Old 06-02-2019, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I see what you are saying, but that also seems like a hypertextual reading of that clause. Also it belies experience as West Virginia was formed entirely from Virginia.
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
That was obviously a special case. The legal position is that West Virginia was formed with the consent of Virginia. Of course at the time most Virginian legislators didn't show up at the convention in Wheeling where West Virginian statehood was under discussion; they were gathered in Richmond. But the legislators who chose to show up in Wheeling were deemed to be the legal government of Virginia and they voted to split the state in half and form a new state.

A few years later, when the rest of Virginia was being readmitted to its regular status in the United States, they voted to retroactively consent to the formation of West Virginia.
Add Kentucky, split also directly from being part of Virginia, and Maine, spun off directly from being part of Massachusetts, each with the respective assent of the parent commonwealth's legislature . So it is established that creating a state from whithin other can happen if you can get it to pass both in Congress, and in what Congress recognizes as that state's legislature.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 06-02-2019 at 07:53 PM.
  #52  
Old 06-02-2019, 09:49 PM
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Why should the US give up its disproportionate power in the world and the UN? Why not extend the concept of one person one vote globally? You willing to give up that power or do you only advocate changes in power structure that benefits you and your ideology?
My ideology is a belief in democracy. What's yours?

The United States is a democracy (albeit not a complete one as this thread reminds us). The People's Republic of China is not a democracy. There's no good reason why Americans should join in with Chinese in a democratic system when China isn't practicing democracy.
  #53  
Old 06-02-2019, 09:57 PM
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Why should the citizens of L.A. have more say about what happens in Bears Ears, fer instance, than the people who actually live in UT?
Because we have a national government. They make decisions that effect the entire country, including both California and Utah.

As for why the citizens of Los Angeles should have more influence than the citizens of Bears Ear, it's because of democracy. If two million people vote one way and a thousand people vote another way, then the two million people are supposed to win. That's how democracy is supposed to work.
  #54  
Old 06-02-2019, 10:44 PM
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It was a compromise the larger states were free to reject. That they didn’t is no evidence of extortion. If the people want more power then vote to start partitioning some of the larger states.
If the original colonies that were asked to join in the union in order to prevent them from reverting back to British rule had been grandfathered in with equal representation, leaving new states to be given representation based on their population, are you saying that Wyoming would have balked at becoming a state?

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And in the House we have the opposite problem. States like Ca (and NY and IL) can dictate what happens inside a state like UT. Why should the citizens of L.A. have more say about what happens in Bears Ears, fer instance, than the people who actually live in UT? If it wasn't for equal representation in the Senate there would be NO interstate highways in HI. Why would I, as a citizen of Chicago ever vote to approve spending my taxes on bridges in the middle of nowhere MT?
The citizens of LA should have a say over what happens in Bears Ears for the same reason that MT expects the people of Chicago to pay taxes towards building a bridge in the middle of nowhere.

A bridge in nowhere MT is still an asset to the nation, it still can easily be made the case that it should be built and paid for. Instead, the case does not need to be made, as a senator with massively disproportionate power can make his few voters happy at the expense of millions of others.
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And while I realize that its not a perfect analogy; octopus' point is apt. China has 5x the population of USA. Should the Chinese get 5x the voting power in the UN?
The UN has very little to no control over the working of sovereign nations, unlike the federal government's power over the states. If the UN had the same power over countries as the federal govt has over states, China would certainly not join, and I don't think that you would be happy that Lithuania has the same voice as the US.

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  #55  
Old 06-02-2019, 11:11 PM
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Because we have a national government. They make decisions that effect the entire country, including both California and Utah.

As for why the citizens of Los Angeles should have more influence than the citizens of Bears Ear, it's because of democracy. If two million people vote one way and a thousand people vote another way, then the two million people are supposed to win. That's how democracy is supposed to work.
That's a thuggish view of our system, IMHO: just because you have the votes you can do anything you want, take anything you want from whomever you want. How is that any different than sticking a gun in someone's face and and taking their wallet.

And we have more than just a national govt. We have a graduated system of responsibility. The Federal govt has jurisdiction over certain thing within its domain. And the State govts have jurisdiction over things in it's domain. and so on down to local govts and to the family unit and finally down to personal jurisdiction. No matter how many votes you have there are some things that no one can force me to do. Just as the Fed govt, no matter how many votes they have can't force a state to do certain things.

When it comes to things like natural resources, the "people" can decide that the country as a whole would be better off if areas like Bears Ears were preserved. But we have to remember that that land is in the state of UT. It's their land. Under normal circumstances the people of UT would be the ones who decide how its used. So UT NEEDS to have a disproportionate say in the matter. Without the Senate, CA and the rest of the country could just take the land without considering, or even caring about the effect it has in UT. And the opposite would not be true. If the Fed govt decided to set aside land in CA for the benefit of all; CA would have a virtual power of veto (or close to it) over such legislature if it was simply majority rule. How is that democratic? when one group of people have powers that a different group of people do not?

Democracy is so much more than "majority rules". The concerns of the minority have to be consider appropriately. Otherwise, its just a form of fascism: the majority forcing the minority to bow to their rule.

Don't get me wrong. Times have changed and priorities are not the same as they were in 1787. Its not the most efficient system. The Senate, imho, does have too much power, and that power is often not used properly. But, I don't think that's the fault of apportionment. It has more to do with our "two party" system and that Senators (and Representatives for that matter) often are more loyal to their party than they are to their constituency.

mc
  #56  
Old 06-02-2019, 11:21 PM
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The United States is a democracy
If you go by what it says in the name, the United States is a union of states.
  #57  
Old 06-02-2019, 11:23 PM
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My ideology is a belief in democracy. What's yours?

The United States is a democracy (albeit not a complete one as this thread reminds us). The People's Republic of China is not a democracy. There's no good reason why Americans should join in with Chinese in a democratic system when China isn't practicing democracy.
Well I don’t believe in a pure democracy. Not at all. Furthermore, I believe contracts, especially those that allow for modifications should be taken seriously. Now, I think we could do with breaking up California if those who make up California want more senators. I also think we should significantly expand the house.

But in a world where 1/2 the folks have a double digit IQ? I am not down for pure democracy.

Anyways, none of these threads that are calling for structural change actually address the root problem which is a system that has is stable with two dominant parties.

Last edited by octopus; 06-02-2019 at 11:25 PM.
  #58  
Old 06-02-2019, 11:50 PM
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That's a thuggish view of our system, IMHO: just because you have the votes you can do anything you want, take anything you want from whomever you want. How is that any different than sticking a gun in someone's face and and taking their wallet.
It's different in pretty much every way.

The equivalent of somebody sticking a gun in your face is a dictatorship backed by force. A government like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union or North Korea; these regimes ruled by force because they didn't have popular support.

That's the reason democracy works better than other political system. Democratic rule means the government has to do things which are supported by a majority of the citizenship.

Democracy isn't perfect; it still allows a majority to mistreat a minority. But every other political system is worse because it allows a minority to mistreat the majority.
  #59  
Old 06-02-2019, 11:52 PM
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If you go by what it says in the name, the United States is a union of states.
I know what united means. It means you're taking a bunch of things and joining them together into one thing. The thirteen separate states were united into one single country.
  #60  
Old 06-02-2019, 11:53 PM
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That's a thuggish view of our system, IMHO: just because you have the votes you can do anything you want, take anything you want from whomever you want. How is that any different than sticking a gun in someone's face and and taking their wallet.
And how is it any different that just because they have a disproportionate number of votes, they can have anything they want?
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And we have more than just a national govt. We have a graduated system of responsibility. The Federal govt has jurisdiction over certain thing within its domain. And the State govts have jurisdiction over things in it's domain. and so on down to local govts and to the family unit and finally down to personal jurisdiction. No matter how many votes you have there are some things that no one can force me to do. Just as the Fed govt, no matter how many votes they have can't force a state to do certain things.
No one is disputing that. Just that it takes fewer votes to affect the jurisdistions that the fed has from the states with smaller populations than from the states with larger.

If you are worried about the large states voting the fed to force the small states to do things, why do you not understand the concern the large states have of the small states voting to force the large states to do things?
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When it comes to things like natural resources, the "people" can decide that the country as a whole would be better off if areas like Bears Ears were preserved. But we have to remember that that land is in the state of UT. It's their land. Under normal circumstances the people of UT would be the ones who decide how its used. So UT NEEDS to have a disproportionate say in the matter.
BLM stuff is complicated. Utah didn't want that land, they wanted the fed to use its resources to protect and develop it, and did so with the understanding that the fed would have jurisdiction. Now that Utah is in a different position, and sees profit to be had in exploiting the land, they want to change the arrangement.

I don't know that the people who paid taxes to support that land when it was unwanted shouldn't have a say in the matter.
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Without the Senate, CA and the rest of the country could just take the land without considering, or even caring about the effect it has in UT.
Take it? Take it where?
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And the opposite would not be true. If the Fed govt decided to set aside land in CA for the benefit of all; CA would have a virtual power of veto (or close to it) over such legislature if it was simply majority rule. How is that democratic? when one group of people have powers that a different group of people do not?
But if that were a concern for Utah, then why should California not be worried that the coalition of small states that make up a tenth of their population does not decide to set land aside in California?
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Democracy is so much more than "majority rules". The concerns of the minority have to be consider appropriately. Otherwise, its just a form of fascism: the majority forcing the minority to bow to their rule.
Which is why there are protections for the minority. What this setup does though is not protect the minority from a majority rule, but rather subjugate the majority by a minority.
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Don't get me wrong. Times have changed and priorities are not the same as they were in 1787. Its not the most efficient system. The Senate, imho, does have too much power, and that power is often not used properly. But, I don't think that's the fault of apportionment. It has more to do with our "two party" system and that Senators (and Representatives for that matter) often are more loyal to their party than they are to their constituency.

mc
Don't be too concerned about a two party system, as the way things are going, we'll have a one party system soon enough.

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Well I don’t believe in a pure democracy. Not at all. Furthermore, I believe contracts, especially those that allow for modifications should be taken seriously.
A pure democracy is a difficult proposition, but that has nothing to do with the disproportionate power of the senate.

All people should be represented equally, their concerns and their desires considered. Balancing the senate so that it has less absurd disproportionate of representation is not a direct democracy, nor even a step towards it.
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Now, I think we could do with breaking up California if those who make up California want more senators. I also think we should significantly expand the house.
How about the combining of the Dakotas and maybe creating Utado and Wyomisota?
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But in a world where 1/2 the folks have a double digit IQ? I am not down for pure democracy.
That's a funny line, but is bullshit for considering policy. 84% of people have greater than an 85 IQ, which is plenty for critical thinking and understanding how policies will affect their lives, if given adequate civic education. Implement policy and determining exact priorities and budgets and such can certainly be left to the "smart" ones, but you don't have to be a genius to have an informed opinion on the direction our communities take.
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Anyways, none of these threads that are calling for structural change actually address the root problem which is a system that has is stable with two dominant parties.
And the two party system is also an "unforeseen" consequence of our founding father's decisions which would take nearly the same amount of work to change as making changes to the senate.

Last edited by k9bfriender; 06-02-2019 at 11:56 PM.
  #61  
Old 06-02-2019, 11:58 PM
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Well I don’t believe in a pure democracy. Not at all.
As 2000 and 2016 showed, conservatives don't really care about democracy.

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  #62  
Old 06-03-2019, 12:07 AM
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As 2000 and 2016 showed, conservatives don't really care about democracy.
You talking about the electoral college? So what. Everyone knows the rules of the game. You also know that itís impossible to predict the outcome of an election held in an alternative universe with a different set of rules. Itís pointless and sounds whiny.
  #63  
Old 06-03-2019, 12:09 AM
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You talking about the electoral college? So what. Everyone knows the rules of the game. You also know that itís impossible to predict the outcome of an election held in an alternative universe with a different set of rules. Itís pointless and sounds whiny.
You can't predict the outcome, but you can expect that it would more accurately reflect the will of the people.
  #64  
Old 06-03-2019, 12:17 AM
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You can't predict the outcome, but you can expect that it would more accurately reflect the will of the people.
Well, until the day state borders are erased and state governments are dissolved I don’t see any chance of the Senate changing. Just like I don’t see the governments of Belgium, Greece, etc. dissolving and ceding all powers to the EU. There is close to no incentive for smaller than average political entities ceding apparently disproportionate power.

So why not choose an avenue of reform that actually has a chance of happening?

Last edited by octopus; 06-03-2019 at 12:18 AM.
  #65  
Old 06-03-2019, 12:21 AM
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I know what united means. It means you're taking a bunch of things and joining them together into one thing. The thirteen separate states were united into one single country.
But as you know, the formation of this country was unique in that you had thirteen states who at the time had fully sovereign powers. They agreed to unite in a country that was more that the loose association under the Articles of Confederation, but still far different than most countries.

They did not surrender all sovereignty. The only surrendered those powers that are listed in the Constitution, and even those powers were to be voted upon in a manner that did not give a one-person, one-vote across the states. The smaller states wisely saw how they would be rendered irrelevant by such a scheme.

I don't think it is proper to say that the way our country is set up is unfair when it was done this way by the agreement of all of the states and concessions were made to the smaller ones so that we could even have this union in the first place.

So, how in your mind is it now fair and just to insist on a pure one-person one-vote national compact where the larger states can run roughshod over the smaller states? The very thing that was bargained for?

Last edited by UltraVires; 06-03-2019 at 12:23 AM.
  #66  
Old 06-03-2019, 12:26 AM
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But as you know, the formation of this country was unique in that you had thirteen states who at the time had fully sovereign powers. They agreed to unite in a country that was more that the loose association under the Articles of Confederation, but still far different than most countries.

They did not surrender all sovereignty. The only surrendered those powers that are listed in the Constitution, and even those powers were to be voted upon in a manner that did not give a one-person, one-vote across the states. The smaller states wisely saw how they would be rendered irrelevant by such a scheme.

I don't think it is proper to say that the way our country is set up is unfair when it was done this way by the agreement of all of the states and concessions were made to the smaller ones so that we could even have this union in the first place.

So, how in your mind is it now far and just to insist on a pure one-person one-vote national compact where the larger states can run roughshod over the smaller states? The very thing that was bargained for?
The same line of thinking also applies to intrinsic individual rights. Those have no protection in an unconstrained democracy. What’s really funny though is the notion that the abstract political entity labeled “nation” is a construct that makes perfect sense yet an abstract political entity labeled “state” does not. I honestly don’t see how one can reconcile or promote those two contradictory ideas.

Last edited by octopus; 06-03-2019 at 12:27 AM.
  #67  
Old 06-03-2019, 12:50 AM
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Well, until the day state borders are erased and state governments are dissolved I donít see any chance of the Senate changing.
Of course not. They have the power, and they are not going to give it up. Few despots voluntarily give up power. Of course, democracy is as much a benefit to the leaders, as to the people. In a democracy, the people can show their displeasure through voting out their leaders. In countries where the will of the people is ignored, regime change tends to be more violent.
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Just like I donít see the governments of Belgium, Greece, etc. dissolving and ceding all powers to the EU. There is close to no incentive for smaller than average political entities ceding apparently disproportionate power.
The comparison fails on two fronts. The states would not be dissolving and ceding all powers to the US if the senate were more balanced to reflect the will of the people, and the states are also not actually sovereign countries like Belgium and Greece; Greece can leave the EU, can Texas leave the US?
[quote]
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So why not choose an avenue of reform that actually has a chance of happening?
What do you suggest?
  #68  
Old 06-03-2019, 01:03 AM
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But as you know, the formation of this country was unique in that you had thirteen states who at the time had fully sovereign powers. They agreed to unite in a country that was more that the loose association under the Articles of Confederation, but still far different than most countries.
They never had sovereign powers. They were subject to British rule until they broke away under the articles of confederation.
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They did not surrender all sovereignty. The only surrendered those powers that are listed in the Constitution, and even those powers were to be voted upon in a manner that did not give a one-person, one-vote across the states. The smaller states wisely saw how they would be rendered irrelevant by such a scheme.
You mean they wisely saw how they could get a disproportionate benefit from being stubborn and holding out until the larger states, concerned that if the small states were left to fair for themselves would fall into enemy hands and become a belligerent neighbor, gave in to their demands for the good of the nation.

This whole thing only worked if everyone signed on, and even though it would have been to their benefit to sign on without the "Great Compromise", the held out for more, putting the entire country's future at stake. Their primary negotiating advantage was that they had less to lose if the country failed.
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I don't think it is proper to say that the way our country is set up is unfair when it was done this way by the agreement of all of the states and concessions were made to the smaller ones so that we could even have this union in the first place.
The very word "compromise" is that we had to give away more than seemed fair in order to get the Constitution signed. Many were quite unhappy at it at the time, and would be even more frustrated now to see how the power has shifted even further away from the people.
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So, how in your mind is it now fair and just to insist on a pure one-person one-vote national compact where the larger states can run roughshod over the smaller states? The very thing that was bargained for?
If you feel that the ones with the power over the fed can "run roughshod" over states, then how in your mind is it fair to uphold a centuries old compact where smaller states can run roughshod over the larger?

The bargain then was not in good faith, and the argument to uphold it has not gotten any more sincere.
  #69  
Old 06-03-2019, 01:11 AM
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Of course not. They have the power, and they are not going to give it up. Few despots voluntarily give up power. Of course, democracy is as much a benefit to the leaders, as to the people. In a democracy, the people can show their displeasure through voting out their leaders. In countries where the will of the people is ignored, regime change tends to be more violent.

The comparison fails on two fronts. The states would not be dissolving and ceding all powers to the US if the senate were more balanced to reflect the will of the people, and the states are also not actually sovereign countries like Belgium and Greece; Greece can leave the EU, can Texas leave the US?



What do you suggest?
They were sovereign and made a deal to cede some of that sovereignty. Leave the Union? Sherman vs Atlanta set a strong precedent with regard to that question. That still does not mean that the states don’t have rights and sovereignty. It’s just not absolute. Which ultimately is because might makes right and nothing more.

Realistic suggestions? Expand the house. Ranked voting. Split a few of the most populous states. What’s the point of keeping California so large if states don’t have power as states? Clearly there is a lot of value with California being California and not 7 smaller states.

Speaking of California in 1850 when they became a state they had a small population.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1850..._States_Census. Did they cry about how unfair having 2 senators when NY had, according to that website, 30 times the population?

Last edited by octopus; 06-03-2019 at 01:12 AM.
  #70  
Old 06-03-2019, 01:31 AM
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They were sovereign and made a deal to cede some of that sovereignty. Leave the Union? Sherman vs Atlanta set a strong precedent with regard to that question.
Right, which is my point as to why Belgium's relationship with the EU is not a useful analogy to Georgia's relation to the US.
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That still does not mean that the states donít have rights
No one is saying that they have no rights, and balancing the senate to better reflect the population would not change that.
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and sovereignty.
Well, they don't have that. Sovereignty is supreme power or self governing. They were never that. They have rights, and they have powers of governorship, but they are not the supreme powers, and they are not self governing.
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Itís just not absolute. Which ultimately is because might makes right and nothing more.
And might is often on the side that has more people on it.
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Realistic suggestions? Expand the house.
I don't disagree, and have proposed that myself. Not a popular idea though, and even if more feasible, still doesn't solve the problem that half the legislature is beholden to a small and shrinking population.
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Ranked voting.
there are many meaning that this could take, did you want to expand? I probably don't disagree.
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Split a few of the most populous states.
and/or combine some of the least.
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Whatís the point of keeping California so large if states donít have power as states?
None, other than it would take quite a bit of effort on the part of both Californians and the rest of the country in order to make it happen.
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Clearly there is a lot of value with California being California and not 7 smaller states.
What's that value? When we started getting into the western territories, the surveyors got lazy and just started drawing big boxes and long lines to divy up the land that no one had really seen, and fewer wanted to live.
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Speaking of California in 1850 when they became a state they had a small population.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1850..._States_Census. Did they cry about how unfair having 2 senators when NY had, according to that website, 30 times the population?
They probably didn't. They probably thought they were getting a great deal. I would be very surprised if there weren't some grumblings about it among New Yorkers though.

OTOH, if the condition of becoming a state was that they would get more proportional representation in the senate to their population, do you think that that would have made them pass?
  #71  
Old 06-03-2019, 04:10 AM
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In the context of the U.S. Senate or electoral college, the people saying "South Dakota belongs to the people of South Dakota" make no sense.

Now, if North Dakota were populated with Klingons, while South Dakota was populated by Romulans, and so on, then sense might be had. But they're not; we're talking arbitrary lines on a map in many cases.

But ... but, you say, the people of Utah have their own special culture, distinct from their neighbors. Whatever. But the people of upstate New York have their own culture, distinct from the City. By the argument shouldn't the people of upstate New York have their own two Senators? They have a higher population than Utah.

The people in the mountains of California have different priorities than those in California coasts and cities ó where are their Senators?

No; the argument that people in arbitrary map boxes with vastly different populations each need or deserve exactly two Senators is so absurd that everyone in-thread making the argument is ... not entirely reasonable.

Also completely nonsensical is the bitterness I read above against the people of California who can subjugate the people of the smaller states by virtue of their higher population. Whites subjugate blacks the same way. For that matter, blondes are outnumbered by brunettes ó do blondes deserve some extra Senators? Truck drivers outnumber riverboat captains ó do we need to redress that with extra Senators? Or, on a more serious note, the large population of Californians are being subjugated by a few rednecks in tiny states like the Dakotas. Is that fair?

When viewed clearly, many of the "arguments" in favor of the Senate allocation in this thread reduce to utter gibberish. HTH.
  #72  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:06 AM
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The concept of states is a pretty antiquated one and the "hey, we made a deal 243 years ago" argument increasingly weak. Time to start talking up massive reform with the next generations of voters. They might listen when we have the aforementioned Senate Republican majority representing 25% of the population.

But if we have to maintain a Senate and states, let's do it like this. (I like the 13-state plan)
  #73  
Old 06-03-2019, 11:34 AM
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This effort would be better channeled into some form of one-world government. Probably higher chance of success and probably better aligned with the logic being presented.
  #74  
Old 06-03-2019, 11:52 AM
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Would it make more sense, rather than abolish one house of the legislature, to add in a new one?

Make it more of a direct democracy, at large across the nation, one adult citizen, one vote. Set up a proxy system so that you can represent multiple voters who agree with your views, and if you have enough proxies, you get an office at the Capitol. Proxies can be withdrawn at any time for any reason, and all voters would be aware of how their proxy is going to vote before that vote is cast.

Give the new branch the power to vote on any bill that is passed by either original branch, where two branches passing it sends it to the president's desk, and allow it to vote to force other branches to bring a bill or nominee to a vote. Don't give it the power to tax or originate bills.

It would prevent some of the pitfalls of direct democracy, but still help to make sure that the population is heard.

It would take the same effort as any other structural changes to the govt, but seems a fairer compromise that could, IMHO, get more support than making changes to the senate as is.
  #75  
Old 06-03-2019, 12:27 PM
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Would it make more sense, rather than abolish one house of the legislature, to add in a new one?

Make it more of a direct democracy, at large across the nation, one adult citizen, one vote. Set up a proxy system so that you can represent multiple voters who agree with your views, and if you have enough proxies, you get an office at the Capitol. Proxies can be withdrawn at any time for any reason, and all voters would be aware of how their proxy is going to vote before that vote is cast.

Give the new branch the power to vote on any bill that is passed by either original branch, where two branches passing it sends it to the president's desk, and allow it to vote to force other branches to bring a bill or nominee to a vote. Don't give it the power to tax or originate bills.

It would prevent some of the pitfalls of direct democracy, but still help to make sure that the population is heard.

It would take the same effort as any other structural changes to the govt, but seems a fairer compromise that could, IMHO, get more support than making changes to the senate as is.
I don't know how, or how well, or whether, something like this would work; but your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:28 PM
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Half of the US population lives in these 9 states

Half the country is represented by 18 senators. The other half is represented by 82.

We might be stuck with this because it would be very difficult to change, but the current situation is plainly unfair and I'm pretty sure not what the founders had in mind.
Actually, in 1790, half the population of the US lived in only 4 states (out of 13): Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. So, with respect, the Founding Fathers were very aware of the possibility of a limited number of states having a significant majority of the population. That's precisely why they created the Senate the way they did.

And, of course, the fact that only 9 states have half the population is exactly why many people oppose the notion of a popularly elected president; as long as urban areas have relative similarity in political viewpoint on significant issues, people who live in more rural areas will always view the potential that the urban populations will be able to dominate politics with severe skepticism.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:37 PM
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This effort would be better channeled into some form of one-world government. Probably higher chance of success and probably better aligned with the logic being presented.
Well, that concept was rejected. Itís obvious that several of these sort of proposals are primarily motivated by partisan concerns and not the idea that every person on the planet deserves an equal say. Thatís why some boundaries matter. Thatís why some history matters.

True unconstrained democracy? No one here wants that.
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:00 PM
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Actually, in 1790, half the population of the US lived in only 4 states (out of 13): Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. So, with respect, the Founding Fathers were very aware of the possibility of a limited number of states having a significant majority of the population. That's precisely why they created the Senate the way they did.

And, of course, the fact that only 9 states have half the population is exactly why many people oppose the notion of a popularly elected president; as long as urban areas have relative similarity in political viewpoint on significant issues, people who live in more rural areas will always view the potential that the urban populations will be able to dominate politics with severe skepticism.
Hey! Don't cloud a good debate with historical context.
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:04 PM
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I don't know how Scotus would rule on that semicolon ó a case has been made to partially invalidate the 2nd Amendment based on a smudge that looks like a comma! (My best solution to the Axis of Evil on Scotus would draw a Warning.)

But the Dakotas would not be able to gerrymander themselves unless the R's got control of both Congressional houses.
You're right - silly of me to consider that possibility.
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:07 PM
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Add Kentucky, split also directly from being part of Virginia, and Maine, spun off directly from being part of Massachusetts, each with the respective assent of the parent commonwealth's legislature . So it is established that creating a state from whithin other can happen if you can get it to pass both in Congress, and in what Congress recognizes as that state's legislature.
Forgot about those! Given that it would be a challenge for even the present Court to fail to acknowledge those precedents as controlling, I yield the point and stand corrected.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:27 PM
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... But if we have to maintain a Senate and states, let's do it like this. (I like the 13-state plan)
You glitched a bit writing that URL (http: // https: // ...). This one works better:
https://slate.com/culture/2014/10/if...look-like.html

Interestingly your glitched URL doesn't cause a 404 or such. Instead someone has a domain that seems to catch such glitches!
  #82  
Old 06-03-2019, 02:57 PM
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Revising the number of Senators per state is a non-starter,Article V forbids this to be amended:
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The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
What's wrong with the Senate could be changed by changing its rules and that might require an amendment. Specifically, I'd limit the power of any one Senator to prevent items from coming to the floor. I'd phrase it such that "Any legislation supported by 10 or more Senators shall be voted on within 90 days of its submittal to the clerk of the Senate". Then I'd add something like: "Nominations to the federal judiciary shall be confirmed unless a majority of Senators vote to deny the nomination within 90 days of it being made by the president".
  #83  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:10 PM
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Hey! Don't cloud a good debate with historical context.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:04 PM
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But as you know, the formation of this country was unique in that you had thirteen states who at the time had fully sovereign powers. They agreed to unite in a country that was more that the loose association under the Articles of Confederation, but still far different than most countries.

They did not surrender all sovereignty. The only surrendered those powers that are listed in the Constitution, and even those powers were to be voted upon in a manner that did not give a one-person, one-vote across the states. The smaller states wisely saw how they would be rendered irrelevant by such a scheme.

I don't think it is proper to say that the way our country is set up is unfair when it was done this way by the agreement of all of the states and concessions were made to the smaller ones so that we could even have this union in the first place.

So, how in your mind is it now fair and just to insist on a pure one-person one-vote national compact where the larger states can run roughshod over the smaller states? The very thing that was bargained for?
Are the Articles of Confederation still in effect?

When the Constitution was written and sent out to be ratified, a lot of people protested. They said if the Constitution was ratified it would be the end of state sovereignty. They were making this argument in order to persuade people to vote against the proposed Constitution.

But the argument failed. People voted in favor of the Constitution and it was enacted. And when it was, we ceased to be thirteen separate states and became one country.

People who opposed this (mostly politicians who held offices in state governments) began back-pedaling and claimed that the arguments that they had just been making were wrong; they now tried to claim that the Constitution and that the states were just as sovereign now as they had been. But its impossible to agree with their new line of arguments when they were the ones who had been claiming otherwise. The reality is that state sovereignty was put to a vote and it lost.

I'll also point out that the Constitution was not a contract between states. It was not submitted to the state governments for their ratification. It was a contract between "We, the People" and it was ratified by a series of popular votes.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:08 PM
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as long as urban areas have relative similarity in political viewpoint on significant issues, people who live in more rural areas will always view the potential that the urban populations will be able to dominate politics with severe skepticism.
But you have no problem with the same situation if the positions are reversed? It's okay for a rural minority to impose its views over an urban majority?
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:58 PM
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Are the Articles of Confederation still in effect?

When the Constitution was written and sent out to be ratified, a lot of people protested. They said if the Constitution was ratified it would be the end of state sovereignty. They were making this argument in order to persuade people to vote against the proposed Constitution.

But the argument failed. People voted in favor of the Constitution and it was enacted. And when it was, we ceased to be thirteen separate states and became one country.

People who opposed this (mostly politicians who held offices in state governments) began back-pedaling and claimed that the arguments that they had just been making were wrong; they now tried to claim that the Constitution and that the states were just as sovereign now as they had been. But its impossible to agree with their new line of arguments when they were the ones who had been claiming otherwise. The reality is that state sovereignty was put to a vote and it lost.

I'll also point out that the Constitution was not a contract between states. It was not submitted to the state governments for their ratification. It was a contract between "We, the People" and it was ratified by a series of popular votes.
The states never ceased to exist. There are state borders, state courts, state constitutions, state police, state roads, state sales taxes, state income taxes, state citizens, state property, state national guards, state birds, etc. Do they have absolute sovereignty? No. But thatís never been the argument.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:29 PM
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But the argument failed. People voted in favor of the Constitution and it was enacted. And when it was, we ceased to be thirteen separate states and became one country.

People who opposed this (mostly politicians who held offices in state governments) began back-pedaling and claimed that the arguments that they had just been making were wrong; they now tried to claim that the Constitution and that the states were just as sovereign now as they had been. But its impossible to agree with their new line of arguments when they were the ones who had been claiming otherwise. The reality is that state sovereignty was put to a vote and it lost.

I'll also point out that the Constitution was not a contract between states. It was not submitted to the state governments for their ratification. It was a contract between "We, the People" and it was ratified by a series of popular votes.
Are you claiming that there is no such thing as dual sovereignty? I think this layer cake federalism is pretty well established, but if you think otherwise I'd be interested in understanding your position.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:56 AM
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Are the Articles of Confederation still in effect?

When the Constitution was written and sent out to be ratified, a lot of people protested. They said if the Constitution was ratified it would be the end of state sovereignty. They were making this argument in order to persuade people to vote against the proposed Constitution.

But the argument failed. People voted in favor of the Constitution and it was enacted. And when it was, we ceased to be thirteen separate states and became one country.

People who opposed this (mostly politicians who held offices in state governments) began back-pedaling and claimed that the arguments that they had just been making were wrong; they now tried to claim that the Constitution and that the states were just as sovereign now as they had been. But its impossible to agree with their new line of arguments when they were the ones who had been claiming otherwise. The reality is that state sovereignty was put to a vote and it lost.

I'll also point out that the Constitution was not a contract between states. It was not submitted to the state governments for their ratification. It was a contract between "We, the People" and it was ratified by a series of popular votes.
Whatever the talking points in opposition to the Constitution was at the time, we have to look at what it did. It created a government with limited and enumerated powers listed in Article I, Section 8. It created a list of things that the States could not do in Article I, Section 10. It also created an entrenched clause where the Senate could never be anything but equal representation of all states.

This was the only sovereignty that the states lost in the process.

Some did insist that this would destroy state sovereignty and the federalists replied that this was nonsense as the Constitution clearly limited national powers. The anti-federalists demanded a Bill of Rights.

The federalists rightly replied that this was unnecessary. As the national government had no power to ban free speech, ban militias, or ban guns, it should have been completely unnecessary to have parts of the Bill of Rights. Just in case, the 10th Amendment was tacked on to make this clear.

Yes, the Constitution was ratified by "We the People" but it was the people in each State. 9 of 13 states, regardless of population was required for ratification. 3/4ths of the states are required for an amendment, not 3/4ths of the people of the nation.

The idea implicit in your post that states are now mere districts of the United States is not supported by history.
  #89  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:26 AM
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If the populations were completely balanced, half the prople would live in the 25 largest states. 50/25 = 2.0

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Turbo
Half of the US population lives in these 9 states
Actually, in 1790, half the population of the US lived in only 4 states (out of 13)
50/25 = 2.0
13/4 = 3.2
50/9 = 5.6
Which of these three numbers is least like the others?

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Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
... as long as urban areas have relative similarity in political viewpoint on significant issues, people who live in more rural areas will always view the potential that the urban populations will be able to dominate politics with severe skepticism.
California has far more rural people and rural land than Vermont, Rhode Island and Delaware added together. Yet the former get zero Senators while the latter get six Senators.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:19 AM
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You glitched a bit writing that URL (http: // https: // ...). This one works better:
https://slate.com/culture/2014/10/if...look-like.html

Interestingly your glitched URL doesn't cause a 404 or such. Instead someone has a domain that seems to catch such glitches!
Thanks for the help. Apologies to all.
  #91  
Old 06-04-2019, 09:17 AM
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Actually, in 1790, half the population of the US lived in only 4 states (out of 13): Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. So, with respect, the Founding Fathers were very aware of the possibility of a limited number of states having a significant majority of the population. That's precisely why they created the Senate the way they did.
This is wildly misleading. You're stating it as if they viewed that as a bonus. They created it that way not because they thought that sort of representation was good, but because giving that concession to small states was the only way they would join the union. A necessary evil.

Hamilton explains in The Federalist papers #22 that it's a bunch of bullshit and it's only gotten worse.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:59 AM
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Conveniently, the "reform" that you consider "fair" increases the Dems power. What a shocking surprise.
Try to divide up the political power in this country in any way that resembles "fair" and you end up with an increase in Dem power. That's the problem - that a minority party (by a wide margin) can hold a majority of political power.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:16 AM
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This is wildly misleading. You're stating it as if they viewed that as a bonus. They created it that way not because they thought that sort of representation was good, but because giving that concession to small states was the only way they would join the union. A necessary evil.

Hamilton explains in The Federalist papers #22 that it's a bunch of bullshit and it's only gotten worse.
Time for a constitutional convention then? You think youíd like the outcome of that?
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:36 AM
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All in all, I hope I live long enough for a Constitutional Convention. It ought to be an absolute madhouse. When it is all over, I would bet we will have something much worse than what we have now.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:49 AM
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But you have no problem with the same situation if the positions are reversed? It's okay for a rural minority to impose its views over an urban majority?
I am quite content with the concept that a geographically broad section of the country can, in a close election, select a President despite there being fewer total votes for him/her than for the losing candidate, yes. Because one or the other must be true, and as between the two competing concepts, I prefer the latter. This is because I believe that the country remains a federation of states, and not a political whole in which states are nothing but administrative boundaries.

Now, if we start having elections in which candidates win the Presidency despite having massive vote total differentials, then I might re-think my position on the mechanic. But so far, the only president elected with a massive undervote was John Quincy Adams, and that was the result of a system of selection that no longer exists. Since then, the largest margin deficit was 3% by Rutherford B. Hayes, and that election required some substantial chicanery on the part of the winning party to succeed. Donald Trump's 2% deficit isn't enough to cause me worry; 46% to 48% is not enough to make me think the system is totally borked.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:07 PM
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I'll also point out that the Constitution was not a contract between states. It was not submitted to the state governments for their ratification. It was a contract between "We, the People" and it was ratified by a series of popular votes.
This is so horribly wrong it must be pointed out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by United States Constitution, Article VII
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
The Constitution was ratified by the STATES, each state being required to hold a ratification convention. Delegates to those conventions were chosen by a variety of methods by the peoples of the various states. But it was the convention delegates who voted to ratify or not. The Massachusetts convention is instructive. Had the delegates voted on the Constitution upon arrival, the state would have failed to ratify. It was only after the so-called "Massachusetts Compromise" (the agreement to add a Bill of Rights after ratification) that enough votes switched to get a positive result. Similar shenanigans occurred in New York.

So the idea that somehow the Constitution was a compact entered into by the People themselves, not the states, is simply not supported by the record. And most certainly, there were no "popular votes" held on ratification.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:20 PM
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This is wildly misleading. You're stating it as if they viewed that as a bonus. They created it that way not because they thought that sort of representation was good, but because giving that concession to small states was the only way they would join the union. A necessary evil.

Hamilton explains in The Federalist papers #22 that it's a bunch of bullshit and it's only gotten worse.
Uh, no, what is "wildly misleading" is to:

1. Assert that what one faction of those at the Convention thought represented the opinion of the "Founding Fathers", and

2. Asserting that I said that "they view that as a bonus."

Neither is correct. The "Founding Fathers" were not some unified group of people (Washington, Madison, Jefferson and some hangers on) with a single opinion of what should be done. The Convention itself can be considered the Founding Fathers, in some respect. But the point is that there wasn't some small, minor faction of obstructionists getting in the way of some overwhelming majority of people who were forced by the practicalities to give in to some sort of awful compromise. What there was was a group of people, with some very different viewpoints on how the new nation could best be governed, who had to come to some sort of compromise of these viewpoints that would allow almost all the new "states" to join in with the revision. Remember: they were perfectly willing to let Rhode Island go its own way when the time came, so it's not like some insignificantly small group threw a tantrum over the representation issue and forced the compromise.

As for what I said, all I said was that the people who entered into the compromise were not oblivious to the possibility of 18 out of 100 senators coming from states comprising a majority of the population. They already were in a situation where 8 of the 26 senators came from states comprising a majority, and given the likely expansion of states from Westward movement, could probably predict that was going to get even more lopsided shortly. Please don't put words and thoughts in my mouth.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:28 PM
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The states never ceased to exist. There are state borders, state courts, state constitutions, state police, state roads, state sales taxes, state income taxes, state citizens, state property, state national guards, state birds, etc. Do they have absolute sovereignty? No. But thatís never been the argument.
You quoted me but you seem to be arguing with somebody else. I never said any of the things you're claiming. Obviously, states exist; I never said they didn't.
  #99  
Old 06-04-2019, 12:38 PM
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Are you claiming that there is no such thing as dual sovereignty? I think this layer cake federalism is pretty well established, but if you think otherwise I'd be interested in understanding your position.
I think it's a nice sounding slogan. But true dual sovereignty can't exist in reality. Two individual organizations can't be equally in charge of the same thing. There are going to be irreconcilable decisions and one organization has to have the final say. If it's not clear beforehand, there will be a crisis the first time such an irreconcilable situation arises which will be resolved either by one side conceded supremacy to the other or by the two sides splitting apart and establishing separate sovereignties.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:42 PM
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The Constitution was ratified by the STATES, each state being required to hold a ratification convention. Delegates to those conventions were chosen by a variety of methods by the peoples of the various states. But it was the convention delegates who voted to ratify or not. The Massachusetts convention is instructive. Had the delegates voted on the Constitution upon arrival, the state would have failed to ratify. It was only after the so-called "Massachusetts Compromise" (the agreement to add a Bill of Rights after ratification) that enough votes switched to get a positive result. Similar shenanigans occurred in New York.

So the idea that somehow the Constitution was a compact entered into by the People themselves, not the states, is simply not supported by the record. And most certainly, there were no "popular votes" held on ratification.
I suggest you look it up.
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