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| | |-+  libertarians: should us senators be elected by the people?
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Author Topic: libertarians: should us senators be elected by the people?  (Read 5137 times)
MaC
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« Reply #50 on: July 02, 2007, 10:07:08 pm »
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Waltermitty, what you fail to understand in your assumptions is the construction of voting as a right.

The 'right' to do something involves either a right that would allow someone to do something as a libertarian believes, or a right of entitlement as a collectivist believes.  Voting generally falls under the latter as it requires a collective action.  And I do not speak for all libertarians when I say this.

Seriously, if you had everything you needed and all poor people were cared for, and an autonomous leader held your same beliefs, would it matter whether or not he was 'elected'?

As far as the actual question goes, Joe Republic hit it on the head.  Senate was not meant to be a clone of the House.
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Ernest
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« Reply #51 on: July 02, 2007, 10:47:37 pm »
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Even if filibusters on senator selection are forbidden, it is possible that a bicameral state legislature might be unable to choose a candidate if the two houses are controlled by different parties.

This would not affect Nebraska or South Carolina.  Nebraska because of its unicameral legislature.  South Carolina because assuming that they use the same procedure as is used for electing judges, the 124 member House and 46 member Senate would sit as one body, the 170 member General Assembly with the Lieutenant Governor presiding and breaking ties.
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« Reply #52 on: July 03, 2007, 03:27:39 am »
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Also, remember that the Constitution advocated both states' rights and personal rights. Who better to choose someone who advocates personal rights than the people? Likewise, who better to choose someone who advocates states' rights than the states?
After the Civil War, the Senate, even though chosen by the state legislatures, was very far from a guardian of states' "rights."
Well the problem was that immediately after the Civil War the Southtern States were denied representation in that horrendous travesty known as reconstruction.
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NO, I don't want to go back to Fantasy Elections.
Emsworth
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« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2007, 07:12:34 am »
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This would not affect Nebraska or South Carolina.  Nebraska because of its unicameral legislature.  South Carolina because assuming that they use the same procedure as is used for electing judges, the 124 member House and 46 member Senate would sit as one body, the 170 member General Assembly with the Lieutenant Governor presiding and breaking ties.
The South Carolina method would be, in my opinion, unconstitutional under the pre-Seventeenth Amendment system. When the constitution directed that senators should be chosen by the legislature, it did not mean that the electorate shall consist of members of the legislature. Rather, it meant that the senators should be chosen by the legislature in the true technical sense--with each house acting during the election as it normally acts, i.e., separately.

This view, however, is simply my opinion. A counterargument can and has been made that under Art. I, Sec. 4 ("The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof"), state legislatures can choose the method you describe. Furthermore, a small minority of states actually used such a method prior to the Seventeenth Amendment, without being challenged.

Quote
Also, remember that the Constitution advocated both states' rights and personal rights. Who better to choose someone who advocates personal rights than the people? Likewise, who better to choose someone who advocates states' rights than the states?
After the Civil War, the Senate, even though chosen by the state legislatures, was very far from a guardian of states' "rights."
Well the problem was that immediately after the Civil War the Southtern States were denied representation in that horrendous travesty known as reconstruction.
Not just immediately after the Civil War, but long after the war, even after Reconstruction ended, the Senate did little to protect federalism.
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David S
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« Reply #54 on: July 03, 2007, 08:49:57 am »
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I don't have a problem with distinguishing duties, imposts and excises from direct taxes. If you call them indirect as a way to distinguish them that's Ok. Its when you use that term to cover income taxes as well that you  are stretching the constitution.
Firstly, Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 1 does not distinguish duties, imposts, and excises from direct taxes. The clause reads, "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises."

Secondly, I have already made an argument that the income tax is a "duty." As I said before, an income tax imposed in England prior to the American Revolution was called a "duty" in Blackstone's Commentaries, with which the Framers were indubitably familiar.

But, the entire point of the Senate was to represent state's interests in Washington; the people already had representatives in the House.
I will ask again what I asked before: What is a state, if it is not the group of people living in a particular area? Why is it the case that the Senate represents a state's interests if it is chosen by the people of that state indirectly, but not if it is chosen by the people of that state directly?

Okay, replace "state" with "state government".
If the Senate were a body responsible for coordinating or regulating the state governments themselves, then your argument would make sense. But why should the Senate represent state governments, when the chief purpose of the Senate is to participate in making laws that directly regulate the people?
Emsworth I am quite sure that you and I will not agree on this point. I've made my points and you've made yours. However the argument is pointless since the 16th amendment definitely authorizes an income tax. Both of us would like to eliminate the tax. My means of doing so would be the 28th amendment which would say "The 16th amendment is hereby repealed." In view of your opinions I would add to that; " ...and the federal government is hereby prohibited from collecting taxes on income."

My contention is that your position is supported by a gradual distorting of the intents of the founders over the years until  a different meaning was created. I suspect you would agree that the term "general welfare" has been distorted from the narrow meaning the founders created to something very different which authorizes the government to do anything it deems to be good. That being the case I might also suggest that a severe punishment be added to discourage politicians from twisting the meaning of terms, maybe something like this: "Any member of government who attempts to create an income tax shall be shot, hanged, dragged through the streets and then shot again." That at least might give them pause for thought.
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