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Author Topic: The British Parliment vs United States Congress?  (Read 5311 times)

Offline Matthew L

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« on: 27/08/2011 21:55:57 »
For the sake of a good argument, which do you think works more effectively, the United States Congress, or the British Parliament? Many American want our government to change and be more like Great Britain. I cannot come up with a good patriotic argument as to why America's government system is superior.  I do like how members of the British Parliament and the Prime Minister meet regularly with the Queen and discuss legislation bills and such.   


 

Offline JP

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #1 on: 28/08/2011 20:43:35 »
Why does one system have to be superior?  They both have benefits and drawbacks, and what's a benefit one day can be a drawback the next.  For example, the US separation of powers can allow the President to make rapid decisions without worrying about what the legislature might think, but when the President needs to get their input, that same separation of powers can lead to gridlock if they don't agree on policy.  But sometimes gridlock can be useful to prevent the country from changing course too quickly.
 

Offline Geezer

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #2 on: 29/08/2011 08:11:18 »
Well said JP.

Flying off at a tangent, I've noticed recently that there does seem to be a certain amount of animosity directed at our bretheren in the legal fratenrnity. I always think that's a bit unfair, because it's not their fault.

It's the lawmakers that dork everything up.
 

Offline CliffordK

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #3 on: 29/08/2011 08:40:18 »
Unfortunately I don't know enough about both systems to know all the benefits, or how the system would work in another country.

The USA system was essentially developed without political parties.  George Washington was an independent, after all.  However, very early on, the system evolved (or devolved) into essentially a two party system with all-or-none pooling of votes.

Unfortunately, often neither candidate embodies all the ideals of the voters, so rather than choosing the best candidate, one is often left with choosing the least worst candidate.  And, the all-or-none pooling of the votes often leaves half of the constituents in a closely divided state without representation.

And, now, so much of the voting is strictly down party lines.  Again voting party lines gives a very powerful all-or-none pooling of votes to the majority party.  But, it doesn't truly represent the constituents. 

Anyway, I do like the European style of proportional representation. 

Perhaps one should try proportional representation in the House of Representatives, as the "people's assembly" as originally planned.  Leave the all-or-none best candidates for the Senate. 

The relatively recent development of 3rd party endorsements of the primary candidates is an interesting development.  But, one is still left with 2 candidates.

I don't see any problem with having the president in a different party than the majority in congress, or even having the two houses with different majorities.  

Anyway, perhaps more parties would make a bigger mess.

One of the things that also happens in the USA is earmarks.  To "buy" votes...  they toss around money like it was their personal piggy bank.

Anyway, I would like to see better proportional representation in the house.  Is there any way to get rid of conflicts of interest with earmarks?
 

Offline Geezer

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #4 on: 29/08/2011 08:51:30 »
Is there any way to get rid of conflicts of interest with earmarks?

I hate earmarks, but the good thing about them is that they are visible. If they were outlawed, they would probably still happen in a less visible, and possibly illegal, way.
 

Offline Matthew L

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #5 on: 29/08/2011 09:38:58 »
The constitutions of America and Great Britain have impressively remained the same.  Compare our political systems and government to all the other countries.
 

Offline Geezer

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #6 on: 29/08/2011 17:15:29 »

The constitutions of America and Great Britain have impressively remained the same.


- except that the UK does not really have one  :D
 

Offline JP

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #7 on: 29/08/2011 17:40:48 »

The constitutions of America and Great Britain have impressively remained the same.


- except that the UK does not really have one  :D

- and except for these 27 cases for the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution

:p
 

Offline CliffordK

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #8 on: 29/08/2011 18:54:42 »

The constitutions of America and Great Britain have impressively remained the same.


- except that the UK does not really have one  :D

- and except for these 27 cases for the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution

:p

Well, really only 15...
Because the first 10 were more or less passed as part of the constitution.
And the 21st amendment nullifies the 18th amendment.

There certainly have been a few changes, for example while the electoral college remains in place, it is little more than an archaic formality.
 

Offline imatfaal

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #9 on: 30/08/2011 09:46:50 »
Well said JP.

Flying off at a tangent, I've noticed recently that there does seem to be a certain amount of animosity directed at our bretheren in the legal fratenrnity. I always think that's a bit unfair, because it's not their fault.

It's the lawmakers that dork everything up.

Defending lawyers - I am impressed and grateful. 

Quote
- except that the UK does not really have one  cheesy
Oh but we do - it's just not written down in one place (to confound the enemy dontchaknow); it is in entrenched legislation (to the extent we have that), constitutional conventions, and the body of public law.  Wish we had one like the US (and a decent bill of rights)
 

Offline Don_1

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #10 on: 30/08/2011 10:00:55 »
It doesn't matter which form of government you choose, none are ideal. The problem with politics is politicians. They rather tend to be 'professional' at politics but have little conception of what life is like for real people in the real world.
 

Offline CliffordK

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #11 on: 31/08/2011 17:30:38 »
It doesn't matter which form of government you choose, none are ideal. The problem with politics is politicians. They rather tend to be 'professional' at politics but have little conception of what life is like for real people in the real world.
Or those of us in the trenches have little concept of what life is like for those in the politics.

Even many of the local politicians often get a divide between themselves, and their constituents.

I wonder if the banks would shut off my credit if I was $14 Billion ($14,000,000,000) overdrawn on my account?
 

Offline JP

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #12 on: 31/08/2011 22:37:24 »
I wonder if the banks would shut off my credit if I was $14 Billion ($14,000,000,000) overdrawn on my account?

That depends.  What's your GDP?
 

Offline Don_1

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #13 on: 01/09/2011 13:17:59 »
I wonder if the banks would shut off my credit if I was $14 Billion ($14,000,000,000) overdrawn on my account?

Just about every day, some financial wizard pops out of the woodwork to tell us all that we are getting it all wrong and are speeding headlong into another financial armageddon. What I'd like to know is, where were all these financial wizards, who are so bloody clever, in 2007 and before?
 

Offline CliffordK

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #14 on: 06/09/2011 03:43:57 »
What I'd like to know is, where were all these financial wizards, who are so bloody clever, in 2007 and before?

Debates on budget deficits, national debt, and trade imbalances crop up from time to time, both in conjunction with recessions, and independent of recessions.  Often in conjunction with elections.

There is nothing new about the US Debt Ceiling, and debates around it.

As far as the US Debt and GDP.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_debt_chart.html


During the last decade, our national debt has jumped to the highest level since WWII, some of it due to a double hit of a lack of growth of the GDP & taxes, as well as a huge jump in stimulus spending.

But, there has been no real effort to reduce the US National Debt since about 1980 which is after the Korean War, Vietnam War, and after the interstate highway grid was for the most part completed. 

During the McCain/Obama debates, there was a question about what programs would be cut to pay for the very expensive stimulus packages and bailouts.  Neither McCain nor Obama could list a single program that they thought should be cut.  But, they both responded with multiple ways they intended to increase spending.  And, it became obvious that we were in for big problems.

One of the big budget shortfalls in the USA is with Medicare.  Yet, there is no president that could get elected if he announced plans to cut Medicare, and would likely have troubles if he announced plans to increase Medicare taxes to cover the expenses.

If the federal budget could be balanced.  Then, for the most part, the national debt would go away through inflation.  Deficit spending and it will continue to go through the roof.

I don't know whether the downgrade of credit ratings from AAA to AA+ is real or not.  I don't believe the credit ratings of countries like the USA really make any sense.  But, it should serve as a wake up call that we seriously need some changes in the way the government is being run.  At the same time, increasing the interest rates in countries like Greece, is inappropriate, and will likely cause more problems.

But, the governments are not doing their job if they continue spending money that they don't have.

I certainly can understand why Germany is reluctant to bail out Greece after spending trillions of dollars for their own reunification without being baled out by Greece.
 

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The British Parliment vs United States Congress?
« Reply #14 on: 06/09/2011 03:43:57 »

 

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