Last edited by Cevno; 17-01-2013 at 07:19 AM.
Come and Paint Turtle
So 50.1% of legislature can't overturn it based on some event (like 9/11), stuff that they'd regret and would be very negative (IMO) for the country.
I don't think it would be, but Cevno was arguing for the system on the grounds of its liberty/social record so I was just quickly pointing out that it's really not in very good shape on those issues at the moment. But I don't think you can argue either way for the efficiency of the political system based on the state of the country. No real alternative to measure it against.We've actually started to legalize some drugs in parts of the country, and I expect that trend to continue and expand. In any case, those laws have nothing to do with the constitution. Those laws can be made and repealed by Congress at any time - how would that be any different at all if we didn't have a constitution? I am not sure about your argument there.
The main part of my argument was the bit above that, the bit about all the corruption, gridlock and unfair representation. They're huge, gaping problems that most Western countries don't have to anywhere near the same extent.
Well I agree with you on many things - there are lots of structural changes I'd make. But for this discussion, removing a constitutional bill of rights would not be anywhere amongst them.
And as I said, I think our record on things like speech, search & seizure over the past 200+ years is pretty good. That's the stuff that's in the bill of rights. So you're kind of proving my point about that - we don't really have a great record on stuff that's not in there. To me, that's an argument of expanding it . I'd put something about victimless crimes in there, for sure.
As for not being in a great shape right now - meh. It'll ebb and flow. I think we have a tendency to overreact to the latest situation. In the long run, it'll be fine. I have enough trust built up through history that the system will see us through.
But even so, I don't always trust the passions of a small majority. And neither do most people here I think (at some point you'd be a minority on something important). In the end, it's going to be a democracy but we've decided as a democracy that there are certain things that we want to guarantee everyone - especially if you're not part of a 50.1% of a majority - that can't be taken away without a much broader agreement of society. And I agree with having that type of standard. As I said though, I would make it a little easier to pass amendments (maybe 3/5ths instead of 2/3rd of Congress), but in principle, I think it's necessary for us and in no small part has allowed the country to remain stable through some turbulent times.
Last edited by silentstriker; 17-01-2013 at 08:01 AM.
The small minority argument is precisely why you have a system of counterweights in place to avoid tyranny of the majority, but so does everyone. You don't need a constitutional bill of rights for that, surely.
e: small majority. ****it, 2am, going to sleep
do you think people will be allowed to make violins?
who's going to make the violins?
Brad McNamara @bbuzzmc
Will say this once and then nothing else. Defamation laws quite clear in Aus.be careful.
In India not having guaranteed rights in the constitution and a concept of basic structure which SC safeguards, would have certainly caused a few more religious riots and maybe another partition of the country by now.
After events like Partition/Babri Masjid demolition some party would have wanted to pass bills making India a Hindu Rashtra and what not in a religiously surcharged atmosphere and probably have gotten some support.
In any case, another reason I think it's a mistake to push too hard on guns is that while guns are responsible for a lot of violence, the real problem with much of the violent crime is the war on drugs. If Obama wants to waste some political capital, he ought to spend it on that. Neither would be successful but it would do more good in the long term to have that conversation - and he'd find some conservative (primarily libertarian) allies there. The war on drugs is destroying so many lives so needlessly. I think while politically its a difficult sell, probably much more so than guns, its much more necessary and has a bigger upside. The problem with guns is that there are already 300 million in circulation in the US. The cats out of the bag. I am not suggesting that it means we should give up because we shouldn't, but its not realistic to get rid of those guns.
Plus, in the war on drugs, you don't have to worry about all your political capital going down the drain because unlike guns, there is no amendment in the way. Congress can end the war on drugs or vastly change it and the changes are much more likely to be immediate and I think, permanant. For example even if you ban handguns, which you could never pass, but even if you did, it would be declared unconstitutional like Chicago's handgun ban was.
And I bet it saves a lot more lives, including children's, than any realistic gun proposal that has a chance of still being constitutional.
Plus Obama an most elected officials have been the biggest hypocrites on drugs. They've all admitted to using drugs yet if they had been caught (especially if they were from poor communities), they would have had a record, might never have made it to college, or get a stable job. Let alone being elected to elected office with a prison record. Yet that's precisely the sentence these guys are advocating for all these young men (primarily) for doing what they themselves did. It's ruining so many lives, for doing something completely nonviolent. Not to mention fueling massive violence in the cities and enriching cartels.
That to me is the single biggest issue in America right now. It's disgusting that we don't call out politicians on that. Their own admitted hypocrisy.
/random off topic rant
Compulsory voting; it might actually lead to a logical Republican Party if it had to appeal to the centre rather than make sure that the nut jobs voted.
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