View Poll Results: Do you think a national referendum would be good for the United States?

Voters
18. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, congress could send it to the people, and they could invalidate a bill passed by congress

    1 5.56%
  • Yes, but it should only work in a case that the congress can send a referendum to the people

    1 5.56%
  • Yes, but only the people should be able to use it to invalidate a bill passed by congress

    6 33.33%
  • No, none whatsoever. The current system is fine.

    10 55.56%
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Thread: National Referenda

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    National Referenda

    What do you think of instituting a nation-wide system of national referendum? We were debating this in my government class the other day and the professor, in favor of them, brought up an argument that they would be prudent if limited to only certain circumstances. For example, if the Congress wanted to put something up for referendum, they could as a means of showing the other party the public at large disagree. A good example of this might be the current Democratic house minority putting up for referendum a bill to raise taxes on the wealthy, which 60-70% (varies poll by poll) support. They could then tell the majority, hey look at what the majority of the country thinks, and you can honestly sit here and keep fighting for only 30%? Or if say, after the healthcare law passed, the minority republicans could put up for referendum a repeal of it. They could then have shown the Democrats that they are fighting for a bill a majority of the country oppose. Or even another criteria if enough signatures are provided, and each signature is verified, the people could invalidate a bill passed by the congress. No ballot initiatives though, that is not what this poll is about. For reference that would be the people drafting their own law to go before congress. A valid counter to the bill, however, is that the people are very easily influenced by things like TV advertisements, mailings, etc, and would not be able to decide on a referendum with their own true beliefs. It is also important to note things like the healthcare law, which was thousands of pages long. The average everyday American isn't going to take the time to read through it and see if he/she agrees with it or not. To put it simple, the average American is just not smart enough to make those decisions for the greater good (say a bill that would raise taxes to pay for a war, Americans might say no no no, don't you raise my taxes, or during the financial crisis, Americans would not have known that bailing out the financial institutions was absolutely necessary to keep the economy from completely going under) and it should be left out of their hands. And please don't get on my case for saying the average American isn't smart enough. I don't want to hear random drivel about how people in congress are bumbling idiots. Those on both sides of the aisle are very well educated in 99% of the cases and are above the average American in terms of intelligence, clearly.

    Those above are just views I complied during the debate we had. I am on the fence... personally leaning towards no referenda.
    Last edited by irviding; 11-27-11 at 01:00 AM.

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    Re: National Referenda

    Quote Originally Posted by irviding View Post
    What do you think of instituting a nation-wide system of national referendum?

    We were debating this in my government class the other day and the professor, in favor of them, brought up an argument that they would be prudent if limited to only certain circumstances.

    For example, if the Congress wanted to put something up for referendum, they could as a means of showing the other party the public at large disagree. A good example of this might be the current Democratic house minority putting up for referendum a bill to raise taxes on the wealthy, which 60-70% (varies poll by poll) support. They could then tell the majority, hey look at what the majority of the country thinks, and you can honestly sit here and keep fighting for only 30%?

    Or if say, after the healthcare law passed, the minority republicans could put up for referendum a repeal of it. They could then have shown the Democrats that they are fighting for a bill a majority of the country oppose. Or even another criteria if enough signatures are provided, and each signature is verified, the people could invalidate a bill passed by the congress. No ballot initiatives though, that is not what this poll is about. For reference that would be the people drafting their own law to go before congress.

    A valid counter to the bill, however, is that the people are very easily influenced by things like TV advertisements, mailings, etc, and would not be able to decide on a referendum with their own true beliefs. It is also important to note things like the healthcare law, which was thousands of pages long. The average everyday American isn't going to take the time to read through it and see if he/she agrees with it or not.

    To put it simple, the average American is just not smart enough to make those decisions for the greater good (say a bill that would raise taxes to pay for a war, Americans might say no no no, don't you raise my taxes, or during the financial crisis, Americans would not have known that bailing out the financial institutions was absolutely necessary to keep the economy from completely going under) and it should be left out of their hands.

    And please don't get on my case for saying the average American isn't smart enough. I don't want to hear random drivel about how people in congress are bumbling idiots. Those on both sides of the aisle are very well educated in 99% of the cases and are above the average American in terms of intelligence, clearly.

    Those above are just views I complied during the debate we had. I am on the fence... personally leaning towards no referenda.
    I broke your post us so I could read it with ease - Enter is your friend, do not be afraid of the Enter

    Bills are put through a lengthy appeals and argument process before a vote during which time they're mulled over - summarized - mulled over some more . . . each side has it's chance to make changes and arguments. Just because they failed to pass or sink it doesn't mean they should have the power to recall on the entire process.

    They can bitch 'til the day they die if they'd like - and they already do take our 'national average citizen doesn't support this tax hike' to the podium.

    I can't quite speak for the 'average Amercian' - because, since I've read the HC bill (twice) I think that makes me above average - though note my level of arrogance is quite the national average - win some, lose some

    But: with all this that you've written - you still didn't explain what exact type of referendum process is being discussed - Just calling it a 'referendum' is somewhat of a vague term.

    However - taking the default definition of a referendum and that it would require an Amendment to the Constitution solely for the purpose of the sore loser causing a stink . . . no, I don't see the need. Especially when most bills don't even leave Committee and we have a series of checks and balances to also bring into play (veto power, the judiciary . . . . and at any time someone can propose a new bill that strikes down an old one)
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    Re: National Referenda

    no vote...
    I do not think our people are up to this task....proven by the lack of regular voting.
    Lets have a better people first.

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    Re: National Referenda

    I would support national voter initiatives. Politicians can not be trusted to do the right thing. It should have the following stipulations in order to prevent abuse-

    1.Votes for national Initiatives and referendums on the federal level must occur on the same day all across the country.

    2. It must not violate the bill of rights. In other words they couldn't ban firearms, religion or anything else that blatantly violates the constitutional bill of rights.

    3. If it something that may require additional funding it must include a way of funding it and if that funding requires a tax increase then that tax increase must affect everyone equally. In other words they could not pass a law that says free college for everyone and a extra 15% tax increase on the rich to fund it.

    4.If its for the removable of a particular politician then on the constituents in that elected official's district can vote to remove that elected official from office and the vote for this can happen on any say since it only effects the politician's district, although technically this would not be a federal voter initiatives . If it involves the removal of the president then this must occur on the same day all across the country.

    5.Federal ballot initiatives must be decided with the Electoral College System.This is so people in densely populated cities are deciding laws for the rest of the country.

    6.Federal ballot initiative should require a 2/3 majority in order to pass.

    7.Ballot initiatives must be federal level not state level, for example we couldn't a law that requires Arkansas to build a park or to ban trans fat.
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    Re: National Referenda

    none, don't need any more power to the mob rule, most people are too easily influenced so you arn't actually getting an honest picture of whats best for the country or what actually people want.

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    Re: National Referenda

    Quote Originally Posted by irviding View Post
    What do you think ....
    I think you need to find a better school; one that teaches better writing style (see Aunt Spiker's post) and doesn't have idiot professors teaching government.

    .

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    Re: National Referenda

    Quote Originally Posted by TOJ View Post
    I think you need to find a better school; one that teaches better writing style (see Aunt Spiker's post) and doesn't have idiot professors teaching government.

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    Re: National Referenda

    I think the example of California has forever poisoned the concept of voter referenda to me. California's government is a trianwreck, largely because the voters have straitjacketed the legislature through voter referenda which sound good in soundbite form, but are disasters if one thinks about the ramifications for more than the thirty seconds they are in the voting booth. I would not want such a system replicated on the federal level.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 11-27-11 at 02:38 PM.
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    Re: National Referenda

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I think the example of California has forever poisoned the concept of voter referenda to me. California's government is a trianwreck, largely because the voters have straitjacketed the legislature through voter referenda which sound good in soundbite form, but are disasters if one thinks about the ramifications for more than the thirty seconds they are in the voting booth. I would not want such a system replicated on the federal level.
    Yes - I like less wishy-washy status. "it's passed - not vetoed - now it's law. . . . let's work with that"

    Rather than this suggested iffy time of "Well it's passed - but will it be recalled within the next 60 days?! Dun dun dun" sort of drama hanging about.
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    Re: National Referenda

    Quote Originally Posted by irviding View Post
    What do you think of instituting a nation-wide system of national referendum? We were debating this in my government class the other day and the professor, in favor of them, brought up an argument that they would be prudent if limited to only certain circumstances. For example, if the Congress wanted to put something up for referendum, they could as a means of showing the other party the public at large disagree. A good example of this might be the current Democratic house minority putting up for referendum a bill to raise taxes on the wealthy, which 60-70% (varies poll by poll) support. They could then tell the majority, hey look at what the majority of the country thinks, and you can honestly sit here and keep fighting for only 30%? Or if say, after the healthcare law passed, the minority republicans could put up for referendum a repeal of it. They could then have shown the Democrats that they are fighting for a bill a majority of the country oppose. Or even another criteria if enough signatures are provided, and each signature is verified, the people could invalidate a bill passed by the congress. No ballot initiatives though, that is not what this poll is about. For reference that would be the people drafting their own law to go before congress. A valid counter to the bill, however, is that the people are very easily influenced by things like TV advertisements, mailings, etc, and would not be able to decide on a referendum with their own true beliefs. It is also important to note things like the healthcare law, which was thousands of pages long. The average everyday American isn't going to take the time to read through it and see if he/she agrees with it or not. To put it simple, the average American is just not smart enough to make those decisions for the greater good (say a bill that would raise taxes to pay for a war, Americans might say no no no, don't you raise my taxes, or during the financial crisis, Americans would not have known that bailing out the financial institutions was absolutely necessary to keep the economy from completely going under) and it should be left out of their hands. And please don't get on my case for saying the average American isn't smart enough. I don't want to hear random drivel about how people in congress are bumbling idiots. Those on both sides of the aisle are very well educated in 99% of the cases and are above the average American in terms of intelligence, clearly.

    Those above are just views I complied during the debate we had. I am on the fence... personally leaning towards no referenda.
    I sense that your professor likes the idea because he thinks that he can get what he wants passed that way. Too often people fail to realize that people with differing opinions get to use the same process as well.

    Also, not to harp on it, but... paragraphs are your friend. A big blob of text is much harder to understand.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I think the example of California has forever poisoned the concept of voter referenda to me. California's government is a trianwreck, largely because the voters have straitjacketed the legislature through voter referenda which sound good in soundbite form, but are disasters if one thinks about the ramifications for more than the thirty seconds they are in the voting booth. I would not want such a system replicated on the federal level.
    You said everything I was going to say. California politics is indeed a train wreck, and a HUGE reason why is referendum system.

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