Explain to a non-American why it makes sense to change Congress every two years!

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by chris155au, May 28, 2020.

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How often should congress be changed?

  1. Every two years

  2. Every four years

  3. LESS than every two years

  4. MORE than every four years

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. chris155au

    chris155au Well-Known Member

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    Alright, so I've literally just discovered that Congress changes every two years! This whole time I thought that the Presidential election every four years is the only election which takes place on that day! I thought that Congress only changes every four years in the midterm elections, two years into a Presidential term - so I was thinking that the next one would be held in 2022 four years after the 2018 midterms. How is this anything other than TOTAL insanity? How can any President get anything done in two years? Here in Australia, we have a federal election every three years in which a Prime Minister is elected as well as our Congress equivalent - The Parliament of Australia. Some people believe that three years is too short! Well we have one more year than the US! So explain to me why it makes sense to change Congress every two years! Vote too in the poll above!
     
  2. Xenamnes

    Xenamnes Well-Known Member

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    The more corrupting the position of power is to those serving in it, the more frequent it is necessary to attempt rotating them out of that position before they become corrupted by said power.
     
  3. chris155au

    chris155au Well-Known Member

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    So why not one year then?
     
  4. kriman

    kriman Well-Known Member Donor

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    Not a totally bad idea. Make it a one year term and the incumbent is not allowed to campaign. Only debate his challengers and rely on his record.
     
  5. Xenamnes

    Xenamnes Well-Known Member

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    Such is not known. Perhaps too many recesses for a single year term to be of any validity.
     
  6. struth

    struth Well-Known Member

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    The House is elected every two years, the Senate every 6....just about every election is held on election day, from local, state, to federal govt.

    The reason the House is every two years is that the House is suppose to represent the people and be closer to the people. Hence why it's broken into smaller districts within a State, it's suppose to allow the people voice to be heard,

    The Upper Chamber, the Senate, represents the States, and isn't designed to answer as quickly as the House is to the people.
     
  7. struth

    struth Well-Known Member

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    Because then a member of Congress could get even less done...they'd be constantly campaign if they were up for re=election in a year. Members from Maryland or Virginia could swing it, but folks from Cali, Oregon, New Mexico etc would have a much harder time given the distance from Washington
     
  8. Sleep Monster

    Sleep Monster Well-Known Member

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    This only applies to the House. Senators serve six year terms.
     
  9. chris155au

    chris155au Well-Known Member

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    My point is that there is an election every two years, so every two years the senate and the house changes.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  10. chris155au

    chris155au Well-Known Member

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    They still change every two years though, that's my point.
     
  11. struth

    struth Well-Known Member

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    well actually no there are elections every year
     
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  12. RodB

    RodB Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Xenamnes gives the best short answer in #2. For a longer answer you have to differentiate between the houses of Congress, and the differences between our system and the Aussie's (and most every country) system.

    Congress is not elected every two years. The House of Representatives is but senators are elected every six years. The two years because of what Xenamnes said and with the expectation that representatives would temporarily leave their vocation to help the country and then after 2 or 3 re-elections, maybe, return to their vocation. They are the only ones directly elected by the people which the framers thought was wrought with emotional dangers but necessary in this case -- one of the reason the framers insisted that all revenue bill originate in the House. Senators were given 6 years for more stability and, at the time until the 17th amendment, not elected by a passionate electorate. The president is elected to four year terms which 'seemed about right'. In all cases the framers wrongly did not expect any elected official to be virtually permanent. They knew that would not be good but for some reason didn't think it had to be addressed.

    The parliamentary system is fundamentally different from ours. Our system has three separate and independent branches of government. Parliamentary systems have only one or two since the prime minister is basically the head of Parliament (read Congress). A Prime Minister is basically equivalent to our Speaker of the House sans any bothersome President. I'm not sure about Australia but usually the Prime Minister is elected for a period until the parliament gets tired of him or her. This says a number of things. The Prime Minister can be changed on a dime at the whim of the parliament. Also most importantly there is no check and balance to keep the different powers in line in a parliamentary system as there is with a President and Congress, both separate and independent of each other (though our current Congress is trying to "fix" that) while still having to operate jointly.
     
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  13. dadoalex

    dadoalex Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Hang on.

    Parliamentary system, right?

    What happens when the PM loses a confidence vote?
    What happens if the elected reps cannot agree on PM?

    Israel has had three elections in the last year.
    There was a time when Italy seemed to be tossing PMs every month.

    And, of course, a NC vote means new elections.

    Is two years too short? Probably.
    But Congress was never envisioned as a career.
    It was envisioned that people had other lives and public service was not a career leading to wealth but a public service after which the person would return to their private lives.

    Another aspect of the human psyche the founders failed to grasp.

    We could fix this without term limits.

    A law saying that losing reelection is a capital criminal offense.

    Facing the death penalty just for losing no congressman or senator will ever again chance reelection.
     
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  14. chris155au

    chris155au Well-Known Member

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    For Congress?
     
  15. struth

    struth Well-Known Member

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    typically someone in one of the 50 states is up for election.

    We refer to Mid-term elections every two years, because it's mid-term of the President's term....and there are usually more seats up based on the two years and 6 years terms of the House and Senate
     
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  16. Texan

    Texan Well-Known Member

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    To add to this, senators were originally appointed by state legislatures. They represented the states interests. The 17th Amendment changed senator elections to a popular state citizen vote. This took power away from the states and further centralized it. I'd like to see 17 repealed.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  17. chris155au

    chris155au Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, my point is that it is CHANGED every two years.
     
  18. chris155au

    chris155au Well-Known Member

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    Isn't it designed so that one third of senate seats are up every two years?
     
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  19. jay runner

    jay runner Well-Known Member

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    The learning curve in the first term wouldn't leave much productive time.

    Representatives are responsible to relatively few people, usually in a smaller area. If they screw up or work against those people, those people have an automatic recall option every two years with an opportunity to get rid of them.

    Senators are responsible to the people of an entire state, and should they work against the people of the entire state, there are methods of recalling them available, but it is harder to get rid of senators and it's a long six-year wait to an election.
    There should be 50X more recalls in the USA than there actually is.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  20. struth

    struth Well-Known Member

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    Yes, about a 1/3 are suppose to be up on even numbered years.
     
  21. Texan

    Texan Well-Known Member

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    Repealing the 17th Amendment would make recalling rogue senators much easier.
     
  22. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member

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    It is insanity. The US House roils around in instability because of it and is all but completely ineffective to lead legislation without the Senate and simply cannot pass legislation without the Senate. Conversely, neither the Senate nor the Executive can pass anything without the House. Hence, the ascendancy of the professional federal government, currently disparaged at the behest of Steve Bannon as the so called deep state. The professional federal government is effectively managed by unelected leadership across the board, from the military to the national park service. All of its transitory top leadership is appointed by a transitory President with the approval of the Senate, which can be effectively bypassed by interim appointments in many circumstances. The Senate is the most stable or if you prefer, intransigent piece of the elected government. Our federal judges are unelected, also appointed by the President, pending approval by the Senate, and serve until they resign, die, or are removed from office; the last of which occurs very rarely.

    In my opinion, the de facto continuity that has been established by the professional federal government owes a large part of its acceptance in that, having been dragged into two world wars, the US has responded with the largest military budget and correspondingly military on the planet. And, although there has been no Amendment to the Constitution, the President alone has sole authority to launch a strategic nuclear strike. This insane piece of unconstitutional authority, not that I give a **** about the outdated US Constitution but do occasionally enjoy using the phrase, has along with unelected officials like J. Edgar Hoover and a litany, or at least a substantial number of other federal professional leaders, led to the normative support for the federal government as it effectively exists post WWII.

    Every two years the House is up for election. It's daft. It's one of the reasons the US has such a low vote turnout, because we have elections every ****ing year. Every even year the House and a 1/3 of the Senate is up and every fourth year the President is up. And for some reason, even in odd years we have local elections that are largely unattended by the electorate.

    This plan was put in place by men whose average age was 45 years old. 11 of the 39 men that signed the 1787 Constitution weren't old enough to qualify for the office of the President - as they say, let that sink in. Obviously not even old enough to know that 2 years is an insufficient time for a new member of the House to even begin to make a political contribution short of having substantially established resources already in place, whatever that would be.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  23. RodB

    RodB Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Technically that is correct; I agree.
     
  24. TOG 6

    TOG 6 Well-Known Member

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    Really?
    Electing the House (and 1/3 the senate) every 2 years gives The People more control over the federal government.
     
  25. chris155au

    chris155au Well-Known Member

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    Meanwhile, nothing gets done.
     

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