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12th Amendment

chuck71

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The 12th Amendment says "The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice President...etc..". It does not say that the People of that State vote first, and, then, the Electors vote according to the peoples wishes. Are we to assume that the People vote? The 17th Amendment says the Senators are chosen by the People, and I think the 12th Amendment should say that also. But here's the real issue: The Presidential candidate chooses His/Her running mate and has been doing so for all the Presidential elections except for, perhaps, the first one or two. The "People" do not chose the Vice President as the 12th Amendment dictates!! Why is the 12th Amendment ignored? I've heard arguments that the 12th Amendment does not say the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates can't run as one ticket, but it doesn't say they CAN!! Are we violating the 12th Amendment by allowing the Presidential candidate to choose His/Her own running mate? There have been four times in our History when a sitting President has been assassinated, and a Vice President whom (I feel) the People did not choose stepped up to the Presidency. There was one situation where a President resigned, and the Vice President became President. There have been several situations where the President died by other means than assassination, and the Vice President became President. In all those situations we had a Vice President whom the People did not choose become the President. Am I interpreting the 12th Amendment wrongly? If so, someone please set me straight. Thank you, chuck.:mrgreen:
 

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Am I interpreting the 12th Amendment wrongly?
Your interpretation is correct, citizen's vote does not and never has elected a President or Vice President. As far as the citizenry is concerned the President is the least important person in DC, he is not a King and he cannot legislate (make law), Article I, Section 1, clause 1.

The 17th is unconstitutional, it stripped the States of their voice in Congress.

"Constitutionally" the only federal Officials citizen's vote elect are Representatives and elect them every two years; Article I, Section 2, clause 1, "The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States,"

Representatives have the power of impeachment; Article I, Section 2, clause 5, "The House of Representatives shall ... have the sole Power of Impeachment."

Representatives have the power of the purse; Article I, Section 7, clause 1, "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives;"

Citizens cannot amend the Constitution (neither can the federal government); Article V.
 

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:mrgreen:Allan: I don't see why the 17th Amendment is unconstitutional. How does it strip the States of their voice in Congress? Any time it says "The People" do the choosing, that's got to be a good thing. Article V says Amendments are proposed by two thirds majority of both bodies of Congress or by two thirds majority of the State Legislatures. Then, three fourths of the State Legislatures or three fourths of Conventions in the several States ratify the "Proposed Amendment", making it an official Amendment. It doesn't say the People of the several States vote to ratify, and the Legislatures or Conventions comply with the Peoples vote, so I would have to agree with you when you say "Citizens cannot amend the Constitution". That's not the way it should be. I feel the People should do the voting and the electorial college of each State should comply with the Peoples wishes. The People do, however, vote for the President (but not the Vice president), and the candidate who gets the most votes in any State carries all the Electorial votes of that State. But you're right, the Constitution does not say the citizens vote. It says the Electors vote. We should Amend the Constitution to reflect the way a President is really elected: The People vote first, then the Electors of each State comply with the Peoples vote. tks, chuck
 

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The 17th Amendment is not unconstitutional, but ought to be. It causes a bastardization of the government structure setup by the founders. The President is the President of the United States, that is to say the president of the union. That is why they set it up so the states actually vote for that office. The electors are intended to represent the wishes of the People, but they are not mandated to except as legislated by the States. The Senators were originally appointed by the legislatures of the respective states to represent them in Washington. The People formed a union of the states through elected representatives in a convention. The states formed conventions to debate the new constitution. It wasn't a debate among the citizenry. It wasn't a debate on the streets, but in the state conventions. The states had their own executive, legislative and judicial branches. So the President of the US was not precisely the president of the people with regard to govt structure. The institution of a republican form of govt was intended for large populations. Why do people seems to always think if the people vote for it, it's a good thing? Who do the Senators actually represent? You have two people that represent a state in the Senate, who themselves have the same constituents. Where they once represented the state government, they represent some abiguous body of people. Why do you think we have a bicameral legislature instead of a unicameral. The 17th Amendment basically gave us a quasi-unicameral legislature. And people think that's wonderful.
 

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The 12th Amendment says "The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice President...etc..". It does not say that the People of that State vote first, and, then, the Electors vote according to the peoples wishes. Are we to assume that the People vote? The 17th Amendment says the Senators are chosen by the People, and I think the 12th Amendment should say that also. But here's the real issue: The Presidential candidate chooses His/Her running mate and has been doing so for all the Presidential elections except for, perhaps, the first one or two. The "People" do not chose the Vice President as the 12th Amendment dictates!! Why is the 12th Amendment ignored? I've heard arguments that the 12th Amendment does not say the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates can't run as one ticket, but it doesn't say they CAN!! Are we violating the 12th Amendment by allowing the Presidential candidate to choose His/Her own running mate? There have been four times in our History when a sitting President has been assassinated, and a Vice President whom (I feel) the People did not choose stepped up to the Presidency. There was one situation where a President resigned, and the Vice President became President. There have been several situations where the President died by other means than assassination, and the Vice President became President. In all those situations we had a Vice President whom the People did not choose become the President. Am I interpreting the 12th Amendment wrongly? If so, someone please set me straight. Thank you, chuck.:mrgreen:
the 12th Amendment came about because the Jefferson/Burr election showed a flaw in the system. Before then, the VP was the guy who lost the election. After a deadlock in the electoral college, and 35 ties in the House of Representatives, they felt the need to fix the process by adding a separate electoral ballot for VP, which stands today. The President doesn't just up and choose his VP, he's an elected official.
 

Visbek

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The 17th Amendment is not unconstitutional, but ought to be.
An amendment can't be "unconstitutional."


It causes a bastardization of the government structure setup by the founders.
We're not required to adhere to the exact same system that the framers devised. We could eliminate the entire Senate if we so chose.


The electors are intended to represent the wishes of the People, but they are not mandated to except as legislated by the States.
And we could change that to a direct election, if we so chose.

Keep in mind that amendments require ratification by the states. If the states choose to hand over a specific power to the federal government or to the people, they can do so.


Why do people seems to always think if the people vote for it, it's a good thing?
Because a government ought to be responsive to the will of the people.

The potential issue is that the will of the majority can trample the rights of the minority. Indirect election of senators and/or presidents does not viably protect that right.

I also see very little evidence that electors are any wiser than the will of the public.


Who do the Senators actually represent?
They ought to represent the residents of those states.


Where they once represented the state government, they represent some abiguous body of people.
It's not ambiguous, it's the voters in those states. And why should it matter if they represent a "state," or represent the people of those states?


Why do you think we have a bicameral legislature instead of a unicameral.
Because the framers had to appease the representatives of the smaller states.

The framers didn't adopt a bicameral legislature because of fidelity to political principles. It was adopted out of political expediency. And there's no particular reason to be hobbled by 200+ year old compromises between politicians, if we no longer find those structures useful.
 

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The 12th Amendment says "The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice President...etc..". It does not say that the People of that State vote first, and, then, the Electors vote according to the peoples wishes. Are we to assume that the People vote? The 17th Amendment says the Senators are chosen by the People, and I think the 12th Amendment should say that also. But here's the real issue: The Presidential candidate chooses His/Her running mate and has been doing so for all the Presidential elections except for, perhaps, the first one or two. The "People" do not chose the Vice President as the 12th Amendment dictates!! Why is the 12th Amendment ignored? I've heard arguments that the 12th Amendment does not say the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates can't run as one ticket, but it doesn't say they CAN!! Are we violating the 12th Amendment by allowing the Presidential candidate to choose His/Her own running mate? There have been four times in our History when a sitting President has been assassinated, and a Vice President whom (I feel) the People did not choose stepped up to the Presidency. There was one situation where a President resigned, and the Vice President became President. There have been several situations where the President died by other means than assassination, and the Vice President became President. In all those situations we had a Vice President whom the People did not choose become the President. Am I interpreting the 12th Amendment wrongly? If so, someone please set me straight. Thank you, chuck.:mrgreen:
The citizens elect the electors.
 

Trip

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American said:
Why do people seems to always think if the people vote for it, it's a good thing?
Because a government ought to be responsive to the will of the people.

Oh, I get it! This response is meant to serve as example why the will of the people is bad, while ignoring the harm of having two unchecked houses of Congress, with one even having a much longer term of office, and no reason for it nor check upon it, all while pretending to disagree and that the unguided will of the unenlightened and unaware masses is somehow mystically a good thing.

That's a pretty subtle approach!
 

chuck71

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Surtr: You're absolutely right in theory. The 12th Amendment does say the Vice President is chosen separately by Electors. But you and I know that in actual practice the Presidential candidate chooses his/her running mate in violation of the 12th Amendment. That might be a good thing though, because there would most likely be a more harmonious relationship among
the two. If the Vice President is chosen according to the 12th Amendment there's a good chance the two would be at each others throats. Either way, the people have no say in who becomes the Vice President. Unlike "American" I'm a Harry Truman type guy and believe the people have a lot more wisdom then they are given credit for. Especially when they step behind that Ballot curtain. Sure, there's a few "numb nuts", but what can you say--we don't live in a perfect world. tks, chuck.
 

chuck71

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Trip: Right on Bro'!! Harry Truman would be proud of you. So am I. tks, chuck
 

rocket88

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Oh, I get it! This response is meant to serve as example why the will of the people is bad, while ignoring the harm of having two unchecked houses of Congress, with one even having a much longer term of office, and no reason for it nor check upon it, all while pretending to disagree and that the unguided will of the unenlightened and unaware masses is somehow mystically a good thing.
That's actually a great rationalization for a totalitarian government. "The "unenlightened masses" don't know what they need."

Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy.
Benito Mussolini
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/b/benito_mussolini.html#iW5ug7Tu8jMg0oSi.99
 

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mrgreen:Visbec: I agree that Electors are not likely to be wiser than the will of the public. The way we chose a Presidential candidate in 48 of our 50 states is by popular vote of the People, and the winner takes all--that is to say He/She gets all the Electors that State is entitled to. This came about, I believe, because of the graciousness of the State Legislators, who said: "We're going to let the People decide", which makes the Electors sort of moot! they're just a number equal to the number of Representatives of that State plus the two Senators. According to the Constitution The State Legislators had the power to choose Electors any way they wanted, but they opted to let the People elect a Presidential candidate by popular vote. tks, chuck
 
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chuck71

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:mrgreen: Visbek: I agree that the Electors are not wiser than the will of the public. Thanks to the graciousness of the State Legislators who could have chosen Electors any way they saw fit, chose to let the People vote for a Presidential candidate. This makes (in 48 States) the Electors moot, because the winning Candidate gets all the Electors. So the Electors are nothing more than a number equal to the number of Representatives that State is entitled to, plus the two Senators. And your right, The Senators ought to represent the residents of the States. tks, chuck
 
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Jimbo1776

The citizens elect the electors.
If the citizens elect the electors, then the electors names should be on the ballots. I should be voting for the elector that believe would best represent my interests when choosing a president/vice-president.
 

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:mrgreen: Visbec: Sorry to be redundant. I sent you two replies making basically the same statement. Somehow I got shuffled to another web page, and when I got back I thought my original thread did not get posted. So I typed another one, and now I see my first one DID get posted. Sorry, chuck
 

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The states determine how electors selected. If they wanted the governor to select them, then some states' Constitutions could permit that.

Not a good idea, though.
 

Visbek

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I agree that the Electors are not wiser than the will of the public.
Yep. Nor do electors perform any truly useful function. All that system does is muck up and distort the electoral process.

In fact, I'd say that the president ought to be elected directly via popular vote. The states should not be the ones deciding who is president of the entire nation, it should be the public as a whole. It doesn't help that state rules for federal elections have routinely been used to disenfranchise citizens.

And no, I am not put off by the idea that this is more democratic than what is specified in the Constitution, as it does not provide the President with any additional powers, or weaken the states in any meaningful fashion.
 

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:mrgreen: rocket88: What did Benito Mussolini know about Democracy? He knew how to kick ass to get the trains to run on time. Democracy works great among people who are responsible, intelligent, and willing to work hard. tks, chuck
 
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:mrgreen: Visbek: If the President were to be elected by popular vote directly we would have had a President Al Gore instead of a selected President George W. Bush. Hopefully that would have meant that President Barack Obama wouldn't have had a 13 trillion debt handed to him on a lead platter! President Clinton left office with zero debt, and they were predicting a 4 trillion dollar surplus within 8 years. A President Gore would have tried his best to make that happen. Why do we get these Republican Presidents who cut taxes (in fairness to Bush, he cut MY taxes too, and I'm by no means rich), and then go ahead and spend like a drunken sailor. When you cut taxes you're supposed to cut spending as well (Duhh!!!) until the extra money the people have to spend comes back to the Government in the form of Federal taxes. Reagan was guilty of this also. tks, chuck
 

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:mrgreen: AliHajiSheik: Are you sure you're not John Ratzenbach's twin brother? You're his spittin image. Check out some Cheers episodes on the Reelz channel. tks, chuck
 

Captain Adverse

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:mrgreen: rocket88: What did Benito Mussolini know about Democracy? He knew how to kick ass to get the trains to run on time. Democracy works great among people who are responsible, intelligent, and willing to work hard. tks, chuck
True Democracy is government by the people where supreme power is exercised by the people. Basically it's where every citizen considered eligible to vote gathers together, discuss and debate issues raised, then votes on it.

I'm aware that current definitions include the election of representatives, but in fact this is actually the definition of a Republic, which is what the USA is.

In truth actual Democracy only works effectively with small populations, like villages, towns, and small cities. One problem? The larger the population the harder to ensure gathering of a quorum. Another problem; the larger the populations the greater the diversity and level of local insularity of separate groupings, leading to a tendency to focus on purely local needs and goals. This makes it harder to reach agreement.

In this sense Mussolini was actually correct.
 

chuck71

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If the citizens elect the electors, then the electors names should be on the ballots. I should be voting for the elector that believe would best represent my interests when choosing a president/vice-president.
:mrgreen: Jimbo1776: The citizens don't elect the electors. We have a system of voting that has evolved much differently than the Constitution intended. The PEOPLE actually vote for the candidate they want, and the winner (at least in 48 of our States) gets all the marbles, that is, he carries ALL the electoral votes. There aint a damn thing the Electors can do about it. This is a much better way than the Constitution intended, and I would like to know who to thank for this much better system. tks, chuck
 

Visbek

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If the President were to be elected by popular vote directly we would have had a President Al Gore instead of a selected President George W. Bush.
Not necessarily.

If presidential elections were handled via direct elections, the election itself would have been very different. E.g. Bush would have campaigned more in states like California. There's no way to know for sure how the popular vote would have changed, given different campaign tactics.

This is also not about specific results like "who got voted in -- it's just as likely that a Republican could win the popular vote, and lose the election, as the opposite. The goal is to simplify the election, and make it more reflective of the will of the people.
- making it more reflective of the will of the people
 

chuck71

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True Democracy is government by the people where supreme power is exercised by the people. Basically it's where every citizen considered eligible to vote gathers together, discuss and debate issues raised, then votes on it.

I'm aware that current definitions include the election of representatives, but in fact this is actually the definition of a Republic, which is what the USA is.

In truth actual Democracy only works effectively with small populations, like villages, towns, and small cities. One problem? The larger the population the harder to ensure gathering of a quorum. Another problem; the larger the populations the greater the diversity and level of local insularity of separate groupings, leading to a tendency to focus on purely local needs and goals. This makes it harder to reach agreement.

In this sense Mussolini was actually correct.
:mrgreen: Captain Adverse: I totally agree with you that our Government is a Republic, precisely because of what you say: "In truth actual Democracy only works effectively with small populations". As far as Mussolini is concerned, El Duchi was a dictator, and they all believe they know better than the People what the People need.
 

Visbek

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I'm aware that current definitions include the election of representatives, but in fact this is actually the definition of a Republic, which is what the USA is.
There are no problems whatsoever with a republic incorporating democratic elements and structures.

For example, referendums are part of many state governments. Referendums are still bound by state and federal laws, which can curb the excesses of the majority.

And again, directly electing the President does not grant any additional powers to the office, so there is no problem in modifying the Constitution in that manner, if we so choose.
 
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