August 22, 2023 at 7:24 am #145Jonathan BuhacoffKeymaster
The purpose of the Legislative Branch is to enact laws that obligate or prohibit behaviors as needed to steer the country towards a better future for all. Creating a budget, raising or lowering taxes, approving international agreements for trade, defense, or other cooperation, creating regulations, or even declaring war are some different ways that the Legislative Branch fulfills its purpose.
The legislators should not be setting their own salaries because that is self-dealing. Legislators at the federal level are representatives of each state. Therefore, the state legislatures should be setting the salaries of their own federal representatives. Legislators at the state level are representatives of each region such as a city or county. Therefore, each region should set the salary of their own state representatives. The people of each region elect their own mayor or other local officials and should vote on their salary directly in referendums.
In the United States, there are two chambers of Congress — the Senate and the House of Representatives. This set up reflects an idea that laws require agreement by a majority of states and also by a majority of the population. This is good, but the two chambers are redundant. We don’t need 535 people arguing about and voting on the same issues, coming up with two separate bills on the same topic, and then having to reconcile them in a back room somewhere and come up with a final version of the bill that actually wasn’t voted on directly by either chamber. Instead of that, we need only the 100 senators to vote on a single version of a bill and when it passes it becomes law without further edits. To fulfill the idea that there should be a consensus by a majority of states and a majority of the population, each senator’s votes should be counted twice: once as an equal representative of the state, and once as a weighted representative of the state’s population. A bill would only pass if it has consensus both ways, just like having two chambers of Congress vote on it, but without the additional expense of 435 representatives and without the undemocratic draft reconciliation process. The redundancy is even more atrocious when the voting records are considered and so many of them vote predictably along party lines. With only two major parties in the United States, we don’t really need 535 people to represent just two opinions on any topic. We can do that just as well with only 100 people.
For example, California currently (2023) has 2 Senators and 52 Representatives, comprising 1/50 of the Senate vote and 52/435 of the House of Representatives vote. Under this proposal, when voting on a bill each Senator from California would vote once but their vote would be counted twice: once as 1/100 of the state vote, and once as 52/870 of the population vote. If the bill gets a majority (or a sufficient supermajority depending on the rules of the vote) in both counts, it passes.
The Senate rules must not allow a single person to hold up the proceedings. This is anti-democratic because it allows a single person to disrupt the efforts of the majority. The minority opinion must be heard and considered, but everyone must have a pre-determined amount of time to speak and there should be a vote to determine if there will be another round of speaking before the final vote on the matter.
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