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Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Forum - Perennial Ideas and Debates that cross societal/time boundaries


View Poll Results: Do you support national referendums?
Yes..it's a great idea. 3 37.50%
No..it's a terrible idea. 1 12.50%
Maybe..depends on a number of issues. 4 50.00%
Don't care. 0 0%
Other. 0 0%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 13th, 2012, 11:28 AM   #1

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National Referendums


This OP comes out of the thread on Texas secession. The US constitution has several ways to amend it, but one article I read on this issue took the position that one way to amend the constitution that is implicit in the constitution though not explicitly mentioned, is through national referendums. His argument is that the constitution reserves in it, the power of the people to decide to amend the constitution.

The question is would you be in support of a constitutional amendment to have national referendums or, if national referendums are implicit in the constitution, to hold national referendums for federal issues of great national importance.

For the record, I have deep reservations about it, but it could, potentially, put federal power back into the hands of the people

Last edited by Aulus Plautius; November 13th, 2012 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old November 13th, 2012, 12:03 PM   #2

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The 'people' are the ones that have voted themselves into serious fiscal trouble, and the ones that vote in taxes and regulations they think will only affect other people. Also, from past state initiatives here in the west it is clear that if voters approve a law that the politicians in power don't approve of they simply get their party majority of the state supreme court to throw the initiatives out, labeling them 'unconstitutional'. Term limits, gay issues, zoning law, taxation etc.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 01:39 PM   #3

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To a great extent, these things just let legislatures dodge questions. If we're going to use it, make it so that Congress is actually stripped of its power over subjects for which referenda are permitted.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #4

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A national referendum as i see it would have the force of a constitutional amendment. For instance, a right to life referendum. It would be used very sparing.
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