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Briton Living In US Looks at Lame Duck Phenomenon
Old 12-25-2010, 12:10 PM   #1
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Briton Living In US Looks at Lame Duck Phenomenon

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/12/time_to_put_down_the_lame_duck.html

I don't know enough about Constitution etc. to know if this lame duck system could be abolished with attempting to go to a full parliamentary system, but I do agree with this analyst that it is very weird.

Ha
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Old 12-25-2010, 01:33 PM   #2
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ha,

It does not appear that he wants to go to a full parliamentary system, just eliminate the time gap between the election results and the turnover. An interesting idea. I think it has merit.

I am sure the timing gap resulted from how big and spread out our country was in the beginning compared to compact little Britain. It may also have been from a feeling that there should be some time for turnover and for the new boys to assemble their staff.

Our founding fathers took a very close look at the parliamentary system and re-invented the structure of government. I don't think that was done anywhere else. Working as I have in Canada, I think our system in the US is far superior in most respects. (I say most because I am not 100% acquainted with the Canadian system, so I am sure I am missing something.) Everything I have seen so far, from police vs sheriffs, city vs provincial vs national government, our senate vs their senate, etc., etc., works better in the US. I understand that the Canadian parliamentary system is not exactly the same as the British one. I have been told that the British version has a few more checks and balances that were left out over here. The Canadian version is a provincial government that was turned over to the local crooks. Just my HO based on watching the parade go by.
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Old 12-25-2010, 02:09 PM   #3
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Here is another take on "lame-duck session": http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/we...9stolberg.html with a historical note:
Quote:
The founding fathers originally required Congress to convene on the first Monday in December — a mandate that automatically created a lame-duck session. And because Congressional terms did not expire until March, lame-duck sessions had the potential to run for three months. The 20th Amendment, ratified in 1933, dramatically shortened — but did not eliminate — the sessions by moving the swearing-in date for lawmakers to Jan. 3.
And as long as we're browsing the bbc web site, from a BBC commentator: a note on "exceptionalism" that I think you all will enjoy: BBC News - Why US exceptionalism is not exceptional since I think it writes about "how to fix Britain"
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:19 PM   #4
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LOL,

I rate the US system(s) of government as exceptional compared to Canada. I have limited experience with other countries. Britain seems to be working fine, in contrast.

As it happens, I am in this camp:
Quote:
"Americans believe with all their hearts, the vast majority of them, that the United States of America is simply the single greatest nation in all of human history." So said Florida's new Republican Senator Marco Rubio. [from the article in your link]
I also happen to think that it is the best thing that ever happened to humanity so far. But that is just my opinion. Other countries have been learning from us, which is our greatest legacy. We are a collection of many good and bad examples to learn from. Sometimes I wish we would learn more from our own mistakes.

It ain't perfect, not by a long shot. Just the best, IMHO.

Other countries have interesting solutions to problems that we also have. We should be studying these. When we stop experimenting, we lose the opportunity to improve. We should be improving our country, and I think that is happening. I am optimistic.
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Old 12-25-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
LOL,

I rate the US system(s) of government as exceptional compared to Canada. I have limited experience with other countries. Britain seems to be working fine, in contrast.

As it happens, I am in this camp: I also happen to think that it is the best thing that ever happened to humanity so far. But that is just my opinion. Other countries have been learning from us, which is our greatest legacy. We are a collection of many good and bad examples to learn from. Sometimes I wish we would learn more from our own mistakes.

It ain't perfect, not by a long shot. Just the best, IMHO.

Other countries have interesting solutions to problems that we also have. We should be studying these. When we stop experimenting, we lose the opportunity to improve. We should be improving our country, and I think that is happening. I am optimistic.
+1
Good Post!
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:56 PM   #6
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I could be wrong in this... but I do not think that a lot happened in other lame ducks... most of the time it is doing the last clean up things... maybe pass a continuing resolution to keep gvmt running, etc.... but a full out try to get a LOT of bills passed is just not what history has shown...


BTW, the Rs could have stopped any of the bills if they wanted... just pass the continuing resolution and call it a day... but they played along and let a number of items get passed....


Now.. the skeptic in me is saying that come the next election... they will use a number of these votes to try and oust some of the Ds who pushed them through.... 'look what they did even when they KNEW it was not good for the country'.....
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/12/time_to_put_down_the_lame_duck.html

I don't know enough about Constitution etc. to know if this lame duck system could be abolished with attempting to go to a full parliamentary system, but I do agree with this analyst that it is very weird.

Ha
So some Englishman thinks it is strange to push legislation through after the American public has changed it's mind? I don't think the lame duck results are any weirder than the fact that a boatload of legislation that had the support of both houses of Congress and the President failed to move forward because of filibusters. That legislation resulted from a pretty clear mind making up by the American public not so long ago. Those unprecedented filibusters and the gridlock they caused frustrated the American public and (IMHO) led to some of the anger leading that public to "change its mind."

The lame duck (Christmas really) simply presented a pressure point to break the filibuster - kind of a good thing actually. If the filibustering party truly believes its own actions make sense they can keep filibustering for a few more days. If getting home for a holiday is enough to break their commitment it never had much substance to begin with. Absent the filibusters earlier in the session there would not be a much stacked up to push through in a lame duck (other than the standard continuing resolutions).
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:41 AM   #8
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I believe the idea of America is exceptional. In practice, sometimes not...

I also believe it's impolite to "boast or brag".

As for the lame dick duck session, no animals were harmed, that I can detect.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
I also happen to think that it is the best thing that ever happened to humanity so far. But that is just my opinion. Other countries have been learning from us, which is our greatest legacy.
I agree, even if the only thing Americans ever did was write and then implement these beliefs:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:05 AM   #10
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President Clinton was impeached during a lame duck session.

Much can be said about the transition of power, mostly by people observing but not participating. The ones in transition oversee the world's biggest budget and most powerful armed forces. Regardless of our continuing criticism, some of the things they do are critically important and how oversight and power is transitioned matters. The fact that lame duck sessions have resulted in such little abuse shows it to be a mature process that works.

An example of a lame duck process that does not work - see Venezuela's recent Naional Assembly election. They have a 3 month transition period. President Chavez's party lost it's 2/3 majority (needed for certain types of legislation) so the outgoing ruling party passed a law giving Chavez power to decree laws without legislative approval until 2012.
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