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Should the President of the US have more power?:

We all know that the founding fathers set up the three branches of government so that there would be a check and balances system in place. But is it time to change? Would giving for example, the President more power than what he currently has be a good idea or a bad one? Of course, your answer may depend more on whether or not you prefer who is in office at the time but sometimes I wonder if the President is in a position where it is very hard to get anything done due to the way the system was set up in the first place.

Opinions?

No, no, no. Absolutely not. No.

The president is just one guy, and at any given time he represents only one chunk of the population. The power to do stuff needs to be kept spread among more people so whatever party happens to win one year can't screw everything up unchecked.
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 3 Barkey, Tue, 14th Aug '12 4:17:17 PM from Bunker 051
War Profiteer
It's that way for a reason. It causes lots of problems, but I think the entire point of all the convoluted things we have to do to get things done is for the sake of transparency and keeping any group from taking power.

Congress wants something, they vote on it.

President hates it, he can veto it.

If the President veto's something necessary because he's an asshole, Congress can veto his veto and if it is a bad enough situation, vote to impeach him.

Congress will most likely never have enough solidarity to impeach a President who isn't being a complete dickbag to where he's pissed off every major party.

Obviously this causes some major problems, and the constitution is really starting to show its age in a significant way.

edited 14th Aug '12 4:17:45 PM by Barkey

The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
If anything, the US president should have less power.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
 5 Kostya, Tue, 14th Aug '12 4:21:08 PM from Everywhere
The Razruchityel
[up]Really? Obama can barely get anything done as is. Despite what I just said I honestly don't agree with this. It would work well if the president was held up by a bad congress but what if a lunatic got in somehow?

[up][up]If the President is going to have less power then we would be just as well off without one.

I agree, you would be better off without a president, or with reducing the president to a ceremonial role.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Obama getting hobbled by Congress?

Solution: Fix congress.

I don't think you want to go the route of "better dictator" to solve the issues at hand in the US. I think we should start asking... or "demanding" is a better word, more from Congress. It's not just about partisanship. People need to also vote in non-partisan ways.

 9 Deviant Braeburn, Tue, 14th Aug '12 5:03:31 PM from Dysfunctional California
Wandering Jew
The president should have the power to raise taxes, declare war, AND COMMAND THE DEAD TO RISE FROM THERE GRAVES!
Everything is Possible.

But some things are more Probable than others.
JEBAGEDDON 2016

 10 Ace of Spades, Tue, 14th Aug '12 5:08:02 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
Imadinasour, our president is both head of state and head of government. What the fuck do you suggest we replace him with? We would not be improved by the abolishment of the presidential office.

Anyway, our problems aren't going to be solved by increasing or reducing the power of the president. The problems are in Congress, and also in how we pass bills into law. (We need line item veto or something to help get rid of ridiculous and unrelated riders.)
Congress is also broken. Also, half the American civil service seem to be political appointments while the other half are inexplicably elected (seriously, elected judges?).

How much of the problems with congress are down to fundamental flaws and how much are down to corruption is up for debate.

EDIT: ^^Germany gets by fine with a purely ceremonial president, while the UK has the queen as a figurehead. As does Canada, I believe. Putting so much power in the hands of one person is a terrible idea.

edited 14th Aug '12 5:14:56 PM by imadinosaur

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Unchanging Avatar.
...Germany and Britain have a Chancellor and PM. Not the same system. Next question.
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
It's almost as if I'm saying the US system of government is terrible and in need of an overhaul.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Well I personally like pure parliamentary systems but I don't think that's exactly the solution to go for... but hey maybe it is, it's rather hard to tell the exact difference in political performance.

Could we define "Power" please?

As is, it could mean anything from being able to decide the White House lunch menue to being able to nuke New York at the press of a button.
 
 16 Deviant Braeburn, Tue, 14th Aug '12 5:42:28 PM from Dysfunctional California
Wandering Jew
[up][up][up]

Are you?

edited 14th Aug '12 5:42:44 PM by DeviantBraeburn

Everything is Possible.

But some things are more Probable than others.
JEBAGEDDON 2016

Yes.

Though really stuff like the president having far, far too much power aren't the most important things in need of reform. That would be the politicisation of the civil service & judiciary - too much of it seems to be political appointments or directly elected posts. Also gerrymandering, which comes down to a similar issue (that stuff should be left to non-partisan committees).

After that, stripping the president of some of his powers (at least bringing them to pre-Bush levels) and bringing a greater amount of democracy into the legislature are the top priorities.

(Also, please note that I don't think either Germany or the UK are 100% perfect systems - the UK has heriditary peers in the House of Lords FFS!)
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
 18 Tangent 128, Tue, 14th Aug '12 5:58:13 PM from Virginia Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
dy/dx
A major part of the issue is that the Constitution simply wasn't designed to deal with political parties that place party loyalty/ideological purism above the national interest.

Really, the fact that "party" is taken as a political given in the US disturbs me.

edited 14th Aug '12 5:58:57 PM by Tangent128

Conversation is a contact sport.
 19 johnnyfog, Tue, 14th Aug '12 6:57:03 PM from NYC Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Not entirely a douche
The President is powerful enough. The Supreme Court basically exists now to bend law to the Executive's wishes (If the President does it, it's not illegal), and Congress is impotent.
PHD in Thuganomics
[up]I thought the Court forced the president to give in and eventually resign.

But yes, more presidential actions should be debated in the courts.

And more power should be given to Congress instead, but at the same time, Congress needs to be more effective and competent. The current Congress is too ineffective even when given powers.
Now using Trivialis handle.
 21 Ramidel, Tue, 14th Aug '12 7:09:57 PM Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
@abstractematics: Yes, but that was the 1970s.

If Richard Nixon were elected in 2012, and in 2016 was caught setting spies on (to pull a name from the rectal database) the Howard Dean campaign, the Republicans in the Senate would form ranks behind him and refuse to impeach, complete with a fringe idiot or two suggesting a drone strike on the Democrats' next campaign HQ (because, don't you know it, their next candidate is probably a Muslim terrorist anyway).

edited 14th Aug '12 7:10:11 PM by Ramidel

 22 johnnyfog, Tue, 14th Aug '12 7:18:38 PM from NYC Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Not entirely a douche
Well, Nixon had self-hatred. He would have gotten caught doing something because he was desperate to be caught. (See comments by Haig and Haldeman re: Nixon's weirdness).

edit: Wait. Someone's agreeing with my point, why am I talking?

edited 14th Aug '12 7:22:36 PM by johnnyfog

PHD in Thuganomics
 23 Ace of Spades, Tue, 14th Aug '12 7:46:58 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
Imadinosaur: You can say whatever you want, reducing the president to a ceremonial position or abolishing entirely is not only not going to happen, it's a stupid suggestion because we have no compelling reason to do that. We have compelling reasons to do a number of other things, but you're going to find very few who think we should do that. And most of those would be anarchists anyway.
Eh, i don't think imadinosaur make stupid suggestion. There are compelling reason, US gov is ineffective because to make law, three bodies have to agree : President, Senate and House. when different parties control the three, deadlock occurs. reducing President to ceremonial would make deadlock happen far less often.

Which would be a Bad Thing. Deadlock is preferable to one faction running rampant over the other the minute it gets a 51% majority.
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