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194 votes
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What is the point of prohibiting currently impossible things?

As I see it, there are fundamentally three reasons a person would outlaw an action that is currently impossible: To ensure that the first attempt is illegal If you refuse to outlaw an immoral act ...
CoedRhyfelwr's user avatar
  • 5,846
114 votes
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Why are congressional votes not secret?

Because Congress is accountable to their constituents. You are only accountable to yourself. If how they vote is secret, there's no way of holding them to the promises they made. They could just say &...
Caleth's user avatar
  • 4,453
91 votes

What would stop a representative democracy becoming a dictatorship?

The only obstacle between a government by the people and a dictatorship are the people.
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
80 votes
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What would stop a representative democracy becoming a dictatorship?

Most democratic countries have a constitution which says how the state functions and what kinds of laws can and can not be made. Laws which contradict the constitution are usually declared invalid by ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 77k
75 votes
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Why have US Presidents not been given the power of line item vetoes?

It's a good idea if you think the President should have much stronger powers than other branches, and that legislative compromise should be eliminated, as part of the system, altogether. As much as ...
PoloHoleSet's user avatar
  • 20.9k
69 votes
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How does lobbying work in the US?

The mechanics of lobbying can work at several levels. "Senator, I represent the National Association of Flute and Tuba Manufacturers. Were you aware that flute and tuba manufacturers are the fifth ...
Charles E. Grant's user avatar
53 votes

How do politicians scrutinize bills that are thousands of pages long?

Teamwork and Staff No single representative reads all those pages, but the various committee members look at the parts which are their area of expertise. And then a representative on the Armed ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
50 votes
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What is the point in delaying the signing of legislation that the President supports?

The buck stops with the President. Once the President signs a law is becomes law and he can't take that back. Major legislation runs hundreds of pages and it is commonplace for there to be myriad ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 80.3k
49 votes
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Why doesn't the Texas legislature nuke the quorum?

Why doesn't the Texas legislature nuke the quorum? ... why doesn't the GOP nuke the quorum and now only require a simple majority of members? Any change to the quorum requires an amendment to the ...
Rick Smith's user avatar
  • 35.6k
48 votes

Why do Senators and Representatives miss so many votes?

It depends on which votes we're talking about. Votes happen on the House and Senate floor. But they also happen in committees and subcommittees. Most of the actual work of being a legislator happens ...
Justin Cave's user avatar
  • 6,253
45 votes

What would stop a representative democracy becoming a dictatorship?

A good example of a system trying to prevent this is the Constitution of Norway. The constitution has various ways to protect itself from being altered in undesirable ways. Changes to the ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
  • 1,910
45 votes

What is the point in delaying the signing of legislation that the President supports?

Odd though it may seem from the outside, the President — if he is doing his job correctly — is actually quite busy. Biden in particular is still within his first 100 days (a benchmark test for every ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 69.2k
44 votes

What prevents a single senator from passing a bill they want with a 1-0 vote?

Votes have to be taken in the Senate chamber during an offical sitting of the Senate. A senator can't just pass a bill when they are alone in their office. They can't creep into the chamber in the ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
44 votes
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Are there any examples of elected bodies where representatives with equal titles have actually different "weight" to their votes?

Are there any real-world examples of such legislative bodies, where two different members of the same body have different "weights" behind their votes? Yes. The Council of the European ...
cpast's user avatar
  • 14.3k
42 votes

Why have US Presidents not been given the power of line item vetoes?

Why have US Presidents not been given the power of line item vetoes They have. Congress passed the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, but it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Clinton v. ...
Brythan's user avatar
  • 89.6k
39 votes

How does lobbying work in the US?

A legitimate lobbyist is paid to explain the needs of some special interest groups to the politicians. And also how the needs of that special interest group benefit the electorate as a whole, or at ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
37 votes
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How would a vote in US congress taken under duress be later invalidated?

The simple fact is that there is a ghost in the machine. It is common to see questions on this forum discussing the working of the Constitution in some extreme condition. Perhaps because many people ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
34 votes
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Did Republicans accidentally kill corporate deductions, and will it force the Senate to revise and re-vote?

The reporting on the senate bill still having the AMT set at 20% and the new corporate tax level being at 20% while the house bill removed the AMT is accurate. Corporations have been outspoken in ...
Gramatik's user avatar
  • 10.5k
32 votes
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What is the minimum amount of votes needed in both Chambers of Congress to send an Admission to the Union resolution to the President?

Admitting a new state to the Union requires only a normal joint act of Congress which is passed the same as any other bill. The threshold is therefore a majority in the House and a majority in the ...
divibisan's user avatar
  • 25.9k
27 votes

What is the point of prohibiting currently impossible things?

A fairly large one is that Nobody has considered all the legal ramifications yet You brought up cloning as an example so let's run with that. This article goes over why we can't clone humans yet and ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 48.7k
27 votes
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What would happen if Senators boycotted the Impeachment Vote

The precise wording in the Constitution (with emphasis added) is: The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. ...
Joe C's user avatar
  • 27.9k
25 votes
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Why can't laws be shorter?

The Purpose of those Laws The Constitution serves a difference purpose than other laws. The Constitution provides a skeletal outline of our government, but it doesn't provide specifics. Other laws ...
indigochild's user avatar
  • 23.9k
25 votes
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Why is an unrelated House-passed measure used to start the immigration debate in the Senate?

This is a common legislative tactic. Although Sen. McConnell didn't explicitly describe his plan, he was likely planning on gutting the bill (removing all of its current content) and eventually ...
indigochild's user avatar
  • 23.9k
24 votes

What is the point of prohibiting currently impossible things?

One factor not yet mentioned in the other answers is that legislators do not draft laws purely for the effects they will have when implemented, but also for the effect which announcing them as policy ...
Rowan Ingram's user avatar
24 votes
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Name for a popular measure added to a bill for the purpose of later attacking those who vote against that bill?

What you're describing is essentially a reverse poison pill. The poison pill, or wrecking amendment, is an amendment whose purpose is to make the passage of a bill completely intolerable to the side ...
William Walker III's user avatar
23 votes

Are there any examples of elected bodies where representatives with equal titles have actually different "weight" to their votes?

A minor, but important example was the Nassau county board. It had six members with weighted votes. Hempstead #1: 9 Hempstead #2: 9 North Hempstead: 7 Oyster Bay: 3 Glen Cove: 1 Long Beach: 1 But ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
20 votes

What's the highest number of amendments submitted for a law proposal in France, since 1958?

I believe the record is still held by the 2006 energy sector bill. Le Monde reported at the time: In the parliamentary game, the centerpiece remains the amendment. With the energy bill, a record is ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 107k
18 votes

Why do Senators and Representatives miss so many votes?

One could say that the real job of a representative is to sit in committees, and to prepare for committees, and to pour over budget proposals. By the time an issue reaches the floor of the House or ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k

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