American Government structure Watch

londoncricket
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The American Government structure seems stupid! The House of Representatives can veto anything that the President calls for, for example, tighter gun laws, because the Republicans love their guns and therefore will never allow something like that to happen.

What are the opinions on this?
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SHallowvale
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Oh the joys of having two democratically elected houses of government..
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Oldcon1953
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(Original post by londoncricket)
The American Government structure seems stupid! The House of Representatives can veto anything that the President calls for, for example, tighter gun laws, because the Republicans love their guns and therefore will never allow something like that to happen.

What are the opinions on this?
STUPID!! What better way to tie the hands of a whack-job like obama? Just wait till we take the Senate in Nov. He may as well just stay on the golf course:clap2:
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Drewski
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(Original post by Oldcon1953)
STUPID!! What better way to tie the hands of a whack-job like obama? Just wait till we take the Senate in Nov. He may as well just stay on the golf course:clap2:
Advocates of the Republicans really shouldn't throw words like "whack-job" about, you've got far too many of your own to worry about!
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Comus
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(Original post by londoncricket)
The American Government structure seems stupid! The House of Representatives can veto anything that the President calls for, for example, tighter gun laws, because the Republicans love their guns and therefore will never allow something like that to happen.

What are the opinions on this?
It's the other way around, the President has the power of veto - as part of the legislature it is the job of the House of Representatives to pass laws, though obviously since FDR most Presidents have had a legislative programme.
Obviously the US system of "Checks and Balances" and "Separation of Powers" seriously limits any scope for real change and its not a system I advocate particularly.
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Psyk
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(Original post by londoncricket)
The American Government structure seems stupid! The House of Representatives can veto anything that the President calls for, for example, tighter gun laws, because the Republicans love their guns and therefore will never allow something like that to happen.

What are the opinions on this?
Surely in that respect it's not that different from our system? The PM can't do anything he likes, he has to get the majority of the commons to agree with him.

The difference is, in our system if the PM doesn't have the support of the majority of the commons, he probably wouldn't be PM. But in the American system the President is elected separately so may belong to a different party than the one with the majority in the House of Representatives.

In some ways the American system makes more sense, in some ways it makes less sense, and in many ways it's just different. It's not like it's fundamentally broken compared to ours (or vice versa).
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londoncricket
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
Oh the joys of having two democratically elected houses of government..
Yes, well.....


(Original post by Oldcon1953)
STUPID!! What better way to tie the hands of a whack-job like obama? Just wait till we take the Senate in Nov. He may as well just stay on the golf course:clap2:
Obama is brilliant! The House of Reps is the only thing hindering him progressing the US in huge ways! For example, he killed Bin Laden. Obamacare is great!

(Original post by Algorithm69)
Well, it's the legislative branch that has the power to pass laws, not the executive. Do you think the President should just have carte blanche to pass what he pleases? The American system was specifically designed to prevent that. Separation of powers and checks and balances and all that.
No, but the House of Reps at the moment is hindering Obama progressing the country.

(Original post by Drewski)
Advocates of the Republicans really shouldn't throw words like "whack-job" about, you've got far too many of your own to worry about!
Exactly! The Republicans are too biased towards guns!


(Original post by Comus)
It's the other way around, the President has the power of veto - as part of the legislature it is the job of the House of Representatives to pass laws, though obviously since FDR most Presidents have had a legislative programme.
Obviously the US system of "Checks and Balances" and "Separation of Powers" seriously limits any scope for real change and its not a system I advocate particularly.
Oh thanks for the information!


(Original post by Psyk)
Surely in that respect it's not that different from our system? The PM can't do anything he likes, he has to get the majority of the commons to agree with him.

The difference is, in our system if the PM doesn't have the support of the majority of the commons, he probably wouldn't be PM. But in the American system the President is elected separately so may belong to a different party than the one with the majority in the House of Representatives.

In some ways the American system makes more sense, in some ways it makes less sense, and in many ways it's just different. It's not like it's fundamentally broken compared to ours (or vice versa).
But the House of Reps needs a unanimous vote to pass a law?
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Comus
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(Original post by londoncricket)
But the House of Reps needs a unanimous vote to pass a law?
Nope, simple majority.
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AdvanceAndVanquish
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(Original post by londoncricket)
The American Government structure seems stupid! The House of Representatives can veto anything that the President calls for, for example, tighter gun laws, because the Republicans love their guns and therefore will never allow something like that to happen.

What are the opinions on this?
I would respectfully suggest that the OP do at least a touch of reading on American government and politics before making sweeping and largely incorrect pronouncements on them.
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Oldcon1953
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(Original post by Drewski)
Advocates of the Republicans really shouldn't throw words like "whack-job" about, you've got far too many of your own to worry about!
I could have called him a liberal but I was brought up to not swear in public.
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Oldcon1953
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(Original post by londoncricket)
Yes, well.....




Obama is brilliant! The House of Reps is the only thing hindering him progressing the US in huge ways! For example, he killed Bin Laden. Obamacare is great!



No, but the House of Reps at the moment is hindering Obama progressing the country.



Exactly! The Republicans are too biased towards guns!




Oh thanks for the information!




But the House of Reps needs a unanimous vote to pass a law?
obamacare is great!! If you say so. I know it was meant to get 50million uninsured people healthcare and only 6million have signed up. Now, I'm no math wiz but.... You say the Rep. House is stopping obama from "progressing the country". DUH!! He has progressed us right into the poor house and, if I could be allowed a rant, HE BOWED TO A FOREIGN LEADER!! No American President has ever bowed to anyone! The man is a disgrace. As far as guns go, there are probably around 600mil handguns and God only knows how many long guns in the U.S. Anti-gun people should content themselves with putting up those cute little, "gun free zone", signs and hope for the best.
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Oldcon1953
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All things considered I think the structure of our Gov. is fine. The stupidity that you see is not in the structure of Gov. as much as in the electorate! Less than 50% voter turnout in national elections is inexcusable. It's fair to say our Gov. has been on auto-pilot for a number of years now. Thomas Jefferson said a well informed people are necessary for the running of a Democracy. I'm glad he wasn't around to see the U.C. Berkeley student who couldn't name the Vice- President of the U.S.. I mean, C'mon!
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Drewski
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(Original post by Oldcon1953)
He has progressed us right into the poor house
He has presided over a country that went into a poor house because of systems left unregulated by both sides of the aisle. It's the pure capitalist system that your bunch so rabidly advocate that lead to the uncontrollable excesses of the banking system and the inevitable crash that ensued. No side can take the high ground - or avoid blame.

HE BOWED TO A FOREIGN LEADER!! No American President has ever bowed to anyone!
He has the rare gift of 'humility'. It's something very very few of your kin ever understand. And have you ever thought about what bowing means? It's not deference, it's respect, it's a salutation. Your soldiers salute. How is a bow different?
A show of respect to other leaders is not only reasonable but a key piece of diplomacy. If your lot were more clued up they'd understand that.
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Oldcon1953
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(Original post by Drewski)
He has presided over a country that went into a poor house because of systems left unregulated by both sides of the aisle. It's the pure capitalist system that your bunch so rabidly advocate that lead to the uncontrollable excesses of the banking system and the inevitable crash that ensued. No side can take the high ground - or avoid blame.



He has the rare gift of 'humility'. It's something very very few of your kin ever understand. And have you ever thought about what bowing means? It's not deference, it's respect, it's a salutation. Your soldiers salute. How is a bow different?
A show of respect to other leaders is not only reasonable but a key piece of diplomacy. If your lot were more clued up they'd understand that.
obama added 6trillion to the debt and nothing to show for it. The mechanism to insure the uninsured was already in place. Medi-caid. All that needed to be done was to expand eligibility as 17 states have done already and problem solved. Washington didn't need to get involved. It's insane to divert one sixth of the budget through Washington. obamacare is about control, not healthcare. As for him bowing; humility is a fine trait on a personal level when your dealing man to man but do you think Putin respects the trait? I for one don't believe the free world wants a,"humble", American President. In Japan it's a salutation, in the Mid East it's not. He tried approaching Putin as an equal when they had their meeting. How'd that work out for obama? I have a suggestion; how about no man bowing to any man? If your lot were more clued up you'd understand what I'm talking about. A late edit: Not 1 Republican voted for obamacare, God Bless em'.
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Monkey.Man
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I love the republican form of state - that's a first impression that gives america a good introduction for me
secondly, I love the federal form of government - it means that areas of the union don't have to be ruled easily by things that the other states want
and third, the clear separation of powers is great - both the checks between the powers and the part of the legislative branch.
it's also a good thing that the head of government and all legislators are elected, while all secretaries of state are voted for by congress, opposed to chosen by a prime minister with no electoral process
also the fact that judges are appointed by the congress suggests strongly that the judicial branch of state is connected, somewhat, with the people (for better or for worse)
and the written constitution is the icing on the cake - no easy infringement of individual rights

the fact that the legislators can veto the president's demands is a good thing - the congress is more democratic than the president because there is more plurality; the president shouldn't be able to do anything he wants, and in fact, he can't actually legislate, being a member of the executive. congress, being more diverse and quantitative, is better to represent the people, and the president, being just one person, is not very good at representing so many people and so many regions like the house is
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Drewski
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(Original post by Oldcon1953)
obama added 6trillion to the debt and nothing to show for it. The mechanism to insure the uninsured was already in place. Medi-caid. All that needed to be done was to expand eligibility as 17 states have done already and problem solved. Washington didn't need to get involved. It's insane to divert one sixth of the budget through Washington. obamacare is about control, not healthcare. As for him bowing; humility is a fine trait on a personal level when your dealing man to man but do you think Putin respects the trait? I for one don't believe the free world wants a,"humble", American President. In Japan it's a salutation, in the Mid East it's not. He tried approaching Putin as an equal when they had their meeting. How'd that work out for obama? I have a suggestion; how about no man bowing to any man? If your lot were more clued up you'd understand what I'm talking about.
Even if any of that were true, the thing that gets everybody most of is all is that you simply don't like him.

He could reverse the deficit, make the US no.1 in every positive measure, have every other leader on the planet calling him Emperor and calling for his canonisation as a saint and win every US war singlehandedly after striding into the warzone stripped to the waist, wearing a bandana and carrying an M60 a la Rambo.... but the GOP and all conservatives would still call him the spawn of Satan himself.

It's mind-numbing. And it's why nobody takes US conservatives seriously.
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Oldcon1953
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(Original post by Drewski)
Even if any of that were true, the thing that gets everybody most of is all is that you simply don't like him.

He could reverse the deficit, make the US no.1 in every positive measure, have every other leader on the planet calling him Emperor and calling for his canonisation as a saint and win every US war singlehandedly after striding into the warzone stripped to the waist, wearing a bandana and carrying an M60 a la Rambo.... but the GOP and all conservatives would still call him the spawn of Satan himself.

It's mind-numbing. And it's why nobody takes US conservatives seriously.
The spawn of Satan is a bit harsh. You misjudge me. I think Obama is a fine fellow. A man equal to and as good as me in every way. Maybe better. Not the point here. He just shouldn't be President of the U.S.. He is,as shown by his past associations, a 1960s Berkeley type radical who fell through the cracks and got himself elected. As much a surprise to himself, I'm sure, as to everyone else. He was a community organizer for years. His strength is convincing people a tragedy and huge injustice exists where none does. He understands nothing that could be remotely called expertise regarding business and has had to be constantly reminded that the U.S. is a Capitalist economy. But he does give a hell of a speech.
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Oldcon1953
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(Original post by Comus)
It's the other way around, the President has the power of veto - as part of the legislature it is the job of the House of Representatives to pass laws, though obviously since FDR most Presidents have had a legislative programme.
Obviously the US system of "Checks and Balances" and "Separation of Powers" seriously limits any scope for real change and its not a system I advocate particularly.
Just to add here; the congress can override a Presidential veto with a two thirds majority in both the House and the Senate. It doesn't happen very often but it does happen. The Supreme Court ruled the Legislative Veto unconstitutional in 1983. Up until then the House of Representatives could veto almost any Presidential appointee by, ( I think), a simple majority. After a bill is passed in the H.O.R., it's sent to the Pres. for approval. He has ten days to sign it. If he does it becomes law. If he doesn't want his name on it he leaves it unsigned and it becomes law anyway.
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gladders
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It's a different way of doing things. It has its advantages and disadvantages, but it's still democratic, if less so than our system. The American system is a conservative dream: it ensures things are only changed when the consensus to change is overwhelming. The British system is quite flexible, on the other hand, and the democratic link between the people's views at election-time and the policies that result is clearer to determine.
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Comus
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(Original post by Oldcon1953)
Just to add here; the congress can override a Presidential veto with a two thirds majority in both the House and the Senate. It doesn't happen very often but it does happen. The Supreme Court ruled the Legislative Veto unconstitutional in 1983. Up until then the House of Representatives could veto almost any Presidential appointee by, ( I think), a simple majority. After a bill is passed in the H.O.R., it's sent to the Pres. for approval. He has ten days to sign it. If he does it becomes law. If he doesn't want his name on it he leaves it unsigned and it becomes law anyway.
Good point about the veto override, I ought to have mentioned that.

I thought it was the senate's job to approve/reject the President's appointments?

Does legislation not have to pass through both houses simultaneously in the same form (hence conference committees near the end to merge the two amended documents)?

For the benefit of the OP, we probably should mention the pocket veto and the line-item veto. Pocket Vetoes occur near the end of a congressional term and thus cannot be overridden. The line-item veto was a power used by Bill Clinton from '96 until '98 when it was declared unconstitutional in the case of Clint v. City of New York - it allowed the President to veto some aspects of a bill but leave the rest of it alone, mostly used to get rid of 'pork'.
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