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What's the US Conservative equivalent of moving to Canada?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Starlight View Post
    If you think that the US constitution is the best, and is obviously and indisputably the best...

    ...why wouldn't other countries copy it?...
    The US is unique that way. Not everybody wants to be the best!

    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #32
      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
      IIRC the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). I remember how when Bill Clinton was singing its praises even some liberals here pointed out that unlike the U.S. Constitution it contained what was effectively a nullification clause.
      So you have a vague recollection of something or other. Great evidence.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Watermelon View Post
        It shouldn’t come as a surprise that better constitutions exist right now. Modern constitutions have benefited from knowledge gained over time and hindsight. No one denies the greatness of the US constitution, it’s importance and influence to all mankind is undisputed. That doesn’t change the fact that significant improvements can and should be made to it to make it relevant for today.
        Let me raise my hand then as someone who denies the greatness of the US constitution and disputes its importance and influence to all mankind.

        I would tend toward the view that at the time the US constitution was being ratified, that the UK's system of government was probably superior, and that over the time since then that the UK's system of government has proven itself more beneficial and successful and been successfully implemented by more countries than the US's.

        To give an example from my own country's history. The founders of New Zealand in the 1830s wrote a lot about the colonial experiences in North America and Australia, and saw themselves as learning "scientific principles of colonisation" from the failures and successes in those countries. They were very much aware of the details of what had been tried before, had written books about those countries and the colonial successes and failures in them, and saw themselves as intentionally trying to adopt the practices that had worked well and discard the ones that had failed. So they designed New Zealand as a self-governing democracy, and no part of their model had any basis in the US constitution, and instead they chose a Canada/UK/Australia type model. So, within 50 years of the US constitution being written, highly informed people in the West were choosing to not use any part of it for a new free and democratic country they were designing.

        I think you could probably make a case that the idea of 'human rights' had a developmental path that went through the Magna Carta, to the US constitution, to the French Revolution, to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, to the Canadian Charter of Rights etc. I guess the accuracy of that could be debated, but, if true, then I guess you could say that the US constitution was the most advanced step in the development of human rights for the 2 year period between the creation of the US constitution and the French Revolution? 2 years as a world leader doesn't seem like much to brag about.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Starlight View Post
          Let me raise my hand then as someone who denies the greatness of the US constitution and disputes its importance and influence to all mankind.
          We are all SHOCKED, I'm sure!

          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Starlight View Post
            Let me raise my hand then as someone who denies the greatness of the US constitution and disputes its importance and influence to all mankind.
            I'm quite certain that surprises no one.

            But then, They Who Wear The Velcro Gloves tend toward such a view from their tiny little land.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Gondwanaland View Post
              But then, They Who Wear The Velcro Gloves
              That's a new one on me, had to google it.

              tend toward such a view from their tiny little land.
              Well with New Zealand ranked as the #1 freest country in the world by the Cato Institute, and the US ranked 17th...
              ...and with the democracy index ranking New Zealand the 4th most democratic country in the world and labelling it a "full democracy" while ranking the US 25th and labelling it a "flawed democracy"...
              ...and with the corruption perceptions index ranking New Zealand the #1 least corrupt country in the world and ranking the US 23rd...

              ...we're certainly in a good position to lecture others about how to run a country well. If the US constitution is supposed to be so great, why does a country with no formal constitution thrash the US on these international measures of freedom and democracy? Maybe it's cos the US constitution actually sucks and the US system of government is bad?

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                Let me raise my hand then as someone who denies the greatness of the US constitution and disputes its importance and influence to all mankind.

                I would tend toward the view that at the time the US constitution was being ratified, that the UK's system of government was probably superior, and that over the time since then that the UK's system of government has proven itself more beneficial and successful and been successfully implemented by more countries than the US's.

                To give an example from my own country's history. The founders of New Zealand in the 1830s wrote a lot about the colonial experiences in North America and Australia, and saw themselves as learning "scientific principles of colonisation" from the failures and successes in those countries. They were very much aware of the details of what had been tried before, had written books about those countries and the colonial successes and failures in them, and saw themselves as intentionally trying to adopt the practices that had worked well and discard the ones that had failed. So they designed New Zealand as a self-governing democracy, and no part of their model had any basis in the US constitution, and instead they chose a Canada/UK/Australia type model. So, within 50 years of the US constitution being written, highly informed people in the West were choosing to not use any part of it for a new free and democratic country they were designing.

                I think you could probably make a case that the idea of 'human rights' had a developmental path that went through the Magna Carta, to the US constitution, to the French Revolution, to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, to the Canadian Charter of Rights etc. I guess the accuracy of that could be debated, but, if true, then I guess you could say that the US constitution was the most advanced step in the development of human rights for the 2 year period between the creation of the US constitution and the French Revolution? 2 years as a world leader doesn't seem like much to brag about.
                Australia is considered a hybrid of the Westminster and Washington systems but it’s getting harder to spot the Washington influence. The main thing that was adopted was a strong upper house but some states have already removed the senate and there’s decent support for doing that at the federal level. We can also be described as having an unwritten constitution like UK and NZ which I think is the best way to do it anyway.

                I would also credit the US constitution as a major influence in spreading democracy worldwide. In saying that the American attitude towards their constitution as some sort of infallible document prevents it from reflecting the current values of the people, it effectively holds them hostage to it.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Watermelon View Post
                  Australia is considered a hybrid of the Westminster and Washington systems but it’s getting harder to spot the Washington influence.
                  True. In that sense, when New Zealand was founded later, the choice to adopt entirely a Westminster system with no aspects of a Washington one was a difference between New Zealand and Australia.

                  The main thing that was adopted was a strong upper house but some states have already removed the senate and there’s decent support for doing that at the federal level.
                  New Zealand's upper house was abolished long ago. It was originally based on the House of Lords design where membership was by 'royal appointment' (by the governor general in practice), but within 50 years it had switched to being controlled by the elected parliament not the governor general, which in practice rendered it pointless since it passed whatever parliament wanted it to, and so was subsequently abolished on the grounds that it was pointless.

                  We can also be described as having an unwritten constitution like UK and NZ which I think is the best way to do it anyway.
                  Australia actually had constitutional conventions, referendums to adopt the written constitution which limits the powers of the federal government, sets out the powers of the state governments, and that constitution can only be amended by referendum. It's not within the power of the federal government to amend it directly.

                  New Zealand doesn't have any of that. There are a number of acts of parliament that govern how things work in New Zealand, but they can be changed by parliament. They're not a separate constitution that stands over and above parliament.

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                  • #39
                    "What's the US Conservative equivalent of moving to Canada?"

                    There really isn't one.
                    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                    Than a fool in the eyes of God


                    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                      If you think that the US constitution is the best, and is obviously and indisputably the best...

                      ...why wouldn't other countries copy it?

                      And if they did... then the US would no longer have the best constitution, just equal-best.

                      And if many countries copied it, and even one of them improved theirs in some way, via a single amendment that was beneficial... then the US would no longer have the best constitution would it?


                      It seems to me that constitution-worshiping US conservatives have a mutually incompatible set of beliefs: You believe that the US and its constitution are #1 and obviously #1, and believe that the rest of the world is totally envious of that greatness, yet, apparently since you believe none of the rest of the world even comes close in greatness, you must believe that none of them have even risen to the level of copying the US's marvellous constitution that you think they think is the greatest and best. After all, if they copied it, they would be equally as good, but you don't believe they are. But if they really are so in awe and so envious, why wouldn't they take the really basic step of adopting a copy of the US constitution? It's not like that would be hard for one of the world's ~196 countries to do so. Maybe, just maybe, nobody's in awe of the US's constitution at all, and the reason they aren't interested in copying it is because they think you've got a terrible constitution?
                      Our constitution is designed around a country of equal states. No other country in the world is like it. Copying our constitution would not work for them. I don't see any countries copying your constitution.


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                      • #41
                        I find it funny that Starlight and crew are all promoting Canada, Australia and New Zealand as better and freer than the US while they are all commonwealth realms of the UK and are at their core monarchies.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Reepicheep View Post
                          I'd say Hungary is the country that most closely resembles the America that Trump supporters want. If a Trump voter wanted to stay in North America but leave the United States, then the rural Canadian prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) is likely the best destination.
                          What policies in Hungry resemble anything that the Trump supporters want?

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                            I would move to Australia, but that's just because I really enjoyed my visit to Sydney. I always say it reminded me of San Diego.
                            I've not been to San Diego; Sausalito reminds me of parts of Sydney.
                            America - too good to let the conservatives drag it back to 1950.

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                            • #44
                              There are two big problems with the US Constitution in my view.

                              The first is that it was designed as a series of compromises and accommodations due to the surrounding circumstances, but circumstances are very different today. This means we have a government system created to try to solve problems that are are diminished or not even relevant at all nowadays, while also not taking into account later circumstances and developments. Yes, there's the amendment process but that's so difficult to do it may as well not exist. A number of examples of this could be listed, but I'm speaking generally because it's a recurring issue.

                              The second perhaps falls into the first, but is so major it needs to be noted separately. Is that in all of the considerations that went into making it, they overlooked one of the most powerful forces in all of politics. It's understandable. It didn't really exist back then. But they still failed to take it into account, and in fact I'd say failing to do so is the biggest error made when they made the Constitution (not counting errors that were subsequently fixed). What is this thing that they overlooked? Political parties. And setting up a governmental system without taking into account political parties is like constructing a skyscraper without taking into account that people might not want to walk up more than a few stairs when going around (and therefore omitting things like elevators).

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Sparko View Post

                                Our constitution is designed around a country of equal states. No other country in the world is like it. Copying our constitution would not work for them. I don't see any countries copying your constitution.
                                Australia is also a federation of states.

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