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A personal proposition to extend US democracy and improve civics

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    An interesting op-ed piece from the middle of the week about extending the franchise to better reflect the views of all who live and work legally in the USA.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/28/o...elections.html

    Ms. Abrahamian asks why those who live in the USA, albeit not citizens, but hold work permits or green card,; pay their taxes, and contribute as law-abiding members of US society should not have a say in electing the officials who represent them along with US citizens.

    She has lived and worked in New York since 2004 but has never had an opportunity to vote, as she points out:


    [..]for me and my fellow noncitizens, it is a fact of political life that we submit to unquestioningly year after year, primary after primary, presidential election after presidential election. Nearly 15 million people living legally in the United States, most of whom contribute as much as any natural-born American to this country’s civic, cultural and economic life, don’t have a say in matters of politics and policy because we — resident foreign nationals, or “aliens” as we are sometimes called — cannot vote.


    She continues that extending the franchise to settled non-citizens might also revitalise US democracy and reflects on previous restrictive voting rights.

    Expanding the franchise in this way would give American democracy new life, restore immigrants’ trust in government and send a powerful message of inclusion to the rest of the world. It’s easy to assume that restricting the franchise to citizens is an age-old, nonnegotiable fact. But it’s actually a relatively recent convention and a political choice. Early in the United States’ history, voting was a function not of national citizenship but of gender, race and class. As a result, white male landowners of all nationalities were encouraged to play an active role in shaping American democracy, while women and poor, Indigenous and enslaved people could not. voting laws can be altered — and that restrictive ones tend not to age well.


    She likewise illustrates the misconception that citizen voting rights have always been the prerogative of the federal government, noting that Arkansas was the last state to eliminate non-citizen voting in 1926 and that it was not until 1996 that Congress brought in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act which “made voting in federal elections while foreign — already not permitted because of state-level rules — a criminal, and deportable, offense”.

    She also points to the notion of representation; whereby the more individuals who live in a country have an opportunity to vote, the more accurately elections reflect the wishes of the majority within the country; observing that although the 2020 presidential election was considered a high turnout, only 65% of eligible voters actually voted.

    She acknowledges concerns among Republicans and that while, initially, Democrats would most probably be the biggest beneficiaries of such a change, it could encourage elected Republicans to appeal to a more diverse constituency, and/or perhaps encourage their supporters to vote in greater numbers. In other words, it is possible that allowing those 15 million extra voters would benefit both major parties and possibly even the smaller ones such as the Libertarians or Greens.

    She opines that it is just good civics to allow [and encourage] people to feel they have a sense of investment in their towns, communities, cities, and the country. Furthermore, and given that the US permits dual citizenship thereby allowing those who hold dual citizenship to vote from abroad, she asks why foreign residents in the US should be not likewise be represented?

    In her opinion the difficulties of obtaining a visa or a green card are often much greater than becoming a naturalised citizen, and she informs us that it took her 15 years and over $10,000 in legal fees [not counting college fees] to obtain permanent residency. In contrast she compares the citizenship test and oath to be “like a piece of cake”.

    She ends by making the point that some local lawmakers already permit non-citizens to vote on local issues such as the collection of garbage, the state of roads, and such like, so why should authorised immigrants not be permitted to vote on wider social and political issues?



    No thanks.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

      Then it would not apply to Ms Abrahamian's points.

      I am still waiting for someone to put forward a coherent argument as to why they consider Ms Abrahamian's remarks to be wrong and/or injudicious/inappropriate.
      This isn't a right/wrong sort of debate. Its a policy proposal. This makes it an agree/disagree position, that does not rely on showing her to be "wrong." Her proposal is disagreed with.
      The primary reason being that citizenship is seen as a requirement to vote. This is a position held by most countries in the world. Even Germany doesn't let non-citizens vote in their national elections.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Gondwanaland View Post

        No thanks.
        Wish I woulda thunk of that.
        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

          I suggest you read the actual article. As Ms Abrahamian notes she is not advocating that all and sundry should have the right to vote but those settled "aliens" who make up "Nearly 15 million people living legally in the United States, most of whom contribute as much as any natural-born American to this country’s civic, cultural and economic life".
          So, as long as they're "shareholders", it's all good, regardless of their allegiance to this country.
          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

          Comment


          • #50
            Here is the oath one takes in order to become a citizen of the US. I have been to MANY of these naturalization ceremonies, and always love being there....

            "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."


            THAT is who should vote in our elections, not just somebody on the basis of "I allowed the government to extract taxes from my paycheck".
            The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
              Here is the oath one takes in order to become a citizen of the US. I have been to MANY of these naturalization ceremonies, and always love being there....

              "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."


              THAT is who should vote in our elections, not just somebody on the basis of "I allowed the government to extract taxes from my paycheck".
              Given the overall content of her article I would not consider taxation to be Ms Abrahamian's primary concern.
              "It ain't necessarily so
              The things that you're liable
              To read in the Bible
              It ain't necessarily so
              ."

              Sportin' Life
              Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                This isn't a right/wrong sort of debate. Its a policy proposal. This makes it an agree/disagree position, that does not rely on showing her to be "wrong." Her proposal is disagreed with.
                The primary reason being that citizenship is seen as a requirement to vote. This is a position held by most countries in the world. Even Germany doesn't let non-citizens vote in their national elections.
                Do you consider an an op-ed piece constitutes a policy proposal?
                "It ain't necessarily so
                The things that you're liable
                To read in the Bible
                It ain't necessarily so
                ."

                Sportin' Life
                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                  Do you consider an an op-ed piece constitutes a policy proposal?
                  Yes, and to use your favorite handwave "It's just her opinion"

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                    A) I think she's nuttier than a fruitcake
                    On what evidence? Or do you simply consider all those who offer a viewpoint that is different from your own to be "nuttier than a fruitcake"?

                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                    2) The US is not responsible to "send a powerful message of inclusion to the rest of the world", or any other kind of "message"
                    Are you an America First advocate?

                    Do you consider the USA leave the UN, relinquish all its international spheres of interest, let the rest of world do as it wishes, and pull up the metaphorical drawbridge?

                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                    C) I think foreigners like you should focus on your own country and leave us alone
                    I merely offered an op-ed piece on a different topic from those currently swirling on the Civics board.

                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                    Citizenship requires an allegiance to this country -- there's a reason for that.
                    What do you understand by allegiance in this context?

                    "It ain't necessarily so
                    The things that you're liable
                    To read in the Bible
                    It ain't necessarily so
                    ."

                    Sportin' Life
                    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                      Wish I woulda thunk of that.
                      Interesting, I just looked into this author because I've never heard of her.

                      She's not even a US citizen, and on a cursory search doesn't appear to even live in the US that I can see.

                      In addition, it appears she has Canadian, Swiss, and Iranian citizenship. Yet somehow is upset that a country would require citizenship to vote in national elections.
                      Last edited by Gondwanaland; 07-31-2021, 12:13 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                        On what evidence? Or do you simply consider all those who offer a viewpoint that is different from your own to be "nuttier than a fruitcake"?
                        She presented an opinon.
                        So did I.

                        I don't need "evidence" for my opinion that she is (and you are) nuttier than a fruitcake.
                        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                          Given the overall content of her article I would not consider taxation to be Ms Abrahamian's primary concern.
                          The oath of citizenship is my greater concern.

                          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                            Then it would not apply to Ms Abrahamian's points.

                            I am still waiting for someone to put forward a coherent argument as to why they consider Ms Abrahamian's remarks to be wrong and/or injudicious/inappropriate.
                            There have been several coherent arguments put forward, but you have characteristically dismissed them with the wave of a hand.

                            But since someone brought up the shareholder analogy, let's explore that:

                            Suppose someone regularly shops at Walmart. Because he is a "settled" customer, he demands the same voting privileges as a fully vested shareholder. Let's suppose Walmart considers his request to have merit and so grants all "settled" customers voting rights in company business. Now suppose those "settled" customers start voting for proposals that benefit them but are bad business, and shareholders lose their shirts. As Walmart is forced to reduce the quality of its operation to compensate, the "settled" customers become disenchanted and decide to leave the consequences of their bad voting decisions behind them and start shopping at Menards instead.

                            And that's why you don't allow someone who is not fully vested to vote.
                            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


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                              Do you consider the USA leave the UN,
                              A) really odd sentence structure
                              2) The USA needs the UN like a child needs a pedophile uncle.

                              relinquish all its international spheres of interest, let the rest of world do as it wishes, and pull up the metaphorical drawbridge?
                              Why do you come up with these convoluted nutty questions?



                              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                                She presented an opinon.
                                So did I.

                                I don't need "evidence" for my opinion that she is (and you are) nuttier than a fruitcake.
                                Then your opinion remains an uninformed opinion! Or perhaps it might be construed as simply prejudice.
                                "It ain't necessarily so
                                The things that you're liable
                                To read in the Bible
                                It ain't necessarily so
                                ."

                                Sportin' Life
                                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                                Comment

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