CALiberty Constitution

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    Debate and concerns

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    Sean Lowrie
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    Posts : 11
    Join date : 2010-04-08
    Location : Dinuba, CA

    Concern over Article IV, sec. 3

    Post  Sean Lowrie on Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:35 am

    At the current moment, though I know there are plenty of things I've written that need reworking and such, my biggest concern is Art. IV, sec. 3.

    When once thinking about the ridiculousness of legislation in Congress, I pondered why on Earth the assent of Florida, and New York, and so forth, was needed for say, legislation on the Colorado river, a topic affecting only Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California. Better yet, why are people in New Jersey and Alaska being taxed for any Federal program on the Colorado?

    I was reminded of something I saw in the Articles of Confederation.

    Articles of Confederation: Art. 6 wrote:No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.

    Why not do something like this at the national level? Surely it makes more sense.

    Why not apply the same rationale to the counties of California. I've read plenty of articles on the topic of decentralization, together putting forth a clear and compelling case that for any government to have a hope of being responsive to "the people" it must be kept as divided and the power as localized as practicable.

    My goal was this: instead of having the strong centralizing and standardizing influence of the Legislature running the State, rather have each county attend to its own, with the flexibility to coordinate amongst each other in as fluid a manner as possible.

    However, I've serious doubts about my proposed mechanisms to this end. Does the section, in its current form, provide strong assurances that the "strongest" of the counties cannot prey on the "weakest?" This whole biz about "if a county has a legitimate interest" seems terribly vague. Conflict will arise from anything yes, but I fear what I've proposed will cause undue conflict. I've left resolution to the Senate primarily, as each county is represented equally there. However, does this open the path for strong centralization in any case, making all this stuff about decentralization no more than a pipe dream or some vain platitude? If I learned any lesson from F.A Hayek's The Road to Serfdom it was this: government intervention begets more intervention. Also, I learned that the mechanisms of legislation fail from internal inconsistencies that are often hard to tease out of what looks like a good piece of legislation. That was the entire premise of which he argued that a mixed economy (neither free-market nor command-economy) can only result in the death of "democracy" in the governing body.

    I'm afraid this section, and indeed perhaps the whole Article, has fallen into the same folly.

    What do other Californians think? Any suggestions?
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    Sean Lowrie
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    Posts : 11
    Join date : 2010-04-08
    Location : Dinuba, CA

    Re: Debate and concerns

    Post  Sean Lowrie on Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:11 am

    AH! Illumination as I was trying to go to sleep last night.

    Amended to read:

    "Any and all disputes arising, between any two or more counties, from the operation of this process will be tried by the State Legislature, originating in the Senate, who will try the matter within 21 days of the start of the dispute. The Legislature, in trying such dispute, shall make law that at once resolves the particular dispute and provides general law to justly and uniformly handle all such future disputes on the same issues; and it shall be in accordance with this Constitution.

    [In procedure, when a dispute happens that should not stop the counties involved from passing and enforcing the legislation in controversy. If a county or counties did something wrong, the Legislature will overturn it soon enough. If left the other way, where a dispute stopped the legislation in question until it was tried, then this would effectively allow any county to “ice” any number of other counties. It’d be great incentive for the largest counties to force every issue on which they might gain by force, into the Legislature, where they do have more power in the Assembly. This would effectively destroy this entire section and return California to its traditional gridlock in Sacramento.]"

    I think in large, that fixes the problem I couldn't put my finger on a while back. Second opinions?

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