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Old 07-16-2013, 03:44 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
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Note: Before I go any further in this debate, I have to step back for a moment and have a good laugh on myself. Here I am - a flaming liberal/progressive - and I'm coming across like some embattled tea party member from Harlen County, Kentucky. Dang!

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
Through the Electoral College, rural America has representation beyond what they should have. If the country would vote for presidents on a national, one-person/one-vote basis, rural states would have very little say. Wyoming (pop. 576,000/3 EC votes), for example, has more say than an urban area like Denver county (pop. 620,000/0 EC votes)
I am no fan of the Electoral College. The Executive Branch of government must be responsible to the country as a WHOLE and not subject to regional factionalism. No one group is ever going to be 100% happy with the outcome of presidential elections 100% of the time. IMO the Electoral College should be abolished. If Wyoming or Colorado's Western Slope doesn't like presidential election results, well that's just too damn bad. Better luck next time.

The United States President of the People should be elected by the popular vote of the People. Period. The office of the President is not directly concerned with running each individual state, anyhow. I am perfectly happy to let the Colorado State Legislature deal with the State of Colorado's issues and the Wyoming Legislature to take care of the State of Wyoming's. Wyoming has no business trying to tell Denver what to do anymore than Denver has any business trying to tell Cortez that we should not build a new high school.

Quote:
Perhaps the problem is that farmers have become too good at agriculture.

Modern agriculture has resulted in larger and fewer farms producing more food than ever before. The rural population of Colorado and America has dwindled as farmers have sold their farms and move to the city. Like it or not, America's population and wealth are now concentrated in the cities - not the rural farms as it did in 1788.
One more time. I have never argued otherwise in regard to population shifts.

Quote:
With a smaller percentage of the population, rural areas of the state and the US have smaller voices in a democratic republic. If you believe in the premise of one vote per person, then the rural areas will always have little say in the political process. Truth is, as much as cities need rural America to produce their food, rural America needs the cities to manufacture their farm machinery, conduct their banking, and buy their crops.
Again, my assertion is that rural Colorado should take care of rural Colorado's issues. If having a democratic republic means that residents of rural Colorado have no voice in the way our rural co-ops provide us with energy because the state legislature in Denver has decided to pass SB205 (continuing with this as an example from a previous post), then we - both as a state and as a people - better take a hard look at the nature of our government and where it falls short or is lacking.

Bottom line, Denver is not going to be effected if a small community like Cortez or Paradox that is a couple of mountain ranges and 400 miles away decides that they still want to get their electricity from a coal fired power plant because that's all we can afford. Why on earth should the Front Range tell us that we should do something different? It's our community and our air and our money.

As the vast majority never tires of pointing out, it is the vast majority. We are too small out here to make much of an impact on anything. Except for ourselves. Why do so many people man the barricades demanding that rural Coloradans should lay down and die under the tyranny of the majority when it makes no difference to the majority in the first place? Tyrannical actions are bad news whether carried out via an Electoral College System or by the residents of the Front Range.

Why should we be content with the pronoucement that "rural areas will always have little say in the political process"?

If Denver - home of the brown cloud - wants to get excited about clean air in the Four Corners and CO2 emissions, why aren't you guys going after one of the largest coal fired power plants in the nation - the Four Corners Power Plant which spews out zillions of ppm of CO2 in an effort to provide electricity for Los Angeles, of all places? (Yeah, the Four Corners Power Plant is located on the Navajo Nation, but don't let that get in your way since they're rural as well.)

Do you really think that a coal fired power plant in Naturita is going to bring about the end of the world by comparison? Do you guys even KNOW there's such a thing as the Four Corners Power Plant or a town called "Naturita"?

As a popular bumper sticker on many cars in Colorado Springs once read, "Focus on your own damned family."


We are arguing in circles.

Last edited by Colorado Rambler; 07-16-2013 at 04:32 AM..
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Ubique
4,141 posts, read 3,142,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
I can respect the idea of Weld County or any other area seeking to increase its voice inside of the United States. The US is a democratic republic...
No. US is a constitutional republic. In fact, framers didn't want "a democratic republic".


Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
If you are looking for historical precedents regarding strong central governments vs. strong local governments, you need to look no further than China. You will find that when China has a strong central government, it has been a powerful global force with great economic activity and clout. When China's central government is weak, the country enters a period of decline and disorder.
Bringing communist China's political system as a an example we should follow is laughable. Have you ever lived in a system like that?
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
3,111 posts, read 4,883,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry10 View Post
No. US is a constitutional republic. In fact, framers didn't want "a democratic republic".

Absolutely correct. However, changes in the systems (the use of referendums and citizen initiatives) have made the states' governments more and more democratic in practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry10 View Post
Bringing communist China's political system as a an example we should follow is laughable. Have you ever lived in a system like that?
I was talking about China in a historical sense. A government need not be totalitarian (communism is an economic system, not a political system) to be a strong central government. China has been ruled by the Communist party only since 1949. China's continuous political history and leadership dates back at least 3,700 years. During that time, it experienced many different periods in which the central government was strong and many periods when the central government was weak.

During the periods of strong centralized government, China prospered economically, intellectually, and politically. The greatest achievements of the Chinese came about during these periods.

During times of a weak central government, China had problems with invasions, poor trade relations and a poor economy. During these times China was ruled by several regional rulers who fought among themselves.

While I do not condone the policies or tactics of the current Chinese government, China was at an extremely low point in the 20th century (occupied by western powers, later taken over by Japan). This current strong central government has re-made the country into a economic and military.

And, FWIW, China doesn't practice true communism or socialism. They practice what Deng Xioping referred to as communism with "Chinese characteristics." What are those characteristics? Market reforms, of course.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Ubique
4,141 posts, read 3,142,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
communism is an economic system, not a political system).
Although a bit off-topic, your statement may or may not be correct, depending which doctrine we use. In fact, in pure marxist terms, communism is not an economic system. It is a mode of production. Others may say it is a system of parasytic plague.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
And, FWIW, China doesn't practice true communism or socialism. They practice what Deng Xioping referred to as communism with "Chinese characteristics." What are those characteristics? Market reforms, of course.
China practices a "revisionist" socialism, not communist. Based on pure marxist theory, China has a major problem and is a powder keg waiting to explode. That's because its political system (superstructure, or relations of production) is antagonistic with its base (mode of production). In other words its political system is at odds with its economic structure.

Regardless of all this, why you would bring up China, and not others, in the last 3700 years, as an example of concentrated/central power being a successful civilization -- this is baffling to me.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:15 PM
 
20,840 posts, read 39,059,222 times
Reputation: 19074
Okay guys, let's get back on the topic of some N.E. COLO counties wanting to commit what amounts to economic suicide over recent changes to COLO firearms laws, which IMO is what this is all about. Cut off nose, spite face. Ooops.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Ubique
4,141 posts, read 3,142,475 times
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The concept of concentrated power / central govt being a good thing or not -- that's very relevant, and on-topic of the issue- Weld County calling for secession from CO.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:57 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
Reputation: 10278
^^^

This is the OP:

Quote:
Weld commissioners propose formation of new state | Today's News | Northern Colorado Business Report



Quote:



S.B. 252, which seeks to raise the renewable energy standard for rural electric utilities, was heavily opposed by rural counties because of the potential for increased electricity rates.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law Wednesday.

Weld also takes issue with oil and gas regulations that have been passed recently, Freeman said.

At the recent Colorado Counties Inc. conference, Weld commissioners spoke with leaders from other rural counties including Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington, Yuma and Kit Carson, who expressed interest in the idea of forming a separate state.

I know that there is plenty of animosity from not only the rural areas in eastern Colorado but also the western slope. I am wondering if this is the start of the state breaking apart as I can see the western slope areas breaking away from the state as well, or just a couple of counties trying to make a point.

Also looking at the state revenue streams, I am thinking the state of Colorado will have to fight this tooth and nail, oil and Gas as well as agriculture are 2 of the 3 largest parts of the state economy.
With all due respect for our Mod, firearms may have been mentioned at some point in this thread (STILL haven't gone back through and read all posts), but the OP was about SB252 and rural opposition to it. It also brings up the question of whether regions should break apart in order to give the people who reside there a greater say in their own governance.

Seems to me that's an open invitation to discuss a centralized government versus a decentralized one. However, I'd be glad to start a new thread that picks up where this one leaves off if the mods would prefer that.

- Rambler

PS I'll try not to give any more quotes that appear on the bumper stickers of cars in the Springs.

Last edited by Colorado Rambler; 07-16-2013 at 05:07 PM..
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,295,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
A dozen years is nothing in the context of the history of a great nation. Right now we are having major problems with our federation. As you noted, what worked in 1813 may not work in 2013. It's time for the Nation - as well as Colorado and the other States - to engage in a discussion about what we should and can do to re-enfranchise the American people. I heard somewhere that Hitler is more popular with Americans than Congress is. No doubt this is an exaggeration, but respect for government is at an all time low, and the US is being run by ignorant talk show hosts for lack of effective action inside the Beltway.

When it comes to Colorado, the population of the rural Western Slope has been increasing, just as the population on the Front Range has been increasing. We don't have the same huge influx as Denver (thank God), but plenty of people are migrating out here too. You can't dismiss rural Colorado - or rural America for that matter - with an airy wave of your hand and a paragraph out of some text book.

You are confusing demographics with Democracy. Population shifts don't re-write the Constitution. Rural America has every much a right to representative government as Urban America does.

It's stuff like your final statement which makes people on the Western Slope want to create their own State of "Uncomphagria" and the residents of Weld County to rid themselves of Denver. Do you actually believe that Cortez or Grand Junction is not interested in "encouraging economic enterprise"? Do you understand how arrogant your words are?

You dismiss the entire Western Slope and everything east of I-25 and outside the Front Range urban corridor as "subsistence agriculture" as if we are members of a third world country. MODERN agriculture puts the food on your table, and we even practice it out here on the Western Slope and I bet Weld County does, too. You make it sound like we're all out here barefoot plowing the fields behind a mule because we've rejected "economic enterprise."

So, the response out of Denver amounts to "Sell your family ranch outside of Montrose to Monsanto, shut down your small business in Rifle and quit growing crops in Wray. If you want a voice in your government, you must come live with us in Denver or, at the very least - Colorado Springs. Or else cowboy up and stop whinning."

We reject both those alternatives, and we're going to continue to stand up for ourselves since Denver sure as hell won't. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go feed the mule and cut the hay in the back forty with a scythe.
You are misunderstanding the nature of the problem. The rural/small town/small city vs big city/suburbs scenario does NOT play out on a national scale, so whether the national government is a confederation or a federation doesn't matter. Both forms of government recognize these entities called states, and it's within states that you get situations where a single large metro (Colorado, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Georgia) or several (California, Pennsylvania, Florida) dominate their states and pretty much decide state policies that affect the smaller hinterlands.

I am not confusing demographics with democracy. Democracy means everyone's vote is equal, not that some people's votes are worth more than others. Why should the 500,000 people living in county A have 1 vote and the 5,000 people living in county B also have 1 vote? That's not democratic. The democratic way to deal with this imbalance is to either give county A 100 votes and keep county B at 1 or something else along those lines.

Changing demographics and the application of one person, one vote has changed the political power balance in a lot of states, not just in Colorado. The people who are in the areas with lower population and limited growth or perhaps even decline don't like losing power to the people who live in the areas that have much larger populations or are growing much faster. That's human nature, but there's no "fair" way to deal with that. You can't divorce political power from demographics in any kind of representative government that considers itself to be democratic without disenfranchising the people living in large population centers by devaluing their individual votes.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:51 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
Reputation: 10278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
You can't divorce political power from demographics in any kind of representative government that considers itself to be democratic without disenfranchising the people living in large population centers by devaluing their individual votes.
You and other posters keep bringing up this straw man argument and attributing it to me. I am at a loss as how to be anymore clear than this (getting a bit exasperated here):

I am not advocating that a minority of rural voters should govern a majority of urban voters.

I am advocating that rural voters govern their own rural areas. The Front Range should not be dictating policy for the Western Slope or Weld County, etc. – ESPECIALLY in matters that have no impact what-so-ever in places like Colorado Springs or Denver.

Why is this so hard for everyone to understand? I’m not going to repeat myself 40 zillion times – 4 times is more than enough.

I’m beginning to suspect that no one has a good reply opposing the concept of government by rural Colorado for rural Colorado. Since this idea is simple common sense, it takes the fun out of the debate.

I await further instructions from the Front Range (Mike FBE) before replying at any greater length than that.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:58 PM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
2,943 posts, read 7,304,660 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
You and other posters keep bringing up this straw man argument and attributing it to me. I am at a loss as how to be anymore clear than this (getting a bit exasperated here):

I am not advocating that a minority of rural voters should govern a majority of urban voters.

I am advocating that rural voters govern their own rural areas. The Front Range should not be dictating policy for the Western Slope or Weld County, etc. ESPECIALLY in matters that have no impact what-so-ever in places like Colorado Springs or Denver.

Why is this so hard for everyone to understand? Im not going to repeat myself 40 zillion times 4 times is more than enough.

Im beginning to suspect that no one has a good reply opposing the concept of government by rural Colorado for rural Colorado. Since this idea is simple common sense, it takes the fun out of the debate.

I await further instructions from the Front Range (Mike FBE) before replying at any greater length than that.
I totally agree. I think the entire western slope and NE Colorado should be a new state, and if by some miracle they actually managed to pull it off, I'd pack up my stuff and move there the following week. NorCo. I like the sound of that.
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