New Zealand has been mercifully free of crop vandalism since Nandor Tanczos's Wild Greens broke into Lincoln Univerity's GE crop research lab and destroyed about a million or so dollars of scientific researchdespite the boasts of the "sandalled vandals" of 'Green Gloves' in the wake of the Royal Commission Report on GE going against their hopes and wishes.
Presidency Become a Dictatorship? Sure, we all pay lip service to the Madisonian system of checks and balances. But as one legal scholar argues, presidents have been running roughshod over the system for decades. Below is a transcript of the episode, modified for your reading pleasure. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, see the links at the bottom of this post.
It depends what you mean. In the past, we have argued on this program that the President of the United States is much less powerful than people generally think.
Well, the Democrats are wrong. How did Presidents keep grabbing more and more power? Well, with the benefit of hindsight, the whole constitutional system seems pretty nutty. Today on Freakonomics Radio: It boiled down to one thing, which is: Do you care much about politics on a personal level?
I mean, like everybody, I have instinctive political reactions, but I try to maintain a distance and try to be objective about things.
After the Madisonian Republic. James Madisonthe fourth president and so-called father of the Constitution, was passionate about the division of the federal government into three branches: How would you say that the role of the president and the power of the presidency of the United States has turned out compared to how the founders intended the role?
The founders could not possibly have imagined that the president would become as powerful as he has. I mean, our presidency has completely transformed.
The law actually prevents presidents from doing great things. That, in a nutshell, is the problem. The law, constitutional law in particular, but also laws passed by Congress, set down a long time ago, and people are imagining that the President should do one thing but not necessarily other things.
These old laws are in place, and a very sort of modest president might obey them and not solve the problems, but the great presidents are the ones who basically push it aside so that they can do something great.
Something great in their eyes, at least. But he definitely thinks the U. The founders knew a great deal about classical history, much more than any politician today does. And the great lesson of Roman history was that for quite a long time, the Roman Republic had a limited government; it was not run by kings or emperors.
And it was also highly successful. I mean, by the standards of the time, it was wealthy, they conquered lots of places. But then the Roman Republic collapsed and was replaced by an emperor. But we want to avoid the errors that they made, which paved the way for an emperor.
And second of all, talk about the ways in which presidents over time did shape the Madisonian system to suit their needs. Well, with the benefit of hindsight, the whole constitutional system seems pretty nutty, and we actually know this because some other countries imitated it, which was a big mistake.
So especially in Latin America, a bunch of countries imitated our system and what happened was the three branches of government in those countries just became gridlocked, nothing could be accomplished, and eventually the president would just effectively declare himself the only ruler.
And he would rule by diktat. And these countries were very unstable. But most political scientists, I believe, think that parliamentary systems are a lot more sensible.Mathias Cormann was born in the German-speaking part of Belgium and decided to migrate to Australia permanently, after first visiting Perth in , attracted by the great lifestyle and opportunities on offer in Western Australia.
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