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View Poll Results: What would you do?

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  • Fire the President, keep Congress

    0 0%
  • Fire the President and Congress

    36 57.14%
  • Keep the President, fire Congress

    20 31.75%
  • Keep both of them

    5 7.94%
  • Other

    2 3.17%
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Thread: Would you be for it?

  1. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #1

    Would you be for it?

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    Australia had a government shutdown once. In the end, the queen fired everyone in Parliament.

    The United States' self-imposed federal government shutdown has a way of making people around the world shake their heads in bewilderment. As Georgetown professor Erik Voeten wrote for The Washington Post's new Monkey Cage political science blog, "I cannot think of a single foreign analogy to what is happening in the U.S. today."

    But there actually is one foreign precedent: Australia did this once. In 1975, the Australian government shut down because the legislature had failed to fund it, deadlocked by a budgetary squabble. It looked a lot like the U.S. shutdown of today, or the 17 previous U.S. shutdowns.

    Australia's 1975 shutdown ended pretty differently, though, than they do here in America. Queen Elizabeth II's official representative in Australia, Governor General Sir John Kerr, simply dismissed the prime minister. He appointed a replacement, who immediately passed the spending bill to fund the government. Three hours later, Kerr dismissed the rest of Parliament. Then Australia held elections to restart from scratch. And they haven't had another shutdown since.

    Here's how it happened. Australia, like the United States, has both a Senate and a House of Representatives. In 1975, the chambers were controlled by different parties. The House had passed an appropriations bill to fund the government, but the Senate refused to pass it because it believed that the government was spending too much money on unworthy programs during an economic downturn. The opposition party that controlled the Senate said it would not pass the spending bill unless the government met its somewhat outlandish demand. Does this all sound familiar so far? In the Australian case, though, the opposition's demand wasn't repeal of a health-care law -- they wanted early elections, which they believed would unseat the ruling party.

    Prime Minister Gough Whitlam rejected the opposition's demands but couldn't bring the parties to a compromise, and the federal budget went unfunded. Then, on the morning of Nov. 11, Whitlam announced he would hold early elections not for the House but for half of the opposition-controlled Senate (typically, only one half of the Senate goes up for reelection at a time). Kerr, as the the official representative of the queen, who is technically still sovereign over Australia, summoned Whitlam to his office and fired him at 1:15 p.m.

    Fifteen minutes later, Kerr appointed the leader of the opposition Liberal Party, Malcolm Fraser, as Whitlam's replacement. By 2 p.m., before most even realized what had happened, Fraser got his allies in the previously deadlocked Senate to push through the government spending bill. Then everything kind of fell into chaos. When the ruling Labor Party, in the House, learned about Whitlam's firing and Fraser's appointment, its members revolted with a no-confidence vote against Fraser. At 4:50 p.m., Kerr dissolved the rest of Parliament, essentially firing everyone, with a formal proclamation that ended with the words "God Save the Queen."

    A month later, Australia held national elections to replace the now-dissolved government. The opposition, led by Fraser, swept to victory in both houses. Australia has not had another shutdown since.

    This sort of thing, of course, could never happen in the United States. The fact that Australia could pull it off is a quirk of its history as a former British colony that, unlike the United States, never fully broke away.

    Australia's governor general does not typically fire prime ministers, or do much of anything. It's a largely ceremonial position and a legacy, as the colonial title suggests, of a time when Australia was a far-flung possession of the British Empire. It's now an independent country but still a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, which means it recognizes the British monarchy as technically in charge. That monarch still has formal power over Australia's government but almost never actually uses it. The 1975 crisis was the exception.

    The governor general technically acts solely on behalf of the monarch -- the office was established before telephones existed, after all. This means that, legally speaking, the 1975 Australian government funding crisis ended because Queen Elizabeth II dismissed everyone in the government. In practice, the governor general did in the actual firing.

    You might find yourself wishing that the United States could follow Australia's example: Fire everyone in Congress, hold snap elections next month and restart from scratch. But we can't, because we haven't recognized the British monarchy or had a London-appointed governor -general in more than two centuries. Maybe, if we ask nicely, Britain will take us back?
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...in-parliament/

    Clearly I mean fire the President and Congress and start over, not become a member of the Commonwealth. Poll coming!

    I'm perilously close to seriously being okay with it.
    ​​​

    “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” -- Carl Sagan

  2. Team Rocket
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    #2
    get rid of 'em all. At this point I want a clean slate start over. Although, would that mean Biden becomes Prez? Dunno how I feel about that.
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  3. I Will Rise Above
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    #3
    At this point I am totally okay with out with them all.
  4. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    get rid of 'em all. At this point I want a clean slate start over. Although, would that mean Biden becomes Prez? Dunno how I feel about that.
    Good question, not sure! In Australia, they appointed the head of the opposing party, so in this case the minority leader of the Senate? Not sure.

    I voted keep the President, fire Congress, but only because I worry about national security in such a massive upheaval. Maybe it wouldn't be disrupted, though, since we're keep the leaders of the different DoD agencies? I don't know, I don't care for the President, so if it doesn't pose a national security risk, I'm totally down with replacing him as well.
    ​​​

    “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” -- Carl Sagan

  5. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #5
    It sounds nice in theory but I'm not for it. I don't like the idea of anyone having the power to "fire" entire branches of the federal government, of what would happen during the lame duck session before all the newbs come in, and I also don't think it solves the issues that caused the problems in the first place.
  6. Senior Member
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    #6
    Depends on who we'd be replacing them with... The devil you know... If I had the power tho I'd be much more likely to fire congress and keep the pres.
  7. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #7
    Out with them all!
  8. Senior Member
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    Depends on who we'd be replacing them with... The devil you know... If I had the power tho I'd be much more likely to fire congress and keep the pres.
  9. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #9
    I just said the same thing on your facebook. Who are they considering head of the republicans? Boehner? McConnell? The actual head of the RNC?
  10. Senior Member
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    #10
    Keep the pres fire all of congress.

    It should only be in cases where they disrupt the flow of the country. Like a shut down for example.
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