Tag Archives: us senate

Tammy Duckworth and the importance of second chamber reform

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One issue that has not come up during this campaign, but should have, is second chamber reform.

Firstly, may I say that our House of Lords has many, many fine members and does a fantastic job.

But there is a problem. We can’t get rid of it. It fails on the five democratic questions that dear old Tony Benn used to repeat endlessly:

What power have you got?

Where did you get it from?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Today’s Massachusetts Special Election

Today there will be a special election in the US state of Massachusetts to elect a new Senator to represent the state after Ted Kennedy‘s death last year.

And boy, are the stakes high for this one.

Nominally an extremely safe seat for the Democrats, the Democratic candidate Martha Coakley should be a shoe-in.

And yet Republican former centrefold star Scott Brown, once voted by Cosmo as America’s Sexiest Man (the link is fairly safe for work, but does contain a tastefully cropped naked man) has been closing the gap in the polls, and in some cases even taken a lead.

Of key importance in this battle is the senatorial supermajority, which we have covered on The Voice in the past. In the US senate, a party with 60 of the 100 senators – or the votes of 60 senators – can move a vote of cloture which can end a filibuster. This removes from the minority party a powerful tool to veto legislation by talking it out. This has become all the more fraught recently since Obamacare, the extremely controversial healthcare legislation currently under consideration. If the Republicans win the Massachusetts, the Democrats lose their right of veto and they could lose Obamacare.

Here’s a video for each candidate to give you a flavour of the battle.

First, President Obama is staking his political reputation to support Martha Coakley and underlining the future of Obamacare:

Posted in LDVUSA and YouTube | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

Opinion: Supermajority!

The US Senate Elections are finally over!

Last November’s contest has dragged on, primarily as a result of a protracted legal battle in closely fought Minnesota. Last week, however, incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman finally abandoned his legal suit after the State’s Supreme Court found unanimously in favour of Democrat Al Franken, the liberal former radio talk show host and author of ‘Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right’. Franken is becoming adept at getting his way in the Courts, Fox News having failed in their bid to sue him for …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments
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