The states were once much more different from each other than they are now.
Culturally and politically, the various member states have become progressively more alike. That accelerated in the era of expanded federal authority, as well as during the entry of western states into the union that did the legal equivalent of copy-and-paste of the state constitutions they remembered. Despite that, there are still a number of interesting examples of state government systems that deviate from the norm.
Nebraska is the only state with a legislature with just one chamber. It has the advantage of making legislation drafting and passage much more efficient, but obviously eschews the benefits and hardships of the bicameral system employed in every other state and at the federal level that allows for an internal check on and revision of laws before they are passed on to the Governor for signing into law.
The underlying premise of Nebraskas legislature is efficiency and transparency. A smaller legislature with fewer secretive committees may be forced to be more open and responsive to the citizenry.
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Maine is unique for two reasons. The first has been an interesting feature of the states constitution for many years the special representation of recognized Native American tribes in the state. Each of the recognized tribes has an observer seat reserved in Maines House of Representatives, similar to the House seat reserved for the District of Columbia in the federal legislature.
The second interesting feature of Maine is a recent development. The state has adopted an instant-runoff system in which voters rank candidates by preference rather than voting for just one. This allows second preferences to be counted if no single candidate gets a majority in the first round, which opens up a range of opportunities for smaller parties to contend, as well as for independents.
It eliminates the notion that voting for a party other than Democrats and Republicans is a waste. Of all recent electoral law developments, Maines may be the most consequential for people fighting the two-party duopoly.
One reason for that is the sheer number of representatives in the legislature. The New Hampshire House of Representatives has members, representing a population of 1.
It is the second largest legislature in the world, after Indias national parliament, for one of the smallest states in the union. That level of representation makes representatives extremely responsive and makes politics exceptionally local. Because the electoral districts are so small, minor parties occasionally stand a chance. The current House includes three Libertarians, the most in the nation.
Some small-government advocates might blanche at that number of legislators, fearing the cost of such an institution. But New Hampshireites are a frugal bunch; like in several states, the role of legislator is a part-time job that carries no pay besides limited travel expenses. Another unique aspect of New Hampshire is its divided executive. Rather than vesting all power in the Governor, there is also a separately elected Executive Council, which has essential veto power over the Governor.
A fitting additional check on executive power from a state known for its particular skepticism of government. A top-down approach cannot always work.
Around 18 months ago in DCU, a friend and I decided enough was enough; we were fed up of non-stop talk of unemployment and emigration. We just got so fed up with being passengers in our own futures that we decided to do something.
We looked at the work that had been done in the UK and knew that RAG could be everything we were looking for, it was edgy, fresh, innovative and inclusive. We knew that students wanted to be involved, wanted to make a difference. This meant not only would we need to operate all year-round but we needed to move away from simply fundraising — many students wanted to get more hands on and volunteer, many more wanted to probe social problems with their ideas which they believed could bring about a better future.
And our growth continues, we predict that by this time next year we will be working with upwards of 3, students on over ten campuses. Students see RAG as their way of making a difference, many now realise that their passion, creativity and energy is vital to Ireland, they see how they can play a role and they are playing it.
The future of RAG is bright, the headlines might be dominated by the media frenzy around RAG Week but RAG is rapidly beginning to mean something different to students all over the country. If you want to get involved in join the RAG Society on your campus. RAG Ireland is a network of student led hubs mobilising young people to create a brighter future for the country.
Their hubs are committed to inspiring and motivating students to get out there in their communities fundraising, volunteering and starting their own projects to solve age old problems. It was founded only 18 months ago by a group of students who felt more needed to be done to help get young people involved. They work with 5 hubs across the country, with 1, members and a looser network of roughly 4, You can obtain a copy of the Code, or contact the Council, at www. Please note that TheJournal. For more information on cookies please refer to our cookies policy.
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I fundamentally believe it is! RAG of the Future Around 18 months ago in DCU, a friend and I decided enough was enough; we were fed up of non-stop talk of unemployment and emigration. RAG beginning to mean something different Students see RAG as their way of making a difference, many now realise that their passion, creativity and energy is vital to Ireland, they see how they can play a role and they are playing it.