We Are In Need Of A Constitutional Convention
A constitutional convention is the only way to fix operational problems within Congress and to update our constitution as necessary to meet new threats to our nation, and also to bring about greater local and state control of the tax revenue that is necessary to pay for the public systems and services that the people want. The ultimate responsibility for the well being of the people and country lies within the States and how well they can work together to make sure that we remain united States.
The Constitution allows the Legislatures of 34 states, 2/3 of our 50 states to bring about a Constitutional Convention for proposing amendments, each of which can be made part of the Constitution when ratified by three fourths of the States (37 of the 50).
The house currently has 435 members and its simple majority rule allows 218 members to approve a bill over the disapproval of 217. This makes it too easy to pass a law, with much of it being a bad law as indicated by the size of disapproval. For example, in the house vote on the recent health care proposal, the proposal passed with 220 votes of approval and 215 votes of disapproval. That is an example of the making of a bad law and a law like that with such a low approval rating can cause a great deal of pain and sorrow. An amendment is proposed that would in both House & Senate require 60% of the body to approve a bill unless it involved national sovereignty, personal freedom, or major tax reform, in which case it would require 70% to approve it.
A very serious fault in Congress is allowing a political party to take control of our legislators and legislative processes, which effectively causes legislators to misrepresent or ignore a large percentage of their constituencies in making law. With two major political parties the simple majority rule allows a party whose members comprise a little over 50% of the membership of the House to completely control bills that the House passes and can essentially reduce the active representation in the House to close to only 25% of the country’s voters, making Congress an extremely undemocratic institution.
It is further proposed that all political activity within Congress be disallowed and that all members of congress be required to take an oath that they will faithfully represent all of their constituents regardless of any political party considerations. To emphasize this responsibility and to make Congress more democratic institution, all members should be required to give a fractional vote rather than a simple up or down vote on every bill or matter of concern. The fractional vote would indicate both the percentage of a member’s constituency approving the matter and the percentage disapproving. The fractional vote would obligate a member to work more closely with his/her constituency and would encourage constituents to voice their feelings about current bills and matters of congressional concern.
Next it is proposed that the Senate term of office be reduced from six years to four and that the max length a person can serve in congress be eight years. This would allow a person to serve four terms in the house or two terms in the Senate. This would prevent members from making a career of being a member of Congress and encourage them to make significant accomplishments in their terms-in-office.
It is further suggested that the number of representatives in the House be limited to 200 members, an adequate number for legislative purpose. With the nation’s population to be near 400 million by 2050 and the electorate near 300 million, the average size of a constituency would be about 1.5 million voters. This in turn would require reps to be extremely versatile in constituent relations.
Finally, in order to limit a major corrupting influence in Congress it is proposed that a current member may not receive any money or benefit from any group, business, or political party on the basis that it could influence or support. Acceptance of such a reward would cause his elective office and pay a suitable fine.
Operating only outside of Congress, the Democrats and Republicans would have to promote their candidates and issues with no political advantage over the other PAC’s and govt study groups like the Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation, and this might well encourage the forming of new political parties. The competitions could be good for the country.
In our Bill of Rights there is a need to strengthen our First & Second Amendments. In the free speech and power of the press components of the First amendment, it should be stressed that these freedoms must also be exercised responsibility and fairly for the public welfare. Business reports or news reports to the public must include a file of the sources of each story. They must keep any opinion or commentary separate from the factual data.
The part of the first that deals with religion should be placed because of the threat of Islam, a religion that promotes fanaticism and violence, that regards females as the inferior gender and those not of the Islamic faith as infidels and enemies of Islam. Instead, the Constitution should simply state that a person’s religion can be personal and private, but religious behavior and acts in public must be law-abiding, socially acceptable, and modest.
In the Second Amendment it is important to expand the basis for not denying the right of the people to bear arms. This Amendment does not imply that everyone should have a hand gun or rifle at their disposal but that a person could carry one if they felt it necessary, and carry one if they were well regulated. It should also state that people keeping firearms in their home are responsible for the safe handling and safe keeping of those firearms and for keeping them out of the hands of children.
It is also important that we add an amendment to stop the efforts to politicize the Supreme Court, and to emphasize that the Court does not make law as Congress has the sole responsibility for making law under the Constitution. Since the Court has only nine members and uses simple majority rule in making decisions, its primary function is to settle legal disputes using the constitution and U.S. Law. It is also important to include in this Amendment that the Supreme Court may not reinterpret a word or phrase in the Constitution so as to take away an existing right of citizens or to create a new right of citizens.
Now we need to consider how we can provide greater local and state control over distribution of the available tax revenue for govt operations, so that the needs of the people can be met. We can do this by creating a new government body that would represent ALL of the States together in interfacing with Congress referred to here as the Coordinating Body. The CB would consist of one representative of each State, appointed by the State’s governor with the approval of the State’s legislature, who would be well qualified in economic concepts and tax policy.
The principal function of the CB would be to promote a sound stable U.S. Economy and an Overall Tax Policy for the U.S. That would be designed to promote an appropriate distribution of tax revenue among the local, state, and federal levels of government. It would be expected to provide in-depth analysis of our economy, detect potential weaknesses and problems, and recommend solutions. The CB would have the very important power of originating, independent of Congress, a proposed Amednement to the Constitution and submitting that Amendment to the States for Ratification. The submission would be handled in the same manner as a proposed Amendment coming from Congress and approval would put it in the Constitution. Establishing the CB should be the first proposed change in the Constitution that is adopted as it would in efect extend the Convention indefinitely allowing continuing consideration of serious amendments as necessary.
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