Archive for the ‘government reform’ Tag

Reform 6: Leveling Clause

Proposal:

Change the title of the Speaker of the House to the President of the House.  Change the title of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to the President of the Supreme Court.  Add Article 0, “The federal government shall consist of three separate and equal branches.

Rationale:

The head of the Senate is already the President of the Senate and I earlier recommended getting rid of the Vice President position so the President of the Senate would become a full time, real position now filled by the majority leader.  It’s harder for the president to act like a king when there are four presidents in the government and the constitution explicitly states that none are subordinate.

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Reform 5: Direct representation clause

Here’s an idea for improving the popular representation in Congress.

Proposal:

The House of Representatives shall consist of 400 members.  Each member shall stand for election every two years.  Representatives shall be selected in the following way:  Each Party filing for the House of Representatives shall submit a slate of 400 electors listed by priority.  The number of electors selected in order of priority from each Party for seats in the House shall be proportional to the popular vote for that party.

Rationale:

I’ve heard people propose ratifying the first constitutional amendment proposal in order to increase their “representation” in Congress.  The first proposed amendment would fix congressional districts at one congressmen for each 30,000 people.  That would be a House of Representatives of over 10,000 members.  If Congress has to meet in a football stadium, you are not getting represented.  Few representatives would even get opportunities to speak.  The chamber would be completely dominated by a handful of “congressional leaders”, kind of like the current seniority system.  Ultimately, such a useless body would simply contribute to the growth of an Imperial Executive.

The current House elected by district may only represent a little over half the population.  I haven’t had a representative in Congress for most of my adult life.  Proportional representation says any group that makes up 1/4 % of the voting public gets a representative, or about 150,000 people on big election days.  Of course the slate of candidates would be affected by the term limits.

Proportional representation is the best way to break the stranglehold the Binopoly on power held by the two big parties.  There were more than enough votes for third parties to get substantial representation under the district system but it never happens because the votes are spread all over the country.  Proportional representation fixes that.

As a secondary effect, proportional representation makes it harder for the corrupting practice of “bringing home the bacon” to work because for the most part, individual  representatives would not have a home district to send bacon to.  Now a big area, like New York City could create a local part (call it the NYC Party) whose whole purpose is to steal for the City.  They could conceivably get enough votes to hold a number of seats in the house (one seat for each 150,000 votes).  But they would have to influence all the other representatives, many without clearly defined constituent areas, to steal from their own constituents to give to New York.  Politics would ensue, but that’s what legislating is all about.

Reform 3: Sunrise Clause

REFORM 3: SUNRISE CLAUSE

Proposed Amendment:

The House and Senate shall not vote for final passage of any legislation until that pending legislation has been available to the public for review in its final form for at least 30 calendar days.  Any change to the pending legislation shall require 30 day review.  No change shall be made to passed legislation except by additional legislation passed in accordance with this clause.

and to provide for real emergencies:

The president may engage in actions authorized by pending legislation for 40 days.  If the pending legislation is not passed by the end of the 40 day period, the president shall cease and desist further action.

The president may use military asset and military force for a period of 10 days in response to emergency involving disasters or attacks on the sovereign territory of the US or attacks on US flag assets or US citizens outside US territory.    If legislation supporting the action is not pending after ten days the president shall cease and desist further action.

Rationale:

Think Obamacare Clause.  No more gigantic, oppressive laws passed unread in the middle of the night.  period.  The ten day delay is the new War Powers Act.

Reform 2: Sunset Clause

I just thought of this one recently.

Proposed amendment:

Every law shall expire and be stricken from the federal statutes no more than 40 years from the date of passage.  Amendments to a law shall not extend the expiration date of the original law.

Rationale:  We are governed by dead people.  One of the contributors to the proliferation of laws is that they NEVER go away, no matter how outdated or archaic they may be.  Forty years prevents excessive amounts of churn and resulting regime uncertainty.  Under my term limits, Congress will have gone through three to four generations of legislators and ten presidents.  Surely after that it’s time to reconsider old legislation.

Reform 1: Term Limits

Proposed amendment:

  • Members of the House of Representatives shall serve for no more than five two year terms.
  • Senators shall serve one six year terms.
  • The President shall serve for one four year term and may serve up to two additional years if  completing an earlier term.
  • Supreme Court Justices shall serve ine nine year term.
  • No executive of any federal agency shall hold a single position for more than ten years.

Rationale:

Unlimited tenure has all but destroyed Congress as a representative body.  Instead of 554 representatives, Congress represents maybe a dozen districts represented by the senior members who are speaker, majority leader, or committee chairs.  I didn’t elect Harry Reid to be Viceroy of the Senate.

The pundits talk about the second term curse for presidents.  Here’s the solution.  No second term.  The President is the caretaker of the executive branch.  I NEVER voted for ANYONE to rebuild MY country to THEIR vision.  Military commanders rotate every two to three years.  President is Commander and Chief of the military and can work with four.

I used to say the SCOTUS justices should serve 18 years to make it so a president can’t pack the court.  With a single term, the president can’t pack the court except in the  unusual circumstance of filling an uncompleted term.  Therefore justices need only stay nine years.