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vcczar

Hypothetical 2017 Constitutional Convention

The 2017 Constitutional Convention  

24 members have voted

  1. 1. If sent as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, would your primary goal be to...

    • Preserve the Constitution as it is.
    • Amend the Constitution where it is unclear.
    • Amend the Constitution to make improvements, suitable for the 21st century and beyond.
    • Rewrite the Constitution, since it is archaic
    • Abolish the Constitution, because it's a hindrance
      0
  2. 2. Which of the following articles or amendments of the Constitution would you propose amending?

    • Article One, describing the Congress/legislative branch
    • Article Two, describing the President/executive branch
    • Article Three, describing the Supreme Court/Judicial Branch
    • Article Four, describing the relations between the states and the federal government
    • Article Five, describing the process for amending the Constitution
    • Article Six, establishing the Constitution, and all Federal laws made in accordance with it as the supreme law of the land
    • Article Seven, describing the process for establishing the government
    • 1st Amendment -- Freedom of speech, of religion, of the press, of assembly and the right to petition
    • 2nd Amendment -- the right of individuals to bear arms
    • 3rd Amendment -- prohibits the government from forcing citizens to house soldiers during peacetime without consent
    • 4th Amendment -- protects against unreasonable searches and seizures of self or property
    • 5th Amendment -- establishes judicial protections and requirements for both accused and guilty; also has clause regarding eminent domain
    • 6th Amendment -- protections and rights of those accused of a crime
    • 7th Amendment - extends the right to a trial by jury to civil cases and prohibits a judge from overturning the decision of the jury
    • 8th Amendment -- protects against excessively high bails and from cruel or unusual punishments
    • 9th Amendment -- declares that individuals have other fundamental rights, in addition to those stated in the Constitution.
    • 10th Amendment -- that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
    • 11th Amendment -- specifically prohibits federal courts from hearing cases in which a state is sued by an individual from another state or another country
    • 12th Amendment -- modifies the way the Electoral College chooses the President and Vice President.
    • None of the above
  3. 3. part 2 of the above

    • 13th Amendment -- abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
    • 14th Amendment -- granted United States citizenship to former slaves and to all persons "subject to U.S. jurisdiction".
    • 15th Amendment -- prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude".
    • 16th Amendment -- allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census.
    • 17th Amendment -- established the popular election of United States Senators by the people of the states.
    • 19th Amendment -- prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.
    • 22nd Amendment -- sets a term limit for election and overall time of service to the office of President of the United States.
    • 24th Amendment -- prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax.
    • 25th Amendment -- deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities.
    • 26th Amendment -- prohibits the states and the federal government from using age as a reason for denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States who are at least eighteen years old.
    • I would also like to amend one of the "minor" Amendments not mentioned
    • I would like to add an amendment not purely amending an already existing amendment.
    • None of the above


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1 hour ago, servo75 said:

Wait, I made proposals too.  Can someone please quote my entry to @vcczar he seems to have blocked my content.

 

1 hour ago, servo75 said:

That looks about right.  I only got around to the Hamilton method (yes I know Huntington-Hill is official and least prone to the Alabama and New State paradox.  But I don't imagine they'd be that different.  Again the main point is to have fewer citizens per congressperson.

 

On ‎2017‎-‎03‎-‎23 at 2:58 PM, servo75 said:

Article One Proposals:

 

Section 2, Clause 3: After every census, prior to reapportionment, the number of seats in the House of Representatives should be set equal to the ratio of the total population of all states, divided by the population of the smallest state, rounded to the nearest whole number.

**********************************************

Section 7, Clause 3: Reduce the veto requirement from 2/3 of the Senate and House to 3/5.  Right now I think that the veto is too absolute and unless the majority party has a "friendly" President, it's almost impossible to get anything passed.

**********************************************

Section 8, enumerated powers "...to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence [sic] and general Welfare of the United States..":  Though I'm not normally a fan of over-defining terms, I think the term "general welfare" has been misconstrued so often that it needs to be defined slightly tighter.  From the Heritage Foundation's (no ad hominem please) report "Enough is Enough: Why General Welfare Limits Spending" 1/13/2011: "The contemporary view is that Congress’s power to provide for the “general Welfare” is a power to spend for virtually anything that Congress itself views as helpful... James Madison repeatedly argued that the power to tax and spend did not confer upon Congress the right to do whatever it thought to be in the best interest of the nation, but only to further the ends specifically enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution, a position supported by Thomas Jefferson."

James Madison stated in 1792: "If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare... in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America."  In other words, General Welfare only applies to spending specifically authorized in the Constitution.  It's been abused time and again by Progressive Presidents as an excuse for wealth redistribution.  I think that Madison's position has to be included in Section 8 to read something like: "...to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States any other expense specifically required to uphold laws within the provisions contained in this Constitution."

**********************************************

Section 9: Limits on Congress.  The following should be inserted: "Any legislation or proposed legislation, including penalties from violation of such legislation, should come exclusivley from Congress, and punishment and penalty from such violations should come exclusively from the Judicial branch, including but not limited to the Supreme Court." Too often lately we've seen Congress roll over and grant powers to the POTUS that he has no authority to wield, such as refusing to bring President Obama to heel when he started "ruling with a pen and a phone," and abdicating responsibility for legislation to the un-elected bureaucrats in government agencies like the FDA, EPA, DOE - agencies which are given judge, jury, and executioner power outside our judicial system.  For example, if you even have a puddle on your property that you want to drain, the EPA can decide that it is "navigable waters" and prevent you from doing so on private property, even finding you guilty in it's OWN administrative court and levying fines which you must pay even before bringing your case.  Only Congress can pass such laws, and only juries of your peers in criminal courts can find you guilty and assess punishment if needed.

These are @servo75's contribution, for those who've chosen to block him. This is not a direct commentary on them from myself at this point.

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I support @servo75's proposals for Sections 2 and Sections 7. I do not support his proposal on section 8, and I'm sure all the Founding Father's weren't uniform in this opinion on General Welfare, and I think Jefferson is once again short-sighted (Jefferson, who thought it would take us a 1,000 years to reach and  settle the Pacific). Although, the proposal on section 9 is sensical, but may need some alteration or more clarification. I wouldn't support it as it stands now. For one, I think the president should be able to propose legislation, even if unofficially. I also think a president should aid in execution legislation, which may necessarily require in proposing legislation (even if through a Congress person) to help the execution of standing law. 

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5 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I support @servo75's proposals for Sections 2 and Sections 7. I do not support his proposal on section 8, and I'm sure all the Founding Father's weren't uniform in this opinion on General Welfare, and I think Jefferson is once again short-sighted (Jefferson, who thought it would take us a 1,000 years to reach and  settle the Pacific). Although, the proposal on section 9 is sensical, but may need some alteration or more clarification. I wouldn't support it as it stands now. For one, I think the president should be able to propose legislation, even if unofficially. I also think a president should aid in execution legislation, which may necessarily require in proposing legislation (even if through a Congress person) to help the execution of standing law. 

My problem with General Welfare is has been so broadly interpreted that it's been perverted into meaning that any positive good must be paid for by the General government.  It's brought us the Welfare State, The New Deal, The Great Society and Obamacare.  It's only supposed to be used for what's necessary to run the Federal government, not to pay for everyone's college, healthcare, and other entitlements.  Also it's a slippery slope - if the government can spend for whatever it sees good, then it can spend for bad  policies as well.  I really think that Jefferson's interpretation below must be codified.

To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, “to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.” For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.  It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.

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On ‎2017‎-‎03‎-‎23 at 2:58 PM, servo75 said:

the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.

This particular statement is part of the issue I find in a lot of your arguments. First, the viewpoint herein is predicated upon the "limited Government" established by a very different group of "people of America," all of whom are now long dead and they were, in their day, a minority of the permanent residents of the newly-founded United States - you'd likely have found a VERY different on Government and the Constitution, even in the day, if the range of suffrage were the same back then as it is today. Second, the majority of voters in the US from 1932 onward have elected Governments, both Democratic and Republican, constantly, who have campaigned on, and then proceeded to enact spending and legislation of the type you constantly complain about and effectively say is OBJECTIVELY wrong and MUST be stopped, despite your viewpoint having receded to a very small minority (at least in the extreme form you hold), which very much shows that, by action at the ballot box, for 85 year, not just a brief knee-jerk zeitgeist period, the "people of America" of today and recent decades have, themselves, established a very different "nature of Government" which they are, more or less, happy with at least the basic and possibilities of, with a fair degree of mixed obligatory griping, but such griping about government exists in all countries (except maybe North Korea...).

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My issue with section 9 of Servo's proposal is that this is far too strong of a restraint on the federal government. Assuming that this section also applies to cabinet post, this can severely impact the government when it comes to monetary policy or even diplomacy. Imagine, with the current division within our government, that every decision needs congressional approval. This can lead to a weird situation where ideologues such as Ted Cruz, or Bernie Sanders( regardless if you love them or not) can dictate the cabinet, as oppose to the cabinet advising the president. 

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4 hours ago, Sunnymentoaddict said:

My issue with section 9 of Servo's proposal is that this is far too strong of a restraint on the federal government. Assuming that this section also applies to cabinet post, this can severely impact the government when it comes to monetary policy or even diplomacy. Imagine, with the current division within our government, that every decision needs congressional approval. This can lead to a weird situation where ideologues such as Ted Cruz, or Bernie Sanders( regardless if you love them or not) can dictate the cabinet, as oppose to the cabinet advising the president. 

The purpose of my proposal was that currently officials such as in the EPA, FDA, DEA, etc. are run by people who are unelected and therefore not answerable to the general public, as members of Congress are; if Congress makes a bad law we can vote them out of office, so I'm saying that regulations that affect citizens have to come from Congress.

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But if the EPA makes a bad regulation Congress can write a law overriding that said piece. We should allow them to operate independently, yet we need to define what aspects of American life can be regulated. 

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14 hours ago, Patine said:

First, the viewpoint herein is predicated upon the "limited Government" established by a very different group of "people of America," all of whom are now long dead and they were, in their day, a minority of the permanent residents of the newly-founded United States - you'd likely have found a VERY different on Government and the Constitution, even in the day, if the range of suffrage were the same back then as it is today.

That's rather speculative, to say that "common" voters in the Founding Era would have similar opinions to those of the majority today.  But I'll say the same thing that I always say in response to this - if you think that the beliefs of the Founders are outmoded, or take issue with my specific proposals, then please give a specific example or explain why you think I'm wrong, but "You're wrong because you're in the minority" isn't an argument - frankly, it's a cop-out.

14 hours ago, Patine said:

The majority of voters in the US from 1932 onward have elected Governments, both Democratic and Republican, constantly, who have campaigned on, and then proceeded to enact spending and legislation of the type you constantly complain about and effectively say is OBJECTIVELY wrong and MUST be stopped...the "people of America" of today and recent decades have, themselves, established a very different "nature of Government" which they are, more or less, happy with

That spending and legislation you refer to, particularly in the last 16 years, has resulted in $20 trillion in debt, $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities, horribly low approval ratings for Congress, and a sharp decline of public trust in government. Yes the founding principles are not spoken about regularly at parties these days (nor do I think they were then either), but in my opinion that's more of a statement on "modern" government and a less-informed society than it is because those views are wrong.  In the modern era of public education, U.S. History and the Constitution has taken a back seat to "social justice".  The Progressive era has led to the myth that the government is there to "take care of" every need of Americans.

14 hours ago, Patine said:

despite your viewpoint having receded to a very small minority (at least in the extreme form you hold)

 

Again, "You're in the minority" is not a valid argument, but it's not as minority as you might think.  In fact, a January 2017 Marist poll finds that 80% of Americans want originalist justices and a majority of Americans -- 52% to 40% -- "want the court to interpret the Constitution 'as it was originally written' and not on what they think the 'Constitution means now,'" according to the poll .

 

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25 minutes ago, Sunnymentoaddict said:

But if the EPA makes a bad regulation Congress can write a law overriding that said piece. We should allow them to operate independently, yet we need to define what aspects of American life can be regulated. 

Ideally you'd be right, but Congress has abdicated responsibility.  Because if bad rules are implemented, they don't have to answer to their constituents so they punt the responsibility to career bureaucrats that don't have to answer to the people.  Bottom line is that Congress needs to take more responsibility for legislation, both good and bad.  What we have now is that the EPA (and other organizations, I'm not singling them out) can make up its own regulations, find you in violation, find you guilty and levy punishment, all within its own walls.  That's a clear violation of Separation of Powers and is dangerous for unelected (or even elected) bureaucrats to have that kind of power, just because Congress doesn't have the spine to back up their own policy.  To sum up, I'm talking about ending atrocities like this.

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12 minutes ago, servo75 said:

That's rather speculative, to say that "common" voters in the Founding Era would have similar opinions to those of the majority today.  But I'll say the same thing that I always say in response to this - if you think that the beliefs of the Founders are outmoded, or take issue with my specific proposals, then please give a specific example or explain why you think I'm wrong, but "You're wrong because you're in the minority" isn't an argument - frankly, it's a cop-out.

That spending and legislation you refer to, particularly in the last 16 years, has resulted in $20 trillion in debt, $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities, horribly low approval ratings for Congress, and a sharp decline of public trust in government. Yes the founding principles are not spoken about regularly at parties these days (nor do I think they were then either), but in my opinion that's more of a statement on "modern" government and a less-informed society than it is because those views are wrong.  In the modern era of public education, U.S. History and the Constitution has taken a back seat to "social justice".  The Progressive era has led to the myth that the government is there to "take care of" every need of Americans.

 

Again, "You're in the minority" is not a valid argument, but it's not as minority as you might think.  In fact, a January 2017 Marist poll finds that 80% of Americans want originalist justices and a majority of Americans -- 52% to 40% -- "want the court to interpret the Constitution 'as it was originally written' and not on what they think the 'Constitution means now,'" according to the poll .

 

Well, I'm sure a front group for the Knights of Columbus will find a far less biased sample group than all the other polling firms active today... :P

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On ‎3‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 4:58 PM, servo75 said:

Article One Proposals:

 

Section 2, Clause 3: After every census, prior to reapportionment, the number of seats in the House of Representatives should be set equal to the ratio of the total population of all states, divided by the population of the smallest state, rounded to the nearest whole number.

**********************************************

Section 7, Clause 3: Reduce the veto requirement from 2/3 of the Senate and House to 3/5.  Right now I think that the veto is too absolute and unless the majority party has a "friendly" President, it's almost impossible to get anything passed.

**********************************************

Section 8, enumerated powers "...to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence [sic] and general Welfare of the United States..":  Though I'm not normally a fan of over-defining terms, I think the term "general welfare" has been misconstrued so often that it needs to be defined slightly tighter.  From the Heritage Foundation's (no ad hominem please) report "Enough is Enough: Why General Welfare Limits Spending" 1/13/2011: "The contemporary view is that Congress’s power to provide for the “general Welfare” is a power to spend for virtually anything that Congress itself views as helpful... James Madison repeatedly argued that the power to tax and spend did not confer upon Congress the right to do whatever it thought to be in the best interest of the nation, but only to further the ends specifically enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution, a position supported by Thomas Jefferson."

James Madison stated in 1792: "If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare... in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America."  In other words, General Welfare only applies to spending specifically authorized in the Constitution.  It's been abused time and again by Progressive Presidents as an excuse for wealth redistribution.  I think that Madison's position has to be included in Section 8 to read something like: "...to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States any other expense specifically required to uphold laws within the provisions contained in this Constitution."

**********************************************

Section 9: Limits on Congress.  The following should be inserted: "Any legislation or proposed legislation, including penalties from violation of such legislation, should come exclusivley from Congress, and punishment and penalty from such violations should come exclusively from the Judicial branch, including but not limited to the Supreme Court." Too often lately we've seen Congress roll over and grant powers to the POTUS that he has no authority to wield, such as refusing to bring President Obama to heel when he started "ruling with a pen and a phone," and abdicating responsibility for legislation to the un-elected bureaucrats in government agencies like the FDA, EPA, DOE - agencies which are given judge, jury, and executioner power outside our judicial system.  For example, if you even have a puddle on your property that you want to drain, the EPA can decide that it is "navigable waters" and prevent you from doing so on private property, even finding you guilty in it's OWN administrative court and levying fines which you must pay even before bringing your case.  Only Congress can pass such laws, and only juries of your peers in criminal courts can find you guilty and assess punishment if needed.

I am in favor of the first recommendation made by @servo75.  I believe this is the better of the 2 proposals for making the House of Representatives more representative of the people.  I am also in favor of the fourth recommendation.  The bureaucracy has gotten out of control, and agencies, such as the EPA, have put over bearing regulations.  These agencies cannot be controlled by the public and have way too much power.  I am against the 2nd proposal.  The system was designed to make it hard to make massive changes.  The veto is part of that.  Plus, the veto is a part of the checks and balances that are needed to keep the government in check.

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I think everyone who is proposing on the same sections of article one should work together to craft something that is agreeable to both parties, lest their proposals split the vote. 

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1 hour ago, jvikings1 said:

I am against the 2nd proposal.  The system was designed to make it hard to make massive changes. 

In principle, I totally agree.  I was back and forth on that - simple majority is too dangerous, but the veto power is a balancing act - too low a majority nullifies the Presidency, but too high essentially renders the Congress irrelevant (unless the POTUS is of the majority party) because the President can simply block anything he doesn't like.  So the way I look at it, lowering the threshold simply balances the power between POTUS and Congress.

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On 3/26/2017 at 0:07 PM, vcczar said:

I think this is the direction to go. I approve of this. Although, I'd like to increase the number of US Reps, since it's hard to represent a community when the districts are too large, and often gerrrymandered. Perhaps, double the number of reps. If this happens, I'll drop my proposal in regards to changes to the Senate (except for a proposal for term-limits). 

Sounds agreeable to me.

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56 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I think everyone who is proposing on the same sections of article one should work together to craft something that is agreeable to both parties, lest their proposals split the vote. 

@pilight - it looks like we both have proposed a balanced budget in Section 8.  I also second his proposal (Section 7) of the line item veto

@Sunnymentoaddict  could we team up on the increase of House size?  I would just go from 300,000 to the ratio of population/smallest state, so right now that would give us 1 per 580,000 or about 550 total.  But I'd be willing to compromise on that number.  I also agree that the Senate should not be touched.

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@servo75, you are advocating for the Wyoming Rule- not sure if you knew the name of the rule or not- but I'm willing to back that. Might be able to prevent having too many cooks in the kitchen if we were to go with my plan of 300k constituency. With that said, who would draw the CD boundaries? State legislators or an independent commission?

 

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Once @servo75 responds to @Sunnymentoaddict, and should we not get any new commentary that could alter the out standing proposals, I'll then create a poll for a vote. 

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On 3/28/2017 at 6:45 AM, Sunnymentoaddict said:

@servo75, you are advocating for the Wyoming Rule- not sure if you knew the name of the rule or not- but I'm willing to back that. Might be able to prevent having too many cooks in the kitchen if we were to go with my plan of 300k constituency. With that said, who would draw the CD boundaries? State legislators or an independent commission?

 

Yes that's exactly what I had in mind.  In terms of boundaries, I thought someone here suggested some sort of computer algorithm to make each district as purple as possible, but absent of that, I'd say a non-partisan independent commission would be ideal.

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Next I'll try to retype the proposals in a concise and clear way (or you can do so yourself). Then, I'll create a new thread with the votes on article one. We will then vote. Then, we can move to the next section. 

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Here are all the proposals. Please catch me if I missed anything, if anything needs to still be altered, etc.: 

1) Increase the number of US Reps by enacting the Wyoming rule, which makes the number of US Reps bound by the population of the smallest state. 
 
2) Districts are to be redrawn and drawn in the future by a non-partisan independent commission. 
 
3) Change Section 7, Clause 3 to give the president a line item veto.
 
4) Change Section 5, Clause 3 to remove the right of Congress to make any part of their journal secret.
 
5) Require a balanced budget
 
6) Both chambers should have instant run-off voting (IRV)
 
7) Change the language of "General Welfare of the United States" to "any other expense specifically required to uphold laws within the provisions contained in this Constitution." in the Constitution
 
8) "Any legislation or proposed legislation, including penalties from violation of such legislation, should come exclusivley from Congress, and punishment and penalty from such violations should come exclusively from the Judicial branch, including but not limited to the Supreme Court."
 
9) Reduce the veto requirement from 2/3 of the Senate and House to 3/5. 
 
I am dropping my previous proposal regarding the increase of senators and the addition of National Senators, and am adding the following proposals:
 
10) Term limits for US Senate to two terms. 
 
11) Term limits for US House to two terms. 
 
12) Remove the VP, who is now too bound to the executive branch, as president of the Senate, and having the Senate vote for it's own president. Alternatively, the VP can be blocked from serving in the executive branch, binding the position purely to the senate. 
 
Additionally, I wish to amend proposal #5:
 
Require a balanced budget, except in cases of declared emergencies when the Congress votes 2/3 to lift the requirement temporarily for a period of a single year, after which the vote must occur again, if the emergency is still on-going. Fiscal responsibility is good, but we can't shackle ourselves when movement is required. I definitely won't approve of a balanced budget addition unless it allows for exceptions to the rule. 

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22 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Here are all the proposals. Please catch me if I missed anything, if anything needs to still be altered, etc.: 

1) Increase the number of US Reps by enacting the Wyoming rule, which makes the number of US Reps bound by the population of the smallest state. 
 
2) Districts are to be redrawn and drawn in the future by a non-partisan independent commission. 
 
3) Change Section 7, Clause 3 to give the president a line item veto.
 
4) Change Section 5, Clause 3 to remove the right of Congress to make any part of their journal secret.
 
5) Require a balanced budget
 
6) Both chambers should have instant run-off voting (IRV)
 
7) Change the language of "General Welfare of the United States" to "any other expense specifically required to uphold laws within the provisions contained in this Constitution." in the Constitution
 
8) "Any legislation or proposed legislation, including penalties from violation of such legislation, should come exclusivley from Congress, and punishment and penalty from such violations should come exclusively from the Judicial branch, including but not limited to the Supreme Court."
 
9) Reduce the veto requirement from 2/3 of the Senate and House to 3/5. 
 
I am dropping my previous proposal regarding the increase of senators and the addition of National Senators, and am adding the following proposals:
 
10) Term limits for US Senate to two terms. 
 
11) Term limits for US House to two terms. 
 
12) Remove the VP, who is now too bound to the executive branch, as president of the Senate, and having the Senate vote for it's own president. Alternatively, the VP can be blocked from serving in the executive branch, binding the position purely to the senate. 
 
Additionally, I wish to amend proposal #5:
 
Require a balanced budget, except in cases of declared emergencies when the Congress votes 2/3 to lift the requirement temporarily for a period of a single year, after which the vote must occur again, if the emergency is still on-going. Fiscal responsibility is good, but we can't shackle ourselves when movement is required. I definitely won't approve of a balanced budget addition unless it allows for exceptions to the rule. 

I have considered and personally believe that FPTP electoral systems, be they in the US, or in the UK, Canada, India, and many former British colonies and dominions, is one of the biggest scourges on electoral institutions, a highly distorting, unrepresentative, easily-manipulated system that serves only big parties and marginalizes by nature and design small parties and Independents unless they are powerful, concentrated regional parties. Although changing the House of Representatives' system of electing members to anything else would be very radical by modern US standards, I believe it would be a change worth making. The MMP system, first invented in Germany, and now used in the majority of national legislative bodies today (and the one the Chancellor Forever game engine is based and that I have constantly been hounding Anthony to bring back in some updated form) which has a mix of FPTP constituencies for some seats, but uses PR determined within each state (in the German federal system) to determine the rest would both be better representative of the population's vote, not consolidate, institutionally, the partisan duopoly dominance on almost all seats, but, by calculating the seat totals by state, would keep the states representative aspect to a significant degree as well. That's my formal suggestion that's new. I agree, or could be amenable to agreeing with, with the ones on the list proposed as is except 5, 7, and 8. I apologize for the lateness of this contribution, but didn't have time in the last several days at one time to sit and write a big block of text, only short messages, due to a hectic series of events in RL.

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12 minutes ago, Patine said:

I have considered and personally believe that FPTP electoral systems, be they in the US, or in the UK, Canada, India, and many former British colonies and dominions, is one of the biggest scourges on electoral institutions, a highly distorting, unrepresentative, easily-manipulated system that serves only big parties and marginalizes by nature and design small parties and Independents unless they are powerful, concentrated regional parties. Although changing the House of Representatives' system of electing members to anything else would be very radical by modern US standards, I believe it would be a change worth making. The MMP system, first invented in Germany, and now used in the majority of national legislative bodies today (and the one the Chancellor Forever game engine is based and that I have constantly been hounding Anthony to bring back in some updated form) which has a mix of FPTP constituencies for some seats, but uses PR determined within each state (in the German federal system) to determine the rest would both be better representative of the population's vote, not consolidate, institutionally, the partisan duopoly dominance on almost all seats, but, by calculating the seat totals by state, would keep the states representative aspect to a significant degree as well. That's my formal suggestion that's new. I agree, or could be amenable to agreeing with, with the ones on the list proposed as is except 5, 7, and 8. I apologize for the lateness of this contribution, but didn't have time in the last several days at one time to sit and write a big block of text, only short messages, due to a hectic series of events in RL.

@Patine Could you rephrase your proposal to the length of a couple of sentences, such as I have done. This will make it a lot easier to put to a vote. 

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13 minutes ago, vcczar said:

@Patine Could you rephrase your proposal to the length of a couple of sentences, such as I have done. This will make it a lot easier to put to a vote. 

Very well. Convert the election of members of the House of Representatives from the current first-past-the-post system to one more akin to the MMP system currently used in the Bundestag elections of modern Germany.

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Here are all the proposals. Please catch me if I missed anything, if anything needs to still be altered, etc.: 

1) Increase the number of US Reps by enacting the Wyoming rule, which makes the number of US Reps bound by the population of the smallest state. 
 
2) Districts are to be redrawn and drawn in the future by a non-partisan independent commission. 
 
3) Change Section 7, Clause 3 to give the president a line item veto.
 
4) Change Section 5, Clause 3 to remove the right of Congress to make any part of their journal secret.
 
5) Require a balanced budget
 
6) Both chambers should have instant run-off voting (IRV)
 
7) Change the language of "General Welfare of the United States" to "any other expense specifically required to uphold laws within the provisions contained in this Constitution." in the Constitution
 
8) "Any legislation or proposed legislation, including penalties from violation of such legislation, should come exclusivley from Congress, and punishment and penalty from such violations should come exclusively from the Judicial branch, including but not limited to the Supreme Court."
 
9) Reduce the veto requirement from 2/3 of the Senate and House to 3/5. 
 
I am dropping my previous proposal regarding the increase of senators and the addition of National Senators, and am adding the following proposals:
 
10) Term limits for US Senate to two terms. 
 
11) Term limits for US House to two terms. 
 
12) Remove the VP, who is now too bound to the executive branch, as president of the Senate, and having the Senate vote for it's own president. Alternatively, the VP can be blocked from serving in the executive branch, binding the position purely to the senate. 
 
Additionally, I wish to amend proposal #5:
 
Require a balanced budget, except in cases of declared emergencies when the Congress votes 2/3 to lift the requirement temporarily for a period of a single year, after which the vote must occur again, if the emergency is still on-going. Fiscal responsibility is good, but we can't shackle ourselves when movement is required. I definitely won't approve of a balanced budget addition unless it allows for exceptions to the rule. 
 
Additionally, Patine wishes to amend proposal #1:
 
Convert the election of members of the House of Representatives from the current first-past-the-post system to one more akin to the MMP system currently used in the Bundestag elections of modern Germany.
 

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3 hours ago, Patine said:
10) Term limits for US Senate to two terms. 
 
11) Term limits for US House to two terms. 

Suggestion: 12 year limit combined.

2 hours ago, vcczar said:

Alternatively, the VP can be blocked from serving in the executive branch, binding the position purely to the senate. 

I don't see that as an alternative, the POTUS and VPOTUS by definition are part of the executive branch.

 

2 hours ago, vcczar said:
 
6) Both chambers should have instant run-off voting (IRV)

I'm still confused on this one - I assume you mean for Congressional elections, not member voting.  It's a method that personally I love in multi-candidate elections, but since voting is handled through states, I don't see how that could be enforced.

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