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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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If I get no further comments on the proposals from my previous post, I will put them up to vote tomorrow (Friday). 

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5 hours ago, vcczar said:

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. 

Just like the "emergency" installation of the Electoral College, this makes me very nervous.  "Emergency" is such a loosely defined term and opens the door to abuse.  If we are attacked and need $10 billion for a war, we're just going to have to suck it up and cut a pork project or :o cut entitlement spending to more reasonable levels.  The balanced budget has to be absolute, no-excuses, no-exceptions, or at least require a formal justification that includes verification of exhausting every other possibility, something like 3/4 in both Houses, and have a plan for payback presented ahead of time.  Sorry, I lack faith in our current Congress's ability to properly decide what an emergency is, and their will to keep their promises.

"I love democracy... I love the Republic. The power you give me I will lay down when this crisis has abated."

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42 minutes ago, servo75 said:

Just like the "emergency" installation of the Electoral College, this makes me very nervous.  "Emergency" is such a loosely defined term and opens the door to abuse.  If we are attacked and need $10 billion for a war, we're just going to have to suck it up and cut a pork project or :o cut entitlement spending to more reasonable levels.  The balanced budget has to be absolute, no-excuses, no-exceptions, or at least require a formal justification that includes verification of exhausting every other possibility, something like 3/4 in both Houses, and have a plan for payback presented ahead of time.  Sorry, I lack faith in our current Congress's ability to properly decide what an emergency is, and their will to keep their promises.

"I love democracy... I love the Republic. The power you give me I will lay down when this crisis has abated."

I do love that quote - that's why it's on my avatar. That being said, if, in your example, money for an army for self-defence is not coughed up because of strict principle, then neither the principle nor the budget will matter, because the hypothetical attacker - who'd likely, under that situation, become a successful conqueror - would be deciding the US' (or whatever they renamed it as subordinate polity) principle and budget instead, with no guaranteed, or likely, input from American citizens, at least not until they were deemed "assimilated" or "subjugated" to their satisfaction. However, building a huge standing military to engage in military adventurism, toppling "inconvenient" regimes, aiding "business environments" in foreign countries for big mega-corporations, "influencing" how other nations govern themselves, etc., along with a massive intelligence network, including huge surveillance programs (domestic surveillance as part of it), and drone attacks across the world (and not outright ruled out domestically by military spokesmen) is something I am STRONGLY against. In this regard, I think the modern Swiss military doctrine would be best - a military that can defend home soil exceptionally well from outside attack, but is never required to fight abroad.

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16 minutes ago, Patine said:

I do love that quote - that's why it's on my avatar. That being said, if, in your example, money for an army for self-defence is not coughed up because of strict principle, then neither the principle nor the budget will matter, because the hypothetical attacker - who'd likely, under that situation, become a successful conqueror - would be deciding the US' (or whatever they renamed it as subordinate polity) principle and budget instead, with no guaranteed, or likely, input from American citizens, at least not until they were deemed "assimilated" or "subjugated" to their satisfaction. However, building a huge standing military to engage in military adventurism, toppling "inconvenient" regimes, aiding "business environments" in foreign countries for big mega-corporations, "influencing" how other nations govern themselves, etc., along with a massive intelligence network, including huge surveillance programs (domestic surveillance as part of it), and drone attacks across the world (and not outright ruled out domestically by military spokesmen) is something I am STRONGLY against. In this regard, I think the modern Swiss military doctrine would be best - a military that can defend home soil exceptionally well from outside attack, but is never required to fight abroad.

That might be something that you can propose when we get to the Commander in Chief, or perhaps something you can propose as an armed forces amendment. 

As I can now see @servo75 comment. I'll leave the proposal plainly at "Require Congress to balance the budget" without a 2/3 or 3/4 vote to temporarily lift it during emergencies. Although, I'd be surprised if it passes this Constitutional Convention without such a clause. 

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15 minutes ago, Patine said:

I do love that quote - that's why it's on my avatar. That being said, if, in your example, money for an army for self-defence is not coughed up because of strict principle, then neither the principle nor the budget will matter, because the hypothetical attacker - who'd likely, under that situation, become a successful conqueror - would be deciding the US' (or whatever they renamed it as subordinate polity) principle and budget instead, with no guaranteed, or likely, input from American citizens, at least not until they were deemed "assimilated" or "subjugated" to their satisfaction. However, building a huge standing military to engage in military adventurism, toppling "inconvenient" regimes, aiding "business environments" in foreign countries for big mega-corporations, "influencing" how other nations govern themselves, etc., along with a massive intelligence network, including huge surveillance programs (domestic surveillance as part of it), and drone attacks across the world (and not outright ruled out domestically by military spokesmen) is something I am STRONGLY against. In this regard, I think the modern Swiss military doctrine would be best - a military that can defend home soil exceptionally well from outside attack, but is never required to fight abroad.

Which is why we need a strong defense as a budget priority.  But I will definitely agree with the Libertarian non-interventionist platform there and we also are not getting bang for our buck when it comes to military spending - unneeded duplicates of equipment, pork-barrel spending for non-essential equipment.  Looks like Trump is improving that a little.  And we don't need military bases in 100 different countries either.

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15 hours ago, Patine said:

I do love that quote - that's why it's on my avatar. That being said, if, in your example, money for an army for self-defence is not coughed up because of strict principle, then neither the principle nor the budget will matter, because the hypothetical attacker - who'd likely, under that situation, become a successful conqueror - would be deciding the US' (or whatever they renamed it as subordinate polity) principle and budget instead, with no guaranteed, or likely, input from American citizens, at least not until they were deemed "assimilated" or "subjugated" to their satisfaction. However, building a huge standing military to engage in military adventurism, toppling "inconvenient" regimes, aiding "business environments" in foreign countries for big mega-corporations, "influencing" how other nations govern themselves, etc., along with a massive intelligence network, including huge surveillance programs (domestic surveillance as part of it), and drone attacks across the world (and not outright ruled out domestically by military spokesmen) is something I am STRONGLY against. In this regard, I think the modern Swiss military doctrine would be best - a military that can defend home soil exceptionally well from outside attack, but is never required to fight abroad.

While I agree that militaries are used way too much right now, Switzerland isn't a very good model because of their setup.  They are pretty much a mountain fortress.

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@ThePotatoWalrus @servo75 @pilight @Reagan04 @vcczar @Patine @jvikings1 @Bruce Fischer @MarcoCoolio @Sunnymentoaddict @CalebsParadox @LokiLoki22 @SeanFKennedy @chunkbuster11 @jnewt @SirLagsalott @Sanser2016 @michaelsdiamonds @Falcon @TruthOverlord @Take Me to La Riva

Alright we now move on to discuss proposals for Article 2, which details the criteria and responsibilities of the Executive Branch. 

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No Amendments at this time as I believe our government structure is exactly appropriate, Mr. Chair.

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I would do away with the electoral college and have the president elected by popular vote.

I would put a time limit on the senate's "advise and consent" power.  If they haven't taken a vote within a year of appointment, it would be considered an approval of the appointment.

I would clarify the president's ability to remove executive appointees: "The principal officer in each of the Executive Departments, and all persons connected with the diplomatic service, may be removed from office at the pleasure of the President. All other civil officers of the Executive Departments may be removed at any time by the President, or other appointing power, when their services are unnecessary, or for dishonesty, incapacity. inefficiency, misconduct, or neglect of duty; and when so removed, the removal shall be reported to the Senate, together with the reasons therefor."

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46 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

No Amendments at this time as I believe our government structure is exactly appropriate, Mr. Chair.

You have a lot of faith in the functionality, working, and competence of a system that has ended up failing the nation again and again.... :P

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Just now, Patine said:

You have a lot of faith in the functionality, working, and competence of a system that has ended up failing the nation again and again.... :P

I dissent from you there sir, I cannot think of a time it has failed.

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23 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

I dissent from you there sir, I cannot think of a time it has failed.

Which history books have you been reading? They've obviously not been the ones I have, and I would question their accuracy and practical, objective view of affairs...

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58 minutes ago, pilight said:

I would put a time limit on the senate's "advise and consent" power.  If they haven't taken a vote within a year of appointment, it would be considered an approval of the appointment.

We'll call it the "Merrick Garland rule?" :D Legislation and appointments have to be affirmatively approved by the Senate.

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2 minutes ago, servo75 said:

We'll call it the "Merrick Garland rule?" :D Legislation and appointments have to be affirmatively approved by the Senate.

And it's become yet another tool in the kit of modern political obstructionists in the Capitol, who like to see the idea of sabotaging anything the other party, no matter what it may be, in any way possible, as a more valuable goal than constructive lawmaking and governance, and where political ideology and partisan loyalty are greater virtues than good statesmanship and responsible political stewardship. I've seen this tendency in both parties of recent years, and I find it a disgusting and vile political trend.

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32 minutes ago, servo75 said:

We'll call it the "Merrick Garland rule?" :D Legislation and appointments have to be affirmatively approved by the Senate.

With 125 vacancies in the federal court system, some stretching back more than a decade, it's time for a change.  As for Garland, I would be fine with appointments expiring at the end of a presidential term under this rule.

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4 hours ago, Reagan04 said:

No Amendments at this time as I believe our government structure is exactly appropriate, Mr. Chair.

I agree!  I think Article II is fine as-is, and getting rid of the Electoral College would be a big mistake; it would never pass 38 states anyway.

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10 minutes ago, servo75 said:

I agree!  I think Article II is fine as-is, and getting rid of the Electoral College would be a big mistake; it would never pass 38 states anyway.

I have no idea how you can cling to such an institution as the Electoral College, given several of the reasons by it's creation (which are no longer relevant, and shameful episodes of the past that many political historians like to conveniently brush under the carpet, such as placating Slave States to ratify the Constitution by selling the Northern States short and giving the South disproportionate influence on the EC, especially with the vile 3/5 person law, giving those states "votes" for the statistical purposes of Electors and Congressman for people not allowed to vote at all, and at least one actively insulting to voters that actually outright failed in it's intended purpose in 2016, that being Alexander Hamilton saying that the EC will prevent a populist President, as Hamilton looked down on the common voter from an elitist high horse), that necessitates, by practical scheme, the entrenchment and unchallengibilty of the institution of a two-party duopoly, because, in it's current form, multi-party politics is de facto unfeasable, and, all plaintiff cries of "representing the small and stopping urban areas from dominating," a President who doesn't win over 50% of the popular vote (of which only George W. Bush in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 have done so since the end of the 80's, since Perot's intake of the popular vote in '90's denied Bill Clinton that claim), cannot truly and honestly claim to have the "mandate of the people of the country."

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Since @pilight has said much of what I would propose, 

I'll propose the following. Most of these, I'm proposing just to see if they can be forged into something workable:

1) Hold presidential elections every two years, for a total of eight years. 

2) President must request a declaration of war within a month of ordering a military action

3) The president can only veto law that is unconstitutional, rather than veto law because of ideological differences. The president vetoes the law, Congress can override the law as it is allowed to do so. I'd like to add that the SC can be counseled on the constitutionality of that law by Congress or the President. 

4) The Vice President is purely of the executive branch, and will not serve in the Senate. Additionally, the VP's duties are only those also of the president, and only those delegated by the president to him or her. 

5) Return to the original selection of the VP by which the VP is the second place finisher in an election, even if they are of separate parties. I don't believe in winner takes all systems, especially when a majority can lose an election. 

6) Allow citizens not born in the US to become president if they have been US citizens for 35 years. 

7) A president can be declared unfit and removed by a unanimous cabinet or by 2/3 of the Senate. 

8) The leader of the opposing major party must be offered a position in the victor's presidential cabinet or cabinet-level position. If the opposition leader declines, he or she may appoint a substitute that is approved by the recently elected president. Again, I don't believe in winner takes all elections. 

9) The president cannot pardon people that have committed major crimes or anyone attached to his or her own administration at anytime of his or her presidency. 

10) The president must fill all open vacancies in all areas in which he or she can make an appointment. The president has a month to make a nomination, and the Congress has a month to hear and confirm/deny the nomination. If the Congress does not hear or confirm/deny within the month, then the person nominated is automatically confirmed. 

Anyway, here's a list of proposals to be debated at your leisure. I'll gladly part with any that are soundly unpopular, and I'm interested in any amendments to these that might make them workable for the majority of the delegates. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Since @pilight has said much of what I would propose, 

I'll propose the following. Most of these, I'm proposing just to see if they can be forged into something workable:

1) Hold presidential elections every two years, for a total of eight years. 

2) President must request a declaration of war within a month of ordering a military action

3) The president can only veto law that is unconstitutional, rather than veto law because of ideological differences. The president vetoes the law, Congress can override the law as it is allowed to do so. I'd like to add that the SC can be counseled on the constitutionality of that law by Congress or the President. 

4) The Vice President is purely of the executive branch, and will not serve in the Senate. Additionally, the VP's duties are only those also of the president, and only those delegated by the president to him or her. 

5) Return to the original selection of the VP by which the VP is the second place finisher in an election, even if they are of separate parties. I don't believe in winner takes all systems, especially when a majority can lose an election. 

6) Allow citizens not born in the US to become president if they have been US citizens for 35 years. 

7) A president can be declared unfit and removed by a unanimous cabinet or by 2/3 of the Senate. 

8) The leader of the opposing major party must be offered a position in the victor's presidential cabinet or cabinet-level position. If the opposition leader declines, he or she may appoint a substitute that is approved by the recently elected president. Again, I don't believe in winner takes all elections. 

9) The president cannot pardon people that have committed major crimes or anyone attached to his or her own administration at anytime of his or her presidency. 

10) The president must fill all open vacancies in all areas in which he or she can make an appointment. The president has a month to make a nomination, and the Congress has a month to hear and confirm/deny the nomination. If the Congress does not hear or confirm/deny within the month, then the person nominated is automatically confirmed. 

Anyway, here's a list of proposals to be debated at your leisure. I'll gladly part with any that are soundly unpopular, and I'm interested in any amendments to these that might make them workable for the majority of the delegates. 

 

 

About number 2 (I'm not a warmonger by nature, but this is important) - what about the instance of a sudden attack or declaration of war from an enemy power first - not like Polk's engineered casus belli scheme, mind - but more like Pearl Harbour?

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11 minutes ago, Patine said:

About number 2 (I'm not a warmonger by nature, but this is important) - what about the instance of a sudden attack or declaration of war from an enemy power first - not like Polk's engineered casus belli scheme, mind - but more like Pearl Harbour?

Maybe you're misreading my statement. It allows for that. If one was Pearl Harbored, the president can respond immediately, but must declare war within a month of military self-defense or retaliation. This is to prevent undeclared wars, which we've had many in our history. 

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Just now, vcczar said:

Maybe you're misreading my statement. It allows for that. If one was Pearl Harbored, the president can respond immediately, but must declare war within a month of military self-defense or retaliation. This is to prevent undeclared wars, which we've had many in our history. 

Ah, I did misread it. Thanks for clarifying.

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I'd like to propose a procedure to recall a President.  Completely open to compromising on this but my original proposal will be as follows:

 

In order to start the process, BOTH Senators from 5 different states must call for a recall.  After the ten Senators have called for a recall, they must collect the signatures of citizens across the country.  The amount of signatures required shall be equal to 15% of the votes cast in the previous election.  The election will then be held within the next 6 months with the winner finishing the remainder of the term.

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1 hour ago, jnewt said:

I'd like to propose a procedure to recall a President.  Completely open to compromising on this but my original proposal will be as follows:

 

In order to start the process, BOTH Senators from 5 different states must call for a recall.  After the ten Senators have called for a recall, they must collect the signatures of citizens across the country.  The amount of signatures required shall be equal to 15% of the votes cast in the previous election.  The election will then be held within the next 6 months with the winner finishing the remainder of the term.

I think it should be simplified. A recall would require at least one senator from a majority of states to present a petition signed by a certain % of the voting population. This puts the initiative on the people wanting a recall and not the senate wanting a recall. 

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4 hours ago, servo75 said:

I agree!  I think Article II is fine as-is, and getting rid of the Electoral College would be a big mistake; it would never pass 38 states anyway.

It would be illegal for a state to elect their governor using a system wherein counties give electors based on population the way the presidential election does with states.  As Justice Douglas said in Gray v. Sanders, "The concept of political equality...can mean only one thing—one person, one vote."

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17 hours ago, Patine said:

About number 2 (I'm not a warmonger by nature, but this is important) - what about the instance of a sudden attack or declaration of war from an enemy power first - not like Polk's engineered casus belli scheme, mind - but more like Pearl Harbour?

Congress declared war the next day after Pearl Harbor.

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