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vcczar

A More Perfect Constitution

A More Perfect Union Poll  

23 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of Larry Sabato's 23 proposed amendments do you agree with?

    • Expand the Senate to 136 members to be more representative: (10 most populous states +2 Senators; 15 next most populous states +1 Senator, and DC gets 1 Senator).
    • Appoint all former Presidents and Vice Presidents to the new office of “National Senator.” (would increase the number above)
    • Mandate non-partisan redistricting for House elections to enhance electoral competition.
    • Lengthen House terms to 3 years (from 2) and set Senate terms to coincide with all Presidential elections, so the entire House and Senate would be elected at the same time as the President.
    • Expand the size of the House to approximately 1,000 members (from current 435), so House members can be closer to their constituents, and to level the playing field in House elections.
    • Establish term limits in the House and Senate to restore the Founders’ principle of frequent rotation in office.
    • Add a Balanced Budget Amendment to encourage fiscal fairness to future generations.
    • Create a Continuity of Government procedure to provide for replacement Senators and Congresspeople in the event of extensive deaths or incapacitation.
    • Establish a new 6-year, 1-time Presidential term with the option for the President to seek 2 additional years in an up/down referendum of the American people.
    • Limit some Presidential war-making powers and expand Congress’s oversight of war-making.
    • Give the President a line-item veto.
    • Allow men and women not born in the U.S. to run for President or Vice President after having been a citizen for 20 years.
    • Eliminate lifetime tenure for federal judges in favor of non-renewable 15-year terms for all federal judges.
    • Grant Congress the power to set a mandatory retirement age for all federal judges.
    • Expand the size of the Supreme Court from 9 to 12 to be more representative.
    • Give federal judges guaranteed cost of living increases so pay is never an issue.
    • Write a new constitutional article specifically for the politics of the American system.
    • Adopt a regional, staggered lottery system, over 4 months, for Presidential party nominations to avoid the destructive front-loading of primaries.
    • Mend the Electoral College by granting more populated states additional electors, to preserve the benefits of the College while minimizing the chances a President will win without a majority of the popular vote.
    • None of the above
      0
  2. 2. Continuation of the above...

    • Reform campaign financing by preventing wealthy candidates from financing their campaigns, and by mandating partial public financing for House and Senate campaigns.
    • Adopt an automatic registration system for all qualified American citizens to guarantee their right to vote is not abridged by bureaucratic requirements.
    • Create a Constitutional requirement that all able-bodied young Americans devote at least 2 years of their lives in service to the country.
      0
    • Convene a new Constitutional Convention using the state-based mechanism left to us by the Framers in the current Constitution.
    • None of the above
  3. 3. Other questions

    • The Constitution of the Founding Fathers is more suitable for 21st Century America than that proposed by Sabato
    • The Constitutional Amendments proposed by Sabato are more suitable for 21st Century America than the original Constitution
    • I have a 24th amendment to propose!!! (Describe it below in the comments)


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New poll

In my class today, I had my students read and discuss some Larry Sabato's Constitutional proposals. Here's a laundry list of them: http://www.amoreperfectconstitution.com/23_proposals.htm 

Even if you disagree with them, I encourage you to read his book. He makes some convincing arguments for some of them. You can also google, "More Perfect Union" and "Sabato" to see his blog entries on them, which are short versions of his arguments from his blog. 

BTW: He followed me on Twitter two weeks ago, after I had already assigned this reading for class. 

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I agree that de-politicizing the house redistricting process is an urgent need, and I like auto-registering all eligible adults.  But otherwise, none of these proposals seemed like magic cure-alls to me.

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13 hours ago, vcczar said:

New poll

In my class today, I had my students read and discuss some Larry Sabato's Constitutional proposals. Here's a laundry list of them: http://www.amoreperfectconstitution.com/23_proposals.htm 

Even if you disagree with them, I encourage you to read his book. He makes some convincing arguments for some of them. You can also google, "More Perfect Union" and "Sabato" to see his blog entries on them, which are short versions of his arguments from his blog. 

BTW: He followed me on Twitter two weeks ago, after I had already assigned this reading for class. 

I personally think a new, streamlined, and radically-reformatted entirely new document made for the modern day and age and showing learning ALL of the lessons over 270 years and not clinging to a tonne of baggage by habit, tradition, or sense of retention, is what I'd do.

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7 minutes ago, Patine said:

I personally think a new, streamlined, and radically-reformatted entirely new document made for the modern day and age and showing learning ALL of the lessons over 270 years and not clinging to a tonne of baggage by habit, tradition, or sense of retention, is what I'd do.

I agree. However, I wouldn't ignore the things that actually work well or some of the underlining ideas that work well, even if we deviate from the model made for the year 1787. Jefferson thought every generation should have a new constitutional convention. He would agree that our conversation was made for 1787 and would probably not even be a good fit for even 1807. 

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Just now, vcczar said:

I agree. However, I wouldn't ignore the things that actually work well or some of the underlining ideas that work well, even if we deviate from the model made for the year 1787. Jefferson thought every generation should have a new constitutional convention. He would agree that our conversation was made for 1787 and would probably not even be a good fit for even 1807. 

I think one BIG problem (and one very few proposals for amending, revising, or rewriting the U.S. Constitution ever want to address - in fact, I noticed several of the above ideas, like many other proposed revisions, would only compound this issue and make it worse) is that U.S. Presidents are too powerful as individuals and, other than possibly losing re-election, almost never suffer any significant consequences for anything they do in office, and any possible consequences are near impossible to realistically levy - and the one procedure available is bad comedy and political theatre of calling allies due and closing ranks in parties, and has NOTHNIG to do with due process or justice. Plus, Presidents have too many easy ways to circumvent Congress and even thumb their noses at the people - and get away with it. I find this HIGHLY inappropriate and even disgusting for the head of a REPUBLIC - not a MONARCHY, FEUDAL STATE, FASCIST DICTATORSHIP, or THEOCRACY - and a head-of-state who is supposed to be empowered and chosen by, and accountable and responsible to the people, and, a often forgotten title of office they hold, a PUBLIC SERVANT.

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@vcczar What do you think on this issue - which most people, Americans or not, seem to take the status quo of U.S. Presidential powers, privileges, and immunities, for granted, and cutting them down significantly is RARELY in major proposed reform packages that I've seen out there.

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30 minutes ago, Patine said:

@vcczar What do you think on this issue - which most people, Americans or not, seem to take the status quo of U.S. Presidential powers, privileges, and immunities, for granted, and cutting them down significantly is RARELY in major proposed reform packages that I've seen out there.

You know I'm going to be aligned similar to you on such things.  

I haven't had the time to read your entire comments. Honestly, as insightful and intelligent as you are, you wouldn't pass an "ease of reading" test with editors or publishers, even if you wrote something that was extremely important to them. I know you very much want to communicate and convince, but writing is part seduction when achieving these goals. This means you need to consider your audience when writing, otherwise it's masturbation rather than seduction.

Here's a simple strategy that I think will increase your readership and help you gain converts: Write so that your reader never has to re-read a sentence. A long, winding sentence will derail most readers. If you have to have more than three clauses, it's probably better to break it up into two or more digestible sentences. 

A simple sentence will often allow for more emphasis and is easier to recall than a voyage of a sentence.

I mean no disrespect, because I want to be a more active reader of your comments. However, I've gotten to the point where I just stop if I have to re-read the sentence for accurate comprehension. I'm not the most concise write either, but I try to make it a point to be easy to read. This is not to say that I don't also make this mistake that I am accusing you of making. 

I don't mean to single you out, but I think I'm much more picky on how you write out of anyone on this forum because what you are saying is so important. I would ignore an author of cluttered writing if they had nothing of value to add. 

 

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6 minutes ago, vcczar said:

You know I'm going to be aligned similar to you on such things.  

I haven't had the time to read your entire comments. Honestly, as insightful and intelligent as you are, you wouldn't pass an "ease of reading" test with editors or publishers, even if you wrote something that was extremely important to them. I know you very much want to communicate and convince, but writing is part seduction when achieving these goals. This means you need to consider your audience when writing, otherwise it's masturbation rather than seduction.

Here's a simple strategy that I think will increase your readership and help you gain converts: Write so that your reader never has to re-read a sentence. A long, winding sentence will derail most readers. If you have to have more than three clauses, it's probably better to break it up into two or more digestible sentences. 

A simple sentence will often allow for more emphasis and is easier to recall than a voyage of a sentence.

I mean no disrespect, because I want to be a more active reader of your comments. However, I've gotten to the point where I just stop if I have to re-read the sentence for accurate comprehension. I'm not the most concise write either, but I try to make it a point to be easy to read. This is not to say that I don't also make this mistake that I am accusing you of making. 

I don't mean to single you out, but I think I'm much more picky on how you write out of anyone on this forum because what you are saying is so important. I would ignore an author of cluttered writing if they had nothing of value to add. 

 

No disrespect taken. I know that's a flaw of my writing, and one I have yet to conquer. And I can indeed take constructive criticism, and discern it from mere slander and insults, unlike many today (including the current occupant of the White House). I just have a neurotic thing that I won't get enough "information" into each sentence, all linked together in one place. It is something I do need to work on, and I am well aware. Another online friend (not from this forum, but an online game) tells me the same, and she's a published fiction author.

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13 minutes ago, Patine said:

No disrespect taken. I know that's a flaw of my writing, and one I have yet to conquer. And I can indeed take constructive criticism, and discern it from mere slander and insults, unlike many today (including the current occupant of the White House). I just have a neurotic thing that I won't get enough "information" into each sentence, all linked together in one place. It is something I do need to work on, and I am well aware. Another online friend (not from this forum, but an online game) tells me the same, and she's a published fiction author.

Yeah, we wouldn't be saying this if you weren't worthy of being read. 

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15 hours ago, SilentLiberty said:

A few of these are pretty solid imo. The term limits for the house and senate especially, and that's where I'd start personally. 

I get the sentiment for term limits, but I'm cautious on that they will produce the effects we want. I feel there should other forms of reforms to insure that corrupt incumbents will not always be elected. I'm thinking reinstating the fairness doctrine for the digital age, better public funding of campaigns so non wealthy individuals can run without having to fundraise. 

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7 hours ago, vcczar said:

You know I'm going to be aligned similar to you on such things.  

I haven't had the time to read your entire comments. Honestly, as insightful and intelligent as you are, you wouldn't pass an "ease of reading" test with editors or publishers, even if you wrote something that was extremely important to them. I know you very much want to communicate and convince, but writing is part seduction when achieving these goals. This means you need to consider your audience when writing, otherwise it's masturbation rather than seduction.

Here's a simple strategy that I think will increase your readership and help you gain converts: Write so that your reader never has to re-read a sentence. A long, winding sentence will derail most readers. If you have to have more than three clauses, it's probably better to break it up into two or more digestible sentences. 

A simple sentence will often allow for more emphasis and is easier to recall than a voyage of a sentence.

I mean no disrespect, because I want to be a more active reader of your comments. However, I've gotten to the point where I just stop if I have to re-read the sentence for accurate comprehension. I'm not the most concise write either, but I try to make it a point to be easy to read. This is not to say that I don't also make this mistake that I am accusing you of making. 

I don't mean to single you out, but I think I'm much more picky on how you write out of anyone on this forum because what you are saying is so important. I would ignore an author of cluttered writing if they had nothing of value to add. 

 

I can use one word that acts as a summation of your point here:

Histrionics

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1 hour ago, Reagan04 said:

I can use one word that acts as a summation of your point here:

Histrionics

A very good word to bring up. It's a quality of presentation that many, many politicians and pundits of all stripes down the political spectrum, with more likelihood on both extremities, have just inserted in place of facts, evidence, sense, or reason in presenting their political beliefs. It's a true degradation and breakdown of political credibility in the modern day and age.

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Repeal the 16th Amendment

Repeal the 17th Amendment

End Birthright Citizenship

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Appoint all former Presidents and Vice Presidents to the new office of “National Senator.” 

I oppose this for the reason that I am only favoring expanding the senate, when new states are admitted to the union.

Otherwise I would like to see the creation of an advisory constitutional council in which all former Presidents and Vice Presidents and former Supreme Court Justices shall be seated. So the current Constitutional Council would be made up by: Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton, Carter, Vice Presidents Biden, Cheney, Gore, Quayle, Mondale and former Supreme  Court Justices Kennedy, Stevens,  Souter and O'Connor. The individuals should be allowed to resign for personal reasons like seeking elective office again.

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12 hours ago, pilight said:

What would you replace it with?

Citizenship test for all people could be one option.  Another could base it upon the citizenship status of one's parents.

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1 hour ago, jvikings1 said:

Citizenship test for all people could be one option. 

There goes 70-80% of current American citizens into a huge bulk of stateless people. I've read the citizenship test they give new immigrants to the U.S. Statistically, the vast majority of Americans would fail it, many VERY badly. Of course, vast bulks of indefinite stateless people being legally and deliberately created, allowed, and considered acceptable (the Romani of Eastern Europe until Communist Era "processing, the Jews, Homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Communists, and, Socialists of Germany and occupied and satellite areas under the Nuremberg Laws and similar legislation, many indigenous people during the Colonial Era, the Poles in the WW2 General Government (a Nazi creation to govern occupied Poland with a unique legal structure from other Nazi occupied areas), the Arabs of the Palestinian Territories, the ethnic Koreans born and raised in Japan, some for many generations), is, by the very action and volition of doing so, effectively a grave crime against humanity, and I'm afraid I can't support you casually declaring the engineering of such a crime to be perfectly acceptable. Then again, hard Nationalism, by nature, regardless of the nation or proposed nation involved,  tends to breed sociopathy and other lack of empathy and the better human qualities, and thus, I tend to consider hard Nationalists, again regardless of the nation or proposed nation involved, should all be on "watch," like various "terrorist," or "extremist," because they will often be prone to support atrocities and vile, inhuman acts, or be convinced to support them, because they'd only be happening to "other nationalities," and thus the roots of horrid are ALWAYS at least potentially resident in hard Nationalists. I can't get behind their ideology or some of the sociopathic, inhuman, and evil things, often without even considering what it is they ARE even saying, because they're taught to potentially and easily de-humanize those not of their nation by nature. I can't support it, even though you so, misguidedly, I think, support it.

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On ‎2‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 9:39 PM, vcczar said:

New poll

In my class today, I had my students read and discuss some Larry Sabato's Constitutional proposals. Here's a laundry list of them: http://www.amoreperfectconstitution.com/23_proposals.htm 

Even if you disagree with them, I encourage you to read his book. He makes some convincing arguments for some of them. You can also google, "More Perfect Union" and "Sabato" to see his blog entries on them, which are short versions of his arguments from his blog. 

BTW: He followed me on Twitter two weeks ago, after I had already assigned this reading for class. 

I have to admit, though Sabato proposes it here, and I've seen it proposed quite a few other places as an amendment, I am highly dubious of effectiveness of the "a President serves six years, but only ever one-term" idea. Case-in-point: this has been a central aspect of the Mexican Constitution since the 1917 Revolution, one so entrenched in their political scheme it has NEVER been violated since the end of the Revolution or even seriously considered to be breached or changed (with Porofirrio Diaz having been the last Mexican President to serve multiple terms, being ejected from office in 1910), but that didn't stop the PRI from ruling as a 71-year PARTY dynasty and becoming, or time, entrenched, and using the benefits of PARTY incumbency to gain corrupt power and stack the deck against their opponents electorally and institutionally, even though every individual PRI PRESIDENT obeyed the term-limits dutifully.

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@HonestAbe This might be interesting to you based on your post today. @Actinguy might find this interesting to. I don't think either of you were on this forum when I posted this. 

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6 minutes ago, vcczar said:

@HonestAbe This might be interesting to you based on your post today. @Actinguy might find this interesting to. I don't think either of you were on this forum when I posted this. 

Actually, I did vote on this one.  It was a fun thought experiment.

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