Wednesday, July 8, 2009

History Lessons #3

Okay, this one is actually about going against historical precedence.

I love the United States Constitution. It is an amazing document, that is a light source for any people determined to maintain freedom. It has within it a process of amendment which is carefully laid out and wisely hard to carry out.

There has been only one way in which an amendment to the Constitution has been proposed and then passed. The proposed amendment passes through both legislative houses by a 2/3 majority. Then it has gone to the states for a vote. This is the predence.

But, what if we were to go farther back into history then just the precedence set in the amendment process. If we go back to the actual document we find there another way to propose and then pass an amendment. A Constitutional Convention can be called for by 2/3 of the legislatures of the States. At that Convention the amendment(s) can be proposed and then taken to the states for a 3/4 majority vote.

Why would I propose such a thing? Well, it's because the amendment I would like to see to the Constitution is term limits for federal Senators and Representatives. Why would those who hold those positions vote to end their long reigns? The answer is a whole lot of them wouldn't. So, I propose that it is not only a viable but perhaps the best way to go about proposing this amendment, for such a process to start at the state level.

The proposal itself would necessarily need some specific guidelines beyond just the term limits. The reason that voting in our Representatives was such an important part of the Constitution was because it made them accountable to the citizens they represent. If they did not represent you well you would just vote them out. But, the political machine seems so entrenched now. You don't need the publics confidence as much as you just need money either personally or from higher up sources. A good friend of mine, a teacher, (shout out to Ranae) made the awesome suggestion of including performance pay as an option to keep them more accountable to us, the people they represent. Performance pay is something Government officials keep trying to shove at teachers:)

Anyway, such a proposal would have to take into account a lot of important points of consideration. But, I do think it's about time we look at reforming the way that the House of Reps and the Senate are run. The founders never envisioned it to be a club resting on the laurels of our taxes. The time might be ripe for the amendment process to go through the states, as there are many states now seriously envoking their 10th Amendment rights.

It would be hard, but most things of great historical significance are. Wouldn't it be awesome!

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