Signed in as:
Signed in as:
Numerous amendments to our constitution will be necessary to remove all of the antidemocratic provisions embedded in our Constitution by the Framers. The amendment process laid out in article 5 of our Constitution is itself antidemocratic in that it requires super majorities at every step of the process and makes no provision for the people to propose amendments. The first amendment that is needed, therefore, is an Article V Amendment to amend the amendment process. (Try saying that five times fast.)
The Congress, whenever a majority of the members of either house shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution. The citizens of the United States may propose amendments to this Constitution, whenever two percent or more of the number of citizens who voted in the last presidential election sign petitions affixed to a proposed amendment or electronically sign statements of support for the proposed amendment. The legislatures of states with a combined population equal to a majority of the total population of the United States of America, as determined by the last census, may propose amendment or call a convention for proposing amendments. If calling for a convention, the resolutions of the several states must have identical wording and provide for the number of delegates each state may send to the convention to be equal to the number of seats held by each state in the House of Representative, for delegates to be elected in statewide elections using ranked choice voting, for each delegate to the convention to cast a single vote on each issue that comes before the convention, and for only those amendments approved by a majority of the delegates to the convention to be adopted and submitted for ratification by the people of the United States.
In each case, a proposed amendment shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the people of the United States in statewide referendums to be conducted nationwide on the fourth day of July for amendments proposed on or before the fourth day of April and on the fourth day of July in the following year for amendments proposed after the fourth day of April.
If a majority of the citizens nationwide vote to ratify an amendment, the citizens of any state where a majority of the citizens voted to reject the amendment may, by majority vote in a subsequent referendum, to be conducted no less than ninety days nor more than one hundred and twenty days after the amendment was ratified, may elect to withdraw from the United States of America.
Allowing constitutional amendments to be proposed by a simple majority vote in either the Senate or the House of Representatives or by the legislatures of states with a combined population equal to or greater than a majority of the total population and ratified by a majority vote of the people will bring our Constitution in line with two essential elements of a perfect democracy – majority rule and equal representation. A democratic amendment process is absolutely necessary for us to live up to one of the noble ideals upon which our government was founded – that governments derive their “just powers” from “the consent of the governed”.
By making the process of amending our Constitution itself antidemocratic, the fifty-five men who drafted and adopted our Constitution extended the grip of their decisions to posterity. The antidemocratic nature of the amendment process embedded in our Constitution makes it nearly impossible to change our form of government and locks an antidemocratic system in place – in effect, allowing the dead to govern the living.
In the quotation from George Mason (above) he mentioned that the failure to provide for amending our Constitution
“in an easy, regular, and Constitutional way” was preferable to trusting needed changes to “chance and violence”.
Such concerns have been echoed by some other prominent politicians:
At least so far, Burke’s dire warning has not proven accurate with regard to the Unites States. The Constitution of the United States is the oldest constitution in the world continuously in effect despite the fact that it is the most difficult constitution in the world to amend. With the painful and bloody exception of the Civil War, we have so far avoided massive violence is settling constitutional issues. That may not be the case much longer.
“We the people” adopted the Constitution, not “We the States.” We, the people, should be able to amend constitutions by simple majorities. Neither Congress nor state legislatures should be able to “check” our right to amend our Constitution.
Making the process of amending our Constitution truly democratic will not, in and of itself, address the other antidemocratic provisions in our Constitution. It will make the amendment process democratic. The will of the majority will then be consulted with regard to removing the other antidemocratic provisions from our Constitution. We will be able to decide democratically how democratic we want our country to be.
With that caveat in mind, here are the additional amendments that would be necessary to make America a true democracy:
ABOLISH THE SENATE, MERGE IT WITH THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, OR INSTITUTE PROXIES IN THE SENATE.
Abolishing the Senate or merging it with the U. S. House of Representatives to make Congress a unicameral legislature or implementing a system of proxies in the Senate will require a constitutional amendment.
The Senate is, in and of itself, the most undemocratic element in our form of government, with equal representation for states resulting in grossly unequal representation for the people of the larger states. Equal representation for the states in the Senate was “The Great Compromise” between the larger, more populous states (that wanted representation to be based on population) and the smaller states (that wanted to retain the equal representation for each state that they enjoyed under the Articles of Confederation). It was an unfortunate compromise, made necessary because the small states threatened to leave the convention (and the union) if they were denied equal suffrage in one house of Congress. It was designed to be an "elite" assembly (originally elected by state legislatures instead of directly by the people) to give the wealthy a check on the will of the people. Absent a desire to check or limit the will of the people, there is really no reason to have a bicameral (two chamber) legislature. We should move to a unicameral legislature.
The alternative (extending a system of proxies for citizens to the U. S. Senate) would make both the House of Representatives and the Senate considerably more reflective of the will of the people, which would presumably put an end to endless gridlock. It would also introduce an unnecessary redundancy. That might be necessary at least temporarily in order to get the necessary amendment enacted.
DO AWAY WITH THE PRESIDENT'S RIGHT TO VETO LEGISLATION.
Allowing one person (even if that person is the President) to overrule the votes of two-thirds or more of the members of Congress if the support for a bill falls one vote short of a super-majority in either the House or the Senate is extremely undemocratic. The same is true of governor's in the states. Requiring super-majorities in both houses of Congress (or a state legislature) to overcome the decisions of a single person borders on autocracy.
AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO ELECT THE PRESIDENT BY POPULAR VOTE USING RANKED CHOICE VOTING. The Electoral College has overruled the voters (the popular vote) in two of the last six presidential elections. This is blatantly undemocratic. It is time to abolish the Electoral College and move to direct election of the president and vice-president by the people, using ranked choice voting to ensure that the winning candidate has the support of a majority of voters (at some level of preference).
MAKE IT CLEAR THAT CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE. Corporations are not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. Corporations are not people. They are a form of business organization. The fact that five misguided, dark-robed Supreme Court Justices declared that corporations are people, with the same natural rights as human beings, does not make it so. The corporate form of business organization enables companies to reap enormous profits, grow very large, and become very powerful. We must prevent that power from being used to take control of our government.
States should take away the right of governors to veto legislation. And any states that have supermajority requirements of any kind should repeal the laws or provisions in a state constitution that allow a minority to overrule the will of the people in that manner.
The details of what other amendments need to be enacted in each state and the process for proposing and ratifying those amendments will vary from state to state.
If you want to get involved in our grassroots efforts to make America a more perfect democracy, please provide your email address. You will receive occasional emails with calls to action and updates regarding our progress. You will never be asked for a financial contribution. Your contact information will not be shared.