As a result of serious flaws in our electoral process and undemocratic provisions in our Constitution, we have a broken and dysfunctional government that is not capable of addressing the problems we face as a nation. "Representation for All" and/or other forms of ranked choice voting will fix the flaws in our electoral system and enable us to elect a Congress and state legislatures that are truly democratic . A "Democracy Amendment" will make our Constitution a living document and a truly democratic document. These two reforms combined will result in a Congress that represents people, not corporations, and make the process of passing the additional amendments needed to make our Constitution truly democratic, replacing a system designed for gridlock, with a system that will make it easier for us to effectively address the problems we face - now and in the future.
The best means of electing a Congress that fully realizes President Adams' ideal "Representative Assembly" is to allow every voter who is governed by the laws passed by Congress (or a state legislature) to select any member of both the House of Representatives and the Senate as their representative and then give members of each chamber weighted votes based on the number of voters who have selected them as their representative. This will ensure that every voter is represented by representatives and senators who share their values, views, and opinions.
Putting such a system in place can most easily be accomplished within a system of ranked choice voting, with multiple-member congressional districts, that also allows voters to cast write-in votes for any candidate for the Senate and the House of Representatives, including candidates from other states and congressional districts, among their ranked preferences.
Write-in votes for candidates in states or districts other than a voter’s own state or district should not be counted for purposes of deciding which candidates are elected from those states or districts. Only the votes of voters residing within a state or congressional district would be counted to determine the winners of elections to the House and Senate from each state and district. In the event that a candidate from another state or district does not win election, a voter’s lower ranked choices would be utilized to determine which senator or representative will represent that voter.
Write-in votes from voters in other states and congressional districts would be then be added to the in-state and in-district vote totals of winning candidates and every member of the House and Senate would be given a weighted vote on all matters that come to a vote within each chamber based on the cumulative number of voters they represent.
In fairly large state legislatures, with ten or twenty members being elected from each district, giving voters the option of voting for candidates from other districts is less important.
THE FAIR REPRESENTATION ACT (H.R. 4000). This bill requires (1) that ranked choice voting (a system in which voters rank candidates in order of preference) be used for all elections for Members of the House of Representatives, (2) that states entitled to six or more Representatives establish districts such that three to five Representatives are elected from each district, and (3) that states entitled to fewer than six Representatives elect all Representatives on an at-large basis. The bill also requires that congressional redistricting be conducted in accordance with a plan developed by (1) a state-established independent commission; or (2) if such a commission fails to enact a plan, a three-judge panel from a U.S. District Court.
THE RANKED CHOICE VOTING ACT (H.R. 4464). The Ranked Choice Voting Act would establish the use of ranked choice voting in elections for the offices of both Senator and Representative in Congress. (The Fair Representation Act covers only the election of members of the House of Representatives.) The Ranked Choice Voting Act does not provide for multiple-member districts or at-large elections for the U. S. House of Representatives. (The Fair Representation Act does.)
Passing both acts would be possible and helpful - including senators in ranked choice voting and providing for multiple-member districts and at-large elections for the U. S. House of Representatives.
Unless and until the Fair Representation Act is enacted, we encourage members of Congress to support the repeal of the Uniform Congressional District Act (passed in 1967). This would allow state legislatures, on a state-by-state basis, to enact ranked-choice voting with multiple-member districts or at-large, state-wide elections for members of the U.S. House of Representatives. As more and more states enact this basic reform, the benefits of making America truly democratic will become more and more evident.
Requiring super majorities in both houses of Congress and ratification by three-fourths of the states is undemocratic - allowing a minority to overrule the will of the at every step of the process. The fact that the cumbersome amendment process was put in place at the time the Constitution was ratified is an unusual form of tyranny - allowing the dead to put limits on the living. The dead have no right to rule the living.
The first step in making our government more genuinely democratic is to make the process of amending our Constitution more democratic. Any amendment that has the support of one-third of the members of Congress should be voted on by the people at the next general election. Amendments that receive a majority of the votes cast in a nationwide referendum would be ratified.
Amending the amendment process to make it truly democratic will serve as a "gateway" reform - making it easier to enact the other amendments to our Constitution that are needed to make our government our own.
Article V of the Constitution of the United States is amended to read as follows:
Whenever the members of Congress shall deem it necessary or advisable, as indicated by the votes of one-fourth or more of the members, they shall propose amendments to this Constitution. Proposed amendments shall take effect upon ratification by a majority vote of the citizens of the United States. Referendums on proposed amendments shall be conducted as part of the next nationwide general election.
Amending the process of amending the Constitution to make it democratic will not, in and of itself, address all of the other undemocratic elements in the Constitution, but it will make the process of getting the other amendments ratified democratic. With a majority of the people able to enact the other changes needed to make our government truly democratic, our Constitution will be a living document that reflects the will of the people. Not everyone will agree with these other proposed amendments. If a majority of voters are opposed to one or more of these reforms, they will not pass. But the process of "providing new guards for our future security" will be accomplished in a truly democratic manner.
The following amendments to be necessary to make our government a true democracy:
AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO EXTEND "REPRESENTATION FOR ALL" TO THE U. S. SENATE
Extending "representation for all" and weighted votes to the U. S. Senate will require a constitutional amendment. It will be easier to do that once we have made the amendment process more democratic.
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 five 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.
AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO 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.
AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO 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 near super-majorities in both houses of Congress 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.