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a constitutional amendment to fix congress

March 11th, 2014 (10:51 pm)


Congress is broken. Every two years, we keep sending the same people back to the same building, where they say the same incredibly stupid things, and we wonder how in the world they could have been elected once, let alone multiple times.  The problem is bad in the Senate, but it seems worse in the house. How do they keep getting reelected?

 

One answer, of course, is gerrymandering. The district lines are drawn to give the party that holds the seat the best chance of keeping it.  One solution, of course, would to mandate a more fair boundary, say a law that in each state the district boundaries must be drawn so that they each contain the same number of voters, and have the smallest total length that allows for that even division of voters.

 

What would really help, though, and this would require a constitutional amendment, would be to limit how many terms a person could run from a given party. That way, if a person is doing a fantastic job in Washington, and is really popular in his or her home district, they could keep going back.  They would just have to do it as an independent.  If a person is just a party hack, they would not be able to rise to high leadership. Those in high leadership would not be in a party. I would suggest on term for senators and two for representatives, before they had to stand on their own record.  That would give them plenty of record to stand on.  If they are unable to raise enough money and interest based on that record, they clearly have not been doing their job.

 

Now, they will still have their own beliefs to guide them, so some will be further to the right and some to the left, but they will not be beholden to the party, and not stuck owing their whole career, and especially not their future career, to the party.

 

Another potential benefit to this is that if there is a very popular incumbent, all parties will get a voice at debates, not just the (independent) incumbent and the d and r. this is all to the good. and the law would apply to all parties, so that if the green party manages to get a senator, that senator would have to run as an independent the next time around.  A republican second term representative couldn't run for a third term as a libertarian, but a first termer could run for his second term as from a new party. 

 

So that's my proposed amendment for the day.  Comments? Questions?