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A More Perfect Constitution Poll


vcczar
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A More Perfect Constitution Poll  

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  1. 1. Which of the following of Larry Sabato's 23 proposed Amendments would you support?

    • None of the below.
    • Expand the Senate to 136 members to have it be more representative. Somewhat proportional to state population and with 1 US Senator for DC.
    • Appoint all former presidents and vice presidents to the new office of "National Senator" to serve national interests instead of state interests and bring presidential experience to the Senate.
    • Mandate non-partisan redistricting for House elections to enhance electoral competition and lessen the influence of gerrymandering.
    • Lengthen the terms of representatives from two years to three years, 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 of Representatives to approximately 1,000 members from the current total of 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 the replacement of senators and representatives in the event of extensive deaths or incapacitation as may happen as a result of a major disaster such as a large scale nuclear attack.
    • Establish a new six-year, one-time presidential term with the option for the President to seek two additional years if approved by a referendum of the American people.
    • Limit some presidential war-making powers and expand Congress' oversight of war-making.
    • Give the president a line-item veto.
    • Allow people not born in the United States 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. (Description is kind of vague, I know)
    • Adopt a regional, staggered lottery system, over four months, for presidential party nominations to avoid the destructive front-loading of primaries.
    • Keep the Electoral College, as the previously suggested House and Senate reforms would preserve the benefits of the College while minimizing the chances a president will win without a majority of the popular vote.
    • Reform campaign financing by preventing wealthy candidates from financing their campaigns. Mandate partial public financing for House and Senate campaigns to lessen the impact of lobbyists and fundraisers.
    • Adopt an automatic registration system for all qualified American citizens to guarantee that their right to vote is not abridged by bureaucratic requirements.
    • Create a constitutional requirement that all able-bodied young Americans devote at least two years of their lives in service to the country.
    • Convene a new constitutional convention using the state-based mechanism left to Americans by the framers in the current constitution.
  2. 2. Do you have any proposed amendments? If so, post them as a comment.



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This poll is based on Larry Sabato's 2007 book of the title mentioned in the subject heading. I read this book in c. 2012-2013. It's pre-Trump/pre-COVID, just to let you know. Pre-Obama too. 

I've conducted this poll before in the old 270 Soft forums, but I thought I'd post it again in this forum as we have a lot of new people. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_More_Perfect_Constitution

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IMO, there’s nothing on that list of 23 that’s both good policy and amendment-worthy. I agree with some of those as policy, but would much rather see it codified into law so that future generations can change it without having to jump through hoops.

 

My proposed amendment would be a privacy amendment. I don’t have exact specifics but I’d like to see it expand the powers of the 4th to include digital data and more, ban facial recognition,  massively curtail both the public and private surveillance state, and more.

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I'd propose the following amendments:

  1. Require absolute transparency of candidates records in regards to police-judicial records, mental and physical health, education, occupational/business, and other similar records that I won't list at this time. This will not bar anyone from running for president, but these records must be made public to better inform the electorate of the candidate. 
  2. Require that all candidates are capable of acing a basic history multiple choice test on the Constitution + Amendments. 
  3. Require that US Supreme Court judge nominations must come from those serving as lower federal judges. 
  4. Require that US Senator candidates must have previous service as a federal political office holder or as a state political office holder. 
  5. Require that US Representative candidates have not held previous office in federal political office, so that the US Rep is either an incumbent US Rep or is someone residing in the State. 
  6. Require that all US Senators and US Reps have maintained primary residency, according to both income tax, postal, and US Census, in that state for a period of at least 5 years. 
  7. Abolish the electoral college for a popular vote, ranked choice system. This would also abolish official EV certification. 
  8. Move inauguration day up to January 1st to further reduce the Lame Duck period. 
  9. Require that every candidate for president that is on the 1st primary state's ballot will be on every primary state's ballot so that every state gets the same choice. Additionally, candidates can neither officially drop out of the race or officially endorse another candidate until the end of the last primary. 
  10. Any 3rd party with at least 1% in the average polls (pollsters to be determined by Congress and cannot be party-affiliated poll) will get equal debate coverage and convention coverage as the major parties. 
  11. Require that cabinet officers have previous experience as a federal or state administrators -- (ex. state Attorney General, Amb to France, Assistant Sec of Defense, etc). 
  12. Require uniformity for replacing suddent vacancies in federal positions such as US Sen and US Rep, requiring that the replacement be of the same party as the politician being replaced. 
  13. Require the president to veto legislation that is only unconstitutional, by making an official statement on the unconstitutionality of the billing being vetoed. This statement must come with the support of a Supreme Court Justice agreeing with the president. 
  14. Require a Congress overriding a veto making an official statement on the constitutionality of the billing being vetoed. This statement must come with the support of a Supreme Court Justice agreeing with the president. 
  15. Allow states to opt out of domestic-centric federal legislation, so long as they provide a state alternative that is reasonably equivalent or superior to the federal option. The Governor will have to make the case for the alternate, which will then be confirmed by both the relevant Committee in the US Sen and US House. 
  16. Allow states to opt out of domestic-centric federal legislation provided they are willing to accept a reduction of federal aid to their state. The relevant budgetary Committees will then be in charge with setting a penalty that will be based on the presumed importance of the law being nullified in the state. 
  17. Require that the minimum wage increase as inflation does. 
  18. Allow Congress to override executive/presidential actions with a 2/3 majority, provided that party calling for override submits proof that they have the votes in advance, to prevent wasting time by just showboating opposition to the presidential action. 
  19. Have Congress come up with some sort of penalty for politicians purposedly misleading the public with misinformation. The rules will need to be updated continually to keep up with the latest technologies and to better refine these rules ethically. This is mainly to prevent blatant lying by politicians like Trump who might say anything to get elected. Basically, the politicians will have to speak as if they're under oath at court at all times. Plain, honest truth, allowing for human error, obviously. 
  20. All elected and appointed federal politicians must be audited during and after their time in office to reduce corruption, uproot corruption, and to encourage ethical behavior. 
  21. All federal elections that are decided by less than 1% will face an automatic recount, including states in presidential elections.
  22. All federal elections will be ranked choice, so that no elected politicians will have fewer than 50% of the vote. 
  23. Reverse poll tax. Tax credit for voting to encourage voting. 

Ok, I'll just stop at 23 like Sabato did. I could probably list 300 amendments I'd support. 

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4 minutes ago, Rezi said:

Oh I would also propose an amendment to clarify the 2nd, the right of every American citizen to bear arms and formally establish the right to self defend with no way to be misinterpreted.

IIRC the Supreme Court clarified this in the 90s which is why I’m not anxious about Biden’s attempt to ban semi-automatic firearms. 

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9 minutes ago, DakotaHale said:

As a whole do you guys think ALL or NONE of these being adopted is more beneficial? I say none. 

I support almost all of them, which is why I liked the book enough to have created this poll more than once. I'd say my support for the amendments above that I do support aren't 100% as I'd alter them somewhat, but I think each one is a big improvement over what currently exists. For most of Sabato's Amendments, I would find it harder to argue against them than for them. For the most part, Sabato's kind of just updating the Constitution to have it better reflect the 21st century than the 18th century. 

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1. Eliminate single member house districts in house and states and replace legislative elections with proportional representation by state/country.

2. In Senate, gubernatorial,  and Presidential elections (If single member districts remain, House elections, too), implement ranked choice voting until candidates win at least 50% + 1 of the popular vote in the relevant election. 

3. Eliminate electoral college and replace with national popular vote. 

4. Amendment to protect the right to privacy, personal information, and data.

5. Amendment that makes election day a holiday/lengthen early voting to two weeks prior to election day holiday

6. Amendment that campaigns can only take place 90 days prior to election day

7. Corporations cannot donate to political campaigns and dark money groups are not permitted. All donations are public.

8. Allow for national referendums where if the vote on a particular measure is more than 2/3 of voting population (regardless of participants in the vote) it passes. 

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9 minutes ago, DakotaHale said:

IIRC the Supreme Court clarified this in the 90s which is why I’m not anxious about Biden’s attempt to ban semi-automatic firearms. 

It shall be clarified further then so that a liberal Supreme Court can’t overturn it 😈  

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2 minutes ago, DakotaHale said:

IIRC the Supreme Court clarified this in the 90s which is why I’m not anxious about Biden’s attempt to ban semi-automatic firearms. 

Wasn't that the court case that went 5-4? Which means, in a different court it could have just gone 4-5. I think to ensure that a court would go 9-0 sustaining the 2nd Amendment, an Amendment would have to be made to better clarify it as @Rezi states. in order to get 2/3 States on board, it would certainly have to have language that is also liberal-friendly. Something like:

"The right to bear arms for personal or family defense will be protected in perpetuity. The right to bear mass-killing military-grade weapons will be illegal outside of state militia or federal military service." 

I would personally amend the above to include some sort of statement that bullets or projectiles that are meant to be fatal can and ought to be replaced by non-lethal projectiles, should those projectiles be proven through Congressional investigation to incapacitate an intruder with equivalent reliability (i.e. will knock them cold for say an hour or so until the authorites arrive). This wouldn't be a federal ban on bullets, but it would allows states to abolish bullets. Non-lethal weapons would reduce accidental shootings of family members, especially children, and mistaken intruder shootings, family member or not. 

Maybe because I'm from the South, I'm not as anti-gun as most left-leaners, but the part that does make me upset is when children of gun-owners get killed. I think the anti-gun crowd would reduce noticably if the pro-gun crowd came up with effective legislation to deal with this. 

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1. Expand privacy protection to include digital data (I’d argue this is already covered but modern politicians suck in this issue)

2. Ban mass mail-in balloting and ballot harvesting

3. Clarify that the 2nd Amendment applies to citizens (who can obtain any bearable weapon up to the bearable weapons used by the military)

4. Clarify the definition of commerce for the commerce clause (which has been bastardized to allow near unlimited federal power)

5. Some process for a state to leave the country

6. Life begins at conception and equal protection under the law applies

7. No national emergency allows for the reduction in constitutional rights outside of the exceptions explicitly stated.

8. Presidential/Executive Immunity - like legislative immunity

9. Explicit limit on war powers outside of a reaction to an act/imminent threat (which then must be followed up by congressional authorization afterwards)

10. Abolish direct election of senators (and make this an unamendable amendment)

11. Guarantee the equal role (to the House) of the Senate in Congress (unamendable)

12. Nondelegation Doctrine Amendment (Congress cannot delegate large amounts of their authority to other branches)

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A lot of these suggestions from Sabato and from some of the posts under this topic I agree with, but like Rezi, would prefer to see them passed as legislation, I don't necessarily see the value in making them amendments. That said, my proposed amendment would just be repealing the term limits for President. In general, I think the only term limits we need are regularly held free and fair elections. 

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I'd like some sort of overreaching amendment to radically reform our political system. So the expansion of the house, abolishing the senate, moving from FPTP WTA to MMP with Star voting, and some extra stuff like equal coverage, term limits, etc. Most of the other stuff I'd like to see would be implemented (or abolished) by law. I like the idea of affirming the second amendment though.

 

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By and large a lot of these things are either 1) terrible ideas 2) best left to the policy realm not something to codify in the constitution.

I have a Masters in Political Science, and a lot of the higher level political theory classes will really make someone realize why these proposals are "popular politics" but aren't really something taken seriously by political experts.  Even the ones that do have a hint of a good idea are presented here in a way that's borderline arbitrary and not data driven, and if one was to seriously consider any of these paths I'd advise looking into 538's analysis on the topics, such as ideal house sizes, etc.

I still marked voting for some, but tbh the majority I marked were because I vaguely agree with the policy not because it's a good amendment, and only in the cases where it's unambiguously a good idea not just a half-good idea.

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34 minutes ago, OrangeP47 said:

By and large a lot of these things are either 1) terrible ideas 2) best left to the policy realm not something to codify in the constitution.

I have a Masters in Political Science, and a lot of the higher level political theory classes will really make someone realize why these proposals are "popular politics" but aren't really something taken seriously by political experts.  Even the ones that do have a hint of a good idea are presented here in a way that's borderline arbitrary and not data driven, and if one was to seriously consider any of these paths I'd advise looking into 538's analysis on the topics, such as ideal house sizes, etc.

I still marked voting for some, but tbh the majority I marked were because I vaguely agree with the policy not because it's a good amendment, and only in the cases where it's unambiguously a good idea not just a half-good idea.

Sabato is a political expert though. He runs the University of Virginia Center for Politics, which is consider one of the elite institutions of this kind. He's also the founder of Crystal Ball, which is one of the primary election prediction websites. Crystal Ball was voted the best political prognosticator in 2018, beating out Nate Silver's 538 who came in 2nd. 

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2 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Sabato is a political expert though. He runs the University of Virginia Center for Politics, which is consider one of the elite institutions of this kind. He's also the founder of Crystal Ball, which is one of the primary election prediction websites. Crystal Ball was voted the best political prognosticator in 2018, beating out Nate Silver's 538 who came in 2nd. 

I've found the Crystal Ball to be lacking.  It's true, it has/had a reputation, but I think I think it's just running on reputation and wasn't any better than the other sites in this recent cycles.  That reputation, by and large, came from being first in the realm of big data.  Groundbreaking sure, but first is rarely the permanent fixture on the throne.

I'll very briefly run through why all of these are not great to illustrate my point.

  • Expand the Senate to 136 members to have it be more representative. His plan would give the ten most populous states two additional senators each, and give the next fifteen most populous states one additional senator, and would give the District of Columbia one senator. Without context, this is a RADICAL redesign and goes against the entire point of the senate.  The goal is perhaps a worthy one, but if you're trying to make the Senate proportional, an ammendment is inappropriate. You need an entirely new constituion.
  • Appoint all former presidents and vice presidents to the new office of "National Senator" to serve national interests instead of state interests and bring presidential experience to the Senate. Seems incredibly naïve that these officials would represent national interests, breaks separation of powers, dictatorial overtones.
  • Mandate non-partisan redistricting for House elections to enhance electoral competition and lessen the influence of gerrymanderingActually fine and would be okay as an amendment.
  • Lengthen the terms of representatives from two years to three years, 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 I marked that I had an alternative amendment, and instead of posting it earlier I forgot, but I'll just post it here instead of hashing out these ones, as an alternative to the alternative.  Note that I still want to emphasize it's a mistake to make these amendments I mark with a [Note 1] as a la carte, because some could pass and some could fail, which would drastically break the system.  You want an omnibus.  As such I'm going to talk about my amendment as an omnibus.  Yes expand the house (1000 is probably overkill, see that convo we had where I linked to 538). I'd go a step further and say you could expand it a bit more and actually make cross-state districts.  Keep house terms as two years.  Give every state a third senator, that way they'd have a senator up every 2 years while keeping the 6 year terms.  This would make things more representative while also not radically disrupting the existing system.
  • Expand the size of the House of Representatives to approximately 1,000 members from the current total of 435, so House members can be closer to their constituents, and to level the playing field in House elections. [Note 1]
  • Establish term limits in the House and Senate to restore the Founders' principle of frequent rotation in officeTerm limits empower lobbyists and the unelected bureaucratic class, and are thus undesirable.
  • Add a Balanced Budget Amendment to encourage fiscal fairness to future generations. Deficit spending and debt is a good thing and I will fight anyone who insists on being wrong about this.
  • Create a Continuity of Government procedure to provide for the replacement of senators and representatives in the event of extensive deaths or incapacitation as may happen as a result of a major disaster such as a large scale nuclear attack. Actually a good idea.  Ironically I was just reading about the flaws in the existing procedures earlier this week.
  • Establish a new six-year, one-time presidential term with the option for the President to seek two additional years if approved by a referendum of the American people. Needlessly complicates politics, also see the term limits argument.
  • Limit some presidential war-making powers and expand Congress' oversight of war-making.  Honestly I could make arguments here, but if you countered, it'd probably come down to a battle of preferences, because my main argument against the current setup is "The War Powers Act is Unconstitutional" which of course it wouldn't be if you changed the Constitution, so your mileage may vary.
  • Give the president a line-item vetoLine item vetoes breach separation of powers by giving legislative power to the executive, and thus are a bad idea.
  • Allow people not born in the United States to run for president or vice president after having been a citizen for 20 years.  I'm fine with this, personally I'd be fine with letting just anyone run, but this is probably a good compromise.
  • Eliminate lifetime tenure for federal judges in favor of non-renewable 15-year terms for all federal judges.  I'm still in favor of the theory that judges are above politics, though present reality is making that a bit of a difficult proposition.  I may warm to this, but this is an either-or with the age limit, and I do not support age limits.
  • Grant Congress the power to set a mandatory retirement age for all federal judges.  Age limits are discrimination, pure and simple.
  • Expand the size of the Supreme Court from 9 to 12 to be more representative.  I'd be more in favor of setting the number to how many circuits there are, that's the superior proposal, but circuits are controlled by legislation so the actual mechanics could get messy (and the number on the Supreme Court is controlled by legislation too, so this is really a matter of legislation, for many reasons I won't talk your ear off about).
  • Give federal judges guaranteed cost of living increases so pay is never an issue.  That's fine, why stop at judges?
  • Write a new constitutional article specifically for the politics of the American system.  Any way I interpret this, cementing a political reality de jure is a bad idea.
  • Adopt a regional, staggered lottery system, over four months, for presidential party nominations to avoid the destructive front-loading of primaries.  I agree primaries need reform, but I'm not sure what the constitution can or should do about it considering it's a political party agnostic document, and that's actually a good thing.  Introducing political parties to the constitution would only open more cans of worms.
  • Keep the Electoral College, as the previously suggested House and Senate reforms would preserve the benefits of the College while minimizing the chances a president will win without a majority of the popular vote. In this day and age, popular vote should be used, though I question the whole format of this if Sabato is proposing a line item for a change that is not a change.
  • Reform campaign financing by preventing wealthy candidates from financing their campaigns. Mandate partial public financing for House and Senate campaigns to lessen the impact of lobbyists and fundraisers.  A campaign finance for 100% public funding amendment would be great.  Anything less would be a bandaid, so I'm not quite sure what all this monkeying around in the wording is here.
  • Adopt an automatic registration system for all qualified American citizens to guarantee that their right to vote is not abridged by bureaucratic requirements.  An actual good idea again.  Personally I feel there should be national ID, but it's free and provided to you automatically.
  • Create a constitutional requirement that all able-bodied young Americans devote at least two years of their lives in service to the country.  The Government should work for the people, not the people working for the government.
  • Convene a new constitutional convention using the state-based mechanism left to Americans by the framers in the current constitution. Again, not sure what he's getting at here.
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35 minutes ago, OrangeP47 said:

I've found the Crystal Ball to be lacking.  It's true, it has/had a reputation, but I think I think it's just running on reputation and wasn't any better than the other sites in this recent cycles.  That reputation, by and large, came from being first in the realm of big data.  Groundbreaking sure, but first is rarely the permanent fixture on the throne.

I'll very briefly run through why all of these are not great to illustrate my point.

  • Expand the Senate to 136 members to have it be more representative. His plan would give the ten most populous states two additional senators each, and give the next fifteen most populous states one additional senator, and would give the District of Columbia one senator. Without context, this is a RADICAL redesign and goes against the entire point of the senate.  The goal is perhaps a worthy one, but if you're trying to make the Senate proportional, an ammendment is inappropriate. You need an entirely new constituion.
  • Appoint all former presidents and vice presidents to the new office of "National Senator" to serve national interests instead of state interests and bring presidential experience to the Senate. Seems incredibly naïve that these officials would represent national interests, breaks separation of powers, dictatorial overtones.
  • Mandate non-partisan redistricting for House elections to enhance electoral competition and lessen the influence of gerrymanderingActually fine and would be okay as an amendment.
  • Lengthen the terms of representatives from two years to three years, 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 I marked that I had an alternative amendment, and instead of posting it earlier I forgot, but I'll just post it here instead of hashing out these ones, as an alternative to the alternative.  Note that I still want to emphasize it's a mistake to make these amendments I mark with a [Note 1] as a la carte, because some could pass and some could fail, which would drastically break the system.  You want an omnibus.  As such I'm going to talk about my amendment as an omnibus.  Yes expand the house (1000 is probably overkill, see that convo we had where I linked to 538). I'd go a step further and say you could expand it a bit more and actually make cross-state districts.  Keep house terms as two years.  Give every state a third senator, that way they'd have a senator up every 2 years while keeping the 6 year terms.  This would make things more representative while also not radically disrupting the existing system.
  • Expand the size of the House of Representatives to approximately 1,000 members from the current total of 435, so House members can be closer to their constituents, and to level the playing field in House elections. [Note 1]
  • Establish term limits in the House and Senate to restore the Founders' principle of frequent rotation in officeTerm limits empower lobbyists and the unelected bureaucratic class, and are thus undesirable.
  • Add a Balanced Budget Amendment to encourage fiscal fairness to future generations. Deficit spending and debt is a good thing and I will fight anyone who insists on being wrong about this.
  • Create a Continuity of Government procedure to provide for the replacement of senators and representatives in the event of extensive deaths or incapacitation as may happen as a result of a major disaster such as a large scale nuclear attack. Actually a good idea.  Ironically I was just reading about the flaws in the existing procedures earlier this week.
  • Establish a new six-year, one-time presidential term with the option for the President to seek two additional years if approved by a referendum of the American people. Needlessly complicates politics, also see the term limits argument.
  • Limit some presidential war-making powers and expand Congress' oversight of war-making.  Honestly I could make arguments here, but if you countered, it'd probably come down to a battle of preferences, because my main argument against the current setup is "The War Powers Act is Unconstitutional" which of course it wouldn't be if you changed the Constitution, so your mileage may vary.
  • Give the president a line-item vetoLine item vetoes breach separation of powers by giving legislative power to the executive, and thus are a bad idea.
  • Allow people not born in the United States to run for president or vice president after having been a citizen for 20 years.  I'm fine with this, personally I'd be fine with letting just anyone run, but this is probably a good compromise.
  • Eliminate lifetime tenure for federal judges in favor of non-renewable 15-year terms for all federal judges.  I'm still in favor of the theory that judges are above politics, though present reality is making that a bit of a difficult proposition.  I may warm to this, but this is an either-or with the age limit, and I do not support age limits.
  • Grant Congress the power to set a mandatory retirement age for all federal judges.  Age limits are discrimination, pure and simple.
  • Expand the size of the Supreme Court from 9 to 12 to be more representative.  I'd be more in favor of setting the number to how many circuits there are, that's the superior proposal, but circuits are controlled by legislation so the actual mechanics could get messy (and the number on the Supreme Court is controlled by legislation too, so this is really a matter of legislation, for many reasons I won't talk your ear off about).
  • Give federal judges guaranteed cost of living increases so pay is never an issue.  That's fine, why stop at judges?
  • Write a new constitutional article specifically for the politics of the American system.  Any way I interpret this, cementing a political reality de jure is a bad idea.
  • Adopt a regional, staggered lottery system, over four months, for presidential party nominations to avoid the destructive front-loading of primaries.  I agree primaries need reform, but I'm not sure what the constitution can or should do about it considering it's a political party agnostic document, and that's actually a good thing.  Introducing political parties to the constitution would only open more cans of worms.
  • Keep the Electoral College, as the previously suggested House and Senate reforms would preserve the benefits of the College while minimizing the chances a president will win without a majority of the popular vote. In this day and age, popular vote should be used, though I question the whole format of this if Sabato is proposing a line item for a change that is not a change.
  • Reform campaign financing by preventing wealthy candidates from financing their campaigns. Mandate partial public financing for House and Senate campaigns to lessen the impact of lobbyists and fundraisers.  A campaign finance for 100% public funding amendment would be great.  Anything less would be a bandaid, so I'm not quite sure what all this monkeying around in the wording is here.
  • Adopt an automatic registration system for all qualified American citizens to guarantee that their right to vote is not abridged by bureaucratic requirements.  An actual good idea again.  Personally I feel there should be national ID, but it's free and provided to you automatically.
  • Create a constitutional requirement that all able-bodied young Americans devote at least two years of their lives in service to the country.  The Government should work for the people, not the people working for the government.
  • Convene a new constitutional convention using the state-based mechanism left to Americans by the framers in the current constitution. Again, not sure what he's getting at here.

Everyone of these is elaborate on in the book. Each amendment is a chapter. So a lot of what you are bringing up is discussed or considered. I'm just posting the sentence description of the amendment as found on wikipedia, so the poll answers can't be too long. 

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Honestly my views are so heterodox that I'd need to completely re-write the constitution in order to bring it in-line with my beliefs, but barring that here's a few improvements I can think of right now.

  1. Remove most, if not all barriers which prevent the government from ensuring the safety of its citizenry (get rid of amendments 4, and 5, for example, etc.), with exceptions made for measures which violate fundamental human rights (such as the freedom from torture for any reason), and make it clear that the government has an obligation to prevent crime before it occurs whenever possible (how many times have we heard that a domestic-terrorist was on the government's threat watch list, and yet allowed to go about his business? This segment is meant to prevent such massacres by inaction.) 
  2. Require that cabinet officers be recognized experts in their fields, and have never held elected office.
  3. Make the electoral college proportional, and make RCV the norm for all federal elections.
  4. The age of majority in the United States in Eighteen years old, all persons below this age is legally defined as a child. Children have the rights to Provision, Protection, and Participation (as defined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child), and are entitled to Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Thought, and Freedom from Fear. It is the primary responsibility of the child's parents to ensure that these rights are protected. If the parents fail to protect these rights, children have the right to assert these rights with the assistance of the government.
  5. Stitch the ADA into the constitution to make sure that Disabled Rights can never be trampled.

That's all I can think of right now, though I'll probably kick myself for forgetting something 'obvious' later.

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The only one I agreed with was replacing the gerrymandering system, which is a serious problem.  However, my support is tentative, as I’d need to see details on what he new system would be.  “Non partisan” sounds nice, but how is that defined and how is it enforced?

My ideal system would be a computer which only has two data points:  a population map showing where people live (with no other info such as political affiliation, gender, race, income, etc) and the number of congressional districts it has to draw in that state.

This would be the furthest thing from gerrymandering, which is my ideal.  It would not be possible to game the system for political benefit, as it would be completely ignorant to politics.

But even my dream system has obvious flaws:

 

1) No attention paid to keeping people with similar interests together.  It’s quite possible people living on a single short street in a small suburban neighborhood could be split between six congressional districts or a military base or college campus or a rural area or whatever…my system wouldn’t care, and that would lead to bizarre outcomes.

2) No attention paid to race.  There are laws in place right now (I believe) that require a certain number of districts to be drawn intentionally to guarantee racial minority majorities, and thus help get racial minority candidates elected to congress.  This was done in order to combat previous practices that intentionally split such districts up to make sure they couldn’t elect members of their own race to congress, which of course was some racist bullshit.  So, it’s possible we’d see fewer members of congress who are people of color.  (It’s also possible there would be more…no way to really know, as it would be random).

 

3). No attention paid to politics means there’s no attention paid to party proportionality.  Some might say that it a state has 10 reps, and their population votes 40% democrat and 60% Republican, then they should have 4 Dems and 6 Republican reps.  My system would not do that (at least, not intentionally).

So, lots of potential problems with my plan.  But if you’re reviewing that list and saying “well, we’d have the computer system account for this, and for this, and for that…”, well, congratulations.  You’ve just invented gerrymandering.  Haha.

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1 minute ago, MrPotatoTed said:

The only one I agreed with was replacing the gerrymandering system, which is a serious problem.  However, my support is tentative, as I’d need to see details on what he new system would be.  “Non partisan” sounds nice, but how is that defined and how is it enforced?

My ideal system would be a computer which only has two data points:  a population map showing where people live (with no other info such as political affiliation, gender, race, income, etc) and the number of congressional districts it has to draw in that state.

This would be the furthest thing from gerrymandering, which is my ideal.  It would not be possible to game the system for political benefit, as it would be completely ignorant to politics.

But even my dream system has obvious flaws:

 

1) No attention paid to keeping people with similar interests together.  It’s quite possible people living on a single short street in a small suburban neighborhood could be split between six congressional districts or a military base or college campus or a rural area or whatever…my system wouldn’t care, and that would lead to bizarre outcomes.

2) No attention paid to race.  There are laws in place right now (I believe) that require a certain number of districts to be drawn intentionally to guarantee racial minority majorities, and thus help get racial minority candidates elected to congress.  This was done in order to combat previous practices that intentionally split such districts up to make sure they couldn’t elect members of their own race to congress, which of course was some racist bullshit.  So, it’s possible we’d see fewer members of congress who are people of color.  (It’s also possible there would be more…no way to really know, as it would be random).

 

3). No attention paid to politics means there’s no attention paid to party proportionality.  Some might say that it a state has 10 reps, and their population votes 40% democrat and 60% Republican, then they should have 4 Dems and 6 Republican reps.  My system would not do that (at least, not intentionally).

So, lots of potential problems with my plan.  But if you’re reviewing that list and saying “well, we’d have the computer system account for this, and for this, and for that…”, well, congratulations.  You’ve just invented gerrymandering.  Haha.

Yeah, just to expand on your point 2), people always point to IL-2 (or it may be IL-4, I always forget the number, but it's the infamous "earmuffs") as evidence of gerrymandering in a blue state, and while we did gerrymander the hell out of Illinois this time, that long standing district is an ERA district for Hispanics, so it isn't really your typical gerrymandered district.

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One thing I didn’t see on the list but does need addressed: continuity of the presidency. (At a glance, the only continuity referenced was about congress, which isn’t as urgent a problem as they’re rarely all there at once).

But an event that wipes out DC could easily take out everyone in the presidential succession chain as they’re all based in DC.

Those who care about this usually suggest adding senators, etc, but that’s dumb because most of them are in DC often enough that they could be wiped too.

Personally, I’d add governors to the presidential line of succession.  Not sure how to rank them, that would need some thought.  

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  • 1 month later...

Abolish the senate and the electoral college, the vote of someone in Delaware or Wyoming shouldn't weigh more than that of someone from California or Texas.

Current senators could have their seats added to the house until 2024.

The implementation of STV for all elections would allow 3rd parties to become somewhat viable and would prevent 48-48 popular vote results.

Edited by Imperator Taco Cat
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