Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's Time for a "New American Convention to Consider Needed Amendments"!

It seems we are clearly overdue on one very important task that our nation's founders expected of us!

Every indication points to an expectation on their part that we would reconvene periodically to update the documents they worked so diligently to produce.

Virtually every delegate to the American Constitutional Convention in 1787 expressed the opinion that the system for governing the new nation they had conceived was a very good one - but not a perfect one! So, they deliberately included two means by which we could change and improve on it as history moved along and exposed any such needs.

The first of these means was for Congress itself to recognize and propose amendments. This could be done by having two-thirds of the members in both the Senate and the House of Representatives vote to propose any changes. Then, if their proposals were subsequently ratified by three-fourths of the states, those changes would become part of our Constitution.

Unfortunately, very few of us now seem to believe that either our Congress or our state legislatures could ever take such a major step with any intent to seriously alter what has become for these elected representatives a source of such great personal power and individual wealth. There are simply too many career politicians (i. e. - not "Statemen" and "Stateswomen") and they are too "influenced" by so many "turf-protecting" (and entrenched) bureaucrats, party officials and high-paid special-interest lobbyists.

Fortunately, the founders included a second means for amending our Constitution that is considerably more within the "people's" ability to take action.

If the legislatures in two-thirds of the states apply for a convention for the purpose of proposing changes, then Congress must call for one to be convened. And, if three-fourths of the legislatures or state conventions ratify these changes coming out of that convention, they will automatically become official amendments to our Constitution.

This is critical!

First - we are much more able to get such action from our state governments. Its not automatic because there are also far too many politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyists in our state capitols as well. But – these representatives are closer to the voters and therefore at least somewhat more responsive and less able to disguise their motives and actions.

Second - we need for the states to insist to Congress that ratification be done by state conventions rather than by the state legislatures.

So - the "trick" here is for "the people" to insist on the second route, and establish the rules under which this convention will operate.

             One more thing here is also critical!

What is provided for in Article V of our Constitution – and what is needed now by our nation - is a convention to consider amendments!  Article V does not provide for a “Constitutional Convention” to replace today’s Constitution – and we must jealously guard against any ideas some people may have of “hijacking” this convention we need.  (Read more on this in Shortening Our Leash On Politicians, Pages 122 - 126 and 141 - 159.)

Here are some ideas to consider for rules we should require for the national convention:
1) Allow delegates to come only from politically "lay people" willing and able to take an oath of independence from political party interests (i. e. - no politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists or political party operatives).  (If this sounds to you to be unconstitutional and without precedent, take a look at the limitations our founders specified for the Electoral College “electors” in Article II Section 1’s second paragraph.)

2) Select delegates in each state in a manner that protects their individual identity as much as possible from advance influence directed toward them (and their families) by politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and other special interest groups.

3) Allow no direct or indirect communications during the time of this convention with politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists or businesses/unions/associations/political party interests.

4) Hold the convention somewhere other than Washington, D.C. or one of the state capitals, and sequester each delegate during the time of the convention.

5) Make available an extensive library of historical and current reference material that can be used by each delegate. (This could include any material that existing politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and other interested parties care to place there in advance for the delegates while they are sequestered.)

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