26 September 2020

My top Constitutional Amendments... if and when they become possible.

It's virtually impossible to amend the Constitution in our highly polarized political situation today. But if and when it again becomes possible, here are a few I think absolutely top of the list.
◘ Senatorial Reform. Increases the number of Senators to 120. Each of the 52 states (including Puerto Rico and D.C.) gest one senator for the core group. The remaining 68 senators are allocated to those states which, by population exceed the threshold for the fairest allocation by population, to be reallocated as necessary according to each Census, beyond the 1 per state. Many lower-population states would have only the one. Some basic rules to allow the efficient operation of the Senate and prevent any party from preventing votes on legislation should be included in the Constitution. (Same for the House).
◘ National Popular Vote of President/Abolition of the Electoral College; Creates a National Presidential Election Commission whose sole function is to accept, tabulate, and certify the result of the elections in the states. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the popular vote, the top two would be subject to a run off three weeks after the November election. The president/vice president candidates would be considered as a unit, as they are now. Alternatively, states would be allowed to designate an automatic runoff by ranked voting, which would be recorded as the votes of the citizens of that state for purposes of a runoff.
◘ Federal Campaign Finance Reform and a series of Constitutional Declarations to the effect that 1. Corporations are not persons and the Congress may make such restrictions on corporations, as public trusts, including prohibiting from exercising political influence, as it deems fit and necessary. 2.That the regulation of the use of private money in political campaigns is not to be considered speech, subject to the protections of the First Amendment, except that Congress cannot completely prohibit the expenditure and solicitation of contribution of reasonable amounts to conduct political campaigns. 3. Explicitly permits the Congress to enact public financing of political campaigns and to restrict private contributions to political campaigns, and defining any other payments to politicians, political action committees campaign organizations as bribes, subject to existing legal sanctions against bribery.
◘ Enshrine a Constitutional Right to Vote, and explicitly define the minimum requirements for ensuring voting fairness, non-discrimination, prevention of voter suppression, restoration of felon's voting rights after completion of sentences, and access to voting without undue restriction as a mandate for all the states. Require that all elections be conducted with a physical record of each vote, subject to audit and authentication.

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