Is It Time For a New Constitutional Convention?

It has become clear that politicians no longer serve the voters.
A number of things have made this obvious, not least the unwillingness of the House to consider tax reform, to consider elimination of the sweetheart tax exemptions, the anti-competitive deals that favor drug makers, such questions as the practice of attaching amendments to bills that have nothing to do with the bill itself but only with pork for the legislator’s district. And legislators simply refuse to address any of these issues; they assert sovereignty in the way they do their business, forgetting that they are OUR employees, not the new royalty.
What we need is a public initiative. A mechanism whereby we, the people, can send a bill to Congress that they must consider in a timely manner. A bill that cannot be modified by amendment, not be tabled by a committee chairman, a bill that each lawmaker must publicly vote on to make his stand for or against obvious, and something that may cause his recall.
And that’s the other thing. Public recall. People from a district may elect a representative; but when it’s payday, they get their money from all of us. They work for us, for the national interest, not just for the people who voted for them. It’s time for a system of recall whereby we, the people, may make our voices heard. A time when elected officials need to remember who they work for.
And in a time when Congress can’t get the job done, it’s a time for total recall. There’s nothing to say that the next Congress will be any more responsible or responsive than this latest disgrace has been. This is not what the founders of the Republic had in mind.
These things, initiative and recall, won’t happen without an overhaul of the Constitution. And for that, nothing short of a new Constitutional Convention may serve.
Times have changed. We have fewer external threats, but the internal threat is greater than it has ever been, I think. The OWS protests, indeed world-wide protests, are a symptom of that. Around the world, people have lost confidence in their leaders, have acted to overthrow despots. Our own despots consist of professional politicians, corporate elites, the army of lobbyists who keep the two connected through money.
You may think the nation isn’t ready for major change. OK. But keep this idea in mind. Dust it off if things don’t improve.


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