PostHeaderIcon I Want A Constitutional Convention

As I have done a number of times in this forum, I wish to repeat my call for a Constitutional Convention – before the “use by” date on our current Constitution expires.

As I write this, we are only two (2) States away from the “call” becoming mandatory – subject to some dispute over how long an individual State’s “call” stays in effect.

Every time I speak up for such a convention, I get alarmed responses exclaiming this would open the door for the progressives to make their political perversions legal and official through the act of embedding progressive nonsense into the re-written Constitution.

My first response to this is, yes it could happen.

For the sake of discussion, let us assume the worst – that a convention is held, that the progressives have their way with the re-written Constitution and that they somehow convince the legislatures of 34 States to ratify the thing. What would this mean?

For one thing, it would show clearly that the legislatures of a majority the the States (and, presumably, the citizens of those States) actually favor the progressive agenda. Under our system, this is their right, whether you and I agree or not.

I propose that such an outcome might actually work in our favor because it would clearly lay the groundwork for those States still loyal to the original Constitution to secede and form an alternate Republic, faithful to the ideas of our Founders. Such would allow a grand experiment to begin – a side-by-side comparison of the success of a progressive government versus a libertarian government, under otherwise similar conditions.

What? Did I hear you say our original government, that one established by the Founders, was not libertarian? I respond that you either do not know what the word libertarian means -or- you know far too little about the government of the Founders.

This leads me to conclusion #1: The worst outcome of a Constitutional Convention might not be that bad.

For my part, I do not expect the above scenario would happen because I do not think for one moment that the legislatures of 34 (or more) of our States favor the progressive agenda. Also, I do not think that 34 (or more) of our States would send delegates so inclined to the convention to begin with.

It is certain that some of our most populous States seem to lean toward the progressive agenda such that they might well send delegates that reflect this leaning. They might actually, through their numbers, be able to get some mischief passed by the convention, but, come ratification time, all States get an equal vote, regardless of population.

Now, let us consider a more appealing scenario – one where many or most of the States send delegations committed to taming the federal beast and to restoring some of the powers the States never intended to delegate. Think of the possibilities… in one fell swoop, they could:

→ Repeal the 14th amendment which has outlived its original intent (guaranteeing citizenship to newly-freed slaves) and is now used mostly against our national interests, such as supporting the “anchor baby” concept.

→ Repeal the 16th amendment, making way for the Fair Tax or some other tax system that is less corrupting and that conveys less State power to the Federal Government.

→ Repeal the 17th amendment, giving the State legislatures back their rightful representation in the national legislature.

→ Pass a new amendment establishing term limits for members of the national legislature and a mandatory retirement age for ALL federal officials, whether elected, appointed or employed (this to include the judiciary).

→ Pass a new amendment that forever abolishes the Federal Reserve and returns us to a stable currency, based on something of intrinsic value rather that one based on indebtedness.

Would all of this happen, exactly as I envision it? Most certainly not. But, perhaps a collection of minds better than my own would come up with considerably better ideas than the few I have suggested.

This leads me to conclusion #2: If we the people can no longer trust each other to at least try to do the right things, all is lost no matter what else we do.

Then, there is the most probable thing – that we will continue to do nothing. That there will be no convention, that we will allow a dysfunctional legislature to continue to “kick the can down the road”, a road that most certainly leads to the collapse of our Republic and the rise of a dictatorship.

This leads me to conclusion #3: The consequences of doing nothing, of trying nothing, are far worse that even the worst possible outcome of a Constitutional Convention.

Thus is my argument for a Constitutional Convention presented yet again. I say that it is time to swallow our doubts and to be at least half as bold as our Founders were when they threw down the gauntlet before the most powerful empire on Earth. We might lose no matter what we try, but is it not better to die trying rather than to live as a craven coward? Besides, to quote Lord Nelson “did you expect to live forever?” (said to his sailors at the Battle of Trafalgar).

Actually, there is a quote from Lord Nelson far better suited to the circumstances our Republic is now in: ”Desperate affairs require desperate measures”

This leads me to conclusion #4: The real question is not whether a Constitutional Convention is our best hope – at this point, it may well be our only hope. Waiting for the current mess that passes for a Federal Government to somehow crawl out of the pit it has dug for us is an exercise in futility.

Think about it. Then, let your State legislators know what you want done and that you want it done now.

Troy L Robinson

61 Responses to “I Want A Constitutional Convention”

    • Troy says:

      Why, why and why?

      Troy

    • ◄Dave► says:

      I used to hold that knee-jerk view, Brock; because I had seen a copy of a Progressive Constitution some in CA were proposing having a Con-Con to get passed. I changed it sometime ago, after further deliberation. Troy makes a good case here; take the time to consider it. ◄Dave►

      • He certainly does and as I remember, I have agreed with everything Troy has written before, but I believe the end result of a Constitutional Convention, whatever the outcome, will be a true civil war. I would rather strive for a peaceful secession, since liberty cannot live with collectivism.

        • Troy says:

          Brock,
          While I myself prefer secession, our last attempt at that also provoked a civil war and it might well again.

          The main reason I want a convention is the hope that such a drastic move would shock a lot of folks out of the stupor they seem to be in.

          Thanks for your response.

          Troy

        • ◄Dave► says:

          Yikes! Don’t agree with everything he writes. That just wouldn’t do! 😀 ◄Dave►

  • Greg says:

    There are few objections that I have:

    1) “Repeal the 14th amendment which has outlived its original intent (guaranteeing citizenship to newly-freed slaves) and is now used mostly against our national interests, such as supporting the “anchor baby” concept.”

    I take it you are objecting to this part?
    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

    The historian in me says that the whole Amendment should be modified. Take section 1 and say, “In regards to slaves and inheritance, all persons born or naturalized in the United States, shall be citizens.” and add this, “In regards to parents who are a citizen of another country and are visiting this country, this clause does not apply unless the parents undergo legal naturalization.” (Basically, I’m saying that if you’re an illegal immigrant, and you have a child here–that’s not good, unless you thereby return to Mexico with your child and legally become a citizen.)

    …On another (slightly unrelated) note, how do you feel about dual citizenship?

    2) Repeal the 16th amendment, making way for the Fair Tax or some other tax system that is less corrupting and that conveys less State power to the Federal Government.

    This is the text, for reference as I speak about this:
    “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

    The Income tax, I agree, is pointless. It simply drives a wedge in society and it should not exist. However, I feel that in order to repeal this one, there must be similar wording with a Fair Tax clause to take its place. Further, the Fair Tax should have little or no loopholes. To clarify, to this one I agree, but there still has to be something in there that provides for a tax the Federal government CAN levy.

    3) Repeal the 17th amendment, giving the State legislatures back their rightful representation in the national legislature.

    Here’s the text:
    “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
    When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
    This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.”

    I’m not seeing what you are objecting to in it (may be an abstract thinking thing on my end 🙂 )… care to elaborate?

    As to term limits, I would suggest unlimited terms, but must be separated by a few years. For instance, a Senator could serve, say, three terms, but then must take 6 years off. The reason for this being: What if you get a master legislator/compromiser in Congress? Those are exceedingly rare and I think we’d be better off with them to get things that are necessary done.

    Pass a new amendment that forever abolishes the Federal Reserve and returns us to a stable currency, based on something of intrinsic value rather that one based on indebtedness.

    Ah yes, the dreaded Ron Paul talking point that makes me flinch because of the dynamics issue it would create, as outlined in the next few sentences. The issue I have here is simple: Let’s suppose we replace/abolish it. Congress would then be in charge of interest rates. Nothing is able to get done by Congress anyway due to the hyperpolarization on both sides… what would make this any different? Have you another system in mind that would alleviate this problem?

    • ◄Dave► says:

      I weep for my country, Greg. One can lead a mind to truth; but one cannot make it think. Ignorance is an affliction that can be easily cured, in an inquisitive open mind, which is interested in learning the truth. If we cannot get through to yours, what are the chances of saving the rest of your cohort of well-programed mind-numbed young Progressives, from the stampede back to serfdom? Pretty slim, I am afraid… ◄Dave►

    • ◄Dave► says:

      “Ah yes, the dreaded Ron Paul talking point that makes me flinch…”

      Some of us have been lamenting Keynesian economics and the Federal Reserve Act, long before we ever heard of Ron Paul.

      “Have you another system in mind that would alleviate this problem?”

      Sure, Austrian economics. It is called laissez-faire capitalism. Return to the time when the word dollar was a unit of measure. At the time of our founding, one spoke of a dollar of gold, a dollar of silver, or a dollar of beans, etc. Currency at the time was evidence of wealth, a claim on an actual existing commodity. Federal Reserve notes are nothing more than IOU’s. The are ‘notes,’ which by definition are evidences of debt. The problem is, nobody is ever required to pay that debt. It is all magic fairy dust. The ONLY reason one would ever accept one of these little green IOU’s, in exchange for something of actual value, is the expectation that they will be able to palm it off on someone else in exchange for an actual value. There is zero need to ever inflate the currency. That is Keynesian, central-government/banking-cartel controlled, economics poppycock. ◄Dave►

      • Greg says:

        Are we speaking of going back to the “gold” standard (or whatever the new standard would be)? If so, I’d agree with you on that. Right now, a lot of currencies compare to nothing else but what happens in other countries. If we go down, everything goes up (or down!) <– this is obviously a simplified (too much) understanding of the system we use now as I can't wrap my head around it :/. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have all countries determining their own economic strengths but keeping them standardized, rather than having everyone–including our own country–compare to virtually nothing, using some formula instead.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      “I’m not seeing what you are objecting to in it…”

      As I alluded to in an earlier reply to you, which you may not have read:

      Thus, the Constitution they wrought, very specifically limited the powers of the federation to just a few essential functions, which they carefully enumerated. They meant it to have no other. To further preclude the amassing of tyrannical power, in a horizontal separation of powers, they divided it into three coequal branches. Then, to make sure their States would be equally represented and somewhat in control, they created a bicameral legislature, with the upper house consisting of two Senators appointed by each of the individual State legislatures, and serving at their pleasure. (The Seventeenth Amendment, purportedly ratified in 1913, was a tragedy that radically changed the nature of our republic.)

      …the 17th Amendment took away the power the States had to protect their interests in Congress, and made the Senate just another body of ‘super’ representatives, easily bought by special interests from outside their states, in their desperate quest for campaign funds. It was a Big part of the Progressives push to convert our Constitutional Republic into a social democracy at the turn of the 20th Century. ◄Dave►

      • Greg says:

        Oh! Okay. I did not remember that it changed article I. Durh. Wikipedia is my friend. 🙂

        If I understand this argument correctly, by taking the appointment out of the state legislature’s hand almost entirely, you have then caused the Senators to act exactly as the POTUS does, but on a (relatively) more microscale. Hence, as the POTUS says anything to win the vote, thus do the Senators. Am I understanding you correctly?

        • ◄Dave► says:

          It is far more than that. It wasn’t “somewhat,” they removed the State legislatures’ influence entirely. Senators, before the 17th Amendment were not politicians with a cool ‘vision’ of a better world, sent to DC to try to change our way of life. They were literally ambassadors of the State governments, who served at the pleasure of their employers – the State legislatures. They got their marching orders from the State government, and their job was to make sure their State didn’t get screwed over by the Federal government. Each State was on an equal par in the Senate, regardless of the population and power of other States.

          The Senate performs many serious functions, especially the advice and consent duty, on personnel appointments for the cabinet, ambassadorships, judges, etc. and ratifying international treaties. The States once had the power over these functions, because they could recall and replace a Senator, who failed to follow their wishes. Now, most of the campaign money used to elect a Senator, comes from outside his State, and unless an issue is a hot-button for his voters, a Senator can ignore the preferences of his State government. The body changed entirely, when it went from appointed statesmen, to popularly elected politicians. ◄Dave►

        • Greg says:

          Yep, I can see where you’d find that a problem. At the same time though, I do think voters should have a say in who their Senator is–but definitely not to the point where it messes up the system like today! Perhaps from a set of candidates the state legislature proposes? In other words, can you see a way to reconcile the two? And, was it done that way before?

          • ◄Dave► says:

            No need. The State legislators are voted in by the people, so they already have a say. This is supposed to be a republic, not a democracy, and truthfully, the idea of universal suffrage is wrongheaded. The best system of government is not a democracy, it is a benevolent dictatorship – tempered by an occasional assignation. (from Voltaire) 😉 ◄Dave►

        • Greg says:

          Ah, yes, but what do you do once the benevolent dictatorship no longer is benevolent? 😉

          • ◄Dave► says:

            That has already been answered; we assassinate him, of course, and find a replacement. Personally, if I had my way, we would just contract out the whole sordid affair of government to the Mafia. The rules would be simple and known to all. Justice would be swifter, and usually fairer (no guilty getting off on a legal technicality), protection would infinitely more effective, and they gladly do the job for only 10%. That is far far cheaper than what government at all levels is costing us today. Think this through, before you laugh this suggestion off as ridiculous. 😉 ◄Dave►

  • Troy says:

    I take it you are objecting to this part?
    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

    I take that part to be self-evident. Constitutional amendments should not be required to restate common sense.

    On another (slightly unrelated) note, how do you feel about dual citizenship?

    I do not think it should be allowed. You are either a citizen of the USA or you are not. This is similar to being “somewhat pregnant”.

    I’m not seeing what you are objecting to in it (may be an abstract thinking thing on my end 🙂 )… care to elaborate?

    The Senate was intended to give the State legislatures a voice in the national government. The 17th amendment took that away and converted that once august body into yet another pander-a-thon.

    As to term limits, I would suggest unlimited terms, but must be separated by a few years.

    I happen to agree with you. I would much prefer the enactment of 2 new laws:

    First, a “no incumbency” law that would disallow anyone from running for re-election to an office currently held, and,

    Second, a “resign to run” law that would require any office holder to resign the office currently held before actively campaigning (or even registering to run) for another office.

    Ah yes, the dreaded Ron Paul talking point that makes me flinch because of the dynamics issue it would create, as outlined in the next few sentences… Have you another system in mind that would alleviate this problem?

    Yes, a very simple one. Let the free market determine interest rates. What possible good can come from any entity using the force and power of government to determine the price of anything, including borrowed money?

    Thank you for your comments and questions. You challenge me to think and I would like to think I return the favor.

    Troy

    • Greg says:

      //The Senate was intended to give the State legislatures a voice in the national government. The 17th amendment took that away and converted that once august body into yet another pander-a-thon.//

      I’m still not following. May just be me but… can you point out the part of the Amendment that does that? I’m still a little confuzzled >.<

  • Greg says:

    You missed a blockquote tag :p

    And you do, definitely encourage me to think, along with Dave. This is something that I have wanted for a while: To be able to discuss politics with someone in a thought-provoking manner. You have afforded me that opportunity. It also makes me feel welcomed here in that you constantly, without hesitation, accept and answer all of my questions, rather than do the stereotypical “I don’t have to answer that, so why don’t you bugger off” thing that so many politicians/hyperpolarized Sheeple do. Thank you 😀

    Now, down to business 🙂

    For the “no-incumbency” law, are you suggesting one term? If so, for what positions? I can see a senator having ONE 6-year term as being acceptable, but a Representative… 2 years… is a bit too small, but 3 terms seems a bit too large, especially if the guy/girl you elected is no good (in your view) at what they did. I would also propose a federal recall vote…law…thing as well. This would requite 67% of the state (or country in the case of a Presidential recall) to say, “Look, this guy has not represented our interests, OR upheld the Constitution to the best of his ability; therefore, we want him out.” If one was to be up for a recall vote, that term (assuming he survives it) would be his last before he must take the mandatory break as outlined above. Additionally, the one who wins the recall IMMEDIATELY replaces the other. Thoughts on this?

    As to the free market setting interest rates, the problem I see with this is twofold:

    1) If we decide we need more capital (read: more money in the system) (Which right now would be a disaster, but might not be had we be running a surplus or something—heaven forbid!) , again, we have the “Congress-not-being-able-to-agree-with-anything” problem, even though the Constitution gives Congress the sole power to print money. In summation: It is a constitutional power to print money. But if Congress can’t get anything done, how would it be able to uphold its constitutional “duty.”

    2) The interest rate, seems to me, should be standardized. I don’t like the idea of having to travel, say, out of state to get the best interest rates possible, nor would (I’d venture a guess) a lot of Americans want to change banks constantly so as to assure the best interest rates, is there any device that you could think of that would stabilize this?

    • Troy says:

      For the “no-incumbency” law, are you suggesting one term? If so, for what positions?

      Yes and for all elected offices. There will be the usual complaint that those elected “will not have time to learn the system” — however, the “system” they learn is part and parcel of the problem. I like the idea of constant “churn” in the House.

      1) If we decide we need more capital (read: more money in the system…

      I see no problem with a formula that links money supply to GNP. So long as productivity matches money supply, there should be no inflation. The current system manipulates money supply for political (often crony-political) reasons, thereby distorting our economic system.

      2) The interest rate, seems to me, should be standardized. I don’t like the idea of having to travel, say, out of state to get the best interest rates possible…

      Odd thing to say as people do that very thing today with credit card interest rates (with no adverse reaction that I can see). The “travel” you speak of would be electronic, not physical, ergo, I view your resistance as nonsensical. The greater the number of entities competing for your business, the better for us all. Why should you not be able to borrow funds from another Country, not just another State?

      Troy

  • Daedalus says:

    From Greg: “The interest rate, seems to me, should be standardized. I don’t like the idea of having to travel, say, out of state to get the best interest rates possible, nor would (I’d venture a guess) a lot of Americans want to change banks constantly so as to assure the best interest rates, is there any device that you could think of that would stabilize this?”

    What particular interest rate are we talking about here Greg? Is it the rate the Federal Government must pay to borrow money? Without the Federal Reserve, the rate would be market determined by the risk of failure to pay, much as city bonds are priced today. Private ratings agencies would grade that risk, some more effectively than others. This happens today for individual banks, Weiss gives a pretty timely rating, Standard & Poors lags a bit.

  • As one of the co-founders of Friends of the Article V Convention I have written for years about the need for and logic of using this constitutional option. It really comes down to this: all the speculations about the possible dangers of a convention are nothing compared to the very real awful consequences of sticking with the two-party plutocracy status quo. Real reforms of our government and political system will never happen because the system has become far too corrupt and dysfunctional to ever allow systemic reforms. Voting for Democrats or Republicans represents delusional thinking that has brought us to our delusional democracy with its delusional prosperity.

  • Greg says:

    To ask clarification before I sound any stupider… does the Federal Reserve control the interest rates that banks set? If so, what does is that interest rate? If I remember rightly, it controls mortgage interest rates as well, though I could be wrong 🙂

  • Greg says:

    Also, may I suggest another one? Congressmen, during the time that Congress is out of session, MUST return home and will not get paid during their downtime (both effectively make Congress “part time”). The reason why I say this is twofold:

    1) It would make sure that Congressmen would actually be in their home district, something that doesn’t often happen any more (there are a bunch houses and places where they stay–heck, sometimes Nancy Pelosi is interviewed during their off time–in DC!)

    2) Assuming, for a moment, that they would actually want a job, they would be able to fully immerse themselves in the economic situation of their home district and would actually be enabled to understand the full ramifications of their laws. I say enabled because it might not work; you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink 🙂

    • Troy says:

      I have heard that a number of members of Congress are actually permanent residents of D.C. or its environs. Yes, they maintain the illusion of residence in their home districts, such as being registered to vote there, but, by any sane definition of residence, they reside in the crapital area.

      I agree that this seems totally wrong but am not sure what we can do about it… other than limiting terms so severely that they will not be there long enough to set up permanent residence.

      I like Rick Perry’s idea of a part-time Congress, much like what we have here in Texas. They show up for a brief period every two years, do their damage, then return home to whatever passes for their normal lives.

      BTW, this may be the only thing I agree with Perry on.

      On a related note, we and in the midst of a runoff election in my own Congressional district (the newly-created 25th district of Texas) and one of the candidates is not eligible to vote for himself! Why? Because he does not live in the district. The candidate in question is a rich automobile dealer who has been searching for a job he can get elected to so he has something to amuse himself in his retirement years. Sadly, his millions may well be able to “buy” the office. For whatever it is worth, his opponent is a retired Lt. Colonel who served in the first Iraq war, has a degree from West Point and a graduate degree from Oxford, has written several books, and is an acknowledged expert on US history and our Constitution. That this is even a contest says something very troubling about the politics of our nation.

      We have attended several forums where the car dealer answered every question with platitudes, motherhood and apple pie while the Colonel gave detailed answers that showed a concise understanding of the issues involved. And which usually went several feet over the heads of the audience.

      Troy

      • ◄Dave► says:

        …which usually went several feet over the heads of the audience.

        That is the nub of our problem right there; ignorant sheeple being allowed, and even encouraged, to vote. It is simply too late to repair the damage the public schools have done. Even if we could somehow start tomorrow, it would take a couple of generations for entropy to clear all the hopelessly muddled minds out of our political system. ◄Dave►

        • Troy says:

          Yes, my friend, and it is the conundrum this exposes that cause my feelings of frustration and hopelessness. If a system cannot “heal” itself, that seems to leave only two options…

          Try to keep it running despite the corruption, decay and rot, or,

          Try to destroy the whole rotten mess then try to replace it with something young and vital (then try not to be too depressed with the certain knowledge that this new thing will itself fall into corruption, decay and rot — for that is the nature of organisms).

          Troy

  • Greg says:

    Troy, in response to a larger question here that you raised, do you think that the practice of “Gerrymandering” should be illegal (except in cases like you highlighted above, where you NEED to redraw district lines because of a lost or gained seat?” I really do think it should be outlawed; the only thing it often does is guarantee the other Incumbrepublocrats another election/term, or guarantee the lines are drawn in such a way that the non-incumbent Democrat or Republican wins. I think that it circumvents our electoral process.

    Also, I never thought I’d agree with Perry on anything, but that is more or less what I was saying. 🙂

    • Troy says:

      I think the practice of Gerrymandering absolutely should be illegal.

      I suggest hiring some independent software developer to make a system that can be fed map and population data, by voting precinct (without any data concerning race, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc.). Only age and citizenship should matter (so the software can do its job based on the number of legal voters in each precinct). The software could then plot out new congressional districts, starting at the northwest corner of any state and proceeding south and east based solely on the number of legal voters, dividing each state into more-or-less rectangular districts.

      Of course, this ends not only Gerrymandering but also race-based considerations (another legacy of the CRA that still yields illogical consequences).

      I also favor photo ID cards, with machine readable IDs as well, and mandatory, state-wide real-time computer systems that register the use of the voting card such that it can be used once and only once in each voting cycle. Absentee ballots can be encoded with the voter’s ID info before being mailed out.

      I know that there is much concern about the occasion for electronic fraud when using computer systems. This should be easily addressed by having several private certification laboratories, randomly chosen, that must certify the software before and after its use.

      Computers are inherently no more dishonest than those who program and operate them. This means that it is people who are the source of all fraud, ergo, the fewer people involved in any process, the less opportunity for human-induced fraud.

      I can envision a voting machine that, upon insertion of my voting card, electronically compares the facial photo on my card with that taken real-time by a camera on the machine, then, upon verification that it really is me, checks to see that I have not already voted, then presents me with a ballot consistent with my voting precinct and party registration (or asks me my party preference in areas that allow cross-party and no party voting). I vote, it gets counted, a paper summary is produced in 2 copies (one for me the other for local officials in case of a recount or a legal challenge) then off I go, having performed my civic duty.

      IMHO, the only reason we do no already have such systems is that many of the people in whom we place our trust WANT the fraud option left open.

      Troy

      • ◄Dave► says:

        Good stuff, Troy! I couldn’t agree more on the gerrymandering, and your suggestions are excellent. I used to balk at the notion of a national ID card on civil rights grounds (“Show me your papers.”); but that horse has already escaped the barn. When I lived in Hawaii over 20 years ago, they already used one’s SS# as the driver’s license number. Given the exigencies of the modern digital world, your suggestions are excellent. Personally, I would even eliminate the absentee ballot, as too problematic.

        The partisan effort to encourage early voting, before the ‘October Surprises’ come down, distorts the process. Incompetents, who are still alive, but incapable of making a rational choice (e.g. Alzheimer patients in nursing homes), are having their ballots cast by someone else, as are incarcerated or dead people, who have not yet been purged from the rolls. I know this would seem unfair to some, who simply can’t be home on election day (e.g. deployed military), but I would accept that in lieu of the massive fraud possible in the mail rooms. Voting ought to require a little effort and attention to duty. I am even rather taken with the simplicity of the ‘purple finger’ artifice. ◄Dave►

        • Troy says:

          RE: The absentee ballot… my electronic voting machines would make it easy for the military and for overseas embassies and consulates to offer instant voting to any and all — given the machine’s ability to match voter to precinct to proper ballot. For those who are overseas and cannot make it to the nearest military installation, embassy or consulate would be out of luck.

          I am not against early voting though, so long as it is not really early. The process does allow people who are, of necessity, out of pocket on the specific voting day to still have a chance to vote.

          Realize though that my voting machines would allow any valid voter, with ID card in hand, to cast a vote at ANY valid voting place, anywhere.

          As well, except for recounts, there should be no “local” vote counting. All the records should be transferred to a machine at each state capitol where the results are made public at an appropriate time. In the case of presidential elections, I propose that the appropriate time is after the closing of the last polling place. Wherever it happens to be in the world.

          This stuff I am proposing was possible with late 1990’s technology.

          Troy

      • Greg says:

        Troy,

        Have you heard about the recent problems with Thad McConner (Rep- Michigan – If I remember rightly)? He did not get enough signatures on the ballot for re-election, and then suddenly resigned. A rather unique situation happens here now, and it is rather silly in my opinion:

        In September, there will be a primary/special election to fill his seat in his old district. The seat would be held until January, when another election for the NEW district (due to redistricting) must be held. Granted, there is no Senator in this situation.

        If I understand your and Dave’s writing, you would prefer the Governor of the state to appoint someone until January, and then have the direct election. Is this correct?

        Further, when weird things like this happen, is there a remedy you would create via law or by Amendment? If so, what would it say/do?

        • ◄Dave► says:

          Greg, Article I Section 2 of the Constitution requires the Governor to call a special election to fill a vacancy. I am not sure why it is being put off until September; perhaps there are State laws requiring lengthy notice of a writ of election. Are you sure the election for the new district won’t be in November at the normal time for electing a new Congress, instead of January? Obviously, that close together, the same candidate will win both of them.

          No, I do not like the idea of the Governor appointing someone to fill vacant House seats. Representatives should be chosen by the people they are supposed to represent, to do that very thing. Not, just to increase the caucus of the Governor’s Party. ◄Dave►

        • Greg says:

          See this:
          http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/07/special_election_to_fill_thad.html

          Seems here that it has been canceled.

          And this:
          ONAN: In the meantime, some news of Congress, and, well Thad McCotter, what happened?

          RUDIN: Well, where do you want to start? I mean, of course last year Thad McCotter, the six-term congressman – five-term congressman from Michigan, decided to seek the Republican nomination for president, which made no sense, not even in the McCotter household. And he decided against it after a few months of testing the waters.

          Then he couldn’t get 1,000 signatures to get on the August 7th Republican primary ballot in Michigan, which astounded everybody. They were just not valid. They were fictitious and duplications and photocopies but not real signatures. So then he said OK, maybe I’ll run as a write-in, and then he said no, that’s not going well.

          So he announced last Friday forget it, I’m quitting, and he just quits. And then that’s it. I mean, I’m not – it’s not that I’m not going to seek re-election and bide out my time through January 3rd. I’m just – I’m out of here, goodbye, and he’s out of here.

          CONAN: So a special election has now been set for, I think, September?

          RUDIN: Well, here’s the weird thing. August 7th is the primary in the new 11th Congressional District of Michigan. But in September, there’s a special primary election for the old district lines because we have to fill the rest of McCotter’s term. So it’s kind of confusing.

          CONAN: And then that person will serve until the election in November, when it’ll be in the new district lines.

          RUDIN: This sounds like one of Ken’s trivia questions.

          (Source is here: Do Ctrl + F for McCotter, not McConner. Again, my mistake 🙁 THe second time it comes up is where it is excerpted from)

          It seems I am slightly off from what I remembered when I first heard the story (earlier today). The original plan is to hold a special election, with the person holding the term until November, when the lines are redrawn, causing a “New” district to form. There would then another primary/election to fill that NEW seat that was held by the new “old” guy. I’m not quite sure I totally understand it but it seems like a really weird situation.

          My question still stands though: Are such “Weird” situations okay with you, or should they be changed?

  • Bill Walker says:

    The only comment that needs to be said regarding this article is the author makes one misstatement of fact. He states there are only 32 applications for a convention call. This is incorrect. The public record shows 49 states have submitted over 700 applications for a convention call, far in excess of the number required to cause a convention call.The applications can be read at http://www.foavc.org . As to the rest of his article he correctly points out the amendment process provides plenty of political brakes to stop unwise movements wishing to put something in the Constitution. It should be noted that over 10,000 amendment proposals have been submitted to Congress; only 27 (including the original ten amendments which most view as part of the original Constitution) have ever passed. This calculates to an approval percentage of .000027 per cent. The math alone shows there is nothing to fear regarding a convention.

    • Troy says:

      Thanks for the update. I merely quoted the reference source I used. is there a way to find the “official” number” of outstanding State calls for a Constitutional Convention?

      Troy

  • ◄Dave► says:

    Troy, before you accept Bill Walker’s above rebuke and accept his assertion, I would evaluate his data. I started to, but couldn’t get that far. I visited his link, which appears to be his own website. If not, he seems to have been the driving force there. I use past tense, since it has had little activity over the past year or so. Initially, I was intrigued by the concept, the claim to be nonpartisan, the mission statement, etc. Walker claims to have spent the past 20 years focused on this issue, to have written numerous legal briefs, and given speeches at gatherings of those interested in the subject. All very impressive, yet the apparent lack of recent activity made me check the forum to see if there was any there. There were only a few comments from 2012, but one thread caught my eye, which questioned why one encountered our political system referred to as a democracy thereabouts, instead of a republic. Bill Walker responded thusly:

    The majority of the people today day have no ideal of the meaning. It has been instilled into them through public indocution of school this country is a Democracy nation. If you will look at the meaning of democracy you will find the a nation under democrate rule life is about 100yrs before it surcomes to a violate death. The people have no say in the government and are lead by a small few, this falls under the same catogory of a socialist nation except the people are still allowed small freedoms of government pleasures. Whereas in a republic the government will answer to the people at all times and the people control the government. Politions shall go out to the people and address Bills brought forth and lisen to there views; this is not allowed within a democracy. Yes we were found under a republic, but look at Thomas Jefferson who saw this day comming.

    Bill Walker

    Forgive me, but I could go no further. You will need to check for yourself to see if your numbers were in error. My initial aroused interest, immediately went limp as a wet noodle, and I couldn’t get away from the place fast enough. I don’t know who edits his ‘legal briefs,’ but I sure hope the pay is generous. Good grief, if that is an example of his literacy, and the organization of his mind…

    Enough said, and having been said, he does make a good point regarding the mathematical odds of getting a proposed Amendment ratified. ◄Dave►

    • Greg says:

      (I don’t know if you mind a post like this… let me know for the future!)

      Dave, I absolutely agree with you. Thomas Jefferson and the founders, in their Federalist Papers writings, clearly said nothing of the sort. In fact, they wanted to set up this nation so as to AVOID a direct democracy, with the people having LITTLE input. Why else would they have engineered the Electoral College.

      Back then, word of news traveled very slowly. As such, one’s information was only confined to their village, or town, city, what have you. There is no way Benjamin Franklin could have seen his electricity used for anything. Edison (or Tesla, depending on whose side you’re on) hadn’t even been born yet! The electoral college was created for just that purpose: so a group of well-informed individuals could determine who our next President was, rather than the uninformed masses. Today, should there be an electoral college instead of voters? We know a lot more today about the world around us… yet as the same time, we can be just as MISinformed as we can be INformed.

      (The below part seems to be actually better fit in Troy’s education post… can you splice and/or copy posts?)

      In fact, one of the greatest “spins” on history takes place in our very high schools, elementary schools, and middle schools–and sometimes even in college! Despite what you may have been taught, America is a Republic, not some “Representative Democracy.” In fact, the term itself seems to be a contradiction in terms; in a true Democracy, there are NO representatives; each man has its own vote. Thus the very premise of us being a “true” Democracy is flawed by the very nature of our government.

      • ◄Dave► says:

        Splendid… I am seeing progress! Good on you, Greg. You can easily copy and paste your own comment to another thread if you wish it to be discussed there. ◄Dave►

      • Troy says:

        Greg,
        Excuse me for a bit of nitpicking but Thomas Jefferson made no known contribution to the Federalist Papers. While these were written anonymously under the pen name “Publius”, it was well known at the time that the authors were John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Indeed, the writing styles were so obvious that one can easily tell which of them wrote which article. The purpose of these articles was to help convince the people that their respective States should ratify the Constitution.

        In fact, Jefferson had very little direct influence on the Constitution itself as it was constructed while he was a minister to (and in) France. The round-trip time required for an exchange of letters (with Madison) gave him very little input although his previously documented thinking, along with the words in the Declaration, obviously had some indirect influence.

        Troy

        • ◄Dave► says:

          Good catch. 😀 ◄Dave►

        • Greg says:

          When I typed it, I KNEW it was wrong. Thank you very much for correcting me 🙂

          • ◄Dave► says:

            What do you think, Troy? The impertinent little bugger keeps asking for it. Should we try to slap some humility into his noggin? Yeah, why not…

            OK, I’ll call BS on that, Greg. You may have KNOWN it; but it sure never made it to your working memory and consciousness, while you typed the following three paragraphs. Had you even suspected that you might be in error, you could have simply deleted Jefferson’s name, and started the sentence with, “Our Founders…” This is not the second string of the Junior Varsity you are taking on, lad. Bring your ‘A’ game, and a little respect for the competition. 😀

            Oh, and while you are learning to respect your elders, try to remember to capitalize ‘Founders.’ 😉 ◄Dave►

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Good grief! I just noticed the gross error in his math. While the point is still valid, he ‘misstated the facts’ by four decimal places. 27 is .27% of 10,000, not .000027%. Caveat emptor. 😐 ◄Dave►

      • Greg says:

        If he was going for out of a 100%, he is still off: It is 0.0027%, not the number he gave. Thank you for encouraging my fact-checking process. It has been a while since I have given a good fact-checking to something. 🙂

        • ◄Dave► says:

          Not to be pedantic, Greg; but:

          10,000 X .0027 = 27
          or 10,000 X .27% = 27

          Your 10,000 X .0027% = .27
          and his 10,000 X .000027% = .0027

          …just to be accurate, if accuracy matters anymore. 😐 ◄Dave►

    • Bill Walker says:

      I’m going to skip any comment about the quote alleged to have been made by me as I don’t believe I wrote it. If it was found on the forum section of the site, it was not as I do not, surprisingly, write in that section. Instead I have written several articles regarding it. As to the rest of the comment. I’m sorry but you should revise your decision to go limp as you put it. The site is the ONLY location officially recognized by the U.S. Government as the source for the applications, their number and so forth. This was emphatically stated in two newly released CRS reports you can find under the “news” section of our site. As to any question of accuracy, I point these are photographic copies of the Congressional Record, the official record of the applications. And as far as “activity” the fact is the CRS report shows a convention call is currently under discussion in Congress. If you had read any further you’d find a criminal suit against Congress is underway. The CRS reports cites numerous movements supporting various amendments. A major conference was held at Harvard last year which I attended. I could go on but I think this refutes the idea of no activity. And by the way, when one cites public record, it is not a “claim.” It is a statement of fact. Now if you think I misstated the fact 49 states have submitted over 700 applications for a convention call, I invite you to go to any public library, find the appropriate volumes of the Congressional Record and knock yourself out checking the work.

      • ◄Dave► says:

        Funny… they think they are engaging you in the forum. Perhaps you should; there appears to be some pretty cogent commentary going on thereabouts, and it is not all in agreement with you. One rather compelling point made, was that no convention called by Congress is even required, if 38 States want to get together and ratify an Amendment on their own, without Federal politicians even involved in the deliberations. ◄Dave►

  • Greg says:

    …Math has never been my strong suit 😐

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