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Proposed Amendments

chuck kottke

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I have an amendment I'd like to add...


Congress' pay will be directly reflective of their approval rating. So if the country is not going in the right direction or if people are dissatisfied then their pay will decrease. So if the approval rating is 14%, they make 14,000 a year. This way they'll be more than sure to work for the people rather than special interests


That's an amazing idea that should be implemented in every country!

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I'm all in favor of it, if their pay were their main income stream! Trouble is, our congressional members make their fortunes from the pay-offs when they're out of office and come back as lobbyists; any cut in their pay would probably be made up in the gravy train coming down the pike. It would be a good thing though, if we could make their pay be their main source of income, and them accountable to our will.



Article (i)

Section 1.

The fifth article of the Constitution of the United States is hereby amended to include a process for citizens to amend the Constitution.

Section 2.

The citizenry, whenever in the course of time deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, and if by manner of circulating a petition of a proposed amendment garner 1/20th or more of the general population in the number of petition signers, then the proposed amendment shall be put before the citizens and voted on as a ballot proposal, 2/3 approval by the voters required for passage.

Article (ii)

Congress shall be required to create and provide for citizen's panels, comprised of citizens selected randomly from the general citizenry, all willing citizens chosen tasked with investigating and reporting any improprieties to the general body of Congress, the Judiciary, and to the Citizenry specifically and narrowly regarding the constitutionally defined tasks to which they are assigned.

Article (iii)

Section 1.

The right to fair elections, the right to fair candidate races for office, a right by which all other rights are protected, shall be preserved and enhanced, and campaign processes overseen by citizen's panels, with ample funding for this measure by act of Congress.

Section 2.

Campaign donations to a given candidate made during a given candidate's campaign for office, made in any form, shall not exceed 1/100th of the median individual income level, as determined yearly using federal income figures, and shall be limited to individual citizens making one donation per candidate per election cycle. Only real live citizens shall be allowed to donate to candidate campaigns.

Section 3.

The Congress shall have the power and the duty to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Article (iv)

Section 1.

No sitting or former member of Congress shall engage in lobbying, either directly or indirectly with active members of Congress, with the President, or with other government officeholders, but former members of Congress may provide advice to officeholders if independent citizen oversight is present to monitor such communications, and report any improprieties to the Congress, the Public, and to the Judicial branch for further action.

Section 2.

All lobbying and consulting with active members of Congress, with the President, or other government officeholders shall be overseen by members of citizen panels so tasked.

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Article (v)

Section 1.

Citizens shall be elected to the Senate no more than two times consecutively, and Citizens shall be elected to the House no more than four times consecutively, and Justices appointed to the Supreme Court shall retire their tenure after a period of two decades.

Section 2.

This article shall be placed into effect upon ratification as an amendment to the Constitution, and shall affect only those persons gaining office after the date of passage of this article.


I received some comments on Section 2, which some felt gave too much power to those already in office, but going the other direction it would create quite a mix-up bouncing current incumbents right out of office, such that a smooth transition wouldn't occur, and the learning curve for almost a whole new Congress might be quite a challenge.

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Yes, that's more than a loophole Greg! Personally I don't believe in the the death penalty as it makes us sink to a level of extreme detachment and taking the life of another human being, or of asking others to do so on our behalf - better to put the guilty to work making amends and remedy the underlying causes which lead some to commit violent crimes.

But as it stands, the problem of allowing states the final decision in matters of basic rights is a problem, as results vary from place to place, when our rights should all be the same! As it was with segregation, slavery, poll taxes, etc., it can often be a slippery slope backwards.

I pondered the nature of one current amendment being proposed - that is namely the amendment to end corporate personhood. What I see as the problem is this: Why should corporations ever be considered as persons in the first place?! It's all nuts to begin with. Then, to write an amendment to say they are not is like painting over a leak in the ceiling without fixing the roof. Totally backwards, and a new leak just springs up somewhere else. Better is to take the influence-buying money out of the process, and pen in the missing rights, to filling in the missing pieces.

So, the real problem in my mind is simply the lack of clarity and inclusion in the list of rights we possess, and insufficient checks and balances. But in the meantime, I agree - we must press for equal justice for all, as a remedy somewhere down the line doesn't help those facing dire consequences in the here and now.

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Article (vi)

Section 1.

All businesses chartered in the nation shall be periodically reviewed by citizen's panels to determine if they are benign or beneficial to the nation, and a determination made regarding the renewal of each business charter based on a careful analysis of each business.

(check on corporate behavior, ensuring a promoting of corporate accountability)

Section 2.

Any business chartered outside the nation shall be examined by a citizen's panel to determine whether the business is equitable to the nation, citizens, and humanity, and whether or not to allow each business examined to conduct business or trade within the nation.

(Check on foreign or off-shored businesses, ensuring equitable practices)

Section 3. No one person or entity may own the majority share of a publicly owned or traded business, and no one person or entity may control more than 1/4 of any given industry or sector of the economy. All affected owners may diversify their investments in a manner which best suits them.

(Ownership and boardroom democracy, prevention of monopolistic control)


Section 4. The Congress shall have the power and the duty to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.




At the time of our nation's founding, the dangers of corporate control were well understood, and corporate charters were issued for limited spans of time, and for projects which were for the public good (building roads, bridges, etc.). But the slow erosion of protections against the amassing of control under the corporate banner has led us to this point, where only with clarity and a set of fair standards can the corporate structure and ownership be brought in line with ethical social and moral values.

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