Our Government is Broken
Politicians are for sale to the highest bidder, the will of the majority is ignored by both houses of Congress, and our voting system does not allow third parties a fair chance. Anybody who runs as a third party candidate is seen as what they are… a spoiler who wants you to split the vote and give the election to the other side.
If we are to have any hope of fixing it, its going to have to be permanent and carved in stone…so that the next batch of morons to bribe their way into office can’t just change it back. To do that requires four (4) constitutional amendments:
1: The Elimination of Corporate Personhood as a legal vehicle for corporations to interfere with the legislative process, our judicial system, or the value of our currency. Currently, corporations are able to use this principle to do all three with impunity.
Corporate Personhood, in greater detail, has been used by corporation to effectively pick and choose which politicians people vote for. Whoever wins, they win. Whoever loses, they still win. They accomplish this by backing only two major parties (The Democrats and Republicans) and then backing the candidates put forward by both – on condition that they meet certain requirements. Those requirements are always whatever political agenda that corporations wish to see accomplished during that particular election season.
Once an election is over, the real work for the “winners” begin. They are handed laws that have been written by corporate lawyers which will most benefit the particular industry (and often the corporation itself) wants to see passed. If those laws aren’t passed, elected officials find funding harder to come by during the next election season.
This has been going on since a clerical error in 1866 claimed that the United States Supreme Court had ruled corporations to have the same rights as people. Even though no such ruling had been made, the error was used as the legal foundation to GET corporate personhood established. After an actual decision by the United States Supreme Court was made decades later which provided personhood rights to corporations, they spent the next 150 years pushing for legal decision to expand those rights until finally, through the landmark Citizens United v FEC decision, corporations were handed the right to openly influence our electoral process.
Prior to this, corporations had always been forced to use back channel maneuvering techniques. But with that one decision, democracy (which was already on life support) was given its death blow.
The only way to restore democracy to a point where free and fair elections are possible would require an end to corporate personhood; clearly spelling it out for all to see and carving it into the Constitution of the United States of America:
Amendment 28: Only residents of the United States can be viewed as people under the laws of the government of the United States of America. Any resident not otherwise lawfully incarcerated may exercise the right of personhood or any attending rights. No business establishment of any form may hold or exercise the right of personhood or its several attendant rights.
a) Any rights described in this amendment previously granted to any form of business are hereby declared as privileges revokable at any time and for any or no reason by any magistrate.
b) Any business dependent on the privilege to own or distribute goods (such as firearms) or services which loses its privilege to retain ownership of said goods shall have not more than ninety (90) days to sell or otherwise divest itself of the offending goods and/or cease providing the offending services.
If you are wondering why the founders didn’t think to put that it, its probably because they never thought the nation would ever become so stupid as to think otherwise.
2: The establishment of Ranked Choice Voting. By definition, a ranked choice voting system is a process which requires more than one vote be cast. Even a simple “indicate your first, second and third choice candidate” procedure creates votes for third parties. And why should we consider this? Simple:
Elections under the single-winner district system are broken:
- Elections are not competitive. More than 85% of U.S. House districts are completely safe for the party that holds them. and only 4% were true toss-ups in 2016. As a result, millions of Americans are perpetually represented by politicians they oppose, with little hope of changing things at the polls.
- Outcomes are distorted. Massachusetts Republicans haven’t elected a House Member in more than 2 decades. Oklahoma Democrats are similarly shut out. Minor parties are nearly always shamed as “spoilers.” One party can run the House even when the other earns more votes. In fair elections, those with the most votes should win the most seats, but every American deserves a fair share.
- Representatives are more polarized than voters. Voters in general elections must choose between polarized candidates selected by highly partisan primary voters, leaving many without a route to representation.
3: The outlawing of gerrymandering as a legal activity. Admitedly, this may require the intervention of an artificially intelligent machine to fairly draw district lines based on pure census data.
4: The restoration of the constitutional procedure for the selection of Senators. Under the original constitutional provision for the selection of Senators, they were selected from among the membership of the state legislature by members of the state legislature.
This method of selecting senators did three things:
1: It was a clear vehicle for making Senators directly accountable to their state legislature.
2: People who were unhappy with how a Senator was representing them had a way to “petition the government for a redress of grievences” outside of the normal election process.
3: Because Senators had to first establish themselves as caring about their district, and then establish themselves as caring about their state, the opportunity for them to buy their way into office with advertising dollars was strictly limited.
These steps, taken together, would increase the separation of powers intended by the original framers of the Constitution.
With the two party system we have now, the problem isn’t that my donkey beats your elephant or vice versa. The problem is that, quite often, the party of the President and the party which dominates one or both houses of congress is the same.
When the President’s party and one or both houses of Congress are all the same, what you get is effectively no different than a government of, by, and for a King.
If memory serves, the founders of the nation were rebelling against that sort of thing.