Friday, August 19, 2005

Constitutional Amendments

Every now and then I am shaken from my lethargy and denial by an accumulation of political events. I begin thinking about how to change the electoral system so as to address some structural problems baked into the cake. I propose the following Constitutional amendments in the names of practicality and justice. I provide the preliminary background to my proposal first.

People accept an accountability in their lives they do not hold politicians to. Make enough mistakes at work, you don't have a job. Make enough mistakes in your marriage, you are divorced. Make enough mistakes with your friends, you are lonely. Make enough mistakes while batting, you strike out. Make enough strikeouts, you are out of the ballgame.

That is not they way it works for politicians. The system perpetuates poor performance. Some people might respond to me, but they have good intentions. I say, everybody has good intentions. And even those people who do not have good intentions won't admit it. Hell, the BTK killer said he was a Christian at his sentencing yesterday.

I will quote Bud Wilkinson yet again. "Potential is nothing; performance is everything."

OK, what are my Constitutional amendments? First, get rid of the Electoral College. The more populous states are already under represented in Congress compared to the less populous states. The Electoral College makes the injustice more egregious.

Second, limit all members of Congress and the President to one four year term. Assuming the elimination of the Electoral College, hold the Presidential and Senatorial elections at the same time. Two years later elect the House of Representatives. That way if the performance of elected officials sucks more than usual, you can still hold some of them accountable within two years.

People ask, but what if our elected officials are doing a good job? My immediate unproductive response is yes, and what if frogs grow wings so they don't bump their ass. My productive response is politicians groom your successors well just like everybody else is accountable for.

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