THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Is Constituency Democracy Destroying the U.S.A.? Solutions Provided by Readers

This one struck a cord with readers. I asked for solutions, and got many. I want to thank all my readers.

Most readers pointed out that special interest groups, "bribing" our elected officials is the main problem. One pointed out bribery is one of the "high crimes" mentioned in Article 2, Section 4 of our constitution:


Article 2, Section 4. It proscribes immediate expulsion from office, and criminal prosecution, for both "high crimes" and "misdemeanors." ... It says that "any civil officer" is subject, again from the highest to the most menial position. And it goes on to list two specific examples side-by-side: "treason" and "bribery." -sundailsvc4

Most feel that eliminating money as a "form of free speech," and moving to a simple majority to pass legislation in both houses could solve much of the problems we face today. Money is not free speech, and neither is Talk Radio, or TV "that propagates lies as truth." Several would like more stringent libel laws to prevent distortion of the facts going out over the airways.

These are the reasons our government is not getting the respect, no matter how many times Senator's and Congressmen say, "What the people want is ... " Clearly most see simple solutions that we fail to embrace, and feel our leaders are lost. But read these solutions for yourself.

-Pantleg

Change the ratio in congress needed to pass legislation to a simple majority.

We also need to give the people the right to one-man, one vote to actually vote in legislation, rather than a representative government.

The libel laws should be made more stringent so Talk Radio can't be a 5th column of government that propagates lies as truth.

We need 
Advertisements similar to anti cigarette ads that make partisan un-cool and promote working together in a bipartisan way.

We need news media to truth check anything they print.

Some of the solutions in my mind are:


1. Tax laws that put more money in the hands of the middle and poorer classes; so it will be circulated into the economy.


2. Our government needs to be able to respond more quickly to stressful times. Change 
How legislation is passed; make legislation by a simple majority; make it so some legislation that is extremely important, like health care, be put before a popular vote.


3. The government should finance campaigns. Contributions should go to a general fund that could be distributed equally. 


4. Lobbyists should be able to lobby, but not contribute any money to a single campaign. Money has to be taken out of the political equation.

5. Strengthen libel law to prevent falsities in the form of propaganda from being distributed as truth.


6. Use advertising to encourage bipartisan behavior; encourage benevolence over greed.

William Horden

1. Somehow break down the barriers between special interests, trying to find the emotional common interests that bind us together



2. Continue educating children to see the interconnectedness of all things and the value of all life, so that they will have the worldview necessary to restore balance and harmony if we fail to


Mshepard

The only solution is the ending of corporate funded campaigns for Congress. He who pays the piper calls the tune and as long as corporations, energy companies, telecoms, defense contractors, Pharma, health insurers, and well funded religious groups pay for our representatives and Senators, they will dance to the tune of those that pay.

QuietLightTraveler

1. Cover all Americans

2. Reduce health care costs, which are the highest in the world by far.

3. Private insurance companies don't give a damn about those two goals. They are only interested in profits. People in this country should know better, but I guess there are lots of dumb people out there who can't figure it out and many greedy people who don't want to contribute for those who can't afford health car insurance. Such is the sad state of this country.

4. Then we have a government that allows the private sector to bribe lawmakers. This is a total disgrace, and how we allowed that to happen indicates that all is not swell in our form of government.

rextrek ... a comment that was typical

America is GREEDY.... ­..PERIOD! If you broke it down into a pie , say of 5th's .....I'd say maybe 2/5 of Americans are actually REALLY good people.... the rest, GREEDY, no good, out for themselves kind of people.... no one seems to care about the "Nation" as a whole...they say they do...but they don't. No one wants to pay taxes...but everyone wants something for nothing. What I was raised to believe America is...IS NOT what it is at all.

sundailsvc4

Article 2, Section 4. It proscribes immediate expulsion from office, and criminal prosecution, for both "high crimes" and "misdemeanors..." the highest to the low. It says that "any civil officer" is subject, again from the highest to the most menial position. And it goes on to list two specific examples side-by-side: "treason" and "bribery."

Inquisitr

Massive public works program. Rebuild EVERYTHING. We're gonna rebuild that bridge...then that bridge...then that road, then we're gonna build a few windmills for fun, then some more bridges.


algomjoker

The Trance of Greatness encapsulates our true state of the union. The symptoms are widespread and obvious at so many societal levels. For all their wisdom and vision, I don't believe the framers of the constitution could have anticipated this evolution of the country.

KeeponTopic

Well, Paul, you are asking for ideas - I am an Australian who closely follows our cousins the USA and I have some ideas.... 


1. Simple Majority for Congress - look you either follow the Westminster tradition or you don't...


2. Corporate Fiction laws to be overturned - corporations DON'T have the same rights in other western countries for a reason.

3. Knobble, kneecap and invalidate your corporate lobbyists and do it now - they are illegal in ALL other major western countries. Basically lobbyist's views are paid for and so is their integrity under the Westminster system. In other Western countries many of your lobbyists would be either jailed or shunned away...they give Washington and by extension the rest of your great country a REAL ODOUR.

4. Encourage further separations of church/religion and state; your churches are not pulpits for either candidates themselves or for church leaders to support them. Church figures should be prohibited from endorsing candidates in an official capacity.

5. Revise your overlong primaries structure - it is too cumbersome and not very representative.

6. Bring back better regulation of the banks with legislation such as the Glass Steingall act returned.

7. Political contributions from corporations are bribes in other western countries, they need to be banned in your country.


8. Cap personal contributions to political campaigns and lobbyists.


9. Enforce the Westminster Tradition with politicians ethics...party leaders must sack misbehaving politicians. Also Candidate Campaign claims must be factual.


10. Curtail the slanderous and libelous aspects of the US media giants, and, yes, we are really sorry for foisting Murdoch on your country...­..


11. Implement a Government Backed Health System supporting public and private options like the systems in place in Australia [1974], Britain [1968], Canada [1971], European countries...


12. Implement a broad based low consumption tax to REPLACE your current slanted taxation system - Australia [GST - 10 percent] and Britain [VAT] are two good examples.


Actually on points 11 and 12 your country should ask for Australian and Canadian politicians to supply advice and oversee the changes. I hope this helps and, yes, I want to be President Obama's next Chief 
of Staff. God bless you my American friends.

TwistedNibbler

Ban corporate campaign contributions, cap personal contributions to $1000 from any one individual, to any on campaign or PAC, per annum, and give every campaigner with enough signatures to get on the ballot, the same amount of Uncle Sam's money (in the form of advertisement face time provided through revised FCC regulation)

JPHR

Severely limit lobbyist activity. Limit campaign contributions to say $250 a year by each citizen. 
Use proportional representation for national elections and have national candidates. That will take care of that pork too. Under the current system a representative, who does not bring in pork for his local constituency will have a difficult time to get reelected. -JPHR

Research

The USA as a government is for sale to the highest bidder. That's Plutocracy, not constituency. Outlaw all contributions. Political contributions are bribery, not free speech. Corporations are a legal fiction, not Persons. These two "big lies" have stolen our democracy.