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Utahns would love it if our Initiative and Petition rights were as broad as those in Colorado. With a much smaller population, Utahns hoping to enjoy citizen governance must gather 95,000 signatures, and they have to come in a fixed formula that involves an extensive effort in at least 26 of 29 counties. Then, as a new twist, a bill from the past session gives opponents of any and every proposal 30 days after submission of signed Petitions to the Secretary of State to contact signers to sign taking their names off of the Petition. Proponents, meanwhile, can do nothing during that 30 day "cooling off period".

Professional politicians much prefer to play to the party base (on both sides) because that is a much faster and easier conversation to have on the way to victory. With direct citizen involvement in the legislative process the development of grassroots movements is inevitable. And grassroots movements mean informed and active citizens, a politicians worst nightmare.

So while we actually now enjoy technological advances that make it possible for government to become more democratic than anything since all of the members of a tribe were able to sit down, talk, and decide their collective fate together, big money and big power is bent on an all out fight against Democracy.

Accordingly,one way that the U.S. Constitution could be beneficially changed is to create a strong right of direct citizen involvement in all levels of governmental decision making.

Money, per se, doesn't have to pollute the political system, but it always will under the set of rules, or lack thereof, that our politics are forced to be played under. Serious citizens of every stripe have their political yearnings and actions harmed by the simple mathematical computation of the amount of money it costs to buy 51 U.S. Senators (or, really, 41 under the truly inane rules that govern "The Most Exclusive Club on Earth") when that many can be garnered from low population, low budget/price tag states, and have a vote equal with those whose ownership might reasonably costs fifty or one hundred times as much. Not that Big Capital couldn't come up with the investment even if they had to pay full market for all 536 elected federal office holders, but I'm sure that the savings involved with absolutely having to own no more than the Senate and a Karl Rove/Roger Ailes led propaganda machine is much appreciated.

Bottom line, then is (1) not a single thing can be done to remedy this sorry state of affairs without amending our Constitution; and (2) it is absolutely no more of a challenge to force the convening of a Constitutional Convention to address the whole universe of our systemic political deficiencies than it is to force the passage of even a single constitutional amendment (that, given political realities, would be guaranteed to be of puny stature).

In opposition to a robust movement for the purpose of calling and successfully completing an event as historical and broadly watched as The Second American Constitutional Convention, I can just see the ads featuring a distinguished southern gentlemen (or "Bubba" type if the polling points in that direction) saying "You know, we can't really be expected to understand matters as complex as comprehensive governmental overhaul so I'm just going to mail my proxy to my local branch of Too Big to Fail Bank, or the nearest station of Too Big to Believe Oil and Service, or my very own local office of the Republican Party Machine, so I can go back to watching The Best Of The best Of and not have to worry".

I mean, if there are any more than the two choices of the status quo, or a sufficiently radical departure therefrom to create a true improvement in the greater society, I sure haven't heard anything in my sixty plus years about what they might be.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There can be no protection locally if we are content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 07:07:50 AM PDT

  •  Citizens United v FEC along with Thomas, Roberts, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Alito, Scalia, and Kennedy are the problem.

    Public Campaign Financing needs to be started to remove the corrupting influence from the electoral and legislative processes.
    FCC-licensed tv and radio stations should be required to give free air time to political candidates 3 weeks before elections.  Any money donated and accepted would be considered to be bribery and influence peddling and carry mandatory incarceration for all involved.

    Clarence (the clown) Thomas perjured himself at his confirmation hearing -- he's a sexual predator but lied about the Anita Hill sexual harassment when they worked together at the EEOC and now other women have come forward to back Anita Hill with their own reports of Thomas' illegal behavior.
    Thomas also falsified his financial disclosure forms to cover up his close relatuionship with the billionaire Kochroaches who gave him money and gifts and that of his wife Virginia who is a professional teabagger organizer.
    Thomas should be impeached and removed from the bench for lying to Congress, indicted for repeatedly falsifying his financial disclosure forms, imprisoned if he fights it and loses, and denied his pension.

    Roberts perjured himself at his confirmation hearing by falsely claiming thast he wasn't an activist judge but relied on established case law to make his rulings.   The Citizens United v FEC and the Lilly Ledbetter v Goodyear rulings put the Roberts" kangaroo kourt on par with the notoriously shitty Roger Taney kangaroo kourt that made the half-assed Dred Scott ruling that ignited the Civil War.
    Roberts should be impeached for lying to Congress, removed from the bench, indicted (for the same reasons that Roger Clemens was), imprisoned if he fights it and loses, and denied his pension.

    Scalia is unfit for the bench because he doesn't believe that women and people of color have any Constitutional or civil rights since they weren't specifically spelled out in the Constitution and that people of color were slaves and women were 3/5ths of a person to our Founding Fathers.  
    Scalia is in constant violation of his solemnly sworn oath of public office (which constitutes the felony of perjury) with his half-assed views toward the rights of non-WASP males.

    Alito is just a stupid fucking asshole and NeoNazi whose idiotic opinions are political ideology rather than legal scholarship.
    Alito is in constant violation of his solemnly sworn oath of public office (felonious perjury) -- the Lilly Ledbetter v Goodyear ruling is a classic example of Alito's convoluted thought processes, and so is the Citizens United v FEC ruling.

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