This brings up a topic that I’ve thinking about a lot recently, specifically about some of the things that I think are wrong with the current state of the American political system, and how I would change them. So I guess these are some things I would put in the constitution of my own nation.
I’d abolish the Electoral College. It’s usefulness has passed. Presidential elections should be decided like every other office, by majority vote. The immediate difference I feel this would make is that it would open up the viability for 3rd Party candidates. We definitely need more choices than just the Democrats and Republicans. But the way the deck is stacked against them now just make it impossible. People don’t want to vote for a 3rd party candidate, even if they agree more with them, because they feel their vote will be “wasted”, because they don’t have a chance, and so they just pick the lesser of two evils. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It also forces candidates who would be better off in a 3rd party to try to force themselves into one of the majors. For example, right now Congressman Ron Paul and former Gov. Gary Johnson should be running as Libertarians, not Republicans. But they’d be taken even less seriously than they are now if they did that. And that’s a shame.
Speaking of Presidential elections, didn’t we just have one? So why are we already starting another one? It just feels like it’s too soon. I don’t want President Obama thinking about re-election right now, he should just be able to focus on his current term, which only began 2 1/2 years ago. One idea I’ve had, which I got from a reading of the proposed constitution of the Confederate States of America, as crazy as that is, was how about if we elect President to serve one term, that lasts for 6 years? It gives you enough time to try to accomplish all of your goals, and you never have to think about re-election. Just get in, do the best you can, and get out.
Of course, one drawback to that is that it could make the President an instant “lame duck” and congress could just try to wait him or her out and try to block everything they do until the term is up, so therefor we also need similar term limits for them. I’d say also have one 6 year term for the Senate, and a maximum of 3 terms (2 years each) for the House.
I would also like to attempt to de-politicize the U.S. Supreme Court. Some folks have suggested term limits for them, one person I know said Justices should be appointed for just 10 years, but I don’t think I’d want that. Ideally, the point of lifetime appointments is so that Justices feel totally independent, but now we’ve seen how Presidents feel compelled to appoint ideologues, who can continue to push their agendas long after the President who appointed them are out of office. But I’m worried that if you give them term limits, then that makes the selection process even more politicized than it already is, because everyone will know, baring accidental deaths or early retirements, exactly when an opening on the Court will happen, and during whose term in office. I don’t want that to become a big issue during Presidential campaigns. Plus, if they’re only on the bench for 10 years, Justices might be thinking of what kind of job they’ll get after their term is up, and that could influence how they decide certain cases. So my solution would be to have a minimum age requirement for Justices. Make them have to be at least 60 years old when appointed to the court. And they should have a minimum of 15 years as a judge on some lower court. That way there will be enough of a judicial record to judge their qualifications for the Supreme Court and, at that age, they probably won’t be around for too long.
Oh, and I’d abolish the Death Penalty, decriminalize marijuana, lower the national drinking age to 18 (if you can choose to risk your live in the military @ 18, you should also be allowed to drink, if you want to) and legalize gay marriage throughout that nation. There’s a bunch of other stuff I’d put in, but that all I can think of @ the moment.