Thursday, February 24, 2005
Binding National Referendums
Could it happen?
Suppose we could organize a set of referendums for the country that would become law if voted on favorably. Here are a dozen of my Propositions:
1. Constitution: Stricter adherence to the Constitution on the part of judges, with a panel of peers to assess the decisions and opinions of the sitting judges. If the result is that the judge has exceeded the bounds of the Constitution, out he goes.
2. Clean Bills: Removal of ”pork” riders in all bills from Congress, without exception.
3. Amendments to the Bill of Rights: Needed to clear away ambiguities that have been used to foster changes. This includes the 1st, 2nd and 14th Amendments. We need to delimit the casual use of the 1st. We need to clarify the 2nd to ensure that citizens have a right to own and use guns, to carry guns from place to place, and to use guns in self-defense without legal harassment throughout the US.
4. Marriage: Establish once and for all that marriage is between a man and a woman.
5. Abortion: Ban abortion except in dire circumstances.
6. Christianity: Establish once and for all that this country is Judeo-Christian, and will permit displays of Judeo-Christian symbols and writings in public, on coins and in classrooms, and, incidentally, including prayers in schools.
7. Schools: Force a comprehensive basic curriculum on all levels of schools, and force teachers to teach it in a proper and unbiased manner, with testing and supervision to confirm it. Change the tests every year to prevent mindless teaching of the test questions rather than the full material. Remove such subjects as sex education, and other subjects not directly associated with the basic curriculum, from the schools. Remove teachers and administrators that balk at the changes, and replace them with true professionals. Put an end to experimental programs in the schools, except under well-controlled situations. Reinstall track systems for the various learning levels. Let the advanced students race ahead, and let the slower ones take the time needed. Free the teachers from the unions with an “opt out” provision.
8. Sovereignty: Establish that the US will not relinquish any sovereignty at all to any international organization whatsoever. No taxes will be paid to the UN, and phased withdrawal from the UN should begin immediately. Begin to organize a coalition of like-minded democratic countries.
9. Defense: Ensure that the US is prepared to defend itself both internally and externally, from aggressors and from insurgencies. We should be able to fight two wars at the same time, and to occupy and pacify (however briefly) countries we have conquered, until they have their own capabilities, as in Iraq.
10.Borders: We must close our borders to illegal entry. We must rid the country of illegal persons by deporting them. We must have a system for regulating guest workers, and ensuring that they follow the rules, or be deported. We must regulate sponsors of guest workers and penalize them heavily if they break the rules. Illegal persons currently in the US should be given one week to register at any local police department, be fingerprinted, photographed (with all relatives and children. Any illegal person that does not sign up should be found and deported forthwith. Local police should be authorized to arrest suspected illegal aliens, and to deport them if found to be so.
11.Social Security: Pass a personal account provision, that phases over individual accounts to 50% or more ownership and investment by the individual. Phase out borrowing from SS by the government.
12. Term Limits: Congressmen should be limited by law to a single term of service. Representatives should have a four year term, and Senators an eight year term. This would affect several aspects of congressmen: they would run for election once and not have to use their time and money to campaign while in office; fresh new ideas would be brought in from the States more often; coalitions of congressmen on issues would tend to have limited duration; and the terms would be long-enough to learn the issues and vote constructively. This proposition would return the Congress to the idea of citizen legislators spending time in Congress, but not making it their lifelong career.