I want to share an ongoing discussion about a Truthout Article: The Economy We Want Starts With a Constitutional Amendment by Keith Harrington.
My first comment was ‘We need a lot more than an amendment to address election financing: we need a drastically re-written Constitution.”
Someone with the handle ratherdrive posted:
Serious question here, Elizabeth:
BY what specific method do you see an entirely new Constitution “coming first from the people,” followed by ratification of 38 States. and last by 2/3rds of Congress?
It’s a very good question and one that needs a serious answer, which I will attempt to give.
My first thought was to find a group of serious thinkers from different walks of life to become the modern day Founding Fathers (I had in mind Nobel Laureates) who would draft a constitution for the 21st century.
But then I went to Cuba for a solar energy conference. We visited several co-op farms, and at one met members of the local “Committee” in the communist sense. From them I learned that, when he came to power, Raul asked the people what they wanted. They got together in their local committees of 20-30 and discussed the matter. Then they forwarded their suggestions to the regional committee, who amalgamated the suggestions from the local committees and forwarded those ideas to the next level up. The central committee received 200,000 (if I remember correctly) suggestions, and took a couple of years to sift through them and write new policies reflecting the will of the people. Pretty startling coming from the last hold-out of communism.
The US could approach the matter of the Constitution in much the same way. You, to invent an example, get together with your Rotary group, or your co-workers, of your church and talk about what works and doesn’t work about the Constitution as it stands. You select a spokesperson to get together with representatives of other groups in your community, and you talk about these ideas. Repeat as often as necessary until you have a group of, maybe 200, representing the entire country. They divide into committees according to expertise and draw up the first draft.
You can see the rest of it – good thoughtful stuff – at http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/34860-the-economy-we-want-starts-with-a-constitutional-amendment?tsk=adminpreview#comment-2526683424
That would be widely disseminated and subjected to a comment period, with modifications made if there was sufficient agreement among the comments.
Then State assemblies are asked to sponsor, suggest (I’m not sure what the right term is) a Constitutional Convention.