Change Constitution to save our democracy

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Change Constitution to save our democracy

Published Friday, February 8, 2013   |  269 Words  |  

Most of us recognize that our two parties and their candidates too frequently favor lobbies and their own self-interests instead of voters' opinions. Their extreme positions continue the mistakes of the past.

In Congress, usually less than 10 percent of the seats are contested in elections due to gerrymandering. The Electoral College allows a candidate with a minority of votes to be elected. This system also discourages voter participation. Many of us have hoped for additional parties that will represent our views. Unfortunately, our two existing parties have made this very difficult with their 1990s legislation chiefly empowering themselves.

Our Constitution's separation of the administration and legislature has become a liability as the complexity of governing and the world increases.

A great economist James Buchanan (1986 Nobel prize), who died recently, discovered decades ago that politicians' promises to improve society too often camouflage their disregard for the general welfare in order to transfer wealth to powerful interest groups and themselves. He advocated constitutional reform to prevent this and continued excessive spending (e.g. balanced federal budgets).

An obvious paradox is our policy of advocating democracy for other countries while moving in the opposite direction. Constitutional reform is needed to maintain the democracy we espouse. Proven, knowledgeable leaders from various professions should be appointed, as in 1787, to recommend constitutional changes followed by a simple "yes" or "no" vote by Congress and our states.

I believe this action is necessary for our country to continue as a beacon of freedom and prosperity.

Walt Schymik

Hilton Head Island