If the Convention of States does happen (not a con-con, by the way, but that’s for another post), I expect an amendment to restore the Senate will likely be proposed. However, I highly doubt the people will be all that happy about the choice of Senators being taken out of their hands. Yet, the direct election of Senators must end; most people who don’t live in massive cities agree on this.
Too often, Senate and gubernatorial races are swung in favor of whomever the more populous cities in a state desire. Tell me then, how do these people actually represent the state? The most honest answer is that they simply do not. They represent the cities. I believe it is time for the Senate to actually represent the States again, not to continue as some corrupt, twisted version of the House of Representatives. The following method I thought of myself. I’ve had it in the works for about a year, now, but finally put the finishing polishes on it last night. METHOD, I HEREBY DUB THEE, “THE COUNTY-ELECTORAL SYSTEM.” And yes, it is heavily influenced by the Electoral System used in federal presidential elections.
If proposed in an Article V convention, and ratified by 38 states, it would become Amendment 28. Enjoy.
Amendment the Twenty-Eighth
Section 1: The Seventeenth Amendment is hereby repealed. All Senators shall be chosen in the following manner: The State House of Representatives shall nominate, in the Spring of an election year, candidates for the federal Senate elections in the Autumn of that year. Upon winning the popular votes of two-thirds of the counties in a state, such candidate shall be the winner of the election and become a United States Senator representing said state.
Section 2: Upon the results of an election being finally determined, if no candidate has won at least two-thirds of the counties in a state to win the election, the election shall defer to the State Senate for final determination of a victor. The Senate of the state shall choose from among the candidates with the three highest votes, the winner of the election, who shall become the Senator representing said state.
Section 3: The State House of Representatives must, among other aforesaid qualifications, choose as candidates no more than five and no less than three; no more than two from the same political party; and no current member of either the State House of Representatives or the State Senate, excepting the Lieutenant Governor.
Section 4: When vacancies occur in the representation of any State in the Senate for more than ninety days the governor of the State shall appoint an individual to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.
Section 5: A Senator may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the State Legislature.
Section 6: This amendment shall not be construed as to affect the term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid in all intents and purposes as a part of the Constitution. This amendment shall not go into effect before the next Senatorial election after its ratification.
To learn more about the proposed Article V convention, the news concerning it, legality, and chances of it actually happening, visit www.conventionofstates.com
Explanation of the Amendment
After asking some friends to review this, I discovered that I probably needed to create this addendum, to explain this amendment. This amendment does not take power out of the hands of the people, but rather out of the hands of political parties (as much as possible) and the cities, by abolishing popular vote elections, and thus giving the rest of a State a say in state-wide elections.
Section 1: The Seventeenth Amendment, the current way we choose Senators, is repealed. However, rather than a restoration, this is nonetheless, a closer system to how Senators were originally chosen.
Rather than having party primaries, the State House will choose the candidates for the Senate election. Then, the candidates will compete as they do now to win the election. The catch? Rather than winning a simple 50.01% of the vote, they have to win two-thirds of the counties in a state in order to win the election. For example, here in North Carolina with our exactly 100 counties, a candidate will have to win 67 of them to win the race, rather than just making sure he’s popular in RTP, Asheville, and Wilmington.
I choose two thirds of the counties because, first, the counties represent the state better. In fact, the counties ARE the state. Secondly, if the Senate does its business by a two-thirds vote, then shouldn’t Senators be choosen that way?
Section 2: In the case where no candidate has won two-thirds of the counties, the State Senate will choose, from among the candidates with the three highest vote totals, the winner of the election. State Senates choosing the Senator is actually how it used to be done! Thus, federal Senate candidates have their origins in the State House, and their ultimate ends in the State Senate should they fail to win the votes of the people required to win.
Again, the people get to vote for their Senators. Section 2 is simply a back-up for the cases where a candidate does not win a two-thirds majority.
Section 3: This section adds several more requirements to who a candidate for the Senate may be. A candidate can not be a current member of the State Legislature. Additionally, to counteract partisan politics, there must be at least three candidates, and there can also be no more than five. Out of these candidates, there can be no more than two candidates from the same political party.
So for example, you might end up with four candidates. One establishment Republican, one Tea Party/libertarian Republican, one progressive Democrat, one bluedog Democract. While party divisions might become obvious in such a system, the same system always guarantees that the parties themselves don’t rule over the election with an iron-fist.
Section 4: this section changes nothing from how the sudden vacancy of a Senate seat is dealt with. The Seventeenth Amendment didn’t change the original system, and neither will this amendment.
Section 5: This does not change anything, either. Same deal as Section 4.
Section 6: First, let’s say a COS is held in 2015/2016. This amendment is proposed, and by 2018 is ratified. Well, any sitting Senators would not be effected until their next elections. Then they would have to grovel before their State House masters to have a reelection campaign. (Of course, the first order of business in a COS would be an amendment creating term limits anyway, so if Mark Levin gets his way, anybody who has been in either or both houses of Congress more than 12 years would be inelligible to grovel before the State House.)
Secondly, for any Senators chosen in the year of ratification, the amendment would not effect them until their next election. Assuming ratification in 2018, enforcement would not begin until 2020 (or 2019, you weird off-year states 😉 ). Hopefully this makes sense.
Of course, a Convention of the States cannot save us. The United States have way too many moral and spiritual issues to be, “fixed” by a mere civil reform.
In a republic such as ours, political corruptness more often than not is an alarming sign that the people are morally corrupt. After all, whom else but a corrupt people would repeatedly elect corrupt men to represent them?
A Convention of the States would be a wonderful occurrence civically. Restraining the overblown powers of a corrupt, power-hungry federal government who has forgotten its intent and purpose would be a marvellous realigning of power back to the people. After all, you can rule your life better than some faceless bureaucrat in Washington.
But our hope for the actual restoration of America cannot be in mere men nor in our inventions or designs of government. Our hope must be in the true King of America. He is the King of all nations, and only He gives hope. Only He can save a nation. Only He can restore us.
I pray for a Convention. But I also pray more worriedly for this nation. This nation of fools and hypocrites, sung to sleep by philosophies that save the trees yet kill the children.
My Hope, America? My Hope is Jesus. He must be yours, too. If God did not spare His own people destruction, then how can we think that absentmindedly saying, “God bless America” will save us?
The Convention can only prolong us, but for how long? Not much longer, if we continue so wickedly.
Support the Convention. Pray for mercy.
Work for change.