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Abolish the Senate, Starting with Some Whittling

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Seeing the way a handful of senators are serving their health industry contributors better than they are their constituents, or the health of the nation, it is clear the US Senate itself needs some major surgery.

The United States has the world's oldest living democracy. It is a problem. We are stuck with a house of Congress that utterly fails to fairly represent the people, giving disgracefully disproportionate power to a handful of people.

I realize it is nigh on to impossible to get rid of the Senate but someone should be talking about what a worthless body, or worse, the negative impact it has on democracy, freedom and justice.

We need some kind of replacement that is more representative, more responsive to changes-- where the people elected are replaced far more often. At the recent netroots nation conference a number of activists basically said they'd given up on influencing the Senate because they couldn't see a way to reach these granite icons, installed for six long years, massively protected with incumbency and the backing of their parties.

Elected officials should never be allowed to become such monolithic entities, unaccountable to their constituents.
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It's time to eliminate the senate, to update the constitution. This will not ride well in the smaller states. They will fight it. Perhaps it is totally impossible. One way to address it is to make it an issue, so every member of the Senate has to take a stand on it. Another way to address it is to change the term length for senators. Make it the same as for members of the house. At least that will make the senators more accountable.

Another way to increase senator accountability is to remove all private campaign financing. We need to do this asap. If we can't eliminate an archaic, undemocratic institution we can at least make it more democratic. Unfortunately, we have almost 100 self-interested officials who will do all they can to protect their power. I'd love to hear from any senator or his staffer with any inclinations towards correcting the problems I address.

After all, what I'm doing is suggesting that 100 jobs be eliminated, probably replaced with a more parliamentary approach which would create even more jobs, but with a bit less job security. And my fallback position absolutely calls for an intentional decrease in job security. Matter of fact, there should be mandatory senate term limits. Cut the terms in half and allow a maximum of three terms of three years each.

America needs representatives who are responsive to their constituents. We don't have that any more in the senate and we need to get it back. Firedoglake is polling legislators, on video, to see where they stand on the public option. We should do the same on the future of the Senate. Which senators would be willing to let go of some of their security for the good of all American constituents?

We can't dismantle the Senate any time soon. But we can start whittling away the worst aspects of the Senate by calling for shorter terms and term limits. We can pull corporate and party funding out of the equation and require races to be run strictly using public funding.

America deserves a lot better than the out of date, doddering, unrepresentative system we currently have and, while it is probably impossible to replace it, we can do some clear things to make it better than it currently is. America deserves better.

 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)
 

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would require ratification by two thirds of the st... by John Sanchez Jr. on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 8:40:23 AM
I think the biggest problem in the US now is what ... by Steven G. Erickson on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 3:38:28 PM
There's actually been quite a bit of noise about t... by Scott Baker on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 9:11:02 AM
limiting congressmen and senators has long been a ... by liberalsrock on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 10:01:09 AM
we should start by removing ALL money that is not ... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 10:10:36 AM
it's good to see this article and I hope to see th... by Janiece Senn on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 3:21:13 PM
I don't know how many times that I've stated Lobby... by William Cormier on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 10:21:45 AM
"I believe weare all in trouble, and I don't have ... by Jay Farrington on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 1:31:55 PM
I am not a organizer and would not know how to sta... by Janiece Senn on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 3:41:07 PM
Short term ideas. Public funding of all elections.... by Robert N Smith on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 11:04:25 AM
great article. The author is correct in all of his... by sommers on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 11:14:27 AM
I don't think getting rid of our Senate is the rig... by J. Edward Tremlett on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 12:20:34 PM
We need some kind of replacement that is more repr... by steve scheetz on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 1:00:56 PM
On what basis do you make that allegation? I can s... by William Cormier on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 1:54:46 PM
I was thinking of other forms of government-- parl... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 2:08:15 PM
6 years in the senate is way too long...BTW, to th... by steve scheetz on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 3:28:10 PM
Thess kinds of polls are terrifically misleading, ... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 3:21:59 AM
everyone I know is disgusted with Obama's health c... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 7:05:24 AM
facts are facts and the majority of people are cal... by Janiece Senn on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 3:49:35 PM
I did not take the polls, ABC, GALLUP, RASMUSSEN, ... by steve scheetz on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 7:04:01 PM
It won't happen under our present system because t... by Paul Kruger on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 2:38:06 PM
Yes, but I would add, and the way votes are (NOT) ... by Jill Herendeen on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 7:20:49 AM
Most of our founding fathers were men of privilege... by Blaine Kinsey on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 2:56:39 PM
The article "REAL CAMPAIGN-FINANCE REFORM" was pri... by Blaine Kinsey on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 2:59:49 PM
Another way to increase senator accountability is ... by Harold Hellickson on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 2:58:48 PM
The Senate should be reduced to a House of Lords w... by Bryan Emmel on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 4:06:54 PM
gerrymandering going on, perennially, which utterl... by GL Rowsey on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 7:45:57 PM
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, the S... by Blaine Kinsey on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 8:33:31 PM
The Constitution doesn't say whether the Senators ... by GL Rowsey on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 9:13:45 PM
the argument would be that within the existing Con... by GL Rowsey on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 9:24:56 PM
Tinkering with electoral districts would not chang... by Blaine Kinsey on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 1:51:39 PM
We're beset with weak and ineffective Senate leade... by Richard Lee on Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009 at 10:20:26 PM
Assaults on the Ridculousness of the Words "The Pe... by GL Rowsey on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 7:19:08 AM
rob, all you hope to see emerge in terms of govern... by john de herrera on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 12:45:01 PM
"The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses ... by GL Rowsey on Friday, Aug 21, 2009 at 1:51:53 PM
Rob is right. The Senate IS a problem that needs f... by Brian P. Mallon on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 2:40:56 PM