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Thread: Proposal for a National Referendum Amendment

  1. #1
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      1. Our federal government is of a representative democratic type[/i]. That is, the people are the ultimate repository of political power, and ultimately they determine the political course of the nation.
      2. Our federal government is of a republican form[/i].
        1. It is limited in its power by constitutional documents, in our case, the Constitution of the United States.
        2. Constitutionally, our federal government is supposed to be limited in the scope of its authority. The constitution lists certain enumerated powers, and it should act only within those enumerated powers.
      3. Because the federal government has far exceeded the scope of its constitutional authority, it must relinquish this power and assume the role required by the constitution. This cannot be done with the current political mechanisms of our government:
        1. The federal government has become so vast, so powerful, and so corrupt that the representatives will not, on their own initiative, release their power back to the people or to the states.
        2. Large segments of the population have become so dependent upon the federal government that they have no natural incentive to influence their representatives to relinquish the power they have unconstitutionally arrogated to themselves.
        3. Therefore, we the people must impose a new form of political control over the federal government that would not have been necessary if it had kept itself within the constitutional bounds of authority.
      4. Therefore I propose a National Referendum Amendment. This would provide a mechanism by which:
        1. the people could initiate votes on any legislative issue at the national level (the initiative)[/i], and
        2. the elected representatives of the people could refer any legislative issue to the people (the referendum).[/i]

    I welcome your thoughts about the desirability and feasibility of such a plan.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Tricorn's Avatar
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    Nowhere in the founding documents of this country is the word "democracy", or any of its derivatives, used. Our form of government is a Constitutional Republic, based on the Rule of Law, not the whims of the majority with the rights of all protected and gauranteed by the Bill of Rights. Rights which arebestowed on usby God, not given to us by government.

    A National Referendum Amendment would nullify the Constitution as the authorities and responsibilities of each of the three branches of government as defined in the Constitution be superceded by said Amendment. In fact, under color of that Amendment, a mere majority could repeal it and impose any kind of government they so desired. With the country pretty much evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, wich ever one could win a mojority could rule the country indefinitely. It would allow the majority to impose its will on the minority. There would be no protections for your rights as the Bill of Rights would virtually cease to exist. Majority Rules - Forever!

    National Referendum Amendment - A Bad Idea!

  3. #3
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    This sounds a lot like what the UN said after they failed to ban guns in Brazil: "First lesson is don't trust direct democracy." Rubem Fernandes was upset because of their historic loss in a national referendum proposing to ban guns in Brazil. The people voted overwhelmingly in favor of their own rights.

    Well, that leaves us a problem. You say we can't trust direct democracy.We can't trust the majority. Presumably, then, we must trust the government? We must trust the courts to uphold our constitutional rights?

    We can't. They pick and choose which amendments they will affirm, and simply ignore the ones they don't like.

    If we're going to invest our representatives with power they were never supposed to have, we have to keep a tight rein on them.

    If we're going to give them free rein, we have to limit their power.

    If we're going to allow the courts to make policy, then we can't have them appointed for life.

    If we're going to appoint them for life, we have to limit their power.

    You can't have it both ways. You can't allow them power *and* political isolation.

    So either we have to reduce their power, or we have to make them politically answerable.

    I suggested that we take political responsibility for ourselves by allowing us direct access to the political process because the representatives have already proved their corruption. But if that's a bad idea, what do you suggest?

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