More Perfect Constitution 23 Proposals to Revitalize Our Constitution and Make America a Fairer Country

ISBN-10: 0802716210

ISBN-13: 9780802716217

Edition: N/A

Authors: Larry J. Sabato

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"No society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs to the living generation."--"Thomas Jefferson" "A constitution intended to endure for years to come [is] consequently to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs."--"John Marshall" "This book will ask readers to set aside their own political loyalties, to look past the current 'values' debates and hot-button issues, to consider this very real possibility: that the failure of the nation to update the Constitution and the structure of government it originally bequeathed to us is at the root of our current political dysfunction."--Larry Sabato The political book of the year, from the acclaimed founder and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Larry Sabato has one of the most visionary and fertile political minds in America. Like so many, he is increasingly alarmed at the growing dysfunction and unfairness of our political system. To solve this, to restore the equity for ordinary citizens that is at the core of our democratic society, we must take a radical step--to revise the Constitution, the document that guides our political process, for until some of its outmoded provisions are reformed, we will only have more of the same. The original framers fully expected the Constitution to be regularly revised by succeeding generations to reflect the country's changing needs; yet, apart from the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, it has only been amended 17 times in 220 years, and most of those amendments had minor ramifications. Today, partisan gridlock dominates Washington; 17 percent of voters elect a majority of senators; the presidency has assumedunprecedented and unintended powers; while politicians spend as much time campaigning for office as they do governing; and average Americans feel more and more disconnected from the political process so that half or more don't vote in many elections--all of which would have horrified Jefferson and Madison. """A More Perfect Constitution" presents twenty three creative and dynamic proposals to reinvigorate American governance at a time when such change is urgently needed. Combining idealism and pragmatism, and with full respect for the original document, Sabato's thought-provoking ideas range from the length of the president's term in office and the number and terms of Supreme Court justices to the structure of Congress, the vagaries of the antiquated Electoral College, and a compelling call for universal national service--all laced through with the history behind each issue and their potential impact on the lives of ordinary people. Aware that such changes won't happen easily, Sabato urges us nonetheless to engage in the debate and discussion they will surely engender. As we head towards a presidential election year, no book is more relevant or significant than his.
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Book details

List price: $25.95
Publisher: Walker & Company
Publication date: 10/2/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.430
Language: English

Dr. Sabato is an election analyst, a former Rhodes Scholar & Danforth fellow. He has appeared on dozens of nationally broadcast television shows, including "Nightline", "Face the Nation", "The Today Show", "Good Morning America", "48 Hours", "Larry King Live", & the "Jim Lehrer News Hour". He has served on many national & state commissions & is the recipient of more than two dozen major scholarships, grants & academic awards.

Creating a Capital Congress
Reforming the Senate
Reforming the House
Congressional Term Limits: Extreme or Mainstream?
Balancing the Budget: Setting the Stage for a Great Convention Debate
Continuity of Government: Preparing for the Unthinkable
Perfecting the Presidency
The Presidential Term of Choice
The Six-Year Term
The Alternative: A Presidential Confirmation Election
A Lengthened House Term (and Changes in the Senate Term)
War-Making Limits: Presidential Downsizing
Item Veto
Fairness for All: Making the Presidency Possible for Americans Who Are Not "Natural-Born"
The New Courts: Supreme But Not Eternal
The Error of Lifetime Tenure
Fixed Terms
Not-So-Early Retirement
A Balanced Bench
Power of the Purse
Politics: America's Missing Constitutional Link
Of Parties, Presidential Politics, and the Quadrennial Orgy
The Regional Lottery Plan for the New Constitution
The Electoral College: Mend It, Don't End It
Adding Some Political Rules of the Game for the Twenty-first Century
A Citizenship of Service: Asking What We Can Do for Our Country...and Ourselves
An American History of Service: Military Calls and Civilian Supplements
The Case for Universal National Service (UNS)
Universal National Service and America's Future
Vox Populi: What Do the People Think of Constitutional Change?
The Caution Light Blinks Steadily
Dissatisfaction with the Status Quo
Look Who's Talking
Rasmussen Poll on the Proposed New Constitution
Calling the Twenty-First-Century Constitutional Convention
The Founders' Daring-and Our Timidity
The Legal Netherworld Surrounding a New Convention
Setting the Ground Rules Prior to the Convention
Calling the Convention
After the Convention: Ratification and Its Aftermath
Conclusion: Getting There from Here
United States Constitution and Amendments
Selected Bibliography
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