Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on April 16, 2012
Article V (five) of the Constitution is important because it explains how Amendments can be added to the Constitution. So far, we have 27 Amendments, and all of them have been passed the first of two ways:
- Congress can amend the Constitution by 2/3 of the House and Senate approving the measure, then ¾ of the States’ legislature passing same.
- States can bypass the congress by Constitutional Convention and 2/3 approval by the States’ legislature.
This is important to know because the Citizens United decision (giving corporations the ability to make unlimited donations to secretive organizations for the purpose of influencing elections and the candidates they support) has caused such a push-back from the populace, that a campaign called Amend 2012 is now circulating amongst the states. Here is another version of the same idea: http://cs2pr.us/28th_Amendment.html that actually hits harder on the issue of money in politics than the example legislation noted at the Amend 2012 website.
The Amendment idea is not without merit, but it is also not hitting hard enough or directly enough on the problem. Even if corporations stopped funding campaigns, they are still spending money through lobbyists to: write legislation that favors their interests (and often theirs alone), corrupt our officials to pass that legislation, and then keep them under their control by funding their next campaign, often through byzantine machinations.
All of this should be illegal and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Why aren’t we doing that? Because we think we are powerless to do so. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is because we are still the United States of America, a democratically elected republic, that we can exercise our voting power to fix this problem. But we have to act, and the sooner the better.
If you want to change congress this November, consider voting for those candidates who have taken the Pledge for Honest Candidates, because strong wording is needed to cause real change. Going back to the days before Citizens United is not enough, because the corruption goes back much farther than that. In fact, if we don’t pass legislation like the Pledge outlines, we may lose our republic entirely and we will become a pure democracy, run by the people. Congress will be obsolete in such a society. The pendulum always swings.
For more information about Article V, visit this link: http://www.lexisnexis.com/constitution/amendments_howitsdone.asp
Here is the text of that Article:
Article V is: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”