Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Time to Amend the Constitution

Blocking the port operations on West Coast is all well and good as a show of strength and a demonstration that the Occupy movement still breathes, but otherwise it is only tangentially related to the purposes for which the movement exists. That probably explains why the participation in the activity is small compared to earlier efforts. There is, I'm sure, considerable ambivalence about it.

What we need to consider is an action that will be more than symbolic, and I think I know exactly what it should be: a state-by-state petition and call for a new Constitutional Convention.

Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution stipulates that 2/3 of the state legislatures may call for a convention to propose amendments to the document. This has never been done before, except for the original convention that drafted the original Constitution itself. But given the Supreme Court's rulings, plutocracy will prevail until the Constitution is amended to break the false equivalence between money and speech, and a corrupt Congress is most unlikely to pass such an amendment with the 2/3 majority of both houses required. The other method of amending the Constitution, a convention called by the state legislatures, bypasses Congress altogether.

In formulating the petition, we should also make sure to specify how the delegates to the Constitutional convention are to be selected. It might suffice for the state legislatures to select delegates, although the ideal method would be through direct election. Most certainly the delegates should not be selected by the U.S. Congress! And we should also insist that a money-is-not-speech amendment be among the issues addressed by the convention, in specific terms.

A resolution of this nature, passed by 2/3 of the states, would be a much better demonstration of Occupy's influence than closing down the nation's ports.

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