In the last few weeks the readership of this blog has increased 30%. I assume it’s because of what I’ve writing about, fixing Article V with the Mason amendment. You may think it’s an interesting idea, but what is he, or can he, do about it?
What I’m going to do is something that virtually all of you can do as well.
With only a few exceptions, every seat in every State House will be on the ballot this November, and half the seats in every State Senate. You’re a voter, and now is the time when you can get the attention of candidates for the state legislature. They may be campaigning door to door, or having “meet the candidate” events. They’ll all have a campaign office with a phone number.
Some time between now and election day, I’ll be talking to the legislative candidates in my district in California. I’ll tell them that I support the balanced budget amendment and campaign finance reform. Neither one of them will get through this Congress, or any Congress. So the only way they’ll happen is with Article V.
The campaign for a BBA has 28 states, and is currently stalled. Wolf-pac’s Article V campaign for campaign finance reform is stuck at five states. This is because Article V doesn’t work, and needs a technical amendment — the Mason amendment.
I’ll explain that the Framers, Mason in particular, wanted the states to have the same freedom to propose constitutional amendments as Congress does. But Congress has proposed 33 such amendments, the states none.
This is because Article V Convention requires a 2/3 supermajority for a quorum, though a bare majority of the states to vote for proposing the amendment. That’s backwards. Just like Congress, Article V conventions should only need a majority for a quorum, and 2/3 to propose.
If the candidate agrees with this idea, ask them to introduce the Mason amendment when they go into session next year. If they agree, email me at email@example.com. I’ll want to keep track and make sure they follow through, as you should. I’ll also send them the language of the Mason amendment. If they refuse, tell them they won’t be getting your vote.
I know this works from personal experience. When I was going door to door, campaigning for the Alaska State Senate, a voter asked me If I supported the death penalty. When I said yes, he asked me what I was going to do about it. I told him I’d introduce a bill, which I did.
This bill wasn’t going to pass, as everyone in Juneau understood. And some of my colleagues were angry, thinking that I was showboating. They opposed capital punishment, but didn’t want to alienate the majority of their voters, who supported it.
I told them I’d promised a voter that I’d do it. I wasn’t showboating, even though my bill was very popular in my district. I was just keeping my word.
This is genuine grass roots democracy, and it can work. Let’s give it a try together.