On the way to work today there were a huge amount of people walking across the bridge. A large proportion of them were wearing pink. I am guessing it was some sort of organized event and not just random. :-)
If I Wrote Congressional Rules
Just some random thoughts:
- No bills longer than two standard typewritten pages (with appropriate full definition on what exactly that means)
- Bills must be self contained and not incorporate other content by reference
- Previous laws can be repealed, new laws can be passed, old laws can not be amended
- Any house or senate member can introduce any bill at any time
- Bills introduced must be introduced by a single member only
- The full text along with the name of the introducing member would be published immediately
- No amendments
- No debates
- Each bill must come to a yes/no vote no sooner than 5 calendar days after introduction and no later than 10 calendar days.
- If a bill passes in one chamber it would be automatically introduced in the other chamber and an up/down vote must occur within 5 calendar days
- Once again no amendments and no debates, just the vote
That would be much better. The way they do it now is non-sensical. Oh, and add to that one more item that would have to be a constitutional amendment, not just a change in congressional rules...
All laws, without exception, expire automatically 10 years after they are signed into law. All existing laws will expire on the next 10 year anniversary of their original passage beginning 5 years after the passage of the amendment.
(OK, some of the others might have to be amendments too if they were to stick rather than just be guidelines that the congress could override for itself whenever it wanted.)
There ya go.
Of course, if I was going to do all that, I might go even further and require a 90% super-majority to pass any legislation at all. Then you'd only get the stuff where there really was widespread agreement and you'd have a government with a much more limited reach I think. Dunno.
OK, I'm done musing about my completely unrealistic notions of how I would structure a government. I've got other things to do tonight.