A recent Gallup poll shows 81 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the governing of the country, a historic number.With the ongoing discussion among experts, pundits, politicians and the general public on whether or not America has lost its way, citizens are looking for solutions. They are out there, says Dixie Swanson, former TV personality, former Beltway insider and author of The Accidental President Trilogy (dixieswanson.com), a series of novels about an apolitical physician who stumbles into a Senate seat. "Problems in our country are moving faster than solutions," says Swanson. "Whether we elect Mitt or Barack, we are going to be facing the same gridlock that's jamming and corrupting the process today," she says. To get the nation back to duly elected government officials who spend their time leading and making decisions in the best interests of the entire country, Swanson suggests the following five amendments: * Abolition of Electoral Voting: The U.S. electoral process is as antique as a powdered wig. It has already failed three times, electing presidents who did not win the popular vote. As the system stands now, if a candidate wins by one vote in a state with a few people, like Wyoming, he gets three electoral votes. If he wins in California, he wins 55. This violates the idea that every vote counts equally. Romney could get "Gored" this year and win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote. All Americans want their votes to count equally. * Single Six-Year Term for Presidents: Our country has enormous problems and the president and vice president need to be on the job full-time, not running for reelection beginning on Day 2. No one in the highest levels of the federal government is looking 20 and 30 years down the road. We need to lengthen the term to build in an opportunity for focus and visionary thinking. * A Balanced Budget: The budget shall not exceed the previous year for which fiscal revenues are known. In the event of a national catastrophe, this can be overridden with a two-thirds vote of each house and the president's signature. This should be gradually implemented throughout the next decade to reduce economic whiplash. This should include an income surtax that goes directly toward paying down the national debt. * Constitutionally Mandated Campaign Reform: The big money of PACS and Super PACS is corrupting. Let's return power to the voter. Only voters can donate, and then only to one candidate in each race for whom they can vote: his or her choice for representative, senator and one presidential ticket. Congress may set a limit on donation amounts. No entity of any kind may give money to the candidate or give it to an individual to donate. Any violations are a federal crime punishable by five years in prison with no parole. Just as your ballot is secret, your donations will not be published on the internet (with your address) as they are now, but will be reported daily to the Federal Election Commission by the campaign treasurer. All donations are to be made by check, credit/debit card or electronic funds transfer. No cash donations are acceptable and there are no in-kind donations. Lobbyists can still exist and do advocacy, they just can't bring money, or anything of value, to the conversation. During an election, any advertising is to be paid for by the candidate and by no one else. * The Line-Item Veto: Congressional attempts to give the president line-item veto power have been shot down by the courts as unconstitutional, so the only way to provide this is by amending the Constitution. As is stands now, the courts can throw out a part of a law, but the president cannot. That is inequitable. Dixie Swanson was a pediatrician for 10 years and the Family Health Reporter for NBC's Houston affiliate. She also spent time working for a Washington lobbyist with access to the White House. Dixie is the author of "The Accidental President Trilogy - a Political Fable for Our Time."
********** Published: October 25, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 28