Recall Members of Congress? Time for a Political Sea-change?
Should We be Able to Recall Members of Congress?
With the most recent crisis regarding raising the United States Debt Ceiling, it's obvious right now that the U.S. political system is dysfunctional and broken. Our elected representatives in Congress are acting more like football players trying to win the Superbowl than taking care of our country's business. If it were possible, would you want to recall them all and restructure this system?
Whether we lean left or lean right, it's frustrating to watch the incompetence of our current Senators and Representatives as they fall into party lines and take a rigid stance not to compromise with one another. Whether the topic is health care, financial reform, extending the FAA's operatinjg authority, or raising the debt limit, both sides complain about the other and plant their heels into their partisian soil.
Since we, as citizens of the United States, have the right to elect the politicians that represent us, shouldn't there be a mechanism whereby we can recall them before the next election as well? Or maybe it's time to do away with career politicians and limit their stint to one to two terms? Maybe our two party system should be abolished so that each candidate is elected based on his own merits and allowed to vote without party pressure.
While we might nod yes to one or all of these ideas, how feasible would it be to make any change, when the very people who could usher in reform, are the people who might be affected? Quite a dilemma, isn't it?
What Do Americans Want?
Whether we are a Democrat, Republican, or Independant voter, I think we all long for the same thing in regard to our elected officials. Don't we all:
- Wish that politicians at every level considered our welfare more and the special interest groups less?
- Wish that party lines would become blurred enough that each politician with a vote, would cast that vote in a manner that helped the American people on the whole, instead of just supporting their party's platform?
- Feel starved for more honesty, intelligence and logic working in our government and less theatrics, BS and political posturing?
We, the little guys, go to the polls and elect our officials. The taxes withheld out of our small paychecks help to pay their big salaries (Annual salary for a rank and file member of Congress in 2010 was $174,000) and all we expect is for them to get things done and keep the government wheels turning.
But in today's political environment, what seems to happen after we elect them? Many of the politicians celebrate their political victories after taking office by waving political banners and planting their cleats on their party's fifty-yard line. They slip on a red or blue jersey and then devote their term in office to fighting for their party's cause, instead of what is best for the people who elected them. To make a bad situation worse, lobbyists are then allowed to waltz in with fists full of cash to sway their judgement on the job and muddy the waters of the Potomac.
Establish Federal Recall Elections?
None of us would be hired for a job, be uncooperative and unproductive, and stay employed! This same principle should apply to our politicians; they need to work to get things done from day one. They should not be given a full term to wile away the time. If they play political games instead of working to accomplish things, they should be recalled. Why should we pay precious tax money for a full term to politicians who fight amongst themselves, give into pressure from lobbyists and basically get nothing done? If any corporation was run in this manner, their doors would be closed in record time.
Right now, recall elections are not allowed at the Federal level. A majority of states allow recall elections for local jurisdictions, and eighteen states permit removing state officials via recall, with one state (Illinois) limiting that recall to the Gubernatorial position only.
The Rockford Register Star voiced their dissatifcation with the political status quo back in 2007 on their post, "Frustrated voters deserve the option to recall politicians." In this post they write, "A recent poll by the Glengariff Group of Chicago showed 65 percent of Illinois voters support a constitutional amendment to recall elected officials." They supported an amendment to the state's constitution that would give citizens the power to recall any official who acts in an illegal, offensive or careless manner in representing their constituents.
At a Minimum: Congressional Term Limits
What Do YOU Think?
Should Members of Congress be Limited to Two Terms?
Unofficial Petition: Eliminate the Parties? No More Career Politicians? Allow Federal Recall?
I think it's time to consider some amendments to our constitution and political system. How about we:
- Demand that Congress pass an amendment to allow recall at the federal level. If any elected official is not governing in a manner that is beneficial for his community, doesn't it make sense to recall him before things are run into the ditch? If a Congressman supports his party or lobbyist more than the interests of his constituents, shouldn't he be removed from congress before his term is up?
- If the two party system isn't working, why not do away with it? No more red or blue jerseys, just red, white, and blue ones
- Why don't we limit a congressman to no more than two terms like we do our President?
- If lobbyists have gained more control over our politicians than we have as voters, why don't we make their influence illegal and render their bribe-money worthless?
If you agree that we need a sea-change in our political system, and that every American should have more control over their Congressman, please add your comments. Do you think we should be able to petition for a recall election of our Congressman? What do you think about limiting a Senator or Member of the House to two terms? (To join the grassroots movement visit Oneletter.org) It's time to get involved!
- Can U.S. Senators Be Recalled?
Though well-meaning citizens would like to recall their U.S senators and make Congress more accountable for its actions, it tramples on the U.S. Constitution.
- U.S. Term Limits
Grassroots movement to implement term limits.
- Term limits in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Term limits in the United States apply to many offices at both the federal and state level, and date back to the American Revolution