Many people must have identified the weaknesses of American Senate, commonly referred as the Upper House. It is remarkable that the Constitution does not represent the ideas and wishes of many people in the country. The most important issue to consider in this discussion is whether the constitution offers a basis for proper governance and equal representation. What this issue says is that the Senate is inappropriate.
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The ineffectiveness calls for constitutional reforms for a better senate that meets the needs of the people. The reforms will bring about new ideas, concepts and policies that address the needs of the citizens. If the society of citizens is capable of constituting a government that addresses its needs, then a new constitution can address these gaps and have a new Senate that governs the people equally.
Article One of the Constitution establishes the current composition, duties and powers of the Senate or the Upper House. The Senate has a minimal number of members with every State in the country producing two representatives to the Upper House (Caro 24). The citizens from each state they represent appoint the senators to the Upper House. One important thing I would like to raise here is that some states have large populations compared to others.
For example, the States of New York and California have many citizens compared to the State of Dakota with a population of less than one million people. What does this say? This says that the people of California and New York might not be getting equal representation in the Senate. It would be necessary to have equal representation for the citizens from the underrepresented states in the United States. This is one of the areas for amendments to have a better Senate in the country.
The Senate does not come up for a countrywide election at one particular time. The electoral term for the Senators is usually six years, a very long period that might affect the democracy of the people (Caro 37). There is usually no more than a third of the Senate coming up for an election at one given time.
This means that the Senate might never be able to promote the best ideas and policies that meet the needs of the citizens. We can address the issue by having the best reforms and have a better Senate. After reforms, the passage of debates and bills will remain much easier and ensure there is adoption of the best policies that will benefit the citizens. This will also help to keep the House of Representatives in check.
An amendment to Article one of the constitution will ensure we have better representation. This will also ensure the provision of permanent solutions to the issues discussed above. The senatorial term should also be reduced to a period of four years, and always have one election. This will bring new members into the house. As a result, new policies adopted in the country will promote governance in the country.
With the Senate coming up for elections at the same time, the people will have the ability to exercise their rights as voters and determine the new ideas, policies and implementations that will promote their livelihoods (Caro 48). With the Senate being a powerful house, minimizing the senatorial term to four years is a positive move to promote democracy and better governance. This is a democratic approach capable of promoting the rights of the citizens.
The other major concern that calls for a new constitutional amendment is the issue of the Senate filibuster. The Senate usually adopts the filibuster as a tactic to ensure bills and motions are defeated indefinitely. The tactic usually prolongs a motion and debate to a later date thereby making it impossible for the house to pass some bills.
The Upper House usually invokes a cloture thereby ending the filibuster (Caro 78). One weakness of this tactic is that it makes it impossible to have some bills becoming laws or policies in the country. A reformation would ensure the abolishment of the filibusters and ensure the house rejects or passes bills easily.
The above issues call for a new constitution to ensure the Senate meets the needs of the people and the country as a whole. The new idea will reform the Senate, promote equal representation, and ensure the elections occur at one time. This will reduce the senatorial term to four years and give the people an opportunity to elect new people or replace the senators who seem to address their needs and problems (Caro 86). These reforms will make the Senate more effective in addressing the issues faced by the citizens.
My proposition for this paper is that a constitutional reform is mandatory if we are to have equal senatorial representation in the country. An amendment to Article one of the American Constitution will ensure there are better practices for the senators. The idea behind any government is to represent the democratic rights and needs of the people. In conclusion, there is need to abolish any government idea that does not achieve the above goals for the people.
Caro, Robert. Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson III. New York: Random House, 2002. Print.