Nearly a decade ago (sheesh... am I that old?) there was a thread in the forum about a Constitution for Ameriwanks that sought to optimize the US Constitution as drafted, under the guise of greater framer foresight, for a United States that was ultimately "successful" in uniting the whole of the American continent(s) under a single, great, perpetual union. This does not, however, exclude the idea of a United States that is also inhibited in its actual territorial growth as a nation. Rather it serves as the bedrock for the ideals of that nation pursuant to that great union, whether ultimately successful or not.

Rather than performing the act of thread necromancy, an unspeakable taboo of which I was prone to back in the days of yore, I'd figured instead to grant the concept new life. And while all in good fun, it also seeks to serve as a place of discussion and for ideas to flourish. This thread does not seek to create a single, indomitable Constitution for the United States of Ameriwank, IOTL or IATL, but rather, in the words of the original thread:

[This] is meant to be a forum to discuss such changes to the original text of the US Constitution produced by the Constitutional Convention as it may be fitting for Ameriwank timelines. [...] The changes introduced to the Constitution are meant to make its workings more efficient and better adapted to the expansion and growth of the nation, and are assumed to be either the effect of the different set of states, or the result of the Framers having such greater political and constitutional foresight about the subsequent evolution and needs of the USA as it may deemed barely reasonable.

As linked and quoted, it is desirable to work within the foundation of the Constitution as it existed originally. Utilizing such documents as the:
  • Continental Association
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Constitution of the Confederacy
  • Previously Ratified or Proposed Amendments to the "Original Text" that can be reasonably included from inception
  • Any personal writings of the Fathers of the United States as deemed appropriate
  • Subsequent personal writings of Great Americans, or other Great American Documents, that could potentially be adapted into the Constitution in its base form, or as a later Amendments
A color scheme to denote changes by their origin will ensure ease of identification upon review of the document. As such, the "Original Text" will utilize the default black coloration. This includes any and all amendments previously ratified that can not be reasonably accounted for within the original confines of the document. Also provided will be a link to the previously modified document taken from the prior thread. It will be a Google doc, open to editing suggestions by members of the board. Suggestions for edits, additions, omissions, or other such changes will be made there. Once a change is requested, that change will be brought to this thread for discussion and debate before a vote will occur. All voting will be conducted using Strawpoll (with a link to the vote) so as to not clog the forum with new threads simply for votes, nor an artificial inflation of the thread with short posts denoting a vote cast. This will help to ensure an efficient and clean means of debate, voting, and revision for the entirety of the convention.

This link will serve as the base version of the Constitution for our edits, previously incorporating changes made from the original thread. All further changes subject to the above. Please know that this is open to anyone and such input from all members is welcome. But know that not all suggestions will be incorporated into this Constitution.
 
Sorry for not notifying this earlier, but I wrote some proposed amendments back in late September, and you weren't that much active back then.

Basically, they boil up to, in order of Provisions amended:

  • Initiative and Referendum are recognized.
  • The House's term is extended from two to four years, to ensure a fixed electoral cycle for both Congress and the Presidency.
  • The House is elected using "Jungle Proportional Representation;" the election is held at-large in each State using single non-transferable vote, but seats are reserved to candidates belonging to a certain Party using the d'Hondt system.
  • The Senate's term is extended from six to eight years, and the staggering of senators' terms is changed from one-third every two years to one-half every four years, to ensure a fixed electoral cycle for both Congress and the Presidency. In addition to these elected senators, the President may appoint up to seven Senators-for-Life. Senators-for-Life have the same powers as elected senators, except the power to vote on the Impeachment of the President, the Vice-President, or a Senator-for-Life.
  • The Chief Justice would also preside over the impeachment trial of Vice-President and a Senator-for-Life.
  • The division of senators into classes is changed from a by-lot basis to a whoever-has-the-most-votes-gets-the-longer-term basis.
  • Election Day is fixed as the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November.
  • Members of Congress, except Senators-for-Life who are not former presidents, can be recalled.
  • The unclear provision entitling former presidents "a voice and seat on the floor of Congress" is switched with a clearer provision making them Senators-for-Life by right. The denial of such a privilege to impeached presidents is extended to recalled presidents.
  • A provision for resolving legislative deadlock is established; the bill creating the deadlock would first pass a conference committee, and then be voted on by a joint session of Congress.
  • The necessary and proper clause now also gives Congress a power to call plebiscites on matters within its powers.
  • A Federal Electoral Commission is established, and the provision establishing it is mainly based on (read: copy-pasted from) the (already very US-styled to begin with) OTL 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. It's members are all presidentially appointed.
  • The President can be recalled, and such a recall triggers a dismissal of the Vice-President.
  • The President is now elected directly using a jungle primary system, with the 50%+1 threshold modified to also include a plurality of votes in a majority of States. The Primary is held on the Tuesday next after the second Wednesday in October, and the General Election - on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November. If the General Election results in a tie, Congress elects one of the candidates as President in joint session.
  • Congress may also choose an Acting President if neither a President or a Vice-President are elected on inauguration day.
  • The Speaker of the House is established as Acting President if there's a simultaneous Presidential-Vice-Presidential vacancy; such a simultaneous Presidential-Vice-Presidential vacancy would trigger a special presidential election.
  • The President gains the power to declare a state of emergency and martial law, as well as Emergency powers a-la Article 16 of the OTL French Constitution.
  • The President can now dismiss the Vice-President, with the same supermajority for appointing a new VP required for dismissing the old one.
  • Senators-for-Life, whether by right or presidentially appointed, and members of the Federal Electoral Commission, can be impeached.
  • The impeachment of the President triggers a dismissal of the Vice-President.
  • Judicial review is now explicitly written in the Constitution.
  • Judges can't be elected.
  • Article 1 of the OTL German Grundgesetz and Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights are added in (read: copy-pasted into) the Bill of Rights. A Provision from the OTL Mexican Constitution, which frees every slave who enters national territory, is also added in.
  • A Constitutional Convention can be now called by 3/5th of Congress, not only by 2/3rds of the State legislatures.
  • Constitutional Amendments must now be ratified by a referendum (in addition to 2/3rds of the State legislatures), and the Ratifying Convention option is scrapped.
  • Minor modifications are also made.
I mean, if it's a wank, wank the best out of the competitors, eh?
 
Top