A More Perfect Constitution
Why the Constitution Must Be Revised: Ideas to Inspire a New Generation
"The reader can't help but hold out hope that maybe someday, some of these sweeping changes could actually bring the nation's government out of its intellectual quagmire...his lively, conversational tone and compelling examples make the reader a more than willing student for this updated civics lesson." --The Hill
The political book of the year, from the acclaimed founder and director of the Center for politics at the University of Virginia.
A More Perfect Constitution presents creative and dynamic proposals from one of the most visionary and fertile political minds of our time to reinvigorate our Constitution and American governance at a time when such change is urgently needed, given the growing dysfunction and unfairness of our political system .
Combining idealism and pragmatism, and with full respect for the original document, Larry Sabato's thought-provoking ideas range from the length of the president's term in office and the number and terms of Supreme Court justices to the vagaries of the antiquated Electoral College, and a compelling call for universal national service-all laced through with the history behind each proposal and the potential impact on the lives of ordinary people. Aware that such changes won't happen easily, but that the original Framers fully expected the Constitution to be regularly revised, Sabato urges us to engage in the debate and discussion his ideas will surely engender. During an election year, no book is more relevant or significant than this.
Sabato, founder of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, ventures bravely into the controversial waters of constitutional reform. Sabato argues that the founders never intended the Constitution to be timeless, but rather understood that "government structures, ossified by constitutional neglect become fundamentally unfair and tilted to those already in power." Sabato's reforms are consistent with the values he believes underpin the Constitution fairness, idealism, pragmatism and focus on the needs of the present and the future while attempting to mitigate social inequities. His lucid if unorthodox suggestions include a single six-year presidential term that could be extended another two years by referendum; limiting federal and Supreme Court justices to a 15-year term; a larger House of Representatives that would, among other benefits, allow for greater diversity in Congress. His reforms encompass the entire citizenry, who would be required to perform two years of national civilian or military service in what he calls a "Bill of Responsibilities." While there's room for skepticism and unintended consequences in some of his suggestions, Sabato makes strong, cogent arguments.