lundi 31 juillet 2017

ALEC’s scary plan for electing your senators

Salon (original article from Alternet): ALEC’s scary plan for electing your senators

With so much news, however, perhaps the most shocking and consequential story of all slipped under the radar: A bombshell report in the Nation that the American Legislative Exchange Counsel (ALEC) — the most influential power behind conservative legislation marching through state legislatures — has drafted a proposal to return the power to select U.S. senators to state legislators.

That’s right: ALEC’s “model legislation” would repeal the 17th amendment, end more than a century of American citizens electing U.S. senators at the ballot box, and empower gerrymandered legislatures to choose senators for us, as was the practice in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Nation: ALEC Is Talking About Changing the Way Senators Are Elected and Taking Away Your Vote

The United States Senate is an undemocratic institution. Just do the math: Progressive California Senator Kamala Harris was elected in 2016 with 7,542,753 votes. Yet her vote on issues such as health-care reform counts for no more than that of conservative Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi, who was elected in 2014 with 121,554 votes.

This is an absurd imbalance. In fact, the only thing that would make it more absurd would be if voters were removed from the equation altogether.

Say “hello” to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the corporate-funded project to impose a top-down right-wing agenda on the states. ALEC is considering whether to adopt a new piece of “model legislation” that proposes to do away with an elected Senate.
While I can't see a repeal of the 17th Amendment getting ratified, I didn't think Trump could get elected either.

The John Birch Society peddled the proposal decades ago. But with the rise of the “Tea Party” movement, the notion moved into the conservative mainstream.

Then–Texas Governor Rick Perry argued in 2012 that the direct election of senators “took the states out of the process.” Several Republican senators apparently agree, with Utah Senator Mike Lee referring to the 17th Amendment as “a mistake” and Arizona Senator Jeff Flake saying, “I think it’s better as it reinforces the notion of federalism to have senators appointed by state legislatures.” What was once a fringe fantasy is being taken ever more seriously by conservative strategists.
This stuff is flying under the radar and that is an issue.

via International Skeptics Forum

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