I got asked that in a thread after I suggested that the House of Representatives be changed to run on proportional representation . I thought the matter worth a new thread.
This was my reply:
As for re-writing the Constitution... yes, on a few points:
1. As above, make the House a matter of proportional representation, so we get some other parties in there. If nothing else, it will allow more voices to be heard, and will probably make people focus more on substance, because there will be people watching more closely for putting on just shows. For example, getting a "looks-good" environmental law passed might be just a little hard for the PTBs when there a a few Greens sitting in the chamber, dedicated to be hawks on such things.
2. Require every law passed -- and make it retroactive -- to be examined for constitutionality because being allowed to pass, with the point to be to make sure it conforms to the strict intent of the Constitution. That oath they all take is supposed to ensure it, but it hasn't worked; I' not sure most of them has ever read the constitution.
3. Require them to READ before voting, and know what's in the bill if they're for it. As one method of enforcing this, allow a challenge to someone speaking for a bill to demonstrate knowledge of it to always take precedence on the floor, and the one challenged has to stand there and answer questions about it put from the challenger and from any dozen others who oppose the bill.
On the principle that the multiplication of laws leads to disrespect for all law, those opposing any new law would not be subject to such challenge.
4. Expand the Bill of Rights, to get some points across. Get freedom of association, freedom of expression, privacy, self-defense (the whole "castle doctrine"), in there again -- I say "again" because they are part of it already, but getting them stated explicitly would help. Reiterate the Ninth and Tenth Amendments as well with a more forceful statement. Augment things with "Freedom of Education" (Separation of School and State), and a heavy-duty one about police powers, notably restricting them to arrests only when there's a victim and sticking them with substantial penalties any time someone they arrest gets off free (including restitution for any days wasted sitting in jail before being found innocent, which constitutes punishment without a crime). Something similar for all officials, elected and non-, should go in as well; as an example of why, here in Oregon recently an official made a decision that cost the taxpayers over $100,000 to get implemented (traffic change), and then it was reversed by the department when locals were against it, and not only a vast majority of thembut also the people who had asked for something to be done in the first place! In any case of that sort, the official involved should not merely be sacked, but also required to pay back the entire amount, including any cost for rectifying the situation (e.g. tearing out the stupid engineering and putting things back).
5. While I'm thinking on limiting the powers of government, no president should be allowed any detentions, etc. under conditions other than those required for citizens, EXCEPT (a) when in a state of declared war, and (2) with supervision by one of those Senate "select committees".
6. Abolish the federal income tax (it was, technically, never ratified anyway) and bar the federal government from any direct taxation of citizens. Personally I'd let them have 1/5 of each state's revenues, plus an endowment from which the interest could be spent.
7. Require all states with a state senate to use the pattern of the national senate, with one senator per county (parish, whatever), so that everyone gets a voice.
8. Set a "sunset" of twenty years for all legislation, requiring that for an extension it must be passed with 10% more votes in favor than the previous time.
9. Ban inheritance taxes, while permitting a law that would require up to 10% of any estate over 100,000 times the value of the minimum (or standard beginning) wage to be given to charity, and that no portion greater than that same amount be given to any one person.
10. Do away with corporate 'personhood', and make the people running things actually responsible.
I can think of a few more, but a list of ten (okay, there's more, if you break down my bill of rights material) seemed good.
Think of this as a Constitutional Convention (trivia: has one ever been called for? how close did it come to happening?), and have at it!