Article III – The Legislature

ARTICLE. III.

Our LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

 

CHAPTER. I.

Our BICAMERAL FEDERAL LEGISLATURES

 

PART. I. All legislative power of the Federal government herein granted

shall be vested in two “Houses” of CONGRESS:

 

The successful bicameral legislature created by our founders is reaffirmed by The Valentine Constitution with only minor adjustments.

 

PART. II. Our SENATORS

 

Section. 1. Requires that our Senators be no less than thirty-five years of age, a full Citizen, be raised for sixteen of their first eighteen years in Our United States, and be resident in the United States for the twenty years prior to taking office:

 

To ensure enough maturity and enough experience, Senatorial candidates must be at least thirty-five years old. The Valentine Constitution reserves elected office for Citizens born and raised in America in order to protect against potential disloyalty. Home is where the heart is. Where you were born and raised is where your loyalties lie. There is no reason to take a chance when there are so many qualified American-born Citizens to fill our elected offices and justiceships. Furthermore, our candidates should be steeped in our government, culture, values and traditions. We have plenty enough Citizens with America in their blood to need to make exceptions for those who do not. If a candidate is elected to represent a constituency, then the candidate should know the place and its people better than nearly anyone since the candidate will be passing laws which may greatly affect the place and the people. It takes at least ten years to fully know a place and its people, but if you’re running for one of the big offices, you’re going to need to demonstrate a serious desire to live and work where you’re running. Twelve years is plenty of time for a Senator to accomplish the goals they are likely to accomplish and to avoid a stale agenda.

 

Section. 2. Each State shall have two Senators;

 

Section. 3. Each Senator shall have one vote;

 

Section. 4. Each Senator shall serve for a term of six years;

 

Section. 5. Our Senators may choose their Officers.

 

PART. III. Our REPRESENTATIVES

 

Section. 1. Each District shall have one Representative:

The Valentine Constitution drops the use of “Congresswoman” and “Congressman” in favor of the gender neutral term “Representative” to avoid both the unnecessarily clumsy identification of gender, and the confusion in using the singular of the term to refer to members of only one house and the plural to refer to both houses. The Valentine Constitution continues the use of the term “Congress” to refer to both houses of the Federal Legislature together. (The basic candidate qualifications for Representative and all other offices are the same and covered once in Article I, and so are not redundantly listed here.)

 

Section. 2. Each Representative shall have one vote;

 

Section. 3. Each Representative shall serve for a term of four years:

Four-year terms allow enough turnover to bring in fresh ideas and new perspectives, while avoiding the perpetual campaigning which plagues two-year term Representatives. No sooner do two-year term Representatives take office than they are back on the campaign trail again, raising money from special interest and influencing legislation on their behalf, and using their time in office to get themselves re-elected rather than to govern. As a result, two-year term Representatives are constantly distracted by re-election considerations, and adversely affected by having to pay back those who finance their campaigns. And so we get an elected official who is constantly in campaign and pay back mode, and we have legislatures full of marketing experts rather than good lawmakers. Their primary job becomes re-election and their part time job becomes governing. The Valentine Constitution rectifies the problem by instituting four-year terms.

 

Section. 4. Our Representatives may choose their Officers.

 

PART. IV. The POWERS and RESPONSIBILITIES of

Our FEDERAL LEGISLATURE

 

Grants the following powers to Our Federal Legislature:

 

Section. 1. To exercise exclusive authority over Washington DC as the seat of our national government, which shall be represented by one Representative but no Senators, and whose Citizens will participate in elections like other Citizens:

 

The Valentine Constitution provides the Citizens of Washington DC with full representation in The House of Representatives. Currently DC only has a “delegate” who is allowed to vote only on procedures and in committee, but not on the house floor. DC’s Representative will finally have full voting rights and DC’s Citizens will finally have appropriate representation in their government. The other provisions of The Madison Constitution are reaffirmed.

 

Section. 2. To collect the transaction tax, and prohibit the collection of any other domestic taxes; to then credit the accounts of each department of government minus any monies owed; to review the apportionment and expenditure of the transaction tax by the States; and to likewise credit the accounts of each foreign nation if necessary:

The Valentine Constitution empowers Congress to collect the single transaction tax, deduct any monies owed by any Federal or State departments to any other departments or to American citizens or companies, and then to divvy up the tax revenues among the departments according to the budgetary percentages set forth herein and approved by Our Citizens every twelve years. Accounts and budgets all get balanced annually if not monthly or weekly or even daily including any with foreign governments. As yet another check and balance on corruption or inefficiency, Congress will review the apportionment and expenditure of the transaction tax by the States to ensure the money is being spent wisely. And the States have the reciprocal authority.

 

Section. 3. To lay and collect duties, imposts, excises, fines, deductions or withholdings from foreign countries, companies and persons duties:

The Valentine Constitution imposes only one tax on Our Citizens and companies but allows Congress to negotiate freely with and impose what they see fit on foreign powers. Foreign countries will be out for blood, and we seem to always make bad deals. This provision allows us to reciprocate with untied hands.

 

Section. 4. To abolish physical coin and currency and establish a single bank and single accounts for each Citizen:

The Valentine Constitution empowers Congress to implement a later provision eliminating cash from our economy and establishing a single bank and single accounts for the convenience of each of Our Citizens. These are covered in detail in later provisions under Our Economy.

 

to ensure that the value of money and the money supply not exceed the true value of our national economy, and require the same of worldwide currencies, and to regulate commerce among the States and with foreign nations:

We must not print money we do not have, money that has less value than what we say it does, than what it supposedly represents. We have seen other countries go through hyperinflation and devaluation and it’s an ugly scary thing to live through. The one thing that we did from the great depression until the 2007 crash was keep the money supply in line with growth so that the amount of currency in our economy equaled the value of our economy. Funny money is a death knell. George Bush and Barack Obama have both printed money we do not have for far too long.

This is copied from the Fed’s website: “Although Federal Reserve purchases of Treasury securities do not involve printing money per se, the increase in the Federal Reserve’s holdings of Treasury securities is matched by a corresponding increase in reserve balances held by the banking system. The banking system must hold the quantity of reserve balances that the Federal Reserve creates.”

So we will have to pay the holders of Treasury securities in the future when their time is up and the money is due. The Valentine Constitution defines these securities as debt and prohibits them in upcoming provisions. These securities together with pensions and Social Security and other future obligations total $100 trillion and climbing. We’re foolishly putting all of this on the nation’s credit card and will have to pay it someday. It would be cheaper to live poorly now for a shorter period than to wait and live poorly for a much longer period later. That’s why 95% of Americans were against the bailout. But their Congress did not do that they wanted because the politicians in Congress had to pay back the Wall Street elites for campaign contributions.

The Valentine Constitution further calls upon Congress to take steps to ensure that other countries do not print money in excess since it creates worldwide economic instability, civil strife and war.

 

to abolish the relief of bankruptcy:

The Valentine Constitution no longer allows rip offs and irresponsible people to dump their debts onto the hard working taxpayers who live within their means. There is no such thing as “forgiveness of debt”; it doesn’t just vanish into thin air. Someone is paying for it.

On a national scale, the Fed is cranking up our nation’s credit card and setting a bad example, as are the many companies that go bankrupt each year. But our nation has no way to go bankrupt since we’re the biggest economy, where the buck stops. If we go bankrupt, the world economy crashes. And we’re actually beyond bankrupt, and in the hole, to the tune of $100 trillion in future obligations. So we’ve done everything but declare, and instead are simply hiding it.

 

to provide for the punishment of counterfeiting or theft of money, credit, securities or legal tender:

The Valentine Constitution empowers Congress to punish thieves of all kinds.

 

Section. 5. To not carry any debt past December of each year; to balance the budget each year; to maintain a AAA credit rating and a trade surplus with foreign nations:

The Valentine Constitution prevents our government from putting us deep in debt by requiring a balanced budget, AAA credit ratings and trade surpluses, all hallmarks of a great nation, a responsible Citizenry, and a stable society with a bright future. Without all three a culture begins to allow thievery and scamming, corner cutting and cheating, corruption and manipulation until it’s difficult to even find a decent carpenter or plumber or any craftsman with a work ethic and standards. The infrastructure falls into disrepair. Taxes, fees and compliance become overbearing, and small business owners cash out and retire early taking with them many jobs. Monopolies flourish like kingdoms lording over their serfs, buying out the mom and pops, keeping newcomers at bay, and driving small business players out of the big gets bigger and bigger marketplace. In the end there are no small businesses, or a middle class, only business kingdoms and their serfs who also fight their wars over oil and protect the opium crops of foreign drug lords thousands of miles from home as heroin use skyrockets stateside and the military industrial complex and fossil fuels and agribusiness destroy what’s left of a planet we soon will be unable to live off of.

 

to finance projects and programs out of current revenues in amounts to be approved by Our Citizens every twelve years:

This provision is mandated later under Article VI. Our Economy, Part III. Our Budget. The power is here merely assigned to the legislatures.

 

Section. 6. To arrange for government workers to get paid:

The Madison Constitution’s provision is reaffirmed.

 

Section. 7. To fix, maintain and consistently improve upon standards of weights, measures, technology, efficiency, productivity, ease of use, consistency, health, environment, and any other standards which shall enhance or facilitate a productive and happy citizenry:

The Valentine Constitution empowers Congress to enforce the implementation of standards of all kinds, many set forth in later provisions. Certain buttons and menu items which are used on all devices and websites etc. should use the same icons and be placed in the same location across platforms to make it easier and faster for the user who now wastes time and limits productivity searching for standard navigation tools. We hire our government to make our lives easier and to save us hassles we do not want to deal with individually. It’s a fast paced world full of little annoying tasks many of which need not be annoying.

Standards contribute to a happier and more efficient workforce and society, reduce stress, and allow the Citizenry to successfully rely on the products and services they purchase, and provide the peace of mind and honor and dignity inherent in a job properly done. America has slipped for decades and the cutting of corners has finally caught up to us. We can no longer ignore the “systemic” problems that surround us. They require the integrated solutions proffered by The Valentine Constitution.

 

to provide a competitive free market and freedom of discovery which fairly compensates inventors, scientists, designers and the like to ensure that the fruits of their labor and discoveries shall be available for the betterment of humankind:

The Valentine Constitution empowers Congress to ensure that our markets are free to engender the competition critical for capitalism to succeed in getting the cream to rise to the top. Government support of inventors and creative types is essential for success especially for small businesses, while fair compensation is necessary to encourage them to invest time, money and genius, and to encourage capital investment and market expertise to provide us with innovation and discovery. We need to become producers again putting products and services made by Americans in America back in contention on world markets. First we do this at home, then we sell them abroad.

 

to implement the royalty based payment system set forth herein:

The Valentine Constitution implements a watch-what-you-want-when-you-want, royalty based, commercial free, public utility internet which takes the gatekeepers and middlemen out of the economic equation so that competitive capitalism will allow all music, movies, TV shows, books, paintings, sculptures, inventions, and innovations an equal shot in the marketplace and give the consumer the power of choice. The Valentine Constitution ends the stranglehold on creative product imposed by power elites and monopolies on the marketplace, and instead pays royalties directly to copyright holders, saving the customer all the money now wasted on distribution and advertising which is added to the price paid by the inconvenienced consumer. Our Citizens are paying to be inconvenienced! The customer will no longer pay more for less choice, pay to watch advertisements, or pay to limit their own access to what they want to see when they want to see it. The customer will instead pay just once for a product or innovation, rather than three times as they pay now, once for the product, a second time for the distribution, and a third time for the advertising. Search with filters will aid Citizens in finding what they want, and rankings will be based on Citizen ratings, rather than oriented towards what makes Google or some distributor rich(er).

 

Section. 8. To provide for the common defense; to fund, house and fortify an Armed Forces; to declare war and deploy our Armed Forces and Our National Guard, even over the President’s head:

The Valentine Constitution reaffirms Congress’s power to raise an army and declare war, and to unilaterally deploy Our Armed Forces, and to deploy Our National Guard. Since the State Guards will be funded by the State’s portion of the single transaction tax, there is sure to be healthy contention in times of questionable deployment, as unpopular deployment should be questioned. Under The Valentine Constitution Our State Guards are responsible for Emergencies and relief, and together form Our National Guard, and stay coordinated with in-country Armed Forces tasked with immigration enforcement and homeland security. The clearly delineated day to day roles provide stability in nearly all deployments, while questionable deployments will raise the appropriate debates between the Federal Legislature and State Legislatures and Governors. The President has the final say so that no hesitation will be necessary in times of crises. But should a President fail to act or act unreasonably, Congress will have the authority to take matters into their own hands and deploy or halt deployment.

 

Section. 9. To enforce the rules of naturalization and immigration set forth herein:

The Valentine Constitution affirms that Congress will enforce immigration and naturalization. However, a later provision provides that any governmental entity may enforce a law not being enforced by the governmental entity charged with its enforcement, in yet another check and balance ensuring that all governmental entities “take care that all of the laws be faithfully executed.”

 

Section. 10. To dissolve Our United States Post Office:

The Valentine Constitution empowers Congress to dissolve the Post Office. In 1792 our first post offices, with Benjamin Franklin the first Postmaster General, were endowed as a trusted and efficient message delivery system. In 2015 the Post Office ran a deficit of $15 billion per year and contributed forty pounds per year per mailbox of annoying junk mail destined for the waste stream. Our Citizens subsidize postal workers in what amount to welfare jobs while demand decreases substantially each year. Those workers could find employment in one of the many private companies who do all the things the post office does only better and cheaper, while the $15 billion the postal service lost last year could buy both a computer and broadband for all Americans not yet on the Internet. We need to sell the Post Office now while we may still get some money for it. FEDEX or UPS might buy the business to free up postal customers to instead use their service, or pay us to transition postal customers over to them, while the sale of all that real estate will fund the building of badly needed schools.

 

liquidate all of its assets and use the money to build K-12 schools:

The money from the liquidation of real estate and other assets of the Post Office will go towards the building of K-12 schools.

 

Section. 11. To approve Presidential appointees in the manner provided herein:

Please see Article I. Part V. Section 3.

Note that it is the Judiciary’s responsibility to provide for any elections called for. Note that the Judiciary and Department Heads may also make certain appointments.

 

and to allow the President to appoint inferior officers, allow the Courts to appoint Justices, and allow department heads to appoint staffers:

The Madison Constitution empowers Congress to confer the authority to appoint inferior Officers to the President, or to the courts, or to department heads as a matter of practicality and a way to spread the workload. Who best to hire Justices than the Judiciary? Who best to hire middle managers than the heads of that given department? The Valentine Constitution accepts that our government is department oriented. The Federal Legislature will be there to guide and oversee both the good and the bad of those departments. As a stop gap, The Valentine Constitution allows Our Citizens to remove any government employee or officer from office by voting to do so.

 

Section. 12. To make all laws necessary to enforce the provisions of this Constitution and to execute the powers vested by this Constitution in the government of Our United States, or in any department or officer thereto:

This language (the “legalese” is in The Valentine Constitution, and not included in this book) is lifted from The Madison Constitution empowering Congress to enforce the provisions of the Constitution.

 

CHAPTER. II.

Our BICAMERAL STATE LEGISLATURES

 

PART. I. All legislative power of the State government will be vested

in two “Houses” of the State Legislature:

 

The successful bicameral legislature created by our founders will be used for both our State and Federal Legislatures, all of which will be identical in form and function, though the State and Federal Legislatures will possess different powers of implementation commensurate with the responsibilities later divvied up under the Division of Powers.

 

PART. II. Our LEGISLATORS

 

Section. 1. Each District shall have one Legislator:

 

The Valentine Constitution replaces the term “State Senator” with “Legislator” to avoid confusion with United States Senators, and to give the members of the upper house of the State Legislatures a unique moniker.

 

Section. 2. Each Legislator shall have one vote;

 

Section. 3. Each Legislator shall serve for a term of six years;

 

Section. 4. Our Legislators may choose their Officers.

 

PART. III. Our COUNCILORS

 

Section. 1. Each Precinct shall have one Councilor:

 

The Valentine Constitution drops the use of the term “Assemblywoman” and “Assemblyman” in favor of the gender neutral term “Councilor” to avoid the unnecessarily clumsy identification of gender.

Perhaps a term can be coined to refer to both houses of the State Legislature together the way that Congress refers to both house of the Federal Legislature. Extensive usage has allowed us to consider “Congress” as normal sounding, though at first it must have sounded unnatural, much like some terms proffered for the State Legislatures, “Assemblage” or “Forum,” which require the article “the” to sound natural. Perhaps “The Forum” may suffice. It just seems to fail to match “Congress.” Perhaps we need no collective reference. Or perhaps some bright Citizen can coin a term popular enough to catch on. It will not affect our laws in any event, but it may get Citizens involved in our democracy as a sort of contest.

 

Section. 2. Each Councilor shall have one vote;

 

Section. 3. Each Councilor shall serve for a term of four years:

Four-year terms still allow enough turnover to bring in fresh ideas and new perspectives, while avoiding the perpetual campaigning which currently plague two-year term elected officials. No sooner do they take office than they are back on the campaign trail again, raising money from special interests, influencing legislation on their behalf, and using their time in office to get themselves re-elected rather than to govern. As a result, two-year term officials are constantly distracted by re-election considerations, and adversely affected by having to pay back those who finance their campaigns. And so we get an elected official who is constantly in campaign and payback mode, and we have legislatures full of marketing experts rather than good lawmakers. Their primary job becomes re-election and their part time job becomes governing. The Valentine Constitution rectifies the problem by instituting four-year terms.

 

Section. 4. Our Councilors may choose their Officers.

 

PART. IV. The POWERS and RESPONSIBILITIES of

Our STATE LEGISLATURES

 

Grants the following powers to Our State Legislatures:

 

Section. 1. To review Congress’s collection and apportionment and expenditure of the transaction tax and its deductions of liabilities:

The Valentine Constitution empowers the State Legislature to review Congress’s collection, apportionment and expenditure of the transaction tax to the various departments of government as a check and balance on the Federal authority, essentially an ongoing or annual audit. This right balances the Federal right to review the apportionment and expenditure of the transaction tax by the various State departments of government, while elsewhere allowing any department to enforce any law not being enforced by the appropriate agency. The Valentine Constitution is replete with checks and balances. The more checks and balances there are, the fewer opportunities for malfeasance, and the fewer conflicts there will be since all departments will know in advance that they can’t get away with anything so they won’t even try. Malfeasance will be mitigated, and errors will be caught, especially by those who, in the competitive or cooperative spirit, may receive bragging rights and bonus money for discovering a better way of doing things.

There really will be no State bank accounts per se, and no Federal bank accounts, only the redirecting of the transaction tax revenues. The fewer hands touch the money, the better. Another beautiful aspect of the transaction tax and the single bank is that it keeps the money out of the hands of the politicians while the tax revenues are easily traceable and simply directed to the departments as mandated by the budgetary percentages, much like direct bill pay. These revenue directing mandates can become more and more specific as Our Citizens get more and more involved and rate more and more contractors. We want to get as specific as possible and pay into the budgets of only the highest rated contractors so that those successes can be duplicated. We want the best curb company, the best bridge company, the best way to install or build something. We want to reward the problem solvers. That’s The Valentine Constitution in action. Checks and balances and ratings and simple collection and direction of tax revenues with transparent accounting and budgets and the cream rising to the top in all areas.

 

Section. 2. To finance projects and programs out of current revenues in amounts to be approved by Our Citizens every twelve years:

The power is assigned here, but mandated later, see Article VI. Our Economy, Part III. Our Budget.

 

to not carry any debt past December of each year; to balance the budget each year; and to maintain a AAA credit rating:

The Valentine Constitution prevents our government from putting us deep in debt by requiring a balanced budget, AAA credit ratings and trade surpluses, all hallmarks of a great nation, a responsible Citizenry, and a stable society with a bright future. Without all three a culture begins to allow thievery and scamming, corner cutting and cheating, corruption and manipulation until it’s difficult to even find a decent carpenter or plumber or any craftsman with a work ethic and standards. The infrastructure falls into disrepair. Taxes, fees and compliance become overbearing, and small business owners cash out and retire early taking with them many jobs. Monopolies flourish like kingdoms lording over their serfs, buying out the mom and pops, keeping newcomers at bay, and driving small business players out of the big gets bigger and bigger marketplace. In the end there are no small businesses, or a middle class, only business kingdoms and their serfs who also fight their wars over oil and protect the opium crops of foreign drug lords thousands of miles from home as heroin use skyrockets stateside and the military industrial complex and fossil fuels and agribusiness destroy what’s left of a planet we soon will be unable to live off of.

 

Section. 3. To arrange for government workers to get paid:

The Madison Constitution’s provision is reaffirmed.

 

Section. 4. To deploy the State Guard with or without the consent of The Governor; and with majority consent of Our Councilors and Our Legislators and without the consent of The Governor, to deploy, or to halt the deployment, of Our State Guard to execute the Laws of the Union or to protect the people or to repel or pre-empt invasion:

The Valentine Constitution empowers each State Legislature to do what’s necessary if faced with a Governor or President unwilling or unable to do so. When time is of the essence, and a crisis looms, these provision come in handy. We can rest assured that these powers will be adequately respected by our elected officials if we vote good ones in. It’s another check and balance of power.

 

Section. 5. To approve Gubernatorial appointees in the manner provided herein:

Please see Article I. Part V. Section 3.

Note that it is the Judiciary’s responsibility to provide for any elections called for. Note that the Judiciary and Department Heads may also make certain appointments.

 

and to allow the Governor to appoint inferior officers, and allow department heads to appoint staffers:

The Valentine Constitution empowers the State Legislatures to confer the authority to appoint inferior Officers to the Governor, or to department heads as a matter of practicality and way to spread the workload. Who best to hire middle managers than the heads of that given department? The Valentine Constitution institutes a department oriented government and the similar departments in each state will share information and techniques, and the State Legislatures will be there to guide and oversee both the good and the bad of that coordination and cooperation. As a stop gap, The Valentine Constitution allows Our Citizens to remove any government employee or officer from office by voting to do so.

 

Section. 6. To make all laws necessary and proper for enforcing the provisions of this Constitution as pertain to a State:

The Valentine Constitution empowers the State Legislatures to enforce the provisions of the Constitution which pertain to the States.

 

CHAPTER. III.

The PROCEEDINGS of Our LEGISLATURES

 

Establishes the same set of procedures for all legislatures both Federal and State. Allows for the Citizens to follow only one set of procedures rather than be confronted and confounded by different ones as they move from state to state. There’s no reason for it. The Valentine Constitution reduces stress and invites more Citizens to participate in our democracy.

 

PART. I. ASSEMBLY

 

The Valentine Constitution eliminates the back room deal making, the floor of the legislature stalling, the committee cronyism and gamesmanship, and the stalemates which disrupt the work of our current legislatures. The simpler, fairer procedural rules, and the fact that they will apply identically to both the Federal and the State legislatures, make our lawmaking process easier to follow by average Citizens who are currently distanced from their own legislatures by undue complications which serve corruption based cronyism over solution based lawmaking.

 

Each House shall:

 

Section. 1. Allows for a majority to constitute a quorum to do business:

The Valentine Constitution retains majority rule as a parliamentary mainstay.

 

Section. 2. Provides for the election of a President Pro Tempore who shall ensure that proceedings be properly followed:

The Valentine Constitution retains this traditional post, and mandates that the President Pro Tempore enforce the procedural rules delineated herein, though this power is the Vice President’s, or Lieutenant Governor’s, to relinquish or not. The common practice under The Madison Constitution has been that the President Pro Tempore has taken up this responsibility, but under The Valentine Constitution, the Vice President, or Lieutenant Governor, will more likely take up the role directly since so much more will be getting done that the President, or Governor, will want their representative “present” for votes or generally on the case, which may be online in many situations. The layout and functioning of the online programs which will probably need to be created and integrated and securitized, will be an important part of the job, especially in the formative few years. The Vice President is further required to ensure that the proceedings of the State Legislatures, in addition to those of the Federal Legislatures, are followed, and so will be busy indeed with Legislative proceedings. This is a grand opportunity for organizational types who love getting things right.

 

Section. 3. Prohibits any member from having more power than any other member:

The Valentine Constitution ensures that all members have equal powers in the Legislatures. This general prohibition is expanded by other provisions prohibiting current specific powers, and refined by others acknowledging practical realities. The requirement provides here that leadership or parties or popularity or personality not create unequal power in any of the tangible processes of legislating.

 

Section. 4. Prohibits committees:

Prevents power from getting in the hands of the few, and breaks up the backroom deal making.

 

prohibits seniority:

Prevents one group of voters from having more power than another by voting for the same official over and over again term after term not because he is the best choice but because electing another candidate would mean losing all the seniority the crony candidate has built up over the years. Voters are currently as guilty of cronyism as anyone. The Valentine Constitution ends it. No such hierarchy was ever intended to exist among those who represent the Citizens.

 

prohibits caucuses:

Legislative members now create sub groupings based on shared affinities or ethnicities who convene to advocate, agitate, lobby or to vote collectively, on policy. Effectively, these groups are lobbies within our legislatures, and will no longer be tolerated under The Valentine Constitution which calls for the place designated for meeting to be the place used for meeting, namely, the floor of the legislature, not some “smoke-filled room” full of insiders hidden from the public eye and encouraging deception and manipulation. Whether called caucuses or coalitions or groups or conferences is of no consequence. The individual member is required to represent their constituency and the greater good, and not some ad hoc clique which has no constitutional authority and therefore has no legal or political power in this Constitution. (The Valentine Constitution also eliminates election caucuses since they discriminate against those who cannot show up at a specific time and place and so are excluded from our election process.)

 

prohibits filibusters:

Ends the disruption caused by stalling tactics used for political purposes. Write the bill; read the bill; research the bill; debate the bill; vote on the bill. Some time may be yielded to other members in later provisions as is a practical necessity, but there are limits.

 

Section. 5. Assemble at least once every week, compel the attendance of absent members, and not adjourn during the session for more than three days, nor to any other place:

Lifted from The Madison Constitution compelling a minimum collective attendance of one day per week on the actual floor of the legislature. It will compel the members to be in their offices in Washington or over the internet to get the work done. We, their employers, need to ensure that they are doing the work they’re being paid for. Elected officials need supervision as do any employees. In the internet age this should be adequate time for face to face discussions and voting. It is important to prevent the staff of elected officials from doing all the work, and rather to see the official in person just to keep things transparent. It provides a focus, voting day perhaps, and some excitement. We are social animals after all. These are folks making laws for a society. So let them be social.

 

Section. 6. Punish its members for absence or disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds of the members, expel a member therefor:

Enforces the rule of order necessary for governing and allows for the expulsion of a member who is disorderly or too often absent.

 

Section. 7. The Citizens get to approve the rules every twelve years, and if not granted, then a majority consent of Citizens shall impose the rules by referendum:

Provides for Citizen oversight as a matter of course. The internet has brought procedural changes to every business and all methods of operation. Allowing our Citizens to approve changes in procedure that our Citizens deem appropriate involves our Citizenry and empowers our democracy.

 

Section. 8. Exclude from membership and from holding any office elected or appointed, civil or military, any person who has engaged against Our United States in insurrection or rebellion or treason which shall include promoting the death of a group of our Citizens or giving aid to our enemies:

Allows the members of the legislature to protect us from treasonous acts and individuals including those hiding behind their religion or free speech. Treason is a serious offense and we will defend ourselves against those who in speech provoke treasonous actions or those who in speech commit themselves to violence against America or Our Citizens. This will not be protected by free speech, or freedom of religion, as it is treason.

 

Section. 9. Vote to approve or disapprove of Presidential or Gubernatorial appointees within thirty days of their submission:

The Valentine Constitution ends the politicization that prevents Presidential appointees from taking their positions in jobs required for our government to function. The power of appointment is a law and a right and its circumvention by legislators using stalling and other tactics is prohibited by The Valentine Constitution. It is also a law and a right under The Madison Constitution, but that document fails to give the power any practical authority; for, though The Madison Constitution lays a principled foundation, it is woefully unresponsive to the realities of both a people and a world with far fewer principles and far less morality than the world in which they lived. Our founders would have lacked the capacity to envision a government this involved in our lives, or a population this large and diverse. But their inability to see the waning of principles is no excuse, since the assimilation of principles failed from the very start of our nation with the unbridled rape of America’s resources from timber to buffalo to people, a rape brought briefly under control only in the mid twentieth century by the world’s first mass middle class, an honorable people who never locked their doors. Since our last general to be elected President, Eisenhower, warned us of “the military industrial complex,” and Dr. Leakey warned us of the destruction of nature, America has slid down a slide of stimulant addled fantasy and failed in our stewardship of the economy, the environment, health and education, all once pillars of our greatness and all sacrificed by each and every Citizen, along with our principles and morality, on the altar of greed and easy living in this new, money grubbing, dog eat dog world in desperate need of a new Constitution to restore morality and protect our principles so that we may once again unlock our doors and open our windows to the fresh and healthy breezes of nature and the distant sounds of children safely at play.

 

after three rejections then within thirty days a vote of Our Citizens will decide the matter:

To add the requisite teeth to the provision, The Valentine Constitution requires that after the Legislature rejects the third nominee considered, that then Our Citizens will vote by preference, and run off if necessary, from the three nominees.

 

PART. II. BILLS

 

The Valentine Constitution provides for more robust and less corrupt, merit based procedures for bill passing.

 

Section. 1. Either House may introduce or originate any legislation:

The Valentine Constitution allows either House to introduce legislation to make for a robust legislative process.

 

Section. 2. The rules for each and every bill shall be the same; and the Houses must pass identical bills:

Uniformity of rules provides ease of use, decreases stress and allows for energy to be spent on the content of the law rather than the games of politics. With no way to cheat and nothing to manipulate, the cheating type will not be attracted to public office but rather be repelled. A principled environment attracts principled people. Uniformity of rules allows Our Citizens to more easily follow their legislative process and then be more likely to participate in their democracy.

 

Section. 3. Consideration of a bill will be on a first come first served basis; but a two-thirds majority vote in favor of considering a bill early shall move a bill to the front of the line; while a passed bill will get considered before any other bill in the other House.

Establishes a common sense evaluation of priorities based upon merit and common sense realities. The principles of fairness and common sense permeate The Valentine Constitution which here establishes a common sense evaluation of priorities based on merit and political realities. Here again the democratic principles of majority vote and first-come-first-served rule, while common sense dictates that pressing matters pass a vote to see whether the members agree that it is wise to move the matter to the front of the line.

 

Section. 4. All bills will receive a vote by all members:

Requires that all members vote on all bills in order to fulfill their job description, that these public servants reveal their positions on all bills to the people paying their checks, that these leaders take a stand and commit to a course of action, and that these decision makers make a decision on each and every bill; that public servants serve, leaders lead, and decision makers be decisive.

 

Section. 5. The legislatures must keep a journal and record all votes and each day’s proceedings:

Allows for scrutiny by our Citizens who have the right to know how those who represent them vote on any given matter, and next allows for appropriate levels of secrecy on matters we wish to keep from our competitors or enemies.

 

except such parts as may reasonably require secrecy:

The astute may wisely question the conditions or the length of time of the secrecy, and the doctrines of fairness and common sense and right over wrong espoused herein will naturally apply here as to everywhere and answer the question until someone tries to get away with a misinterpretation of the law. Do we even need to include the word “reasonably,” as though we would otherwise be unreasonable, as though unreasonable was our default position? “To tell you the truth,” “honestly,” we’re better off including it, just in case some attorney argues otherwise. God help us. We do not need an excess of legalese, when easy to apply principles may be easily applied with common sense. Our Review Court has been set up, with these kinds of challenges in mind, to quickly render three separate opinions by as many qualified justices whose job it is to apply the principles espoused herein and the laws arising therefrom and precedent setting laws long on the books if still compatible. The environment will engender free use of the tools of our democracy to bring the light of day to bear on issues we should be talking about as a matter of course, as a part of our daily lives as Citizens of our own democracy. Get in the game; and meet some new fellow Americans in the process; they’re not allowed to bite.

 

Section. 6. Any member or group of members may hold hearings, review, rewrite and amend bills:

The Valentine Constitution eliminates the party system because the party system has prevented us from being exposed to new candidates and ideas, has stalemated our legislatures, has allowed special interests to control our government and destroyed our economy and our environment. The Valentine Constitution also eliminates committees and caucuses in earlier provisions. But here it ensures the right of the members to assemble and work productively in groups on legislation since people naturally gravitate towards certain ideas and certain personalities, albeit under the watchful eyes of our Citizens who have the power of approval over procedures meant to keep proceedings transparent and politicians uncorrupted.

 

Section. 7. Members may speak for only five minutes; but may cede any portion to any other member; but the consideration of a bill shall not exceed one hour unless a 2/3 majority of the members agrees to extend the time which cannot exceed three days:

Encourages succinct discussion, concise thinking, preparedness, alertness and efficiency in the legislative process while allowing for more time on important or complex matters, and preventing filibusters unless there’s a 2/3 majority. With that kind of support they’ll have their way in any event.

 

Section. 8. Amendments will require a separate majority vote:

When a bill is changed it must be re-voted, for changed legislation is new legislation. Our problems are integrated so my solutions are too. Any change in a legislative solution must be reconsidered as a whole since the whole of it will be affected. Furthermore, not requiring a new vote for amendments would encourage corruption since members could circumvent the law by planning to rewrite and amend, or calculate and scheme, or wait to include a provision in the amendment phase when it requires less scrutiny than if it were included in the original bill, thereby passing a portion of law without the authority of the state, and violating the sanctity of the legislative process. This has recently occurred. The rule of law relaxed, and business corrupted our politicians with campaign financing and lobbying and the revolving door, and took over our government. Greed led to excesses, and cheating was required to cover all the oversights. Our financial system collapsed and the sleeping leaders of government dealt with the excesses with the additional excess of printing money that has no true or real value. Now, the second round of excess appears to be innocuous by comparison to the first, but this bubble too will burst, and the leaders left standing when the printing stops will be left holding the responsibility and be blamed for the hard times that no amount of economic trickery was ever going to prevent. A person can go bankrupt; a company too, and a small country even; but when the greatest, most trusted standard setting economic power in the world has tried its last trick, the piper will appear and need to be paid. The Valentine Constitution nips parliamentary malpractice in the bud.

 

Section. 9. Amendments and riders being not directly related to a bill, or intended to delay or thwart the progress of a bill will be prohibited:

Eliminates dangerous and corrupt “riders” to a bill whereby a politician will quietly add onto a bill a small provision unrelated and inconsequential to the bill being considered. As the bill is considered, the added provision gets glossed over often going completely unconsidered while being passed along with the greater legislation. The rider may allocate funds to a project or create a new project or be any manner of legislative action or mandate. Deals are often made whereby a member agrees to allow other members to put riders on their bill so long as they return the favor. Many riders are routinely attached to every bill. Riders have contributed significantly to the chaos and systemic failure of our current government. Riders have added considerable costs to our budgets, often to enrich only a select few to pay back a campaign contribution or a favor. All legislation is related and must be considered as part of a deliberate, integrated, well organized system of government with a clear plan for the future. Riders are yet another debilitating parliamentary instrument prohibited by The Valentine Constitution.

 

PART. III. The VETO

 

Section. 1. The President must approve every bill, or return it with objections/changes. If the President fails to return the legislation with objections within ten days, it’s deemed approved, unless Congress adjourns in those ten days. If the returned legislation gets 2/3 approval of Our Senators and Our Representatives, then it shall be deemed approved over the President’s veto:

Taken from The Madison Constitution, the provision covers the veto process which has worked well over the centuries.

 

Section. 2. The Governor must approve every bill, or return it with objections/changes. If the Governor fails to return the legislation with objections within ten days, it’s deemed approved, unless the State Legislature adjourns in those ten days. If the returned legislation gets 2/3 approval of Our Legislators and Our Councilors, then it shall be deemed approved over the Governor’s veto:

Taken from The Madison Constitution regarding the Presidency and applied to Governorships.


The Valentine Constitution


PREAMBLE

ARTICLE. I.
The RULES of REPRESENTATION

PART. I.CAMPAIGN FINANCING, LOBBYING and CORRUPTION
PART. II. VOTING
PART. III. ELECTIONS
PART. IV. TERMS of OFFICE
PART. V. VACANCIES and ORDER of SUCCESSION
PART. VI. QUALIFICATION, OATH and IMMUNITY

ARTICLE. II.
Our EXECUTIVE BRANCH

CHAPTER. I.
Our FEDERAL EXECUTIVE

PART. I. Our PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT
PART. II. The POWERS and RESPONSIBILITIES of Our PRESIDENT
PART. III. The POWERS and RESPONSIBILITIES of Our VICE PRESIDENT

CHAPTER. II.
Our STATE EXECUTIVE

PART. I. Our GOVERNOR and LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
PART. II. The POWERS and RESPONSIBILITIES of Our GOVERNORS
PART. III. The POWERS and RESPONSIBILITIES of Our LIEUTENANT GOVERNORS

ARTICLE. III.
Our LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

CHAPTER. I.
Our FEDERAL LEGISLATURES

PART. I. Our BICAMERAL FEDERAL LEGISLATURE
PART. II. Our SENATORS
PART. III. Our REPRESENTATIVES
PART. IV. The POWERS and RESPONSIBILITIES of Our FEDERAL LEGISLATURE

CHAPTER. II.
Our STATE LEGISTATURES

PART. I. Our BICAMERAL STATE LEGISLATURES
PART. II. Our LEGISLATORS
PART. III. Our COUNCILORS
PART. IV. The POWERS and RESPONSIBILITIES of Our STATE LEGISLATURES

CHAPTER. III.
The PROCEEDINGS of Our LEGISLATURES

PART. I. ASSEMBLY
PART. II. BILLS
PART. III. The VETO

ARTICLE. IV.
The DIVISION of POWERS

PART. I. GOVERNANCE
PART. II. FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITIES
PART. III. STATE RESPONSIBLILITIES
PART. IV. Our DEPARTMENTS

ARTICLE. V.
Our JUDICIAL Branch

PART. I. The JUDICIAL BUDGET and COMPENSATION
PART. II. Our JUSTICES
PART. III. STANDING and JURISDICTION
PART. IV. Our COURTS
PART. V. The PROCEEDINGS of Our JUDICIARY

ARTICLE. VI.
Our US ECONOMY

PART. I. A SINGLE BANK
PART. II. A SINGLE TAX
PART. III. Our BUDGET
PART. IV. JOBS, COMPENSATION, MONOPOLIES and DERIVATIVES
PART. V.A FAIR INTERNET MARKETPLACE
PART. VI.STANDARDS

ARTICLE. VII.
Our RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES

PART. I. The RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of Our CITIZENS
PART. II. Our PUBLIC SCHOOLS shall be FULFILLING
PART. III. Our WATER and FOOD SUPPLY shall be PROTECTED

ARTICLE. VIII.
Our FOREIGN AFFAIRS

PART. I. Our FOREIGN POLICY
PART. II. Our ARMED FORCES

ARTICLE. IX.
OBLIGATIONS


PLEDGE

With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,

we mutually pledge our Lives, our Fortunes,

and our sacred Honor to each other

and to the passage of this Constitution

for Our United States of America.

SIGNATURES

james valentine