Moving Forward

The concept of a national referendum with a plurality feature is not flashy.  Details can be misunderstood and confusing.  In order to successfully achieve this goal, marketing is critical.

Many Americans have one or more pet peeves.  They would like to change existing laws or promote new legislation.  Some may want to ban abortion.  Others want to adopt climate change legislation or overturn Citizens United.  Some want to ban assault weapons pass laws that would lower prescription drug costs.  Some want a law that would reduce the risk of climate change. It’s a long list.  Many organizations and many individuals expend substantial effort to influence Congress.   But all have one thing in common.  They seek a vote on their issue. 

In a democracy we should expect that these votes would occur as a normal course of government business.  When too many of these votes do not occur it’s a sign that our democracy is not functioning properly.  Whether it is obstructionist members of Congress or too much influence by special interests is not all that important.  Issues are not being addressed. 

Americans, with our current legislative landscape, have a desire for more legislative action.  The national referendum with a plurality feature is called 21st Century Democracy.  With this measure we can promise legislative action.  That promise of legislative action on the measure than concerns them most is the method that is more likely to sell the two step process.  ‘If you do not like abortion, vote on it.’ ‘If you want to have prayer in schools, vote on it.’  If you want to reduce gun violence, vote on it.’  

All organization currently promoting failing legislation in Congress may consider shifting their efforts to the two-step process that would bring the issue to a national vote.  Anyone that contacts a state legislator or member of Congress regarding an issue may be told that there is a two-step alternative to traditional legislative action. 

As the public becomes informed that there is an alternative two-step process, they may contact their state legislative representative and begin the process.  Note that the legislative representative will be contacted by people with many diverse legislative concerns but each will be asking for the exact same initial legislative action

Threat of a vote on an issue through the national referendum process would certainly put pressure on Congress to take action on that issue.  That’s a good thing.  That same pressure does not exist without a national referendum.  Just the existence of the referendum process becomes a pseudo-oversight of Congress.