A simple idea to change the House of Representatives via random selection

[Re-post of first blog article, anniversary, with Instapundit as inspiration to start blogging]

A Rassmussen poll found:

“Only half (49%) believe that the current Congress is better than individuals selected at random from the phone book. Thirty-three percent (33%) believe a randomly selected group of Americans could do a better job and 19% are not sure.”

With this in mind, and reference to the US states jury system. (A jury of your peers can judge your guilt or innocence and in some states decide your life or death.)  I propose:

To select state representatives to The People’s House via random drawing, from the said same jury pools.

Q.      “How do you keep the crazy and criminals from Congressional service?”

A.       Nothing has worked so far.  However, the same screening for felons and mentally incompetent used for jury duty will work for the House of Representatives.

Current eligibility, pay and benefits would be allowed.  One 2-year term only.

Six months prior to the beginning of the term each new member’s pay would begin and they would be required to report to Washington for ‘Congress School’ (because all us can’t remember how laws are made–high school civics).

Put this group together tell them to get to work.  Let natural selection in the group work.  Leaders will rise and the lame/lazy/crazy would be ostracized (or be the Party Leaders to talk to the press).  There are plenty in the group who will not be the leaders but will roll up there sleeves to complete the work and research.

Perhaps something other than earmarks, re-election worries, and odes to National Hot Dog Day might get accomplished.  If not, gridlock in Congress means they are not spending our money or reducing our liberty.  Not a bad thing either.

Half of the representatives would be replaced every other year.

To keep power from the Eunuchs (Professional Staffer):

A new Congressman can bring their own staffer.  If a staff member wants to stay working as staff in the House, they must agree to employment of:

  • After the term of their current Representative, move to serve on the staff of a different state (by lottery)
  •  Serve on the staff of the opposite political party each 2 year term.
  •  20 year service limit, retirement pay to match current percentage of the military retirement pay for 20 years service.
  • Pay to start at military officer equal (O-1 to increase through O-6 over the 20 years)
  • Is not part of the Civil Service; can be fired.
  • The Representative does not have to worry about raising money for reelection.  There is none.
  • There is no Federal retirement pay, pension, or life time health care.
  • There is no exemption for service save; death, terminal illness, Constitutional proscriptions (age, felon).
  • The military, federal and state civil service, private industry must release and rehire all selected for Congressional Service.
  • Anyone caught trying to or fixing the selection process faces automatic Federal sentence of 10 years and a $1,000,000.00 fine and any State added time and fines.
  • Corruption, graft, and lobbying (I may be redundant there) will still continue but the K Street crowd will only have 30 months (6+24) to try and weasel their way to privilege.
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