in order to
procure a reasonable democracy,
produce an equal capitalism,
promote a fulfilled citizenry,
preserve our Costa Rican culture,
provide for the common defense,
protect our natural environment,
the Citizens of Costa Rica,
empowered by the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,
in pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness,
proffer our consent to be governed by this our CONSTITUTION:
The Valentine Constitution brings reason to democracy, provides equality between corporations and Citizens on a level economic playing field, promotes the development of the aptitudes and callings of our Citizens into a successful middle class, preserves our language and values, and defends our borders, seas, resources and the nature we need to survive.
The RULES of REPRESENTATION
PART. I. ELECTIONS
Section. 1. Establishes a neutral body in the Judiciary to hold fair, honest, unbiased debates and elections with Citizen and Judiciary oversight:
The Valentine Constitution establishes a neutral body within the Judicial branch to handle elections. Parties will not manipulate elections, marginalize candidates or distort tallies, undermine the security and integrity of our election process with confusing unfair rules, or conspire with the press corps.
Parties will no longer be able to control elections, ignore conflicts of interest, institute confusing rules, unfair rules or restrictive rules. Rules will not vary from state to state or district to district or election to election. Parties will be prohibited from manipulating elections by conspiring with the press corps to pre-empt the voters’ right to choose nominees or candidates, by marginalizing certain candidates and promoting others, and undermining the integrity of our election process.
… and online voting in each Citizen’s account:
The antiquated, varietal manner of our elections offers little security and poor voter turnout. The Valentine Constitution provides for online voting in each Citizen’s account to make voting more convenient, increase voter turnout, guard against fraud, and accurately count auditable votes. Holding elections online will verify each Citizen and ensure each Citizen votes only once. It will eliminate voter turnout wars that now ensure victory for the candidate with the most supporters willing or able to get to the polls, and instead ensures the most desired candidate wins. Citizen and Judiciary oversight is intended to ensure there is no election computer hacking or tallying fraud. A simple method of verification would have each Citizen at the time of voting use two different programs tabulated by two different companies, and then randomly compare the results with a mail-in ballot, for example. Whatever the process, it must pass Citizen approval.
… provides for uniform rules in all jurisdictions:
The Valentine Constitution requires that all election rules, (and in later provisions all laws), be uniform so that Citizens have a clear understanding of the rules no matter where they happen to move, so that fair standards will apply to the election process, a process which will take place online in each Citizen’s account. Citizens have far better things to do than keep up with many different arbitrary sets of rules for voting or candidacy. The Valentine Constitution establishes the rule of uniformity as a standard in many of its provisions to enable Citizens to more easily understand their own government, to feel more invited and therefore more likely to participate in solving problems without getting caught up in procedures which instead distance them from their own government and society.
… provides for equal time and equal exposure for each qualifying candidate or referendum:
The neutral election body will provide forums and debates giving equal exposure to all candidates so that new ideas and different views on issues can be revealed to the electorate, rather than allowing exposure only to those who the party elite and press corps deem worthy, or those rich enough to afford millions in advertising, or those who already have notoriety. Common people are in touch with common people problems. How can someone who hasn’t had to even think about what a meal costs, or hasn’t driven themselves in twenty years, someone out of touch with the common problems of the common people, have any understanding of the real issues confronting the average Costa Rican citizen, or have any incentive to come up with any solutions? Answer: They can’t.
… prohibits party control over the election process:
The Valentine Constitution gives the election powers routinely abused by party elites to a politically neutral body tasked with presenting candidates and running fair elections. The national and state chairs and committees of both parties now determine who gets on the ballots for the primaries and often prevent candidates from running. Most of these party elites are biased since they are backing one or more of of the candidates in the races and routinely block competition. The Valentine Constitution prohibits the party elite from continuing to run our elections, and turns it over to the neutral body within the Judiciary.
Our pool of candidates will no longer be limited to professional politicians, billionaires and other elites who currently run our country. The current situation runs counter to what our founders envisioned: an average Citizen called to the civic duty of elected office by an issue or set of issues which has sparked them into action. Today this is an impossibility.
… prohibits primaries:
The Valentine Constitution prohibits a handful of states from co-opting the candidate selection process. Primaries serve to exclude independent candidates and candidates of smaller parties from being seriously considered by the electorate. Primaries wrongfully allow early primary states to dictate to the majority of late primary States who they get to vote for by forcing candidates out of the race (when their lagging position discourages donations). The Valentine Constitution provides instead for all States to vote online at the end of the summer for who will be the major autumn election candidates from a pool of candidates presented to voters during the summer selection process.
… prohibits caucuses:
The Valentine Constitution also eliminates caucuses from elections since they unfairly exclude those who cannot show up at a specific time and place from our election process.
… prohibits campaigns from sharing resources:
The Valentine Constitution prohibits the campaigns of different candidates (or campaigns for different referendums) from sharing resources. This prevents parties and powerful groups from creating an advantage over individual candidates and instead keeps the playing field level for each candidate. This check and balance ensures that those attracted to and campaigning or volunteering for one candidate are not coerced into campaigning for another second candidate whom they may not even support! An example would be having literature for some other candidate added to the literature a volunteer is handing out for their candidate, just because some deal was made between two campaigns. or within a party, or a deal to share campaign staff as well as volunteers. Under TVC, individuals would be free to support as many or as different candidates as they pleased. In another provision campaign spending is severely limited so that the playing field is level for all candidates as no unfair advantages accrue to rich candidates.
… replaces gerrymandering with a nonpoliticized solution:
The Valentine Constitution ends the corrupt practice of manipulating election districts to encourage a classic two party stalemate. The party elite will not be allowed to manipulate district borders in deals which divvy up our electorate to ensure wins for each of only two parties, perpetuating do-nothing, stalemated congresses and prohibiting fresh candidates and ideas. It’s called gerrymandering and it’s one of the causes of legislative deadlocks. Gerrymandering is a political tactic resulting in political candidates, parties and platforms having far more support than they would have if voters had more nonpartisan candidates to choose from.
… allows the citizens living in rural, suburban and urban areas to be exclusively represented by their Representatives and our Councilors:
The Valentine Constitution allows for an accurate representation of voter constituencies. City folks have little contact with the nature that sustains their existence, or knowledge of the issues affecting nature’s capacity to continue to do so. They live in the city and suburbs where the food simply shows up on shelves. Country and suburban folks know little of subways and bus systems and other issues affecting city people. Country and city folks know little of suburban issues. Our Citizens better understand the issues they live with than the issues they only sometimes have to deal with, or only read about. Therefore our Citizens should be represented by Representatives and Councilors who live in their world, know their issues and who exclusively represent their world. That is why the lower house of the bicameral legislature represents localities. Under TVC, our Representatives and Councilors are intended to take more local views. while our Senators are intended to take a national view, and our Legislators, a statewide view. That way we get logical representation.
… and then by socioeconomic status:
Especially within urban and suburban districts gerrymandering could still go on unless socioeconomic status is considered. Again Citizens with similar circumstances should have similar representation.
Section. 2. Requires candidates for elected office, Justices and appointees be no less than twenty-five years of age:
The mind is fully formed by twenty-five and enough experience can be had by that age. The Voters will be capable of discerning who is qualified and vote accordingly. Presidents, Vice Presidents, Governors, Lieutenant Governors, Senators, Legislators and Supreme Court Justices all must be thirty-five.
… Presidents, Vice Presidents, Governors, Lieutenant Governors, Senators, Legislators and Supreme Court Justices all must be at least 35:
To ensure enough maturity and enough experience, our top officials must be at least 35 years old and be a resident of the jurisdiction of the office they are seeking for the 20 years prior to taking office. If a candidate is elected to represent a constituency, then the candidates should know the jurisdictions in which they’re elected and its people better than nearly anyone since the candidate will be passing laws which may greatly affect the place and the people. To run for one of the big offices, you’re going to need to demonstrate a serious desire to live and work where you’re running and must fully know the place and its people. 2 terms or 12 years is enough time for a Senator to accomplish the goals they are likely to accomplish and to avoid a stale agenda. More maturity and life experience and self-control are necessary for these powerful positions.
… be raised for sixteen of their first eighteen years in Costa Rica:
The Valentine Constitution reserves elected office for Citizens born and raised in Costa Rica in order to protect against potential disloyalty. Home is where the heart is. Where you were born and raised is usually where your loyalties lie. There is no reason to take a chance when there are so many qualified Costa Rican-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 Costa Rica in their blood to need to make exceptions for those who do not.
… be ten years a resident of the jurisdiction where they be chosen:
If a candidate is elected to represent a constituency, then the candidate should know the place and the 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.
… Presidents, Vice Presidents, Governors, Lieutenant Governors, Senators, Legislators and Supreme Court Justices all must be 20 years a resident of the jurisdiction where they be chosen:
To ensure a steadfast loyalty and our own safety, those running for our powerful top leadership positions will need to demonstrate a serious desire to live and work where they’re running. More time living within the jurisdiction they are running for office in prevents opportunistic politicians from moving to a state just to get elected to a position of power.
… have submitted to the Review Court all of their relationships and financial information for confidential review of which those relevant shall be made available to the public:
Candidates will submit all their information to the Review Court who will confidentially review the material and reveal to the public any information financial or otherwise they deem to be relevant to the elected office. At a later date the Review Court may reveal information not initially revealed due to its irrelevancy but later relevant due to new events and situations which may arise while the official is in office. Much like the privacy provision which keeps the paparazzi at bay unless there is some danger to the public welfare or some power to be kept in check, there is no advantage to revealing the private matters of our elected officials unless they are relevant to the elected office. The great disadvantage is that we alienate good talent who would otherwise run for office, because they or their family members or associates don’t want their privacy violated, something that today comes with the job. It’s irrelevant whether the candidate or elected official say gets $5,000 per year from his son’s golf shop, or makes $500 per week doing the hula dance for old ladies at a nursing home, unless there’s a bill that has to do, for example, with the water that all golf courses and our country is running out of. At that time, the Review Court would release that information, and to even greater effect than if it were release when irrelevant, since it will be newsworthy and relevant.
… elected officials shall work no less than forty hours per week in their elected capacity excluding ceremonial and promotional work and travel time:
Enough with the megalomaniacal elected officials who spend more time in the limelight than in their offices, or lazy ones who seem always to be golfing! When do they have time to work? Traveling to some hospital to visit sick kids is NOT work. It’s self-promotion, just like ceremonies. None of these activities will be counted as an elected officials 40 hours per week, nor will travel time. We wish to discourage traveling by our elected officials. Travel is expensive, time consuming and a distraction from their real job back in DC., or their state capital. We need 40 hours of real work from our elected officials. That leaves plenty of of time for doing press, travel and playing golf. It’s elected office. It was never supposed to be a career! They’re supposed to get in, get the job done, and get out. They’re supposed to bring a lot of energy and ideas, expend a lot of energy to implement the ideas, then go home to your farm. It’s not the King’s court. It’s democracy.
… and no more than ten hours per week after work, and no work whose interests may conflict with their elected office:
Likewise today we discourage and practically blacklist business people from holding elected office because we do not allow them to spend ANY time, even supervisory or consulting time, to keep their business afloat while they spend 4 years in office. Call them selfish but most people aren’t going to sacrifice the business they spent their lives building to spend four years in office. The boss needs to have input or the business will fail. So we give them ten hours a week to keep their business afloat, or for some other healthy outlet like writing a book, or recording some songs, or making some shoes or starting a restaurant in DC. Outlets are good for everyone who works a lot. They will keep our officials fresh without allowing conflicts of interest, since those will be revealed by the Review Court in real time. It’s only ten hours, like a hobby, and not even a major hobby, a little one.
So who do we get now running for office? Losers who need the money and have nothing to lose. Is that who we want running our country?
Section. 3. Establishes summertime for candidate and referendum exposure to determine who gets on the ballots by September 1st for elections held on November 3rd as usual; does not allow campaigning prior to June 1st:
The Valentine Constitution establishes an “election season” beginning on June 1st with the announcement of the candidates and referendums to be considered over the summer for placement on the ballot for the general election which will begin on September 1st. The current two year-long election cycle takes far too much time away from candidates who need to spend more time preparing for the job of elected office, or if in office, doing their job rather than campaigning away two years of it. This is precisely why The Valentine Constitution provides for four year and not two year terms. Nor will candidates have to spend time fundraising since that will no longer be necessary. The corrupting practice of fundraising will be removed from campaigning, especially when candidates who are in office are so capable of immediately paying back political favors on current legislation. All of our politicians will be beholden to us since we will be financing their campaigns instead of the special interests or billionaires who currently do.
The three months of summer is plenty of time for voters to be exposed to new candidates and ideas, and reduce the selection down to the most acceptable candidates who will then be put on the ballot. The two months of autumn is plenty of time to choose from those on the ballot.
Section. 4. Allows any candidate or referendum to compete over the summer campaign season beginning on June 1st, prohibits campaigning prior to June 1st; puts any candidate or referendum supported by 5% or more of the voters by September 1st on the general election ballot to compete during the autumn election season:
The Valentine Constitution allows any candidate or referendum to compete during a summer candidate “selection” season when candidates and referendums are considered beginning on June 1st. No campaigning will be allowed before June 1st. Those with possibilities in the general election are permitted to campaign during the autumn general election season. To prevent a handful of billionaires and a handful of party elites and super delegates and electoral college members from continuing to determine who we get to vote for, a neutral body within the Judiciary will instead control elections and allow more new candidates, hopefully with fresh ideas, to be heard and seen. Since terms of office will be limited to twelve years, we will need an efficient, voter friendly system to allow us to consider more new candidates more frequently. The system allows us to drop the least popular candidates at the end of summer and to have only real contenders to compete in the autumn for the general election. The provisions for preference and run off voting will ensure that the candidates most desired by the electorate will be elected, and spoiler candidates will not allow the second most desired candidate to get elected.
A small group of billionaires own the parent corporations which own our press corps. The press currently decides which candidates to cover and only those they cover get name recognition and start to appear in the polls. And only those who appear in the polls are included in the debates according to rules created and enforced by the parties. So the parties and the press work together to keep out the competition.
So the candidates who get coverage from the press get exposure, become known, show in the polls and are included in the debates according to rules created and enforced by the parties. So who tells the press which candidates to cover? The billionaires who own the corporations and the media are funding the campaigns of candidates who then owe them favors and cannot repay those favors if they don’t win. The debates further add to the name recognition and polling of those included in the debates while the polling of those excluded falls. Candidates who receive no press coverage have no chance at exposure, unless they are famous or a known politician.
It is impossible for an outsider with no wealth and no fame to get any press, even if he’s the first person in over two hundred years to write a new Constitution because the press are not allowed to cover him unless the owners of the network tell them to. As I shivered outside the Iowa debate which the party had excluded me from, the USA Today reporter who had the decency to speak to me said, “The press doesn’t break news anymore; we follow trends.” But that was just a lie he tells himself. What he wanted to say was: “I cannot cover you because my boss’s boss’s boss is funding another candidate and he doesn’t want any competition for her so she will win and be able to repay the favors she owes him for financing her campaign.” And as I shivered outside the adjacent “spin room” the press had excluded me from, an ABC reporter said she’d love to interview me but could do nothing without orders from above. How far above? Who makes that call? Answer: The guys I criticize in my “time for America” music video, the CEOs of General Electric, Disney, Time Warner, News Corp, Viacom and CBS, and Wall Street elites like the CEOs I criticize in my “middle class” music video, the ones who give the orders from above, the ones who destroyed the American economy by using banks and insurance companies to transform Wall Street into a short term, highly leveraged gambling casino from a once trustworthy, long term, fundamentals based provider of capital for businesses, jobs for workers and dividends for small savers.
So it’s the press and the parties, both controlled by the same elite billionaires, who determine who gets on the ballots for primaries and elections. This marginalizes potentially great new candidates and discourages others from running.
Section. 5. Limits campaign expenditures to 5 cents per registered voter:
Although campaigns will need no money to run, since the Judiciary will provide all campaign forums and equal exposure for all candidates, The Valentine Constitution allows a modicum of financial support for travel and accommodations and staff, but severely limits campaign expenditures to $0.05 per registered voter to prohibit any candidate from being corrupted or from gaining any advantage from wealth.
… prohibits public officials from using government resources for campaigning:
Elected officers will no longer be allowed to charge our government for the costs of their campaigning. They will be prohibited from taking a campaign trip and pretending that it is in the furtherance of their duties as an elected officer. Far too many public resources are now used to keep politicians in power. This will end.
… prohibits a candidate from being privately enriched as a result of official actions, or voting in matters presenting a conflict of interest:
The “revolving door” describes upper level employees going back and forth from government jobs to corporate jobs. The Valentine Constitution prohibits government officials from working for the corporations they regulate, and from regulating the corporations they work for or have worked for or will work for. Presidents today routinely appoint corporate officers as government department heads as pay back for a campaign contribution or PAC set up by a corporate CEO, or board members, or other special interest. As part of the governmental department, the company man influences legislation favorable to his company. When he is finished, he resigns as department head and returns to a job with the corporation he benefitted. Many Senators, Representatives and State Legislators and Governors also retire to cushy pretend jobs at corporations run by the campaign financing billionaires they were faithful to when in office. That will no longer be allowed.
… prohibits PACS, professional, big money, big business lobbying and the corresponding corruption:
The Valentine Constitution eliminates campaign contributions and PACS so our politicians do not owe political favors to big money donors, and instead owe Citizens who will finance all elections through a neutral body in the Judicial branch. Billionaires will no longer be able to “invest” in campaigns to receive favors and favorable legislation from our politicians in return for their campaign contributions. These billionaires contribute to both the Democratic and Republican candidates in each race so that they are guaranteed to have influence regardless of who wins, an old Wall Street practice called “hedging your bet.” Goldman Sachs was the biggest contributor to George W. Bush and Barack Obama and Donald Trump! It’s cheap for multinational corporations to fund campaigns, especially when they receive so much in return. It’s great investment for them. The Valentine Constitution stops all of that.
The Valentine Constitution makes sure politicians and government workers represent the people and the public interest, and not billionaires or private interests. The Valentine Constitution prohibits the lobbying that has allowed multinational monopolies and special interests to co-opt our country and corrupt our elected representation. Billionaires now control our elected officials who pass legislation allowing these Wall Street elites to control our economy resulting in monopolies, bailouts, job loss, recessions, the printing of money and a $40 trillion debt, just so these billionaires can have G7 jets and 400 foot super yachts. The Valentine Constitution stops all of this insanity and restores common sense and reason to our society, and fiscal and political responsibility to our government, and value to our economy.
By establishing a politically neutral body within the Judiciary to provide debates and other forums for all candidates equally so that new candidates and ideas may be exposed and real issues dealt with, The Valentine Constitution has our government pay for all campaigns so that our politicians will be beholden to us Citizens instead of a few billionaires. The Valentine Constitution takes the money out of politics by prohibiting campaign contributions, lobbying and the revolving door so that no favors will be owed to the big-has-failed billionaires or the special interest lobbies who currently fund campaigns and receive favors in return; who have corrupted our government, and who have gained control of our government and our economy.
PART. II. VOTING
Section. 1. Gives the vote to Citizens over eighteen of sound mind:
If you’re old enough to die for us; you’re old enough to vote with us. If you are insane, in a coma, or are a drug addict, you are not of sound mind and will not be able to vote.
… voters must speak and write fluent Spanish:
The Valentine Constitution, which makes Spanish fluency a condition of citizenship, also makes it a requirement for voting. Those who don’t bother to learn Spanish don’t care about becoming Costa Rican or adopting our culture. Spanish is essential to assimilation, and a predominant aspect of our culture. If they wanted to assimilate they would learn Spanish. Nor can they fully understand our politics or our culture without fluency. Those who fail to adopt our language are here because they ran from their homeland rather than stand and fight. Will they stand and fight for Costa Rica? Their adopted homeland? Not if they didn’t fight for the country they were born in. Or they came here because the living is easier. We don’t want as Citizens, much less as voting Citizens, people who don’t want to be Costa Rican, people who have proven they don’t want to be a part of our country or culture by not bothering to learn our language or assimilate.
… prohibits those who owe overdue payments on unsecured debts:
Guys who owe child support and people who cheat others will be penalized by The Valentine Constitution, which will keep track of cheaters and rip offs until they stop cheating and ripping off others and the system. If you cannot keep your financial house in order, then you’re an irresponsible noncontributing drag on society and cannot be trusted to vote responsibly. Likewise, elsewhere, our government will not be permitted to run a deficit; our politicians will not be permitted to sell us out for a campaign contribution, and neither corporations nor individuals will be permitted to declare bankruptcy.
… prohibits any who haven’t paid their civil or criminal penalties:
Those owing civil damages to a wronged party will not be allowed to vote. Likewise criminals who still owe some debt to society will not be allowed to vote, nor will hard criminals.
The Valentine Constitution will charge all criminals for ALL the costs of their crimes, whether parole time, prison time, boot camp time, community service, fines or compensation to victims or to the state for damages caused by the crime or apprehension, arrest and all processing, incarceration, meals, everything. The state and the victims will not be out of pocket for the crimes. Why should they? We will not pay for any of the costs associated with their crime or confinement; instead they will have to pay for every cost they caused. If any of those costs have not been paid, then ex-prisoners will not be permitted to vote.
This restriction is compounded by a self-sufficient prison system where it’s in the interests of the inmates and the government to keep costs low since the costs will be paid by the inmates who in turn will be highly motivated to make real world goods and provide real world services, so they can reduce what they end up owing for messing up. They will have to learn how to work together, and learn a trade or two and compete in a real world environment, exactly what they failed to do on the outside, so that when they get out, their transition will be far easier than it is now. The prison boot camp provision alone will reduce the repeat offender rate from 80% to 20%. This has been proven.
… prohibits hard criminals from voting:
Felons should have thought about losing their voting rights when they decided to break the law. The revocation of voting privileges is part of the punishment and a deterrent to crime. Furthermore it prevents a bunch of felons or an organized crime syndicate or gang from voting a fellow criminal into office. It’s stupid to give felons the right to vote just because a few of them got caught in the catch-all net. The Valentine Constitution instead fixes the net, the real problem, the root cause: over-incarceration. But that’s another issue in another provision.
The people trying to restore felons voting rights are avoiding the real problem of over-incarceration. Fix THAT, not this. The fact that many felons should not be felons is immaterial to this provision. Fix the problem not the symptoms. The Valentine Constitution goes to the root cause of problems and solves them at the core. If there is a problem with our police state incarcerating more people than any other nation in the history, then deal with that problem, but don’t make your fix someone else’s problem or you then become part of the problem, because you’re too lazy or scared to do the work necessary to fix the root of the problem, in this case fixing the incarceration problem, so you go for the cheap fix of giving felons back their voting rights while the original problem of over-incarceration still remains. In other provisions I fix the problem of over-incarceration that you seek to fix here, the wrong place to fix it.
The result is that many of the people who want to fix the actual problem of over-incarceration will stop trying because they get their little consolation prize and then step out of the real game where we still need them. Little victories like restoring voting rights to ALL felons simply creates another problem, that the bad felons should not have them, which is why I always solve the problem at the roots, because all problems are intertwined, and fixing one effects everything else. One must keep track of one’s fixes and the ramifications of one’s fixes. The ramification of this ill-conceived fix is that the felon who raped the girl and ruined her life is standing in line next to her at the voting polls 5 and 10 years later. That’s not right. A felon who sold drugs to a woman’s child and messed the kid’s mind up for life gets to vote?! A felon who robbed a bank or stole a car at gunpoint would have his rights restored along with old weed selling hippies. At what cost? Felons are liable to vote for bad people because they’re bad guys. It’s the worst idea ever; to create a voting block of felons! Just because a few stoners who sold a few joints were turned into felons by an overly aggressive justice system? Fix the actual problem. Don’t PRETEND to fix the problem.
Do the work at the roots and stop trying to fix the leaves because quick fixes like this don’t work. Taking guns away doesn’t take away the motivation of the shooter who will simply choose some other weapon. The dirty little secret of the children, teachers and staff who became victims of spree killers is that they ostracized or bullied or ignored the shooter and his mental illness repeatedly and that’s why they got shot, because they’re self-centered, lazy, myopic and apathetic and their schools allow them to be. God forbid that they blame themselves in any way. That’s too much work. They want to ignore the real problem to avoid the work they’d have to do on themselves. So they go for the quick easy fix and point the finger at gun owners thinking foolishly that it will solve the problem. Society and the victims of felons did not commit any crimes here. The FELONS DID. So don’t guilt trip law abiding Citizens, cause we’re not their suckers anymore, we’re their victims.
The good hearted, kind people trying to get felons back their voting rights are not the felons either. The vast majority of felons aren’t lifting a finger to get their rights restored. Again lazy. But if suckers want to do it for them, they won’t turn them down. Just don’t expect them to thank you. That’s not their style either. They just think you’re a sucker, and they may have something there. They’re felons. Most of them chose and will choose the EASY WAY OUT. The easy way to test this fact is to ask them to match you, effort for effort, in restoring their voting rights and see how many rise to the challenge. Or just let me save you the trouble. ZERO. Takers are takers. All they’re doing is drawing you away from the real fight, fixing the over-incarceration problem, and the problems that drive kids to crime in the first place, bad schools for one, an enslaving minimum wage for two. All of this will be fixed by The Valentine Constitution, including ostracization of fellow students. If you want to get something done, help ratify TVC. Felons lack morality and ethics and discipline and will probably lack those attributes all their lives. Some change; most don’t. When felons decide to hurt our society they give up the respect we gave them. We don’t trust felons because they’ve given us lots of reasons not to. They’re just going to have to live with their mistakes like the rest of us. Under The Valentine Constitution felons will never be able to vote again.
Section. 2. Makes voting mandatory:
Mandatory voting requires that Citizens get involved with their democracy if only in this minor way. It challenges the Citizen to deal with the guilt if they cast an apathetic vote and just punch randomly next to any name. That will not sit well and will grind on their conscience and the next time they vote, they will be more likely to be better informed, and with each election moreso. The alternative? Apathetic losers who live here but give nothing back. Too cool for school hot shots who thump their apathetic chests saying: “F that; why bother? It’s all BS,” when it’s only “all BS” because no one is involved. It’s time for all Citizens to contribute the bare minimum to our democracy.
… prohibits “blanket” voting:
“Blanket” voting allows a voter to select all of one party’s candidates at once. This defeats the purpose of mandatory voting and is prohibited because choosing a slate does not challenge a Citizen to become informed about the candidates. The goal is to get our Citizens involved with their democracy. While any voter is welcomed to choose whom they wish and may well end up selecting all of one party’s candidates, The Valentine Constitution will not allow it to be accomplished in one act, and instead will require the voter to consider each candidate with the forethought and respect our democracy deserves.
… allows “write in” voting:
Candidates excluded from the ballot may be written in by voters by literally writing the name of the candidate in the space provided on the ballot. That way a candidate who may have missed a deadline or run afoul of a legal requirement in one or more jurisdictions, or a candidate who appears late in the race but gains late popular support, will not be kept from those wishing to vote for the candidate.
Section. 3. Establishes voting in order of preference, and provides for a run-off vote until one candidate achieves a majority of over fifty percent:
The Valentine Constitution respects majority rule and counts every vote and makes all votes count, ensuring that the most desired candidate is elected. Voters will list candidates in order of preference: first choice first, second choice second, third choice, third, etc. If the voter’s first choice doesn’t get elected, their vote goes to their second choice until one candidate has a majority of over 50%, so that the candidate most voters want gets elected.
“Preference Voting” prevents a candidate with less than a majority of the total vote from being elected by requiring that a candidate have a majority of the total votes cast to be elected. A third candidate invariably takes votes away from one of the other two most popular candidates, but stays in the race to influence the talking points. In doing so “spoiler” candidates take votes away from the most popular candidate allowing the second most popular candidate to win. It’s not democracy if the majority is not allowed to rule!
Current election methods often result in the least popular of the final two candidates getting elected because the votes of voters who vote for third pay candidates are not counted. Today the vote of a voter who prefers a marginally popular candidate would not count in most voting systems. With preference voting, their vote would go to their second choice, or their third, so each voters vote would count.
The Valentine Constitution rectifies these problems, respects majority rule and counts every vote, and further ensures majority rule by mandating a run-off vote if necessary until the winning candidate gets over 50% of the vote.
Section. 4. Abolishes the Electoral College, instead decides elections by popular vote; except when electing Supreme Court Justices and electing the Presidential and Vice Presidential team, wherein each state gets one vote per Representative plus one vote per Senator. The votes are awarded to reflect the popular vote, and are divisible if necessary; and the candidate with a majority of these votes nationwide will be confirmed or elected:
Are we incapable of voting directly for the candidate we want? Do we need a representative to cast a vote for us? Having someone represent us at the ballot box is ripe with corrupting possibilities, a real temptation for wrongdoing and power mongering, and why 90% of voters want to abolish the electoral college.
When states are “winner-take-all”, so whoever wins gets ALL of that state’s electors, as though nobody voted for any other candidate! The votes against the winner do not count! In fact it’s worse. The votes AGAINST the winner are counted as FOR the winner! Huge numbers of votes in big state’s are effectively switched never to be nationally tallied for the candidate they were cast for. It’s a distortion of the will of the people. The winner-take-all Electoral College distorts the national popular vote, since many votes against the winner are instead counted for the winner in the national “elector” tally under our current Constitution.
The Valentine Constitution instead gives each candidate their PERCENTAGE of the votes won in each state, then totals all of those nationally, so that the candidate most voters want gets elected. The Valentine Constitution allots votes equal to the number of the State’s Representatives plus the number of the State’s Senators (two per state). These are not electors, not delegates, but votes using the same allocations of power as our US Congress. The votes are awarded in the same percentages as the statewide popular vote and may be split if necessary to accurately reflect the correct percentages. Some states have few representatives, so a single vote may be divided. Then all votes are totaled nationwide.
During the national tally, the votes for the 3rd and 4th and 5th place finishers go to those voters’ second choice as per “preference voting”. Preferences are applied until only two candidates remain, and one is the winner. The remote possibility of a tie would trigger a “runoff” vote. This method of national voting is popular because it reflects the national popular vote.
Section. 5. Prohibits election polling and handicapping within thirty days of any election or primary:
No voter should be dissuaded, by polls or handicapping, from voting for their desired candidate simply because the candidate is deemed to have no chance of winning by pundits and press owned by powerful interests with undue influence over the process. The Valentine Constitution prohibits these practices for only the last month of an election, but a case could be made to limit the practices beforehand. Citizens are voting for representation, not betting on a horse race. Voting is a serious business. The Valentine Constitution will encourage voters to vote for the candidate or referendum measure they deem best without the undue influence of money grubbing odds makers or our corrupt press corp. The opportunity for the dark horse to succeed will no longer be taken away from voters by biased pundits or mercenary statisticians who have grown increasingly unreliable in their predictive analysis. The more money we allow into politics, the more unreliable our polls have become. A direct correlation exists.
… prohibits winner projections and the announcement of vote tabulations until all votes are counted:
The Valentine Constitution prevents projections and tabulations from watering down the votes of hard working voters. A vote cast late will count as much as a vote cast early. Voters will no longer be discouraged from voting by being told who has won the election before all the votes have even been counted. Most races are close enough that late votes could change the outcome, but now are prevented from doing so by ratings-driven, be-the-first-to-call-it press corps. Giving the press this power is absurd, ripe for corruption, and an insult to daytime working voters who cannot cast their votes until late in the process. Voting will be done online and voters will be given time to do so.
PART. III. TERMS of OFFICE, VACANCIES and SUCCESSION
Section. 1. Requires all to take the following oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the duties of my position and will to the best of my ability respect and protect The Constitution of Costa Rica”;
Section. 2. Withdraws special immunity privileges from elected officials, foreign dignitaries, or from anyone; and declares that no person will be above the law:
The Valentine Constitution dissolves diplomatic and other immunities for elected and appointed officials, and dignitaries, etc. No person is above the law. If any one person must abide by the law, then all must. Those in powerful positions, should be not able to use the power of their position to circumvent any law or rule of society or for special privileges unrelated to or unnecessary for their work for our nation. To do so reduces others to second class status and corrupts our leaders and government.
… laws governing government workers or Citizens must also cover elected officials and department heads:
Our elected and appointed officials will, therefore, be subject to the same laws as the people and no exemption will exist. History is replete with exemptions from the application of the law in a variety of areas: civil and criminal immunities, discrimination and victimization by an elected official, family and medical leave, health insurance, Social Security, drunk driving, parking fines and the like.
Section. 3. Staggers terms of office:
This provision was instituted to remove the possibility that a single faction may seize control suddenly and to avoid the emotionally charged or mob mentality moment.
Section. 4. The following shall be elected in their respective jurisdictions for the following terms of office by majority consent of the voters except in the case of extension: Supreme Court Justices shall serve no more than three 6-year terms; Presidents, Vice Presidents, Governors and Lieutenant Governors shall serve no more than two 4-year terms; Senators and Legislators shall serve nor more than two 6-year terms; Representatives, Councilors, Department Heads and all other elected officials shall serve nor more than three 4-year terms:
The Valentine Constitution avoids the interruption of work by politics currently surrounding the appointment of Supreme Court Justices who will be elected by popular vote. Politics has no place in the chamber of truth; therefore, the people will decide who best reflects their interpretation of laws which have no power without their consent. These important positions are now often left vacant for months while important work needs to be done, and four to four stalemates need to be broken by the ninth Justice. Why should the selection be limited to the President’s nominees? Why should the often partisan Senate be allowed to dictate to the people who sits on the court, or be allowed to leave a seat vacant until political motives are served? Answer: They shouldn’t. Under The Valentine Constitution Supreme Court Justices will be elected by the Voters, and not limited to nominees who are simply politically relevant to the next election cycle nor by the political manipulations of Presidents and Senators.
Supreme Court Justices may serve for up to three 6-year terms but not for life so that they do not become out of touch with the times. The average length of tenure for a Supreme Court Justice to date is 16 years, but 18 justices have served for more than 20 years, and 7, for more than 30. In the following provision, a Justice so in concert with the people or so excellent at their job may be permitted one additional 6-year term by a 2/3rds vote of the people, or likewise be terminated.
Term limits have long been espoused by candidates to get elected, yet none have voted them in! That very fact indicates clearly that the power corrupts if not the individual then the collection of sitting legislators. Once in, the power grabs and controls them, making them unwilling to act on their promises. And IF they are so fantastic that we want them to serve an additional term, a later provision allows a 2/3rds vote to allow them. Otherwise limits will be imposed.
Presidents and Governors are already limited to 2 terms of 4 years, and justly so. Vice Presidents and Lieutenant Governors must likewise be limited since they become President or Governor upon death of the President or Governor or during illness or emergency. Allowing them more terms would open the door for cheating and planned illnesses and emergencies, and puppet Presidents and Governors wherein the Vice President and Lieutenant Governor actually wield the power by the prearranged acquiescence of the Vice President or Lieutenant Governor.
TVC limits Senators and Legislators to two 6-year terms since they can become Representatives or hold other effective offices should they wish to serve longer.
TVC limits Representatives and Councilors to three 4-year terms since 4-year terms allow enough turnover to bring in fresh ideas and new perspectives, while avoiding the perpetual campaigning which plagues 2-year term Representatives. No sooner do 2-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 getting themselves re-elected rather than governing! As a result, 2-year term Representatives are constantly distracted by re-election considerations, and adversely affected by having to pay back those who finance their campaigns, often in real time. 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 4-year terms.
The Valentine Constitution allows for fresh ideas and new perspectives provided by officials chosen from people who live among, and not above, the rest of us. Seniority and complacency are removed, along with do-nothing, stalemated Congresses. With a 94% re-election rate in the House and 83% in the Senate, our unbeatable career politicians become smug, complacent and intransigent giving us stalemate after stalemate and do nothing legislatures distanced from the realities of the Citizens, insulated in a political world of gamesmanship and re-election, and incapable of compromise or legislating, all to the detriment of the republic. New candidates and their fresh ideas are now locked out of our own political process, and the Citizens never even know these candidates exist since the parties control who gets on the primary ballots and wish to protect the power of incumbency and seniority for their side. Career politicians are more concerned with their re-election problems than our everyday problems. Career politicians don’t have real jobs, are out of touch with our daily realities, are in the pockets of big business and special interests, and are more likely to vote for them rather than for Citizens who are 90% likely to re-elect them, since they have no incentive to do anything more than fundraising. Because they are so far removed from the private sector which they are elected to represent, they have no practical experience living in the real world and so are incapable of creating legislation to deal with real world problems. Through seniority they acquire an undemocratic, disproportionate amount of power on committees where they are more likely to vote to protect their position than effect change.
… does not count portions of terms as full terms:
The portion of a term served in an office held because an official took over when another officer became incapacitated or left office will not count as a term.
Section. 5. Allows a two-thirds majority consent of Voters to provide one additional term or terminate any elected official:
If an elected official is so inept or incapable or unacceptable that two-thirds of the Citizens want to remove them, or so excellent they want to give them one more term, then let the will of the Citizens be followed. The vote to extend will take place on the elections held on the workday prior to September 1st, while a vote to terminate may take place at any time.
… allows a majority consent of Voters to extend or terminate the employment or contract of non-elected justices, officials, department heads, employees, vendors or contractors:
If a non-elected appointee, employee, vendor or contractor manages to either irritate or to please the Citizenry to the extent that a majority of the voters bother to put the matter on a ballot and succeed in getting a majority of the voters to agree, then let the majority rule. If they’re great, keep them on however long they do a great job. If not, fire them early. When not a term or if in doubt, the legislature, or the Voters by or within a referendum, may decide how much longer. These votes may take place at any time.
… prohibits those so terminated from holding further office or further employment:
Any elected officials, or government appointees, employees, vendors or contractors whom the Citizens go to such lengths to remove should not be allowed to continue once removed, whether immediately or later.
Section. 6. Any elected official, government appointee, employee, vendor or contractor who cannot do their job for six months will be terminated:
Codifies the common sense ability to terminate the employment of those who can no longer earn their paycheck while respectfully giving them six months to remedy their situation.
… withholds compensation unless injury on the job allows for compensation:
Only those who deserve severance compensation should receive it.
Section. 7. In the case of premature vacancies in any elected office, Citizens will vote for a new officer within 60 days to fill out the remainder of the term if more than six months:
Whenever any elected office is vacated, new election will take place within thirty days. This gives enough time for a replacement to be found without losing too much work time. The acting elected official will continue to vote during the interim. The Valentine Constitution avoids the interruption of work by the politics currently surrounding many appointments.
Under The Valentine Constitution Supreme Court Justices will be elected by the Voters, and not limited to nominees who are simply politically relevant to the next election cycle and the political manipulations of Presidents and Senators. These important positions are often left vacant for months while important work needs to be done and four to four stalemates need to be broken by the ninth justice. Why should the selection be limited to the President’s nominees? Why should the often partisan Senate be allowed to leave a seat vacant until political motives are served, or be allowed to dictate to the people who sits on the court? Answer: They shouldn’t. And soon they won’t.
… following the order of succession fills vacancies with acting officers for 60 days while Citizens vote for a replacement:
The length of time that replacement officials may temporarily act on behalf of a vacated official, and the length of time to elect a replacement, will be limited to sixty days since they were not elected to that office, except when less than six months remain in the term.
… if less than six months remain in the term, the acting officer will serve out the term:
There would be too much disruption of the job being filled to warrant a whole new election to replace someone for under six months. Furthermore, it is not fair to penalize the acting official for circumstances beyond their control and for faithfully fulfilling their public service duty. Nor will portions of terms be counted under term limits.
Section. 8. In the case of vacancies of public ministers and consuls or the top unelected officials of our Federal or State agencies, our President or respective State Governor will nominate a 1st nominee within 30 days to be approved within 2 weeks by a majority vote of the upper house of the respective Legislature, and, if rejected, a 2nd nominee within one week, and if rejected, a 3rd nominee within one week:
Limits are put on the time it takes for the Legislators to approve Executive appointments. This has led to long term vacancies and delayed work due to vacated offices in Legislatures often sidelined by the political implications of certain important vacancies. The problem is rectified by The Valentine Constitution which puts time limits on the approval of each appointee, and, whenever three appointees for the same job are rejected by the Legislators, calls for our Citizens to elect the appointee from the rejected nominees. This pressures the Senate to fill the appointment since they would rather use their power than give it to the Citizens in most cases.
The Valentine Constitution reaffirms the authority granted to Presidents and Governors to appoint the officers of various departments and agencies with the approval of the upper house of our Legislature, but shortens the time for both nomination and confirmation to ensure that the government is staffed to do its important work. Filling vacancies quickly avoids the interruption of work created by the politics surrounding the slew of posts vacant for long periods of time throughout our government. The respective Chief Executive (President or Governor) has 30 days after a vacancy is created to present the first nominee to the upper house who will have two weeks to approve or disapprove of the nominee. If disapproved, the Executive will have only one week to make the next nomination, since it will probably be made from a list which should already have been compiled during the first 30 day consideration period. The upper house will have two more weeks, and if rejected, the Executive will have one week to make the third and final nomination.
… any nominations not made within the times allotted by the respective Chief Executive will be made within one week by majority vote of the lower house of the respective Legislature:
When the President or a Governor fails to make a nomination in the time allotted, The Representatives, or Councilors, will step in and, within one week by majority vote, nominate one of their own choosing who will then go to the upper house for confirmation within two weeks. If rejected, the President or a Governor has one week to make the next nomination, or the task falls again to the lower house. After three are rejected by the upper house, the Citizens will vote from among the three rejected.
This fail safe ensures that someone gets nominated and the post gets filled in a timely fashion. The unlikely worst case scenario leaves a given post vacant for 4 months and one week. This avoids vacancies of a longer duration which are now commonplace.
… if all 3 nominees are rejected by respective legislatures, then within 30 days a majority preference vote of our respective Citizens will select one from the three:
If the Senators, or Legislators, reject all three of the President’s or Governor’s appointees, then the respective Citizens will settle the matter by voting in order of preference from the 3 nominees. The effect will be pressure on the Senators and Legislators respectively to confirm one of the President’s or Governor’s nominees or else be forced to have the Citizens confirm one from their rejects.
Section. 9. The Federal order of succession: The Vice President, the President Pro Tempore of the Senators, the Speaker of the Representatives, the Directors of the following departments: Communications and Information, Financial Affairs, Interior Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Armed Forces, Health and Agriculture, Labor, Education then the Senators from the largest to smallest states;
Section. 10. The State order of succession shall in the following order be: the State’s Lieutenant Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Legislators, the Speaker of the Councilors, and the Secretaries of the State’s following departments: Energy, Transportation, Building, The State Guard then the Legislators from the largest to smallest districts:
This State order of succession was modeled after most State Constitutions making minor changes to reflect the new division of powers between the Federal and State governments established by The Valentine Constitution.