Let me state categorically my belief that the 17th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States should be repealed. This is the amendment which called for the "Direct Election" of United States Senators by the voters of the several states. It was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1913. Up until that point, the Constitution dictated that the power to elect Senators was vested in the legislatures of the several states. The original intent of the Founding Fathers was that the House of Representatives was to directly represent the people who elected them, and that the Senate was to represent the interests of the several states. In other words -- A SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES!!!
Were there times when the state legislatures were remiss in their duties? Sure. Were there instances of corruption or competing candidates for office? Of course. And do we not see similar instances of corruption and controversial elections today, with our system of direct election? Yes -- similar problems exist. Such is the nature of representative democracy! It's not always neat and clean! (Roland Burris jokes, anyone? or Al Franken, for crying out loud?)
Amending the Constitution was not the answer -- and we're reaping the result of that decision. Senators are subject to the same lobbying pressures as are Members of the House -- and the role of the several states in forming, or at least deliberating upon, the policies of the Federal Government have been greatly diminished. The checks and balances are gone.
In the opinion of your humble blogger, it is high time we repealed the 17th Amendment, and returned to the original intent of our Founders, as imperfect or as messy as it sometimes could be. Let's return to the states the deliberative powers which were originally theirs, and restore a better balance between the states and the Federal Government.
For God and Country,