Politics/Law/Government

The New Constitution: Amendment XVIII – limiting lobbying by former public servants

The New Constitution

Amendment XVIII

In order to further the public’s interest in a free and independent legislature, elected officials shall not petition the body in which they served, either on their own behalf or on behalf of the interests of a third party, for a period of at least five years after the conclusion of their terms.

Rationale

As noted earlier on in the series, our system has been thoroughly co-opted by wealthy special interests, to the point where our elected leaders are barely responsive to the public will at all. A significant part of the problem arises from the revolving door between industry and government. This cozy old-boy network regularly finds “regulators” selected directly from the boardrooms of the corporations they’re now allegedly watchdogging and legislators leaving office to slide directly into positions where they can use their government contacts to lobby their former colleagues.

This system serves everyone nicely – everyone except the public. In order to make government genuinely responsive to the will of the people we must take significant steps to put an end to systemic influence peddling.

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Index: The New Constitution Series

6 replies »

  1. I don’t think this amendment will do any good. Instead of becoming a lobbyist they will just become consultants and tell the lobbyists who to lobby and how. They need to be barred from working for any lobbying company in any capacity for at least 10 years in my opinion.

  2. Great amendment. I would add that all legislators at the end of their term will be shot (or quarantined). I thank you for this great effort and wish the very best in your practice of mental hygiene.

    • I felt like a permanent ban was too restrictive and may actually damage us if we drive the expertise out completely. I’m open to the idea that I’m wrong here, though.

      • On thinking about it more, lowering teachers’ salaries hasn’t caused (too much of) a brain drain in that sector. Anything we can do to make legislation an unattractive profession will only help insure that the only people doing it are the ones who are really passionate about it (and the ones who get voted in, of course).

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