COMMONWEALTH PARTY
OF AMERICA


Flag of the American Commonwealth Republics









TERM, FALLOW PERIOD AND TIME ACCRUAL LIMITS











Revised: 12/5/14



Please use this latest version for reference:

-Newer readers may skip this.-






· In 'Fallow Periods' under its House section a new asterisk has been attached to the 4-year fallow period before the successive full Representative terms which allows state legislatures the option to expand those fallow lengths.


· We now advise on the maximum duration of public office before the optional 2-year fallow for Representative newbies. This and the new asterisk above are explained in the two middle paragraphs of the four occurring after the House section of 'Fallow Periods'.


· In 'Fallow Periods' under its House and Senate sections the resumptive clauses have been polished for more clarity.


· The 'Running Fallows' text in the House and Senate sections has been revised for clarity, error removal and a bit more explicit description.


· Photos added to 'Introduction'.









This plan should now be complete and ready for transcription into law and Constitution. Never say never but nonetheless, no further revisions are anticipated.























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Index






-Intro- -Term- -Fallow- -Time- -Table- -Extents- -Party- -Adoption- -Links- -Bottom-


** Speaker Page **



























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INTRODUCTION








Scaffolding at Capitol Dome near 1959.

Scaffolding for the previous restoration of the Dome about 1959.






2014 scaffolding at Capitol Dome.

The recent 2014 scaffolding about the Capitol to refurbish the Dome.






Images from public gallery at 'Architect of the Capitol' for fair use without grant of endorsement.








When elections are held, one thing candidates are assessed for is their experience. Having certain types of experience can be a plus. Prior public office experience may illustrate the effectiveness of a candidate. However there can be cases of having too much experience in public office. Some members of Congress have served for 20, 30 or over 40 years. Congressional member histories may entail previous years of public office in state or local governments before they arrived in Congress. On the other extreme, having little or no experience in public office can be a desired trait because we want officials that have been outsiders to government in order to keep check and to encourage more thinking outside of the political box. Such candidates better ensure a citizen government with their higher-proportioned, real-world working and life experience.

However there are some who say that limiting terms does not act as a silver bullet which will rid us of all our problems and that is true. Just because a candidate has more business or real-world experience does not guarantee that the candidate has the necessary virtue, constitutional and free market disposition needed in today's government. Despite limits not being silver bullets, in a systemic sense they do bring us closer to that caliber and will yield greater balance in government. Limits will subdue the accumulation of careerist perks and lessen the incentives of those seeking the goodies of long-established political positions over everything else. It will be more likely that voters will have greater focus on the passing batons of policies and ideas amongst a higher refresh rate of officeholders than the current mesmerization by the status quo's established cult of personalities.

At the very least, say there are periods still where the crop of officeholders are not all that wonderful. Yet with term limits the people will have some relief that such politicians are not able to derive comfy, padded careers in office at taxpayer expense like many do today. Knowing that every few years the repeating chorus of faces on the various capital news clips will experience greater change brings more aesthetic and psychological relief to the people. "But the politicians will never vote themselves limits", say the skeptics over term limits. Well, those are the ones we must vote out by making term limits a top issue. What's to gain keeping the system as it is now?

Taking all this into account, we now propose a template system of term, fallow period and time accrual limits for servants of federal public office....










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TERM LIMITS - As Amendment XXII puts limits on the terms of President, we ask likewise for Vice President and for the members of Congress. As well, we will ask for an additional limit concerning the office President:




VICE PRESIDENT: A person may serve as Vice President in only one of two mutually exclusive manners:

i) One may hold the office of Vice President for no more than one complete full term or for no more than one decreed full term which categorizes at any duration greater than two years and less than four years within a term.

ii) One may hold the office of Vice President for no more than two partial terms where each is at most two years in duration within a term.

Thus, one cannot log a vice-presidential record that yields any combination of a full or decreed full term with any partial term at two years or less.




HOUSE: No person will be able to serve as a Representative whether for a full term or a decreed full term more than a prescribed number of times (2-3)* and no one is able to serve for more than one recognized partial term.



For those who have yet to attain their one recognized partial term:


Should one be unable to complete a term while serving up to a certain duration* because they succumb to illness or injury or resign for honorable cause like taking care of an incapacitated family member, that term will count as the one recognized partial term but not as a decreed full term. Otherwise, if such takes place beyond that certain duration, that term will still count as the one recognized partial term yet also as a decreed full term. All further terms whether or not fulfilled or served within as a replacement will count as (decreed) full. Other honorable causes may apply not listed here.


Likewise if one should serve as a replacement within a term up to a certain accumulation of lengths or up to a certain duration*, then that term will count as the one recognized partial term but not as a decreed full term. Otherwise, if such takes place beyond that certain accumulation or duration, that term will still count as the one recognized partial term yet also as a decreed full term. Here as well, all further terms whether or not fulfilled or served within as a replacement will count as (decreed) full.


Leaving for dishonorable causes will count the one recognized partial term and count a decreed full term regardless of the accumulation or duration of service within a term. Leaving for neutral causes will cost within the parameters of the honorable or dishonorable causes depending on the vote taken at the beginning of the legislative cycle by the then current incarnation of the associated state legislature and applicable to their House delegation throughout that period. Delineating honorable, dishonorable and neutral causes will be carried out by state legislature.




* State legislatures will complete 10-year cycle determination or reviews of such upon result of Census. Those reviews are performed via a cumulative and/or reunion manner of all the intervening state legislature incarnations up to and including the current Census legislature.



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SENATE: Note: 'Candidates' or 'runs' and such for Senate refer to now popularly elected and the future appointments by election within state legislatures unless otherwise stated.

No person will be able to serve in or be chosen for the Senate for a full or decreed full term after completion of either and no one is able to serve within more than two cyclical terms in the Senate under any circumstance.

Anyone who is successfully chosen to be the first sworn in to a cyclical Senate term or one who is actually the first sworn in to the same -- they shall not serve in the other seat for their state in the Senate (as replacement or otherwise) for the duration of the aforementioned cyclical Senate term should they have left that term before its completion.

In order to gauge when a decreed full term occurs, we apply one of the appropriate following dichotomies to a particular cyclical Senate term --




For the first one sworn in or for one who was set to be the initial inductee for a particular cyclical Senate term where in either case their own leave(s) are for honorable causes or due to illness/injury -- should all their accumulated length(s) of service in the term which will include ever having returned on behalf of a replacement accrue to three years or less -- such term does not categorize as a decreed full term.

When someone is the second sworn in or a further successor within the cyclical Senate term -- should their accumulated length(s) of service including returns on behalf of replacements accrue two years or less where their own leave(s) are for honorable causes -- such term does not categorize as a decreed full term.

Beyond such durations or whenever one leaves for dishonorable causes, such individual will categorize a decreed full term. Leaving for neutral causes will cost within the parameters of the honorable or dishonorable causes as agreed to by all states.









PRESIDENT: Should it happen that the Vice President not ascend to replace a gone President within the second half of a presidential term and the official Speaker of the House, an in-line successor or basically a person who via any official alternate manner of selection happens to become a replacement President -- being eligible and deciding to run for the next presidential term where by all other constructs is able to be elected to the office of the President twice -- they are subject to a limit: Should that Speaker or that person win the next term they must however sit out the presidential term following that though they may still run for any eligible second term afterwards.










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Should we let those who have been U.S. Representatives to then serve in the U.S. Senate and vice versa? If it is to be allowed then there should be a limit such as only former Representatives who have served at most one full House term (or have served less in duration whether decreed full or mere recognized partial) are eligible to the Senate for a full term and then no further terms in Congress allowed.

Former Senators who served just one full term (non-decreed) or a max of 6 years duration are allowed at most one full-term House seat and then no further terms in Congress allowed. Former Senators who served over a full term (non-decreed) or over six years in duration are not eligible for House terms.

Other possible combinations or permutations concerning full, decreed full and replacement/partial Senatorial and Representative terms should be limited to 6-8 years aggregate duration in the Congress.








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The aforementioned limits concerning those serving strictly as Representatives or those serving strictly as Senators will effectively bound the bulk of such officeholders to 4-6 years for Representatives dependent upon which state and six years for Senators. The few of such of those serving strictly doing partials are allowed total accumulation short of 6-8 years for Representatives dependent upon which state and at most nine years for Senators.



















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FALLOW PERIODS - There will be periods before or between certain served terms and public offices where particular prospective candidates must refrain from occupying any public office -- both elected and appointed (see Extents) . Candidates may be constrained from running for office during certain periods as well. (Running Fallows)




HOUSE: If one has never served as a Representative or Senator (both U.S.) then there will be at least 2 years* fallow before a full Representative term. After having served as a U.S. Representative or as a U.S. Senator in any capacity then there is a required minimum 4 years* fallow period before any full Representative term.

A prior replacement for the term, the one first sworn in for the term or one who was chosen to be the first sworn in for the term: whichever of those cases where one was qualified to finish out the term -- after a break it is resumptive -- there is no minimum fallow period applicable to their returning continuation within the term unless they have served in another office or seat during the interim. In that case, their minimum fallow period becomes the same as a non-resumptive replacement, partial-term Representative......

A non-resumptive replacement, partial-term Representative's prerequisite fallow period minimum* is equal to either the remainder of the original term that they are chosen to finish out or equal to an intended lesser duration they will serve until someone else to be chosen is to step in or until a resumptive prior choice is scheduled (roughly perhaps) to continue the term.



* State legislatures will complete 10-year cycle determination or reviews of whether such should be any greater upon results of Census. Those reviews are performed via a cumulative and/or reunion manner of all the intervening state legislature incarnations up to and including the current Census legislature.




In the collection of House fallows above we have included the option for the fallow before an initial, full House term for one who has never served in Congress to be at just 2 years so that particular states may quicken the entry of veterans of a more recent political movement at their state and local levels to their Representative delegations. This ability may act as a more immediate sovereign counter when the overall pool of federal Representative candidates has become too nationalized by the campaign interests.

Such a mere 2-year fallow for newbies is more doable when there exists officeholder limits for the state and/or its local governments keeping any continuous time in office for such individuals immediately before the 2-year fallow at limited duration -- say at most 4 years. Legislatures should make this a condition before one is allowed to enjoy the 2-year minimum fallow. If the condition is not met a longer fallow should be applied.

The asterisk attached to the 4-year fallow stated before successive full House terms allows state legislatures the option of lengthening that fallow in order to impede or dilute occurrences of any overly repetitive tag-team patterns amongst their delegation to the House.

The resumptive clause for the House fallows and in the Senate fallows section ahead provides a favorable ease of return for those who served prior in the term and who were eligible to do so until reaching the term's end. The non-resumptive clause not only requires a sufficient fallow should a new replacement be set to finish out the term, it may provide some regulation or variety for any possible separate instances of temporary replacement within a term at certain relative lengths and distances apart.









SENATE: Note: 'Candidates' or 'runs' and such for Senate refer to now popularly elected and the future appointments by election within state legislatures unless otherwise stated.

There are no mixes or pairs of full or decreed full terms for Senators, thus there are no defined fallow periods between such. Nonetheless, candidates must not have been in any public office at least 6 years prior to the start of an anticipated full Senate term.

A prior replacement for the term, the one first sworn in for the term or one who was chosen to be the first sworn in for the term: whichever of those cases where one was qualified to finish out the term -- after a break it is resumptive -- there is no minimum fallow period applicable to their returning continuation within the term unless they have served in another office or seat during the interim. In that case, their minimum fallow period becomes the same as a non-resumptive replacement, partial-term Senator......

A non-resumptive replacement, partial-term Senator's prerequisite fallow period minimum is equal to either the remainder of the original term that they are chosen to finish out or equal to an intended lesser duration they will serve until someone else to be chosen is to step in or until a resumptive prior choice is scheduled (roughly perhaps) to continue the term.




PRESIDENT: Same minimum fallow period as Senators - 6 years prior to their first elected full term unless they are fulfilling the end of the preceding term as a replacement President. At least four straight years sitting out of any public office is required before commencing any non-consecutive, successive full term.

Candidates for President must have enough total fallow period throughout their life such that the time accrued in public office by an eligible candidate before becoming President will not exceed half the duration from the day of their potential swearing-in back to their 20th birthday. Again, we do not apply this requirement to those who are fulfilling the end of the preceding term as a replacement President nor to a current President running for a consecutive term. As well, such requirement does not apply when the Congress by law provides for the case of selecting or declaring who shall act as President nor basically upon anyone who is an extraneous choice for President via any official alternate manner of selection. However, the parameters of the requirement are recommended for such cases. (See Amendment XX, sections 3-4.)

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If it is to be allowed that a former President can eventually serve in or return to Congress they must wait.....



~ 16 years after any particular full presidential term.

~ 14 years after their partial service ends within a particular term and is more than three years.

~ 12 years after their partial service ends within a particular term and is more than two years up to three.

~ 10 years after their partial service ends within a particular term and is more than one year up to two.

~ 8 years after their partial service ends within a particular term and is more than nine months up to one year.

~ 6 years after their partial service ends within a particular term and is more than six months up to nine months.

~ 4 years after their partial service ends within a particular term and is more than 135 days up to six months.

~ 2 years after their partial service ends within a particular term and is more than 90 days up to 135 days.

~ No required time after their partial service ends within a particular term and is 90 days or less.



The amounts of 'partial service within a particular term' regard any possible multiple lengths of service within a term cumulatively. These particular fallow periods concerning a former President going into Congress will overlap with themselves when concerning multiple presidential terms or with any other applicable fallow periods.





[NOTE: Here 'President' instead of 'president' by style of Constitution's text.]






VICE PRESIDENT: At least 6 years prior to any initial elected full term or any initial partial (or decreed full) term nominated and confirmed to. At least four years prior to any successive and eligible partial term which they are nominated and confirmed to.

Candidates or nominees for Vice President must have enough total fallow period throughout their life such that the time accrued in public office by an eligible candidate or nominee before becoming Vice President would not exceed four tenths (2/5) the duration from the day of their potential swearing-in as Vice President back to their 20th birthday.


[NOTE: Here "Vice President" instead of "vice president" by style of Constitution's text.]







~



Notice that these fallow period conditions effectively put an end to federal candidates running for one office while holding another and to the inherent bias that has retained over 90% of the congressional incumbents repetitively in most of the more recent elections.

Now the House -- the pulse of the people -- will be refreshed every two years with some newbies and some fallowed congressional veterans who sat out of public office four years or more. Such House turnover every two years means that their focus whole-term will be on representing as opposed to a large proportion of it consumed by personal campaigning as happens in the current scheme.

Add the guarantee that as near to a third of the Senate will be refreshed every two-year cycle at end of those particular seats' singular six-year terms. Why would we want anyone to continue serving in the Senate while becoming D.C. for 12 years or more any longer? It's time for more to have their turn at the few positions in Congress in order to maintain citizen governance.

Under these proposals all congressional officeholders will have to leave much more immediately and spend time outside of office under the very laws they have passed. You can expect a more responsive and representative Congress when all this happens.




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RUNNING FALLOWS-






Now in order to keep the selection pool a bit more fresh and to put some limit on successive ballot repetitions, additional restrictions may be included in the fallow periods concerning attempts at running for office. Within the descriptions of these restrictions we use the concepts of substantial campaigns and standard elections which we clarify here:



Substantial Campaign - A campaign which yields some threshold share of the electorate's support in the election returns which usually indicates a campaign beyond just somebody putting up a website and running as a more impromptu write-in candidate. (We don't want to count the wannabe instances.) May be referred to simply as "substantial".


Standard Election - The main or determining election and when needed its ballot settlement protocols which assigns an (initially) intended officeholder to the prescribed cycle. This would mean House & Senate elections that occur the first Tuesday of November every other year or the election for President that day every four years as opposed to the special intermittent elections to replace Congress members or the invocation of section 3 of Amendment XX to select an acting or qualified President in electoral contingencies. May be referred to simply as "standard".



For your inspection, here are the restrictions for each office:




HOUSE: No one is eligible to become a House Representative in a standard election who has substantially run for any other office (besides US House) four years prior to the start of the standard term sought nor if they have substantially run for a Representative seat in the previous standard House election except for just a one-time allowable occurrence of such in a state whose legislature makes it permissible.*

No standard candidate for the House may have substantially run for a House seat in non-standard fashion (as a replacement) since after the second to the last previous standard House election.

A candidate running non-standard as a replacement towards a partial-term seat in the House cannot have substantially run for another office (besides US House) within their prerequisite fallow period nor have run as a consecutive substantial by the previous two standard House elections nor run more than once as a replacement between standard elections.



* State legislatures will complete 10-year cycle determination or reviews of whether such should be allowed upon results of Census. Those reviews are performed via a cumulative and/or reunion manner of all the intervening state legislature incarnations up to and including the current Census legislature.



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SENATE: Note: 'Candidates' or 'runs' and such for Senate refer to now popularly elected and the future appointments by election within state legislatures unless otherwise stated.

Standard candidates for a particular Senate term must not have attempted substantial popular runs for any other office (besides US Senate) during the preceding 6-year fallow period.

A replacement, partial-term (non-standard) Senate candidate cannot have substantially run popular for any other office (beside US Senate) within their prerequisite fallow period nor have run popularly as a consecutive substantial Senate candidate by the previous two available standard Senate elections for that state. (Ran seat A then B via cycle two or four years later.)


Standard, substantial popular candidates who lose the run for a particular term are not eligible to serve for that specific Senate seat as a replacement for the duration of that whole term. However, they may attempt the other Senate seat for their state as eligible during that same whole term. Note that losing both seats consecutively as the start of this paragraph describes reinforces the prohibition described in the second part of the paragraph above.

If one runs substantially popular as a replacement, partial-term (non-standard) Senate candidate and is defeated, they are not eligible for further service in the Senate for the remaining duration of the term ran for.


As long as one has never had two substantial popular runs for Senate within a 6-year period before commencement of some intended term (full or partial) may one be a substantial, standard popular candidate concerning a particular seat in consecutive fashion at a maximum once (by losing first general election attempt and trying again six years later) and not again likewise for any other seat. In doing so, there can be no further runs for Senate during the trailing term that was the second intended to be seated.

Only once can a substantial competitor for Senate running by popular election whether standard or non-standard (replacement) run or be eligible for the Senate where 6-years prior to the commencement of an intended term (full or partial) such period bounds another previous substantial popular run for the Senate. However, this cannot happen at all if they have already run consecutively for a particular seat as mainly described in the paragraph above.


To be eligible to obtain office in any possible popular run as a replacement, partial-term (non-standard) Senate candidate they must not have had a substantial run on a ballot for the same less than three years prior to the day of the election for their current attempt.




PRESIDENT: A standard candidate for President must not have made a substantial run for any other office within the 6-year fallow period before initiation of the intended term.

Except when running for a consecutive second term, a standard candidate for President may only once be eligible to attain the office by running for President after having been a substantial presidential candidate in the previous standard presidential election.




VICE PRESIDENT: A standard candidate for Vice President must not have substantially run for any other office within four years before initiation of their intended term.

On only one occasion can anyone eligibly run as a standard candidate for Vice President after having substantially run for the same in the previous standard vice-presidential election.






















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TIME ACCRUAL - We desire that all candidates for Congress will by the end of their final congressional term have held aggregate public office at most near to a third of our average working lives. As well, when they gain office or when they have finished a term, we want most of their working lives to have been spent outside public office -- gathering experience in the real world while earning a living as the more typical citizen does.




First we attempt to determine the length of a typical working life. By casual observation, people usually begin working a few years within vicinity of 18 and become mostly independent within a few years of 22. Thus we tag as an average start-up of one's working life to about the age of 20. Retirement is around the age of 65, though this may change with life expectancy, one's health, personal finances, social trend or economic conditions. So for a rough average of an individual's working life:




(65 years - 20 years) = 45 years

And taking a third of that we get:

(45 years) / 3 = 15 years




Therefore, we desire that candidates for Congress will have spent at most somewhere near 15 years in political office by the end of their final term. Remember, that approximation will be a maximum we allow. We expect others to have served fewer years to varying degrees across the gamut before leaving Congress for good. This along with the term and fallow specifications helps prevent serving in Congress in an entrenched fashion and works against fulfilling political careerism in the body.




Secondly, despite all those efforts it is still possible for younger candidates to occupy congressional office and have a higher ratio of their total public office years to their real-world working experience years. Under this plan as it is so far, even though all candidates in the end have spent at most near a third of the rough average working life in public office, they may still have had along the way significant periods where their public office duration was greater or equal compared to time spent in jobs/careers or other real-life qualifications up to that point in their lives. To address this we promote the following further restriction which caps public office time accrued by the end of any term to 40% of their spent working-life years indexed to age 20.

Now from there, any candidate whose time out of public office consists of substantially less real-world working experience should be further scrutinized with some allowances made for Bachelors, Masters, Doctorates, medical schools, charity work, child rearing, household management, administering an estate, allowable period of civic work, military service, etc. The greater scrutiny should apply more to the over-privileged / mere-inheritance or spoiled celebrity types, those who are generally crooked and any long-term welfare recipients all with regard to their character, values, work ethic and ideology. The following table exhibits the basic numerical end-of-term restrictions:










AGGREGATE PUBLIC OFFICE
TIME ACCRUAL LIMITS
BY AGE AT END OF
CONGRESSIONAL TERM



Age By End of Term Maximum Accrued Public Office Years
Age By End of Term Maximum Accrued Public Office Years
*25 2 43 9.2
*26 2.4 44 9.6
27 2.8 45 10
28 3.2 46 10.4
29 3.6 47 10.8
*30 4 48 11.2
31 4.4 49 11.6
32 4.8 50 12
33 5.2 51 12.4
34 5.6 52 12.8
*35 6 53 13.2
36 6.4 54 13.6
37 6.8 55 *14
38 7.2 56 14.4
39 7.6 57 14.8
40 8 58 15.2
41 8.4 59 15.6
42 8.8 60 & Over *16






CONSTANTS & FORMULAE USED


Average Start-up of Working Life = 20 Years of Age

Proportion of Spent Average Working Life Allowed in Public Office by Term End = 40%


Maximum Accrued Public Office Years by Age at Term End:

(Candidate's Age at End of Term - 20 Years Age) X 40%
{{Bounded somewhere 14-16 for the latter & beyond ages.}}





HOW TO USE TABLE: Determine the potential candidate's age by the end of the term to be sought. If their total years in all public offices held up to that point will be greater than the limit in the table, then candidate is not eligible to run for that office yet or not at all if beyond the highest & final declared limit.

EXAMPLES: Candidate A with no prior public office experience wishes to run for Senate. They would just happen to be sworn in at 30 years old - the earliest age one can be affirmed to the Senate. Since a Senate term lasts for six years, we look at the age of 36 when candidate A will finish the term. The table gives 6.4 years as the maximum aggregate public office time allowable. Candidate A can run for the seat since at the end of the Senate term candidate A accrues only 6 total years in public office which is less than 6.4 years.

Candidate B wishes to run for the House. They have already served 1 year in public office which was completed prior to the required two-year fallow period before an initial House term. Candidate B wants to attain office at the age of 25, the earliest one can occupy a House seat. At the end of the two-year House term candidate B will be 27 years old and have acquired 3 years total public office time. According to the table the maximum total public office time that can have been served is 2.8 years. Because 3 years public office experience held by candidate B would be greater than the 2.8 years allowable, candidate B will have to wait to run for the House despite fulfilling age, term limit and fallow specifications.

*CAVEATS: Since the earliest one can get into the House is at age 25 and 30 for the Senate, the age ranges from 25-26 and 30-35 would usually have no significance for end-term ages of House and Senate candidates respectively. However, table entries for those ages can be applied to partial-term replacement Representatives or Senators who will serve within terms for which somebody else was chosen and thus be able to end those offices at lower ages while still being eligible to enter them. Outside those age ranges, this table generally applies to all partial terms as well.

This table's ages are being implemented here in an integer manner. A more sliding-scale application can be used in the real world which accounts for the fluid age range due to the placement of one's birthday within a calendar year. For instance, the table expresses a candidate's 'Age By End of Term' in rounded values like 37, 38 & 39 years. Instead, the real world can use 37 and a half years, 38.327 years and 39 years plus 4 months, 3 days, 11 hours and 17.65 seconds (or just issue tolerances within a day). This will increase eligibility for some congressional candidates via gains from the greater specifics plugged into the formula. Thus, candidate B above may indeed be eligible to serve that House term dependent on where their birthday occurs within a year.

Note a more specific applicability of the maximum accrued public office years from 14 through 16 will depend on some ultimate or final value settled upon within that range and hence the grey hue to those numbers. (Read section following this table.)

This table will not apply in regards to the position of non-Representative official Speaker of the House nor include time served as such in any further applications of the table for that individual.










Now let's summarize the range and values of aggregate public office time limits for the legislative seats of the U.S. which are predicated by the one-third of rough working-life average derived earlier. We also state aggregate limits for the executive branch:



~ No Representative or Senator will be eligible for any congressional term (full or partial) where at the end of the proposed term the total years the individual has served in public office through local, state and federal governments including full terms and durations served within other terms exceeds some final applicable value of 14-16 years.* An applicable value will be settled upon by each state legislature for its House delegation. A uniform value will be applied to all Senators.



~ No one shall be elected or chosen President to fulfill an upcoming term if at the end of the term sought their aggregate years of service in public office would be greater than twenty years. Such requirement does not apply for time served immediate term to in-line presidential successors beyond Vice President nor when the Congress by law provides for the case of selecting or declaring who shall act as President nor basically upon anyone who is an extraneous choice for President via any official alternate manner of selection. However, the parameters of the requirement are recommended for such cases. (See Amendment XX, sections 3-4.)



~No one shall be eligible to serve as Vice President where if they were to become President and serve all the way through to the end of the following term their aggregate years of service in public office would surpass twenty years.




+ Nevertheless, we do recognize that some of the local public offices may be noticeably more part-time than the full-time representative offices at some of the state and federal levels. Such local offices may only meet once a week for a few hours as compared to the more lengthy daily sessions for some legislators. As well, some state houses have long and short sessions in alternating years. So for those with part-time offices on their resume, they may be prorated some "extra" time to hold office but capped at 4-6 years over what they would receive if the aforementioned aggregate public office time limits where applied to them absolutely.




* State legislatures will complete 10-year cycle determination or reviews of such upon result of Census. Those reviews are performed via a cumulative and/or reunion manner of all the intervening state legislature incarnations up to and including the current Census legislature.








While a final upper limit of 14-16 total public office years for Congress members and 20 years for Presidents is generous, we should reserve those lengths for the more statesmen-like candidates who have proven themselves as able, honest leaders with constitutional and free market dedication. More public office experience is allowed to the presidency - the ultimate office - since they shoulder much of the executive function themselves and to sometimes avail a bit more parity of time in state commensurate with some foreign leaders we deal with who may lead their states or governments for long periods. Nevertheless, there will be times when and candidates that we wish to become President who have little or no public office record. We do want all presidential candidates to boast significant experience outside of public office which can manifest influence within their terms served. So the fourteen to sixteen and 20-year limits for the legislative and executive branches respectively are upper level boundaries which allow for some appreciable public office experience but are still short of the 20+, 30+, 40+ and 50+ aggregate years by career politicians and multi-decade Congress members we have endured.



















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GENERAL EXTENTS -



While we have promoted this plan for the federal legislative branch with its lesser prohibitions on the federal executive branch, we similarly advocate its structure for the state and local governments as well though perhaps with some adjustment in numbers for particular cases.

State legislatures may wish to consider to what extent these term, fallow and time accrual limits can apply to categories of persons who have held other government positions or have held positions of influence on the government. They could apply such extents to those categories of persons within their own House delegations. The states as a whole would put extents uniformly upon senatorial and presidential aspirants. Such categories may include those with resumes as former:


  • Government Employees
  • Unionized Government Employees
  • Judges
  • Cabinet Members
  • Agency Heads - Chairpersons
  • Ambassadors
  • Certain Lawyers
  • Lobbyists

Extents will also be incumbent upon certain levels of hierarchy to various degrees of any subsidized, bailed-out, trade-protected, government-owned or government-run corporations, banks, financial firms, utilities, contractors, foundations, trusts, conservancies, non-profits, advocacy & civics groups, community organizations and particular unions. Basically any entity that enjoys a substantial level of legislative favoritism will have extents applied to them. Government agencies and departments are included as well. Note that certain personnel or those with conflicts of interest could be banned from holding public office altogether if not already. Extents should not apply blanketed-ly to private sector enterprises or unions for merely utilizing lobbyists.

Extents shall not apply to full-time government employees until a certain number of years of employment accrued (4 years?). A lower accrual threshold would apply to unionized full-time government employees (3 years?). We leave it to the state legislatures to hammer out the extents applied to the various categories in their House delegations.



















~anchor for party limits link~

PARTY LIMITS - In order to finally and surely break the dysfunctional stranglehold that the Democrat-Republican two-party system has been culminating upon on our nation for so long, we should consider putting a limit on parties holding political office as well:



Any party that wins a particular political office two standard elections in a row must sit out the third standard election for that term following. All candidates who run in the standard election for that political office for that term following and the upper echelons of their campaign staffs must not have had any major involvement for at least 15 years within the machinations of the party sitting out.





We see that the party limits for a particular term do not apply to any of the replacements who may follow within the term. Here you may want to again refer to the definition of a 'standard election'.

Notice that a Vice President who shares party with the President and becomes a replacement President may now only serve just one or no immediate, successive full term as opposed to one or two when the party limits were not in effect. Yet our provision following the time accrual table earlier which states: 'No one shall be eligible to serve as Vice President where if they were to become President and serve all the way through to the end of the following term their aggregate years of service in public office would surpass twenty years' may as well remain effective in all various cases since it is possible for one party to win the presidency and another to win the vice presidency. Such a split will be even more possible with adoption of the bicameral electoral college. And so it can be that the number of immediate, successive full terms for a replacement President increase when having chosen that individual as a Vice President from another party (or as an independent) in comparison to the original President replaced.



















~anchor for adoption link~

ADOPTION -



Whether or not this plan takes considerable time and difficulty getting amended to the Constitution, we should immediately begin to apply its term, fallow and time boundaries diagnostically which will tag certain politicians as long-in-the-tooth and create public discourse and pressure towards adopting the plan in practice. It's understandable that not all provisions could have been practiced upon & by candidates of the 2012 elections who had already made preparations to run long before this treatise was more echoed. Nevertheless, future candidates should embrace its utilization in the not-too-distant future. All of you should demand of the Democrat and Republican parties that they self-impose a good deal of these protocols in the mean time.

An immediate and introductory condition that should be imposed by voters if not by the candidates themselves is that any current officeholder who told their constituency that they were not going to leave for another office before end of the current term and yet they campaign to do otherwise -- such unstable candidates should be summarily dismissed as a possible victor in pursuing the other office. In addition, any candidate whether or not they promised their current constituency that they would not leave for another office before completing current term and who attempts to leave for another office during current term will not be able to keep their present office beyond its end -- vote them out !~ As a matter of fact, those current constituencies should demand an immediate resignation and then campaign against the offender.




















~anchor for links link~





Links:
































One way to institute electoral reforms is to incorporate the range vote into a bicameral electoral college (Bicam III) which abolishes the block-state assignment of states' electors which has isolated the presidential election outcome to just a few swing states. As well, a Republican in California and a Democrat in Texas will have some competitive input towards determining the electoral college unlike now. States will have near congressional proportions overall and state legislatures will have check on the popular vote and federal executive selection. Third parties and independents will finally have some ability to compete for electors towards the final result as opposed to being mere spoilers. The system we have now is way too blunt towards presidential selection.

http://www.commonwealthparty.net/translation.htm





It is ludicrous to have our whole Congress and other offices across America made up almost completely with just two parties. Even if we use a plurality system that is geared towards a majority, there should be plenty of room to end up with more variety across all the races in this country instead of just Democrats and Republicans. The time has come to tear down their domination and get more parties and independents winning in races across the country -- even while the races are still binary in nature.

http://www.commonwealthparty.net/binary.htm



















Here's an overall roster of congressional old farts that stayed in office way too long!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
List_of_members_of_the_United_States_Congress_by_longevity_of_service





Here's a summary of the causes of the high proportion of congressional incumbent victories and solutions to address the same. Causes: officeholder money advantage, gerrymandering, pork enticements.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_stagnation_in_the_United_States





This article provides more reasons for congressional incumbent advantage over challengers - covered travel expenses, compensated campaign time, previous campaign infrastructure.

'While, open-seat candidates (those competing for a seat vacated by a sitting member's retirement or death) did not raise as much as incumbents, the disparity between candidates in particular open-seat races tends to be much less pronounced than it is in incumbent-challenger contests.'

http://www.thisnation.com/question/016.html





Bar graphs showing the House and Senate reelection rates from 1964 - 2008. Even in the years of party swing the incumbent survival was still quite high in the House .

http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/reelect.php





It's really no better for state legislatures: 'A review of state legislative races in 2008 by the National Institute on Money in State Politics shows incumbents won re-election 94% of the time, demonstrating just how powerful an advantage it is to be the office holder. When incumbents also enjoyed a fundraising advantage, the success rate went up to 96%.'

Plus nearly a third of incumbent state legislators are sole runners on the ballot for their race.

http://www.allgov.com/Where_is_the_Money_Going/
ViewNews/In_State_Elections_Its_Still_Hard_to_Beat_a_Rich_Incumbent_100511





It is long overdue that multi-decade, consecutive-termed politicians get out office and make way for fresh representation. Otherwise we are more towards a de facto oligarchy with only a small group of constant incumbents always holding legislative power. Our number of Representatives to the population is already too low as it is. This is not to say that we are against seniors serving and representing in office but we do have problem with people who age significantly in office held over many consecutive terms.

Those not yet retiring or resigning on this top-ten list need to do so. They have worn out their welcome and WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THE ENTRENCHED CAREER POLITICIANS!



http://www.realclearpolitics.com/lists/longest_serving_representatives/





In California, the trend-setting state, we may be seeing a sentiment beginning to take hold that it is now time to move beyond the same-old, same-old eternal incumbents:

“If you look at California as a whole and look at the Democratic Party here, the torch hasn’t really been passed to a new generation,” he said, co-opting the slogan that John F. Kennedy used in 1960 to dispatch his elders.'

“The bad news is that these seats are basically monopolized by people in their 70s and 80s,” South said. “The good news is by the time we get to 2018, it’s going to be a whole new political world.” ~ By Cathleen Decker | February 3, 2014, 4:00 a.m



http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-california-democrats-gridlock-analysis-20140203,0,995013.story#axzz2ur32Z7ty





'In 1792, 100 percent of the House incumbents who sought reelection emerged victorious. In the nation’s first 11 election cycles the reelect rate consistently broke 90 percent. Since 1950, the lowest rate was a “mere” 85 percent (in 2010). '

'Since 1950, there has not been a single election in which even 10 incumbents from both parties were defeated.' ~ By Mark S. Mellman - 04/01/14 07:15 PM EDT

This plan's consistent refreshment of the House every two years and near to a third of the Senate at the same time is just what is needed to solve the problem of never-ending incumbencies in the Congress and the resulting Teflon arrogance it has towards the people. The House would much better reflect the current trend of the people as it was called to do. The longer-term safety of the Senate can still be met without need of incumbents reaching senility and death having served over many terms.



http://thehill.com/opinion/mark-mellman/202380-mark-s-mellman-will-we-throw-the-bums-out#ixzz2yqWOjtma



















Here is a tabulation of various congressional polls over the years. Congress has not had much popularity historically, but it has been really low the last few decades and especially now. Wouldn't having a higher refresh rate of congressional members bring some improvement? Not to mention breaking down the main two parties' overwhelming occupation of the body.

http://www.pollingreport.com/CongJob.htm





"Embrace the suck" ~ Rep. Nancy Pelosi CA

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html





'Seventy-four percent (74%) rate the legislators’ performance as poor, a one-point improvement from November which marked their highest negatives in seven years of regular surveying.' : 12/13

'Only 24% think their representative in Congress is the best possible person for the job. Nearly twice as many (47%) disagree, the highest level of disapproval this year. Twenty-nine percent (29%) are not sure.' : 12/13

Congress really sucks. Not only do we have to enlighten the voters and cure the education system - we need systematic reforms to how we choose our leaders.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/congressional_performance/



















'This is the new mainstream in American politics, and it's growing among younger voters. More than 40% of college undergraduates identify themselves as independents, according to a summer 2008 survey by Harvard University's Institute of Politics (IOP). "Half of young Americans do not identify with traditional party or ideological labels - they are the new center in American politics," says John Della Volpe of IOP.'

'This trend extends to 30- to 45-year-old Generation X voters as well, says the author of "X Saves the World," Jeff Gordinier: "Gen Xers tend to be pretty post-ideological and pragmatic, there is less allegiance to any one party or any one way of thinking." ~ By John P. Avlon - Wall Street Journal : October 20, 2008

http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/miarticle.htm?id=3192





A progressive independent movement away from Democrat-Republicans:

'The independent movement's shift away from the politics of the right-of-center Texas billionaire Perot to the left-of-center Obama was propelled, in part, by CUIP’s grassroots activism.'

http://independentvoting.org/about/






















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Commonwealth Party
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