A More Perfect Constitution

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1250 Words
Date:  2022-08-01

A more perfect constitution is a book that was published by a renown American political scientist Larry J. Sabato at the University of Virginia. Larry proposes a constitutional convention so as to amend the constitution of the United States of America. He argues that since the institution of the Bill of Rights in the constitution, there have been only a few constitutional amendments totalling only seventeen over a period of two hundred and twenty years. Therefore, Larry argues that a constitutional convention has been overdue which the founding fathers of the United States would have wanted. He presents twenty-three proposals for revising the United States' Constitution. His proposals addresses matters of Congress, the Supreme Court, Politics, Presidency, Universal National Service and finally the National Constitutional Convention (Sabato, 2007). This article will focus on chapter one of the book that talks about the Congress. In this chapter (chapter one) of A More Perfect Constitution, Larry suggests various changes that need to be done to the Congress to improve it. In this paper, a brief summary of chapter one will be provided, then the concept of tyranny of the minority will be discussed as well as the determination of why Larry advocated for increasing the size of the Congress and the role of National Senators.

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Summary Of Chapter One

In Chapter One of A More Perfect Constitution, Larry Sabato suggests many changes that need to be done to the United States of America Congress. He suggests that the Senate should be expanded to have 136 members so that it can be more representative such that the states with most people to have two additional senators each. The next fifteen states with the highest number of people to have one additional senator each and the district of Colombia to have one Senator. The additional representation would eradicate the tyranny of the minority in the Congress according to Larry Sabato. He further suggested that all the former presidents and vice presidents of the United States of America to be appointed to the new office that consists of "National Senators" who would serve national interests rather than state interests. Through the appointments of the former head of states and their deputies to the Senate, Larry argues that this will bring the presidential experience to the Senate. The mandate of the non-partisan redistricting to be done to the elections of the Congress to promote electoral competition as well as decrease the influence of gerrymandering (Sabato, 2007).

Larry also proposed expansion of the terms of the representatives to three years and the Senate period to overlap with each and every presidential election such that the Congress and Senate to be elected during the same period as the president of the United States. Additionally, he proposes that the size of the House to be extended to one thousand members so that the members of the House can be closer to their voters to level the playing ground for the House elections. There need to be term limits in the Congress and Senate so as to reestablish the Founding Fathers' principle of constant rotation in the office according to Larry. He adds that a Balanced Budget Amendment should be drafted that would enable fiscal fairness to all the future generations. Larry also advocated for the creation of a Continuity of Government procedure that would ensure proper and adequate replacement of House Representatives and Senators in any event of massive deaths as well as incapacitation due to a major disaster like large-scale nuclear attack (Sabato, 2007).

Tyranny Of The Minority

According to Larry Sabato, the Senate potentially forms a "tyranny of the minority". He argues that only the minority makes the decisions and inadequate representation since the current number of senators and Congressmen is low as compared to the recommended ratio. Unless this proposal is met, then the Senate creates a tyranny of the minority since only a few individuals who are elected to the Senate make important decisions that may not be for the interests of the larger population. The situation is actually worse than Larry Sabato is depicting here since the ratio of the Senate members and the population of the United States is low. Therefore, more representation is needed so that the majority of Americans have a say.

Another issue that makes the situation of the tyranny of the minority worse is that those that are elected to represent the American citizens in the Senate do not have the interests of the electorates at heart. These individuals elected to the Senate only make decisions that favour their interests hence propagating the concept of tyranny of the minority. Larry insinuates that there is the use of pure direct democracy whereby the majority elects a few demagogues who instead of working for the benefits of all the citizens, they work for those in the upper echelon and towards their self-interests. Therefore, although there is a need to increase Senate representation, the electorates should ensure that they scrutinize each and every candidate to ensure that the people who are elected to the Senate and Congress have their interests at heart. This will ensure that the decisions and actions taken by the Congress and the House of Representatives are according to the interests of most of the American citizens so as to eliminate the notion of the tyranny of the minority (Sabato, 2007).

Increasing The Size Of The Senate And The Role Of National Senators

As stated above, Larry Sabato advocates for increasing the size of the American Senate and the inclusion of the National Senators. He argues that this representation should be increased by expanding the Senate such that the number of its members to increase to about 136 members. This will be possible if the top ten most surplus states are added every two senators, the next fifteen states added one more senator and the District of Colombia given one senator. Larry argues that the Senate and the Congress are tilted towards benefiting the small states since all the states, larger and small have the same number of representatives. Therefore, the larger states need more representation since they have huge numbers that require more voice and power so that they needs and interests can be met (Claire, 2017).

Larry proposes the establishment of National Senators whereby these national senators are the former presidents and vice-presidents of the United States of America. The National Senators when elected to the Senate, they will serve national interests rather than state interests (Nuechterlein, 2015). Larry argues that appointing these experienced head of states and their deputies into the Senate, it will bring the presidential experience to the Senate. Although the current senators represent the interests of the people from their states, the National Senators will ensure that the resources and power are equally and fairly distributed among the states since they will have the interests of the nation at heart and will not favour a specific state (Sabato, 2008). Consequently, the National Senators will have the role of representing the interests of all the states hence bringing unity and equality.


Claire, M. D. (2017). Human rights: The emerging norm of corporate social responsibility. In Human Rights and Corporations (pp. 149-178). Routledge.

Fleming, J. E. (2009). Toward a More Democratic Congress. BUL Rev., 89, 629.

Nuechterlein, D. E. (2015). United States national interests in a changing world. University Press of Kentucky.

Sabato, L. (2007). A more perfect Constitution: 23 proposals to revitalize our Constitution and make America a fairer country. Walker & Co.

Sabato, L. J. (2008). A More Perfect Constitution: Why the Constitution Must Be Revised: Ideas to Inspire a New Generation. Macmillan.

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A More Perfect Constitution. (2022, Aug 01). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/a-more-perfect-constitution

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