New Convention

Read the following readings available on OAKS, under Content -> Assignments -> Paper 1

• Dahl: How Democratic is the Constitution? • Levinson: “The Ratification Referendum: Sending the Constitution to a New Convention for Repair” • Land and Oreskes: “We”

Answer the following questions in your paper. It is acceptable to use first person when addressing the questions.

  • Dahl lays out “seven important shortcomings” that make the Constitution undemocratic and I want you to react to Dahl’s argument in two ways:
    • – 1. In about two paragraphs, pick two of the seven shortcomings that you find most convincing and explain why you think they are undemocratic.
    • – 2. In about a paragraph, explain how would you define democratic and does the Constitution meet your definition?
  • Levinson argues that the Constitution needs to be changed.
    • – 1. What way does Levinson propose to change the Constitution?
    • – 2. In about three paragraphs and in your own words, explain the process that Levinson lays out. How would you vote? Why?
  • Land and Oreskes takes a different approach then the previous authors with regard to the Constitution.
    • – 1. Who does Land and Oreskes blame for the noted dissatisfaction with the political process in the US?
    • – 2. In about three paragraphs and in your own words, summarize the “five lessons” about the US political system that Land and Oreskes describe. Are these lessons still applicable today? Why or why not?
  • Conclusion (about two paragraphs): After having read these readings, do you feel that the current political system in the US is responsive enough to what the public wants? If so, how is it responsive? If not, what changes would you make?

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