Phase II of Publius2.net was intended to consist of audience collaboration about what changes should reasonably be
made in the U. S. Senate, and how those changes could be brought about. Much of this collaboration was
anticipated to be via a forum, including both experts and lay persons. This second phase was discussed
within the tab/section called About
, toward the bottom of the page.
In the process of developing this web site, and particularly in reading analyses of the U.S. Senate,
the author has gradually come to the conclusion that a great deal of effort could be expended toward improving
the Senate, with very little results, if any, to show for it. Specifically, consider:
- The U.S. Constitution presently provides that the U.S. Senate is to write its own rules of operation. Thus,
the Senate does consider and accept (or modify) its set of rules at the beginning of each biennial
session. It would require a consitutional amendment to change this situation, permitting the citizens
to force procedural changes on the U.S. Senate. This would not be impossible, but it seems highly
unlikely. And it might not be desirable. We might even make things worse (the principle of
- Short of passing a constitutional amendment, it would be possible to generate social pressure for
change, were a strong constituent of the public (like via this site) able to agree on
specific changes desired. This is a possibility, but would require quite a bit of effort to
get there. It is equally likely that collaboration among citizens would result in more disagreement
than exists now within the Senate concerning possible improvements. For one thing, it takes a
great deal of learning about Senate operations to get to the point that intelligent persons can discuss and
agree on changes that would actually improve Senate performance.
- It is possible that Senate operations cannot be improved a great deal from where they are at the present.
For example, look at the performance and conflict throughout the world among elected representatives.
Look at the difference in opinion among such persons about government design and policy, and then
consider what our Senate now accomplishes:
- There has been no physical altercation between our Senators for years, though discussions have
been sometimes intense. This is not true in other political bodies in the world.
- The Senate does act more slowly, and less passionately, than the House, as designed.
And it does act; it does recognize what has to be done. The U.S. Senate does perform about
as our framers anticipated.
- The Senate does change its rules occassionally. A number of reforms have been accepted over the
years. Many more reforms have been presented to the Senate, and not implemented.
- In fact, we actually already put public pressure on our Senate to perform better. U.S. Senators read
the polls, and are aware of their popularity and its decline over the past years. We have multiple
think tanks in the U.S. which constantly offer their considered analyses, and other intellectuals who
write essays carried by our vast and continually evolving press. And sometimes Senators retire because
they dislike the way things are done (or are not done). The point is that at present, feedback
to the Senate about its performance is from a much broader base than could be offered by this one web site.
And the broad, un-monitored and un-edited feedback which exists at present encourages all participants,
and requires no additional effort. The existing feedback system is part of the original design for our
It seems to your author that we have much more to be thankful for with respect to our government, including the U.S.
Senate, than we often recognize. Actually, our government works; it listens, and it adapts.
Not always fast, but it does adapt. And we do ask and expect a lot of our government. This is all good.
However, should a group or a person wish to provide financial support for an effort to promote serious discussion
about possible changes in U.S. Senate structure, the author would be glad to offer this site and his efforts in
providing a basis for those discussions. If interested, please contact the
for this site.