In my unceasing effort to make the world a much better place, I hereby offer the following:
Say your senator gets elected President or nominated to be Secretary of State. How do you replace him? Or her? Either you have a special election or, more commonly, your state’s governor chooses the replacement. But what if your governor tries to sell the seat? Or chooses the cwown pwincess of America’s woyal famiwy because he thinks there’s a legacy-preference policy?
Say your representative is giving a speech in front of the entire House of Representatives about the need for a new continuity-of-government plan in case of a mass-casualty disaster. Say the roof caves in, killing everyone. How do you replace them? Four hundred thirty-five special elections. Meanwhile, though nobody can tell the difference, the federal government flounders without half its legislature.
Each congressman (or –woman, or –person) should have a designated replacement in case of his (or her, or—you get the idea) death, resignation, or removal from office. Therefore I humbly suggest that the 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States should require the election of Vice-Senators and Vice-Representatives.
Candidates would run on tickets, like the President and Vice-President do. Congress would decide how much or whether to compensate them, how much classified information Vice-Sens and Vice-Reps would be privy to, and whether they are permitted within a potential blast-zone radius of the Capitol when Congress is in session. If the vice-congressman has to step up to the real job, then the state legislatures create legislation to determine how to fill the vice-vacancy.
Think about that: if your senator resigns so he can go play President, your bribe-seeking, Lego-haired governor will have nothing to say about his replacement.
If your senator resigns and her replacement’s only qualification is that she’s the last sober Kennedy, at least it’ll be the voters’ fault instead of the governor’s.
And if hundreds of Congressmen are killed in an attack or, more likely, rounded up in a huge RICO sting, we’ll immediately know who’ll replace them. In the face of disaster, we can be confident that a fully functioning Congress is ready to serve us exactly as well as it always has.