Constitutional Amendment for Direct Democracy in the USA

Nov 13th Max Keiser interviewed Senator Mike Gravel, founder of the National Initiative for Democracy (NI4D) which seeks, by direct decree, to give full effect in law to “We the People”. [Emphasis is added]:

NI4D is a proposed Constitutional Amendment (Democracy Amendment) which recognizes the people’s right to make laws at the local, state and federal level of every jurisdiction in the country and a federal law (Democracy Act) which spells out orderly procedures for the people to develop and vote on laws.


NI4D if enacted represents a maturing of the practice of democracy moving from the ineffective representational democracy under public sovereignty to direct democracy under popular/peoples sovereignty. Here’s what Senator Gravel had to say about Occupy:  

It [the occupy movement] is a miracle, started with young kids and not so young, they are on the cutting edge of social change. What this is demonstrating is that there is a deep seated unhappiness in the populace, it’s like a boil, this is the tip of the iceberg you’re seeing.

This brewing unhappiness, beginning with the Arab Spring has given rise to winds of protest that now move across the world. But as Senator Gravel points out:

Protest movements generally do not succeed, because as they fly in the face of the police power of government they get crushed and the more effort they make the more brutal is the crushing.

His solution? 

Gravel: So what they need to do, is over time they need to turn this around into an actionable item, forget all the details of the agenda, just go after one thing.

Keiser: Initially not having an actionable agenda or item was a good thing because it wasn’t shut down, ideologically speaking, they just built a big tent/constituency. What is that item?

Gravel: To empower themselves to make laws because if they get the meta-legislation I’m talking about they can address their agenda.

To be clear, there is currently no official method to hold an election for deciding on whether the NI4D as a constitutional amendment could be enacted. Instead authority effecting such a constitutional reform is proposed to derive from:

For this authority to take hold the people must first take that authority for themselves, in Gravels words:

once people have this power they will not be denied, you see young kids taking to the street now, but when you get Americans, 60+ million Americans voting to empower themselves to make laws, I got to tell you I know from personal experience, politicians are cowards and judges are even more cowardly than politicians, and so you now empower the people the politicians will shape up immediately and recognise that they’ll handle the day to day, let the people handle the policy.”

Up to now Gravel has found it difficult to sell NI4D, but events are unfolding quickly and the need to sell may not be a feature in the near future: 

…when I see the Occupy movement rising like a phoenix, from nowhere, and worldwide immediately, and it will get legs and depth, that’s the crises I’ve been waiting for to now push the National Initiative and say the answer is not to protest the answer is to make yourself lawmakers.

Up until now I exist on the basis that I have faith that when we reach critical mass the corporations will wake up and say “my god what’s going on?” It will be too late, the people will know this, and you wont have to sell it to the people they’ll just want it.

Sen. M. Gravel

As we continue to awaken to our own capacities and potentials, could Occupy with—the people—at its heart, be the start of a reformulation of democracy from the “Market State” to the “Partner State” and from passive representation to direct participation in power? 

The National Initiative adds an additional check—the people—to America’s system of checks and balances, while setting up a working partnership between the People and their elected representatives.


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Categories: Direct Democracy


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