The U.S. Constitution can be amended using the procedures detailed in Article V. These approaches work within the current system.
- Congress could take on the legislation. Once passed the House and the Senate, the President could sign it into law. (Many of our endorsers and perhaps the Light Party are taking this approach.)
- The legislatures of at least two-thirds of the states can call a national convention. The amendment would then need to be ratified by either the legislatures of or ratifying conventions held in three-fourths of the states. (Citizens for U.S. Direct Initiative is working on this approach.)
Some think NCID is too detailed for easy consideration and have suggested a simpler first step.
Frustrated with the difficulty of Article V procedures and inclined to rely on techniques of nonviolent political struggle, Senator Mike Gravel initiated a direct election to ratify NCID in 2002.
If legislation similar to NCID was adopted in another country then Americans might get inspired to pass it here. Senator Mike Gravel is currently working on this angle in Korea and Bulgaria.
There is modest support in states like Maine and Texas to secede. If successful, legislation similar to NCID could be written into the constitution of newly created countries.
More gradually, we could work to mold current initiative law to be more similar to NCID. This is approach is being taken by:
- http://www.healthydemocracyoregon.org/ Citizen’s Initiative Review Oregon
- http://site.letourvoicesbeheard.org/ Connecticut Citizens for Ballot Initiative
- http://www.initiativefortexas.org/ Initiative for Texas
Nobody can predict what is going to work. Some people prefer working through the Article V procedures. Some prefer a direct election. Some prefer adapting NCID to other countries. Some prefer a more gradual approach of improving current initiative law. We need to be open to pursuing all of these options and support all of them as best we can. The main thing that will be instrumental in the enactment of NCID is public awareness and overwhelming grassroots support, regardless of the specific method.