With our billions in debt, Illinois is in trouble.
Previous years have had troubles. This year the troubles have reached a heavier drama.
Such troubles bring some to blame the governor and others the speaker of the house.
It is seldom if ever we look at the problem as a constitutional, an accountability problem.
The governor is accountable to all the voters of Illinois because his actions have statewide consequences.
All of Illinois’ voters should be able to hold him accountable, as we do. We have noticed that the house speaker and the senate president also have powers with statewide consequences.
However, their accountability to Illinois voters is not statewide, only to a single district.
This is a failure, a constitutional failure of accountability. What is needed is a constitutional provision to make their positions accountable to all the voters of Illinois, not just the voters in their districts.
How would the needed amendment read? Every two years the voters of Illinois should grant or withhold permission for the incumbents’ eligibility to retain the offices of speaker and senate president.
Failure to receive voter permission should require them to resign from their district offices and to lose eligibility as lobbyists.
After four years as speaker and senate president, a three-fifths majority should be required for retaining office.
Because these arrangements are lacking, Illinois voters are under-represented at the ballot box. Illinois does not have a representative republic.
It is a victim of machine politics, a dictatorship masquerading as a representative republic.
Leonidas H. Miller, Mattoon resident