As far as the filibuster goes, I've always argued for what I call the "popular filibuster." Each Senator is assigned the value of the number of votes he or she won in the last election. Cloture can then be invoked with a simple majority of Senators who also represent 50%+1 of the total vote votes cast for of all the Senators in their last election. So, then you are assured of a majority of Senate as well as popular support for cloture. Tell me that wouldn't shake the Senate up a bit. I've never met a fellow Democrat or even a Republican who doesn't like the idea. Tonight, I'll test this against yesterday's vote. I'll let you know what I get. And, to think, my parents didn't know what I'd do with a political science degree.
Great idea, Chris. If you credit each Senator for 1/2 of his or her state's population, the 49 Senators voting to end the filibuster represent nearly 160 million people (based on the 2000 Census--no interdecadal redistricting allowed here at PolySigh). That compares to only 108 million people represented by the 47 Senators voting against. There you have it, democracy inaction.