Should a presidential election last a year? Are 37 primaries the way to pick a presidential candidate? Is stalemate between White House and Congress the way to meet urgent problems?
Dr. William P. Kreml, a professor of political science at the University of South Carolina, says "no" to these questions. And he is running for the US Senate on a platform demanding basic changes.
With the support of other political scientists, he argues that the United States Constitution is showing its age, that the Founding Fathers would be shocked at the way their work has crystallized in 200 years, and that the time has come for change.
Dr. Kreml is telling voters in South Carolina that the country needs a 56 -member constitutional commission, broadly based and highly qualified, to go into seclusion for a few years and to emerge with a more flexible instrument of government incorporating parliamentary features. He would have the document ready, he tells audiences, in time for the bicentennial celebration of the adoption of the present Constitution, which got its technical nine-state majority when Virginia ratified it on June 25, 1788.
"The failure of Congress to deal with questions of energy, inflation, productivity, and tax reform is due to an outdated Constitution," Dr. Kreml told a political forum in Columbia, S.C. He is on leave from his university to engage in the senatorial contest. He is hardly likely to unseat Sen. Ernest Hollings, the 12-year Democratic incumbent. But Dr. Kreml regards the senatorial race as an opportunity to educate the public on a serious governmental issues.
In the recent forum, Dr. Kreml was supported by Prof. Robert McClure of Syracuse University, Prof. William Schaefer of American University, and Prof. David Olson of the University of North Carolina.