Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Election Results: Bye-Bye, Bipartisanship

After yet another bitter, divisive election, it would be nice to think that the two major political parties in this country would have an interest in coming together to tackle some of the major problems facing this country -- the national debt, the entitlement crisis, the decrepit health care system.

But the incoming House Speaker has already put loyalty ahead of ideals. And White House allies are saying in no uncertain terms that they have no interest in bipartisanship. "When we want to go up and they want to go down, we want to go right and they want to go left, there's no compromise," said anti-tax activist, White House adviser, and good buddy to Jack Abramoff Grover Norquist.

Harold Meyerson explained it brilliantly in a recent Washington Post column. There's no middle ground anymore. Candidates have to run hard right or hard left to win in the primaries and raise enough money to run in the general elections.

My solution? Proportional representation. If the Democrats get 50% of the vote, the Republicans get 40%, and the Green Party gets 10%, the Congressional seats are divideded up proportionately. Candidates run towards the middle trying to get the most votes, yet the people with fringe views (like, say, environmentalists) are also represented. But it will never happen because it makes too much sense. And because of the dreaded inertia against change.


Eric said...

I've always liked the proportional representation system and agree with you that it's a good system -- but I think the chances of that ever happening are slim to none.

The Green Miles said...

You're right, probably not happening in our lifetimes, but I say dream big! Who knows, maybe it'll catch on at least on the state level in a place with a strong third-party presence -- maybe Vermont or Minnesota?