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How Can We Get Congress to Legislate?

rockwater
Posts: 273
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2/9/2014 5:17:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What can be done to ensure that the US Congress passes a comprehensive budget every year, agrees on levels of taxes, spending, and debt, authorizes and funds federal programs, and addresses pressing national issues? In the past, decade, there have been times when both major parties have controlled both houses and the presidency, and yet congress has not been particularly productive in any of the past 10 years. When major legislation has been passed, it frequently is after much more acrimony, watering-down, and horse-trading than was necessary before (not that these things were absent before).

So what changes could be made that would result in a more productive Congress? What positive changes have a chance of actually happening?
progressivedem22
Posts: 1,304
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2/9/2014 7:00:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Well, the Congress that just left was literally the least productive Congress in US History. That Congress coincided with the rise of the Tea Party, and the GOP breaking the filibuster record. Coincidence? I think not.

If you want Congress to work, there is really only one solution: vote the economic illiterates out. And we know where to begin: the "debt-ceiling deniers" who literally played chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States in a feeble attempt to defund a law they didn't like, but that their buddies created back in the 90s. In the time they spent repealing the bloody thing 47 times, or engaging in non-filibusters to shut down the government (wasting $24 billion to defund a law that decreases the deficit by $100 billion over a decade), they could have been legislating.
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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2/9/2014 7:31:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 7:00:29 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Well, the Congress that just left was literally the least productive Congress in US History. That Congress coincided with the rise of the Tea Party, and the GOP breaking the filibuster record. Coincidence? I think not.

If you want Congress to work, there is really only one solution: vote the economic illiterates out. And we know where to begin: the "debt-ceiling deniers" who literally played chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States in a feeble attempt to defund a law they didn't like, but that their buddies created back in the 90s. In the time they spent repealing the bloody thing 47 times, or engaging in non-filibusters to shut down the government (wasting $24 billion to defund a law that decreases the deficit by $100 billion over a decade), they could have been legislating.

I always find it amusing (though I assure you, not with any sense of condescension) when people express belief in phantasmic agency regarding the functioning of liberal government.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
thett3
Posts: 14,348
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2/9/2014 7:47:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 7:31:45 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 2/9/2014 7:00:29 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Well, the Congress that just left was literally the least productive Congress in US History. That Congress coincided with the rise of the Tea Party, and the GOP breaking the filibuster record. Coincidence? I think not.

If you want Congress to work, there is really only one solution: vote the economic illiterates out. And we know where to begin: the "debt-ceiling deniers" who literally played chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States in a feeble attempt to defund a law they didn't like, but that their buddies created back in the 90s. In the time they spent repealing the bloody thing 47 times, or engaging in non-filibusters to shut down the government (wasting $24 billion to defund a law that decreases the deficit by $100 billion over a decade), they could have been legislating.

I always find it amusing (though I assure you, not with any sense of condescension) when people express belief in phantasmic agency regarding the functioning of liberal government.

Hush young anarchist http://armedlaughing.files.wordpress.com...
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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2/9/2014 7:51:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 7:47:43 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 2/9/2014 7:31:45 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 2/9/2014 7:00:29 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Well, the Congress that just left was literally the least productive Congress in US History. That Congress coincided with the rise of the Tea Party, and the GOP breaking the filibuster record. Coincidence? I think not.

If you want Congress to work, there is really only one solution: vote the economic illiterates out. And we know where to begin: the "debt-ceiling deniers" who literally played chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States in a feeble attempt to defund a law they didn't like, but that their buddies created back in the 90s. In the time they spent repealing the bloody thing 47 times, or engaging in non-filibusters to shut down the government (wasting $24 billion to defund a law that decreases the deficit by $100 billion over a decade), they could have been legislating.

I always find it amusing (though I assure you, not with any sense of condescension) when people express belief in phantasmic agency regarding the functioning of liberal government.

Hush young anarchist http://armedlaughing.files.wordpress.com...

Whatevs bruh. You don't even noe ma current pulitical leanings.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
thett3
Posts: 14,348
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2/9/2014 7:52:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 7:51:53 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 2/9/2014 7:47:43 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 2/9/2014 7:31:45 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 2/9/2014 7:00:29 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Well, the Congress that just left was literally the least productive Congress in US History. That Congress coincided with the rise of the Tea Party, and the GOP breaking the filibuster record. Coincidence? I think not.

If you want Congress to work, there is really only one solution: vote the economic illiterates out. And we know where to begin: the "debt-ceiling deniers" who literally played chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States in a feeble attempt to defund a law they didn't like, but that their buddies created back in the 90s. In the time they spent repealing the bloody thing 47 times, or engaging in non-filibusters to shut down the government (wasting $24 billion to defund a law that decreases the deficit by $100 billion over a decade), they could have been legislating.

I always find it amusing (though I assure you, not with any sense of condescension) when people express belief in phantasmic agency regarding the functioning of liberal government.

Hush young anarchist http://armedlaughing.files.wordpress.com...

Whatevs bruh. You don't even noe ma current pulitical leanings.

Red commie?? http://www.memecenter.com... Take that!
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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2/9/2014 7:53:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 7:52:59 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 2/9/2014 7:51:53 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 2/9/2014 7:47:43 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 2/9/2014 7:31:45 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 2/9/2014 7:00:29 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Well, the Congress that just left was literally the least productive Congress in US History. That Congress coincided with the rise of the Tea Party, and the GOP breaking the filibuster record. Coincidence? I think not.

If you want Congress to work, there is really only one solution: vote the economic illiterates out. And we know where to begin: the "debt-ceiling deniers" who literally played chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States in a feeble attempt to defund a law they didn't like, but that their buddies created back in the 90s. In the time they spent repealing the bloody thing 47 times, or engaging in non-filibusters to shut down the government (wasting $24 billion to defund a law that decreases the deficit by $100 billion over a decade), they could have been legislating.

I always find it amusing (though I assure you, not with any sense of condescension) when people express belief in phantasmic agency regarding the functioning of liberal government.

Hush young anarchist http://armedlaughing.files.wordpress.com...

Whatevs bruh. You don't even noe ma current pulitical leanings.

Red commie?? http://www.memecenter.com... Take that!

Close but not that close. No Leninism 4 me.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
kbub
Posts: 1,377
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2/9/2014 8:04:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 5:17:12 PM, rockwater wrote:
What can be done to ensure that the US Congress passes a comprehensive budget every year, agrees on levels of taxes, spending, and debt, authorizes and funds federal programs, and addresses pressing national issues? In the past, decade, there have been times when both major parties have controlled both houses and the presidency, and yet congress has not been particularly productive in any of the past 10 years. When major legislation has been passed, it frequently is after much more acrimony, watering-down, and horse-trading than was necessary before (not that these things were absent before).

So what changes could be made that would result in a more productive Congress? What positive changes have a chance of actually happening?

Replace them with robots.
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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2/9/2014 8:38:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 8:04:31 PM, kbub wrote:
At 2/9/2014 5:17:12 PM, rockwater wrote:
What can be done to ensure that the US Congress passes a comprehensive budget every year, agrees on levels of taxes, spending, and debt, authorizes and funds federal programs, and addresses pressing national issues? In the past, decade, there have been times when both major parties have controlled both houses and the presidency, and yet congress has not been particularly productive in any of the past 10 years. When major legislation has been passed, it frequently is after much more acrimony, watering-down, and horse-trading than was necessary before (not that these things were absent before).

So what changes could be made that would result in a more productive Congress? What positive changes have a chance of actually happening?

Replace them with robots.

Elect all the people I like so the people I like can legislate things I like within a timetable and in a manner that I like.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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2/10/2014 12:24:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 8:38:35 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 2/9/2014 8:04:31 PM, kbub wrote:
At 2/9/2014 5:17:12 PM, rockwater wrote:
What can be done to ensure that the US Congress passes a comprehensive budget every year, agrees on levels of taxes, spending, and debt, authorizes and funds federal programs, and addresses pressing national issues? In the past, decade, there have been times when both major parties have controlled both houses and the presidency, and yet congress has not been particularly productive in any of the past 10 years. When major legislation has been passed, it frequently is after much more acrimony, watering-down, and horse-trading than was necessary before (not that these things were absent before).

So what changes could be made that would result in a more productive Congress? What positive changes have a chance of actually happening?

Replace them with robots.

Elect all the people I like so the people I like can legislate things I like within a timetable and in a manner that I like.

Only if those things are good things. If they're bad things, or have bad unintended consequences, rinse and repeat until everything works correctly.
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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2/10/2014 12:29:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/10/2014 12:24:41 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 2/9/2014 8:38:35 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 2/9/2014 8:04:31 PM, kbub wrote:
At 2/9/2014 5:17:12 PM, rockwater wrote:
What can be done to ensure that the US Congress passes a comprehensive budget every year, agrees on levels of taxes, spending, and debt, authorizes and funds federal programs, and addresses pressing national issues? In the past, decade, there have been times when both major parties have controlled both houses and the presidency, and yet congress has not been particularly productive in any of the past 10 years. When major legislation has been passed, it frequently is after much more acrimony, watering-down, and horse-trading than was necessary before (not that these things were absent before).

So what changes could be made that would result in a more productive Congress? What positive changes have a chance of actually happening?

Replace them with robots.

Elect all the people I like so the people I like can legislate things I like within a timetable and in a manner that I like.

Only if those things are good things. If they're bad things, or have bad unintended consequences, rinse and repeat until everything works correctly.

Wow that was some weird de-ja-vu. Did I just hear something about hedge wars?
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Grandbudda
Posts: 16
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2/10/2014 9:15:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 8:04:31 PM, kbub wrote:
At 2/9/2014 5:17:12 PM, rockwater wrote:
What can be done to ensure that the US Congress passes a comprehensive budget every year, agrees on levels of taxes, spending, and debt, authorizes and funds federal programs, and addresses pressing national issues? In the past, decade, there have been times when both major parties have controlled both houses and the presidency, and yet congress has not been particularly productive in any of the past 10 years. When major legislation has been passed, it frequently is after much more acrimony, watering-down, and horse-trading than was necessary before (not that these things were absent before).

So what changes could be made that would result in a more productive Congress? What positive changes have a chance of actually happening?

Replace them with robots.

Pay them based on performance!
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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2/10/2014 9:47:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 5:17:12 PM, rockwater wrote:
What can be done to ensure that the US Congress passes a comprehensive budget every year, agrees on levels of taxes, spending, and debt, authorizes and funds federal programs, and addresses pressing national issues? In the past, decade, there have been times when both major parties have controlled both houses and the presidency, and yet congress has not been particularly productive in any of the past 10 years. When major legislation has been passed, it frequently is after much more acrimony, watering-down, and horse-trading than was necessary before (not that these things were absent before).

So what changes could be made that would result in a more productive Congress? What positive changes have a chance of actually happening?

A miracle
rockwater
Posts: 273
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2/10/2014 10:01:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Even if the all the Republicans in congress were like they were before the rise of the tea party, congress would not be getting much done regardless of which party was in power in each house, based on how things went in the late Bush years and very early Obama years. The standards that I am setting for a functioning legislature (annual comprehensive budgets, authorizing the payments of debts already incurred, authorizing and funding the government's major programs without turning every routine bill into an existential debate about government, etc) would not have seemed so high a few decades ago, but even in 2005 they were not being met. Things have only got worse since then. I think something bigger needs to change than which party controls the houses of congress or the presidency.
TheJesusParadox
Posts: 16
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2/10/2014 10:18:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The reality is that the founding fathers intended the legislation process to be slow moving. This was done by creating checks and balances within the system; the slow moving pace of legislation also serves as a check. As much as I sometimes wish good laws would be enacted -- I am grateful for the protection. Without a slow moving process, there would be more potential for a dictator in the United States.

With that said, the rate at which the Tea Party has obstructed the United States is not what the founding fathers intended. They are essentially going nuclear on our government and by proxy our nation. If allowed to continue unabated they could be the downfall of the United States. Which the Tea Party have no qualms about, as they have a radical vision for the United States. The good news is the Tea Party is at its peak of influence right now -- they have no staying power. They have and will continue to damage the Republican brand until they are completely tossed.

Keeping that in mind, it is clear the perpetrators of no legislation getting passed is -- the do-nothing Congress. That answers to your question: how can we get Congress to legislate? It would be to throw the do-nothing Republican Congress out of office come this November. At the very least, if you are Republican test the hypothesis that the Democrats will flounder if they have full control. If they do, it could make it easier for a Republican to become president in 2016. The Democrats winning full control of Congress this year really is the only chance Republicans have at beating Clinton in '16.
rockwater
Posts: 273
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2/11/2014 10:01:21 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/10/2014 10:18:20 PM, TheJesusParadox wrote:
The reality is that the founding fathers intended the legislation process to be slow moving. This was done by creating checks and balances within the system; the slow moving pace of legislation also serves as a check. As much as I sometimes wish good laws would be enacted -- I am grateful for the protection. Without a slow moving process, there would be more potential for a dictator in the United States.

With that said, the rate at which the Tea Party has obstructed the United States is not what the founding fathers intended. They are essentially going nuclear on our government and by proxy our nation. If allowed to continue unabated they could be the downfall of the United States. Which the Tea Party have no qualms about, as they have a radical vision for the United States. The good news is the Tea Party is at its peak of influence right now -- they have no staying power. They have and will continue to damage the Republican brand until they are completely tossed.

Keeping that in mind, it is clear the perpetrators of no legislation getting passed is -- the do-nothing Congress. That answers to your question: how can we get Congress to legislate? It would be to throw the do-nothing Republican Congress out of office come this November. At the very least, if you are Republican test the hypothesis that the Democrats will flounder if they have full control. If they do, it could make it easier for a Republican to become president in 2016. The Democrats winning full control of Congress this year really is the only chance Republicans have at beating Clinton in '16.

The American Constitution envisioned a much smaller federal government than is necessary to govern in the modern world, and it also envisioned that men of similar socioeconomic backgrounds could reach enough consensus to keep government running. The UK basically lets whatever party has a majority in the House of Commoons do what it wants - is that country in any more risk of becoming a dictatorship? Canada often does not have a clear majority in its House of Commons, although it does now, and it still manages to get budgets passed and has to have a new election if it can't. I honestly think that politics is adversarial everywhere now so you need winner take all control of the legislature but protection of individuals' minority rights in the constitution, like you see in many other developed democracies. The US gives too much power to the minority party in Congress. As a Democrat I am willing to see Republicans steamroll their agenda through if they win Congress and the presidency outright. I also think we need an end to gerrymandering and the popular vote for the presidency, but it is more important to see things get done in Congress even if they are things I don't like. If either party were allowed to govern with no excuses about the bad guys stopping them much more would get done.
sadolite
Posts: 8,838
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2/11/2014 4:38:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
"How Can We Get Congress to Legislate?" That's the problem !! How do we get them to stop!!!
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
rockwater
Posts: 273
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2/11/2014 8:32:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Whether you want big government or small government, you still need an annual budget and you need to pay the government's debts on time. To lurch from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis like we have been is irresponsible. And both parties are responsible. Today was a good development but it's only a tiny step on getting us where we need to be in terms of having a functioning government.
TheJesusParadox
Posts: 16
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2/11/2014 9:41:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 10:01:21 AM, rockwater wrote:
At 2/10/2014 10:18:20 PM, TheJesusParadox wrote:
The reality is that the founding fathers intended the legislation process to be slow moving. This was done by creating checks and balances within the system; the slow moving pace of legislation also serves as a check. As much as I sometimes wish good laws would be enacted -- I am grateful for the protection. Without a slow moving process, there would be more potential for a dictator in the United States.

With that said, the rate at which the Tea Party has obstructed the United States is not what the founding fathers intended. They are essentially going nuclear on our government and by proxy our nation. If allowed to continue unabated they could be the downfall of the United States. Which the Tea Party have no qualms about, as they have a radical vision for the United States. The good news is the Tea Party is at its peak of influence right now -- they have no staying power. They have and will continue to damage the Republican brand until they are completely tossed.

Keeping that in mind, it is clear the perpetrators of no legislation getting passed is -- the do-nothing Congress. That answers to your question: how can we get Congress to legislate? It would be to throw the do-nothing Republican Congress out of office come this November. At the very least, if you are Republican test the hypothesis that the Democrats will flounder if they have full control. If they do, it could make it easier for a Republican to become president in 2016. The Democrats winning full control of Congress this year really is the only chance Republicans have at beating Clinton in '16.

The American Constitution envisioned a much smaller federal government than is necessary to govern in the modern world, and it also envisioned that men of similar socioeconomic backgrounds could reach enough consensus to keep government running. The UK basically lets whatever party has a majority in the House of Commoons do what it wants - is that country in any more risk of becoming a dictatorship? Canada often does not have a clear majority in its House of Commons, although it does now, and it still manages to get budgets passed and has to have a new election if it can't. I honestly think that politics is adversarial everywhere now so you need winner take all control of the legislature but protection of individuals' minority rights in the constitution, like you see in many other developed democracies. The US gives too much power to the minority party in Congress. As a Democrat I am willing to see Republicans steamroll their agenda through if they win Congress and the presidency outright. I also think we need an end to gerrymandering and the popular vote for the presidency, but it is more important to see things get done in Congress even if they are things I don't like. If either party were allowed to govern with no excuses about the bad guys stopping them much more would get done.

I disagree, that would create an even more volatile government than we have have now. It would hurt our country going from one extreme to another in such a short period of time. There would never be time to fully implement legislation -- which would mean a lot of wasted tax-payer dollars. My argument is going off the assumption that the party in power would change often. I base that assumption off the history of voters views during past elections.

With that said, I have a limited understanding of political systems in other nations. Like any other political system I have studied, I like some parts better and others worse than ours.
rockwater
Posts: 273
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2/11/2014 10:28:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 9:41:50 PM, TheJesusParadox wrote:
At 2/11/2014 10:01:21 AM, rockwater wrote:
At 2/10/2014 10:18:20 PM, TheJesusParadox wrote:
The reality is that the founding fathers intended the legislation process to be slow moving. This was done by creating checks and balances within the system; the slow moving pace of legislation also serves as a check. As much as I sometimes wish good laws would be enacted -- I am grateful for the protection. Without a slow moving process, there would be more potential for a dictator in the United States.

With that said, the rate at which the Tea Party has obstructed the United States is not what the founding fathers intended. They are essentially going nuclear on our government and by proxy our nation. If allowed to continue unabated they could be the downfall of the United States. Which the Tea Party have no qualms about, as they have a radical vision for the United States. The good news is the Tea Party is at its peak of influence right now -- they have no staying power. They have and will continue to damage the Republican brand until they are completely tossed.

Keeping that in mind, it is clear the perpetrators of no legislation getting passed is -- the do-nothing Congress. That answers to your question: how can we get Congress to legislate? It would be to throw the do-nothing Republican Congress out of office come this November. At the very least, if you are Republican test the hypothesis that the Democrats will flounder if they have full control. If they do, it could make it easier for a Republican to become president in 2016. The Democrats winning full control of Congress this year really is the only chance Republicans have at beating Clinton in '16.

The American Constitution envisioned a much smaller federal government than is necessary to govern in the modern world, and it also envisioned that men of similar socioeconomic backgrounds could reach enough consensus to keep government running. The UK basically lets whatever party has a majority in the House of Commoons do what it wants - is that country in any more risk of becoming a dictatorship? Canada often does not have a clear majority in its House of Commons, although it does now, and it still manages to get budgets passed and has to have a new election if it can't. I honestly think that politics is adversarial everywhere now so you need winner take all control of the legislature but protection of individuals' minority rights in the constitution, like you see in many other developed democracies. The US gives too much power to the minority party in Congress. As a Democrat I am willing to see Republicans steamroll their agenda through if they win Congress and the presidency outright. I also think we need an end to gerrymandering and the popular vote for the presidency, but it is more important to see things get done in Congress even if they are things I don't like. If either party were allowed to govern with no excuses about the bad guys stopping them much more would get done.

I disagree, that would create an even more volatile government than we have have now. It would hurt our country going from one extreme to another in such a short period of time. There would never be time to fully implement legislation -- which would mean a lot of wasted tax-payer dollars. My argument is going off the assumption that the party in power would change often. I base that assumption off the history of voters views during past elections.

With that said, I have a limited understanding of political systems in other nations. Like any other political system I have studied, I like some parts better and others worse than ours.

In other countries where there is something much closer to majority rule in their legislatures, you do not have the chaos you predict would happen here. You get higher voter turnout in these countries partly because people feel that their votes make more of a difference since an effective legislative majority is actually a possibility. Since all kinds of people vote and not just the mobilized party bases, you wind up with major parties in the legislature that are closer together on major issues than the polarization you see in the US Congress. So there isn't that much drastic radical change when there is a change in power.

I'm not saying that there aren't other developed democracies with legislatures that seem unable to address major problems or that also lurch from stalemate to stalemate: Italy definitely has this problem now. However, the great thing about parliamentary systems (vs. a presidential system) is that if the legislature cannot pass a budget, in many countries you have to have a new election. In practice this means that compromises almost always get made. When they do not, voters often punish the parties that refuse to compromise in the new round of elections. This is not always the case, especially when there are deep divisions in society or a crippling economic or other crisis that all parties except the most extreme are blamed for by the public. But even with our presidential system, instituting majority rule in the Senate and allowing for house leadership to be more easily deposed if they can't pass a budget would go a long way in my opinion towards helping government to function as it should.