Thursday, March 23, 2017

Majority Rules

A big problem in American politics is that no one is ever clearly to blame. In parliamentary systems, the party or coalition in charge rightly is responsible. In the US, we have the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, also, too, the judicial branch. We have both the Senate and the House. They have stupid rules about when a majority is or isn't a majority (filibuster, reconciliation+"Byrd rule", etc.). This is combined with a campaign finance regime which, while now eroded, long separated "issues" from "elections," and an "objective" press which worships "bipartsanship" and "across the aisle" nonsense. And of course we have a federal system, meaning states and local governments have significant powers.

It's always scary to remove barriers to simple majority rule. Can get a horrible Supreme Court Justice for life (we will anyway) and horrible seemingly irrevocable policy changes. I'm not a "we must burn it down to save it" kind of guy. I don't think short term pain inevitably leads to long run gain. But generally I think it's good to kill these anti-majoritarian things whenever possible. When 50%+1 rules, no politician or party can hide behind an arcane system. Rs are to blame or Ds are to blame. The end.