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Let's not vote for gridlock!
By Mark Neckameyer


November 04, 2006
Saturday AM

The United States is by far the most successful, prosperous, powerful nation on the world stage today and it has been that way since World War 2. It is tough to argue with success but here goes;

Most all Democratic nations in the world use a "Parliamentary" governing system. The political party with the most representation in the legislative branch automatically is put in charge of executive functions. In Great Britain for example, the majority party in their House of Commons where all laws are passed, selects the Prime Minster, typically the leader of that majority party. If something urgently needs to be acted on by the government, the Legislative branch and the Executive work together and the job gets done quickly. Here in the US we have a Senate elected on a six year cycle and our House of Representatives elected on a two year cycle with our chief exec., the President on a four year cycle with all having to approve of laws and programs before they can be implemented. This may have worked well in a small country two hundred years ago when our Founding Fathers were trying to rein back the power of a central government but this gridlock is an awful hindrance these days in addressing urgent national problems; the "War on terror" for example. When both our major parties are at war with each other, refusing to pass legislation suggested by or approved by the other party, to make political points, nothing gets accomplished and we all suffer the consequences.

Our problem is that our government is too slow to react to changes in the political will of our citizens. The Senate, a third of whom were elected six years ago and a third who do not need to run for reelection for another six years, may not represent the will of the people of the US today. Nothing short of a major change in our constitution can change all this very much but we can resist the calls to elect Democrats this time "to show the President we are angry about Iraq". This would surely result in internecine fighting and showboating in the halls of government as each party worked to establish arguing points for the 2008 Presidential General election. Better where possible to consciously elect a President and Congress of the same party and if they do a bad job, throw them out together next election. Otherwise both political parties play the blame game; "The Congress did it" "No, the President screwed up", etc.

Let's all vote for the best candidate next Tuesday and let's not try to punish the President by elected his critics to Congress because of screwball, unforeseeable acts of the Muslim extremists who have been uncontrollable since, oh maybe 650AD or so.

Mark Neckameyer
Irvine, CA

About: "I am a semi retired accountant living in California. I love Alaska for the fishing and outdoor lifestyle and am about a year away from full retirement; plannng to spend as much summer as possible in Alaska."



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