Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kent Brockman: "I've said it before, and I'll say it again: democracy simply doesn't work."

The United States is making the best argument ever for Westminster-style Parliamentary democracy:

Decades of gerrymandering have turned most congressional districts into unassailable fortresses for a single party. The real fight for seats in the House of Representatives comes during the primaries, where extremism serves better than moderation.

Constant primaries feeding into fixed elections of some type or another every two years means a constant election cycle, far more so than even Canada's four elections through minority parliaments.

Money is so important to winning that nearly every representative arrives with a full slate of positions bought and paid for, leaving no room to negotiate or think.

We complain about the smaller voting role of individual members in our Parliament due to whipped votes, but when every member needs a little juice for his or her state or district in order to vote for this or that piece of legislation, or refuses to see the bigger picture when defense cuts are going to close a Boeing plant where some of their constituents work, you can see why governing to the advantage of every individual congressional district becomes prohibitively expensive.

And so here we sit, watching an unbelievably dangerous game of brinkmanship played out over a decision by the United States Congress to raise the debt ceiling - essentially to agree to pay for the stuff they already bought. I'm not sure what sort of democratic reform could possibly fix this clearly broken system, but I sure hope something does before they pull us all down with them.