Our Democracy Needs Fixing

Mabra Holeyfield

There is no question that the founders of our democracy did a great job crafting a constitution that anticipated most of the problems that they determined could occur.

The three co- equal branches of government was a stroke of genius that has served us well for most of our history. 

Still, nobody can anticipate every thing that can possibly happen. It is clear that the founders did not anticipate the emergence of political parties. Their intent was for each elected official to represent the interests of those voters that elected them.

Had they anticipated political parties, my guess is they would have limited their participation in the political process. Our frequent use of the phrase “ our two party system” leads many to assume that political parties are a part of the constitution. However, there is no mention of political parties. 

The constitution was ratified in 1788. The democratic party was founded in 1828 and the republican party in 1854. Throughout most of our history there were moderates in both parties, and there was a general understanding that they needed to get something done on important issues. This required compromise. 

Today the only way to get something done is for one party to control the White House, the House of Representatvies and , and the Senate. That’s because the party out of power is determined to make certain that the party in power is prevented from accomplishing anything important. 

The more the party in power accomplishes, the harder it will be to defeat them in the next election. The result is on going gridlock.

So what do we do?

I can think of several things. But,  most are probably not doable. 

I will offer one proposal because its simple, non-partisan, and most voters will support it, which should make it do able. A bill should be passed that REQUIRES the Senate and the House to vote on any legislation or resolution that has the support of 20% of its members. 

The founders would not have allowed the right to vote to be at the discretion of the Speaker of the House or Senate. If such a bill is passed , important legislation such as immigration reform, infrastructure ,and gun control would pass immediately. 

This proposed bill is not liberal or conservative. Its common sense. It merely requires elected officials to do what they were elected to do: vote on legislation. We could call it the DO YOUR JOB BILL. 

Mabra Holeyfield is a business man and the author of the book Use What You Got. Email –mholryfield@banksandholeyfield.com.

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