The American political system we have now needs to be changed.  Division between the political left and right is driving a wedge between people.  Families are being driven apart as in the case of Brad and Dallas Woodhouse, due to their differing political ideologies.  Riots are breaking out with the mask of “protesting” because of the polar nature of our system.  The bottom line is America could use some desperate change in the way we go about politics.

The system is far from perfect; it wasn’t designed to be.  Even when the government system was first created, it was made to grow, and meld into what it was needed to be with amendments.  Each amendment gave a right or limited a right, given the climate of the modern political and public world.  It was strong, but it was also flexible.  It was supposed to change, as long as we changed.  That being said, George Washington explained, “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.”  He said that the ruling of two different factions or parties would only, and has, lead to a petty, vengeful fight, which is natural for dissension.  However, it became immediately apparent that political parties were needed because as the country grew, so did its people, and their ideas.  The government we have, right now, is a Republic, which means that instead of the common people running the governing system they elect a representative that will serve as theirs, along with a conglomeration of other people’s speaker.  The reason that we have representation instead of direct democracy is that there is no real-world system where a country of the size of America would be able to pull off a Democracy.  It’s too much for such a system to handle.  Direct Democracy is everyone speaking for themselves, but there are too many people in the country for everybody to get a say on their beliefs.  With a republic, you can elect a representative that can speak for a multitude of people at a time.  Representative Democracy makes the system fast and efficient.  

But we can’t keep our political systems the same.  While we can’t get rid of our parties altogether, we can’t let it sit in place either.  Like I said before, the system that was made by our forefathers was legendary.  It was able to be bent, shifted, and crafted to change at any moment.  However, we’re not doing that.  Instead, our parties are yelling at each other, and the disagreement grounded the progression of America to a halt.  We’re not going anywhere, and the public is sick of it.  As Michael Coblenz, an attorney in Lexington, Kentucky and Democratic candidate for Congress from Kentucky’s 6th District explains, “The bitter fight between Democrats and Republicans has largely ground government to a halt. Partisans on both sides are so angry they can barely speak with the other, much less work together.”

This has a gigantic impact on, not only the shape of our country but also the feelings of its people.  The first issue is the audible groan that comes from talking about politics because people don’t like it anymore.  It’s a fair assessment, talking politics is just beating the dead horse.  We’re all talking about the same thing, we want change, but we don’t know how to achieve it.  Both sides have their own way of solving things, and nobody has taken the time to compromise or even effectively argue this.  At this point, you have one of three choices.  You could either choose the left side (Democrats or Liberals) and be labeled as an affirmative action worshipping, baby killing, SJW.  You could also choose the right side (Republicans or Conservatives), and be labeled as a racist, sexist, homophobic, Alt-Right.  No nuance.  No complexity.  It essentially becomes an immature name calling session.  You could choose a third party, which at this point, encompasses the other thirty-plus political parties that exist in America.  But there’s a trick to that.  The thing is, third parties don’t win anything.  In all of their years of existing, rarely have they ever come close to winning a thing, much less, actually succeeding.  As Scott Smith,  a serial entrepreneur, who has co-founded companies in such diverse industries as agriculture, finance, educational media, and technology, explains, “Many voters aren’t happy with either of the two-party options. They feel trapped. Somehow, they’re bound to one of the candidates through affiliation with a political party, so they select one (even if they aren’t excited about that candidate).  The alternative, of course, is a third-party candidate. But many still believe that they would be throwing their vote away. If the majority of people went outside the traditional two-party system, real change could occur.”

So when two sides don’t work, but we obviously can’t keep things the same, we have to compromise, which is an art that has been lost by our political figures now.  The problem, in this case, may not belong to our parties per se.  It may be the entire system as a whole.  Right now, the format is Winner-takes-all, basically what this means is so long as one party gets more than fifty percent of the votes they win everything as explained by a user on consultant mind who has worked in Fortune 500 and Big 4 consulting firms.  The issue with this is that whichever side loses, will be essentially silenced until the term is up and another candidate is elected, and even that is just another fifty/fifty chance.  This leaves a potential forty-nine percent of the population unspoken for.  That is an issue.

I know that adopting a new political system may be odd and even potentially cataclysmic, but that’s another thing.  According to Louis D. Brandeis, an American lawyer and associate justice on the Supreme Court,  our states are “Laboratories of Democracy.”  This means our states can experiment with their own system, without causing a huge impact on the nation entirely.  Hell, if we wanted to, some states could go communism.  Not that it would be a good idea, but that’s the beauty of it.  It won’t hurt the nation as badly.  The state may fall into shambles, but neighboring states can easily help, and the damage would be innocuous to the rest of the nation.

So let’s change the system.  But what would we change it to?  As explained by Paul Miller, “In the parliamentary system a party that gets 10 percent of the vote gets 10 percent of the seats in the legislature. That’s a huge difference. Parties that will never get to 50.1 percent still have access to real political power and voters have an incentive to gravitate towards parties they agree with rather than massive, incoherent agglomerations of interests cobbled together for the sake of achieving an artificial majority.”  As opposed to our system, right now, where it’s winner takes all, Parliamentary System would allow all political parties a chance on the platform.  This would also clear up the public’s common, and in some cases, well-founded, distaste for our political parties, as you’ll no longer be restrained by the fear of losing your precious vote.  This will open the platform for more people in the system, and in America, to get a say in where they want this country to head.  There are two ways they do this in Europe, where Parliamentary Politics is more prominent.  The first way is Regional Close List which is more prominent in England, Scotland, and Whales. The method works like this: political parties put forward names of candidates in rank order, the number of candidates being no more than the number of seats allowed for each region.  The ballot paper lists the parties’ names (and their candidates under the party name), and any independent candidates. Put a cross next to the party or independent candidate that you wish to vote for.  The second way they could do this is with Single Transferable Votes, such as in Northern Ireland, where The ballot paper lists the name of each candidate and their party name. Rank the candidates in order of preference, a 1 next to your first choice, a 2 next to your second, and so on, ranking as many as you wish.

There could be any number of variations the houses control.  I’d imagine that Republicans and Democrats would still have most of the chair in the houses, being the most prominent in politics for such a long, but then there would also be chairs for the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Taxpayer Party, United States Marijuana Party, etc.  The iterations of the party would be endless, and that’s okay.  In the end, it won’t have to be just one party representing one demographic over another.  Instead, multiple parties can work together to cover an even wider spectrum of people.  This also adds complexity to the politics.  Having so many different people sitting in a room, people with different stories, different ideologies, it will force the parties to all come to some form of consensus.

The public has had enough of our current system.  Some of us are Democrats, some of us are Republicans, some of us are Independent, but all of us are American citizens, and we all deserve to have a say in this country.  This nation was promised to us, the people, by our forefathers, and whether you believe or not that our government is a corrupted, underground, empire is all a matter of your choice.  Regardless of where we stand, we should all get a chance to change this nation to something that suits us best.

Rourke Hanson

CC BY-SA 4.0 Political Permutation by Rourke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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