Different system, same problems - Macleans.ca

Different system, same problems

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This lament for their current situation and call for congressional reform in the United States, written by former congressman Mickey Edwards, reads a lot like many of the laments for our current situation and calls for parliamentary reform here.

If we really want change—change that will yield a Congress that is more representative and more functional, change that can be replicated in state and local governments—we need to rethink the party-driven structures we have so casually accepted for decades. This change would produce another important effect: it would strengthen Congress’s ability to discharge its constitutional role … In a democracy that is open to intelligent and civil debate about competing ideas rather than programmed for automatic opposition to another party’s proposals, we might yet find ourselves able to manage the task of self-government. Our current political dysfunction is not inevitable; it results from deliberate decisions that have backfired and left us mired in the trenches of hyper-partisan warfare. Political parties will not disappear; as a free people, we will continue to honor freedom of association. The goal is not to destroy parties but to transcend them; to welcome their contributions but end their dominance; and to take back from these private clubs control of our own elections and our own Congress.