Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Electoral College, Two-Party Winner-Take-All Politics, And Parliamentary Governance

Image result for british parliament

Dear F and Jimbo,

The other day at lunch, Arthur Clark held that the elimination of The Electoral College would run real danger of rural militia uprising.

Even if such rebellion were put down, publicity surrounding the federal government's lethal suppression of grass-roots uprising would have adverse - and perhaps destabilizing - repercussions. 

Star Trek's Sulu Comments On The 2016 Election
(What's With The Electoral College?)

The only significant issue on which I did not "come around" to my Dad's point of view was his support for 2 party, winner-take-all governance. 

As a young man I advocated - as I do now - the parliamentary model. 

Back in the day, Dad observed that parliamentary governments were prone to getting "bogged down" in tedious discussion whereas two-party, winner-take-all governance was dynamic and enabled swift decision-making. 

Although two-party politics is now stuck in gridlock, I sensed - even as a 20 year old - that it was better for government to move slowly after all voices had been heard than to rush headlong into quick decisions that would often prove injudicious. 

Notably, the word "parliament" derives from the common Latin root underlying a wide range of contemporary Romance language words meaning "to speak, converse, chat, discuss." (When I was young, we Archibalds called our living room the "parlor" - meaning "the place for conversation.")

My Sister Says All Violence Is A Language Problem. If We Can't Navigate Conflict With Words...

"It's complicated."



PS It could be that one reason Canada is a civilized country - whereas the United States is characterized by pockets of civilization in a sea of barbarism -- is its parliamentary government. 

Pax On Both Houses: Blog Posts About Canada
I am an American citizen and proud graduate of the University of Toronto where I received world-class education at the same steeply subsidized cost as Canadian citizens. 
My five years in Canada taught me the difference between Civilization and Barbarism feigning civilization.

PPS Friend Byron, a fairly far left progressive, says that we need to honor The Electoral College because it was an essential part of the nation's "Founding Compromise" and that compromise deserves to be kept intact.

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