- - Wednesday, July 9, 2014


When I look at the American political landscape, I do not see a two-party system. Instead I see gridlock among liberal Democrats, moderate Democrats, the undecided, the GOP establishment and, of course, the Tea Party. One only has to look at the president’s abysmal outcomes in passing legislation and the record low numbers of bills brought to the floor. Has a functioning two-party system become obsolete?

In a parliamentary system, ideologues who lack pragmatism are often marginalized, while the pragmatic parties will negotiate and get legislation passed. By their very nature, ideologues want their agenda implemented wholesale, without negotiation or modification — regardless of whether their party is in the minority.

Few would disagree that the two-party political system is at best dysfunctional, at worst outdated and in need of modification. Yet the dysfunction is tolerated as a necessary evil. It is not a necessary evil. I propose we convert to a parliamentary system, where deals can and would be brokered. Deadlock on occasion occurs in parliamentary systems, but it is cured by the realignment of coalitions.

Our country suffers from a do-nothing two-party system made up of five different factions, none of which seem to be able to garner enough support to pass any meaningful legislation. This is a topic that needs to be discussed so we can find a way to enable Washington to function again.


Bridgeville, Pa.

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