VOTING – SHOULD HALF OF AMERICA PASS LAWS ABOUT THE OTHER HALF?

March 27, 2010

While the whole idea behind voting is pretty simple, the dynamics, politics, and results are quite complex. The biggest problem, I think, is the 51% majority. Think about it. You now have a policy that allows laws to be passed that disenfranchise nearly half the people in the country. This is stupid.

I don’t believe that any law at all should be passed unless 80% of the people in the country agree on it. Yes, a law against murder would be a shoe-in. Against thievery, you bet. Raising taxes to fund a war in a foreign country, less likely. Legislation concerning religion would cease to exist; in fact, legislation for any subgroup of the population that constituted less than 80% of the population would cease to exist, unless there was a large portion of the population sympathetic to a minority’s cause. People who just hated a minority would be out of luck. Sympathy, accepted, hatred, rejected.

Furthermore, there are already a lot of laws on the books that were instituted on a very narrow (51%) majority that shouldn’t be there at all. If 30-50% of Americans think something is okay, then chances are you should not be making a law banning it. So I’d propose allowing laws to be eliminated on a 40% vote of Congress. Get rid of all the crap laws on the books. You want smaller government and lower taxes? There it is. You want laws that actually reflect the will of America, truly representing the blended society that it is? You can have it.

If there’s a close split in society, you should find a way to make the two sides understand and accept each other. One side isn’t “wrong,” they just have a different social norm in such a case. If you can get 80% of the legislature to agree on laws providing that interface between the two groups, that would make a hell of a lot more sense than ostracizing the minority, wouldn’t it? Smoking, for example; there are laws in place that keep one group from impinging on the airspace of the other; you can likely get smokers and non-smokers to buy-in on such laws. You might even get laws approved that require cigarette companies to spring for lung cancer treatments.

Getting the pro-life and pro-choice people to actually think about what would make both sides content with coexistence would be painful but finally productive. Get them to the table together to pound out a solution to both their concerns, not just try to legislate each other out of existence when their turn in power occurs.

Clearly the current state of affairs sucks. The Republicans get into power, they revoke Democratic legislation and vote in their own. The Democrats get into power, and the opposite occurs. Can American survive in such an atmosphere of divisiveness? There should be no law passed that the two groups can’t agree on by a mega-majority. Anything else is just idiocy.

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January 16, 2010

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