Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, September 26, 2011

Stop all this voting!

Here's an interesting set of ideas to present for debate.

You need to be a subscriber to The New Republic to access the whole essay by Peter Orszag.

Too Much of a Good Thing
In an 1814 letter to John Taylor, John Adams wrote that “there never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” That may read today like an overstatement, but it is certainly true that our democracy finds itself facing a deep challenge… If you need confirmation of this, look no further than the recent debt-limit debacle, which clearly showed that we are becoming two nations governed by a single Congress—and that paralyzing gridlock is the result.

So what to do? To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

The Fourth Edition of What You Need to Know is available from the publisher (where shipping is always FREE).

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