The Democracy Works
What is the Problem?
The partisan bickering in this country is literally dividing communities and families even though we agree on much more than we disagree. Focusing on our differences divides us. It is not that one side or the other are good or bad people but that the structure of our political system is based on choosing and identifying with the conservative or the liberal side. Bad structure leads to bad government. This structure has been created by legislation and it can be changed by refining the democratic process.
What are some Solutions?
Eliminate party identification at voter registration.
When we register to vote we are told that if we want to fully participate in the democratic process then we must choose a party affiliation. From that moment on we are then identified as Democrats, Republicans, Greens, etc. We go even further and identify our states as Red and Blue states. Our first steps in participatory government land on a structure of partisan divide.
Non Partisan Primaries
As Americans we all go to the same polls on primary day and we all go into the same polling booth and then election rules divide us into different parties and we vote in different elections. A general primary of all candidates would reduce the field to a manageable number of candidates for the general election.
Fair and Reasonable Redistricting
The periodic redistricting of legislative districts in many parts of the country is gerrymandered to favor one political party or the other. This process is influenced by voting records and party identification from voter registration. The redistricting could be based on factors such as population, geography, and geometry. Race, and ethnicity are disallowed in the redistricting process. Voting records and party identification should be disallowed as well.
Walk Across the Aisle.
Traditionally members of legislatures separate themselves by party when they go to work in the chamber. Encourage elected officials to break this tradition and walk across the aisle to sit down next to someone with whom they disagree. This can have a small but a rippling a effect. No laws have to be changed and no money has to be spent.
What Can I Do?
Add your voice to the chorus of those who want a bipartisan or nonpartisan approach to solving the problems that we face locally and nationally. Changing some of the rules and traditions will direct our time, money, and effort towards the challenges that we face and away from fighting amongst ourselves. The Constitution and our right to assemble will be preserved, if not strengthened.
The number of voices in the conversation: 7