Letter To The Editor: Response To ‘Tales Of Our Times’

By TERRY GOLDMAN
Los Alamos

It is very rare for me to have a substantive disagreement with John Bartlit but I think he understates the need for leaderships in the House and Senate (link).

Yes, the parties have agreed to abuse the power of the positions greatly. Nonetheless, in any large group, there must be a substantive leader — the ‘decider’, as a President has noted. In both Houses of Congress, the leader corresponds quite closely to the prime minister in other versions of democracies.

In the classic example of Great Britain, however, that position is quite fragile, as we see those in leadership voted out and replaced frequently. Perhaps this is because the prime minister is also the de facto leader of the whole country, as the monarchs have little say. If so, this identifies a defect in our political organization which is designed to disperse power and authority. It can be remedied, however, by an agreement that calling any matter up for a vote, including leadership, requires only something like 30 or 40% demanding that the question be raised. Fewer would be unstable; what we have now is too stable.

The ability of single Senator to “filibuster” a bill out of consideration, which prevents issues from being addressed at all, proves my point. How to achieve this proposed rule? Unfortunately, I haven’t a clue.

LOS ALAMOS

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