Our forefathers, in creating a new nation, were concerned about a democracy’s capability to degenerate into “mob rule” through “the tyranny of the majority.” James Madison, who later became our fourth President, in Federalist #10A and in debates in 1787, argued that the government should protect “the minority of the opulent against the majority”.
Yet Lord Acton’s belief that “. . . absolute power corrupts absolutely”A can be seen in states like Florida with supermajorities controlling their government. In 2023, legislatures with veto-proof majorities in both housesA control 29 states. Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, with no resistance from the legislative branch, has waged a culture war of tyranny against “the woke” – Democrats, women, minorities, and anybody that publicly disagrees with his policies – in his bid for President of the United States.
In my article “Two Political Parties Are Not Enough”, I address some of the problems of our current two-party system (promoting polarization, guarantying an instant majority). I propose a solution (more political parties). But then I also discuss obstacles to that solution. While waiting for changes, I’ve come up with a simpler solution.
My New Solution
I propose adding a requirement to the only existing rule of securing a majority vote (or 60% in the Senate, or . . .) when state and national legislatures vote on bills. It should also be necessary to secure at least 25% of the vote from each minority party. This would fight polarization and encourage collaboration, compromise, and bi- or multi-partisanship to find solutions at least partially acceptable to all constituents.
Is 25% the right number? It can be tweaked. And as the rule is stated, it can be combined with other solutions (whether previously discussed or not). Could it get in the way of passing laws in an already dysfunctional government? Well, yes, but that’s actually the point until we can elect representatives that represent all the people while trying to solve problems instead of just making sure the other team doesn’t score any points. They apparently can’t do that individually, but maybe they can collectively.
By now I shouldn’t have to tell you that we accept opposing view and solutions. Start the discussion in the comment section below. Thank you.