Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Parliamentary Government vs Federalism


"There are not enough jails, not enough police, not enough courts to enforce a law not supported by the people." - Hubert H. Humphrey

        This government is constantly deadlocked, and constantly unable to get any meaningful work done. Now, specifically, I am focusing directly on the United States Congress. Not convinced yet? Good, but consider this first thought. Why has it been the US Supreme Court and its subsidiaries that have had to take action to do things like end segregation, separate but equal, and most recently, marriage inequality? It is because Congress does not function to serve the needs of the people anymore. They function to serve the needs of the people that are funding their campaigns, multi-billion dollar industries, and this goes for both sides of the aisle. Here is the reality that the American people need to get their minds wrapped around, IT NEVER HAS!
          Further, it was NEVER actually designed to. It was designed specifically to maintain an elite social order at the top of society. It was designed, specifically, with the intent to make change a slow process. It was designed to create logjams, so that the social elite could prevent anything from happening that they did not approve of. Average Americans are not the People of the Constitution; though, I would argue that we should be. The People of the Constitution are the social elite, and they have an all access pass to justice, while the rest of us have to rely on their whims and the whims of their cronies if we want anything. Additionally, don't think that that help will be free. Everything comes at cost in this country.
         The only way that anyone in this country has ever made the social elite change has been by being so stubborn that the social elites could no longer ignore the problem anymore. Granted, the Supreme Court has made a lot of favorable decisions, but this was only, in most cases, after a massive public outcry. Brown v. Board of Education, and the recent ruling on marriage equality are examples of this. The same goes for Congress. They did pass the 19th Amendment, but only after women went on hunger strikes and were brutally force fed by the police.
         The Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s was passed by Congress, but only after they could no longer sustain a system based on centuries of slavery, institutional racism, and terrorism, and only after the African American population of the United States stood up, and in mass, indicated that they were no longer going to accept the crappy hand dealt to their people by the white man. The situation in the United States is a powder keg waiting to blow sky high. What happens after a massive political movement that demands a radical change is rejected on all counts by all three branches of government? The potential for civil conflict is genuine. The United States needs to reorganize the government. They need to do this, first, to improve their productivity because right now, their work record is terrible. Second, they need to do so to prevent a complete political breakdown along the lines of the Civil War, or worse.
         So, what kind of system is it that operates like this. It is a Federalist system. On paper, the philosophy is designed to defuse power and give the people access to a local government that is more suited to fit their needs. As has been proven time and time again, the system does not work for the majority of the people. The social elite's strict control over the political process, and preponderance for corruption, make it impossible for the federalist system to work for the people. In the past, these people were local elites, they were elected by their local elites, and they were obligated to make laws that benefited the elites. This has not changed. The pressure has merely changed hands. Now it is corporations who control the actions of politicians that are supposed to be working for us. They are sponsored in the same manner that athletes are, though they do make up plenty of slick ways to mask it.
        What do we need? We need a Parliamentary system of government. This system of government is much more responsive at the local level. It is also much more tolerant of political diversity, evidenced by the fact that in most parliamentary elections people are voting for their party, not an individual person, and each party is offered a certain number of seats by the percentage of the vote they received. It also requires that the various parties work more closely with one another because a majority of the time, none of the parties ever earn an absolute majority in the elections. Thus, parties are forced to build government coalitions in order to to function properly and retain the support of the people. As a result, such a government is forced to be more responsive to the people. It is also more likely to be able to react fairly to building political problems.
         There is another benefit of a parliamentary system of government. It splits the role of the Head of State from the role of the Head of Government. In the United States' federalist system, these roles are combined, which creates an environment of hate and distrust as people can't differentiate between their hatred of government policies and their love for their leader and their country. In a parliamentary system, this does not happen quite as often, as everyone can be both anti-government, and in the case a nation like Great Britain, still say, God Save the Queen!, and mean it.
         All of this is just another example of what this country can do to avoid the hailstorm on the horizon, as this country moves closer and closer towards a political split. The people need to be able to feel that they have sufficient means to express their discontent peacefully, or eventually, they will express their discontent with violence and hatred. This, of course, as many have witnessed, recently, has already begun, but it can still be halted, if, and only if, the government is forced to take this situation more seriously. A parliamentary system of government would be much more suited to making sure the reasons for the people's frustration would be never so terrible that the situation would boil over and turn into a riot or some other form of violent expression.

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