Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Time to put it to the American people?

Posted by Jason O on Nov 22, 2011 in US Politics |

Let the people settle the argument.

Let the people settle the argument.

The paralysis in US politics, signified by the failure of the Super Committee, is serious, so why not a serious and radical solution?

Why not put both the Republican and Democratic plans to the people in a referendum, and let them decide? Yes, I know, the US doesn’t “do” national referendums, but we live in extraordinary times and the deficit needs to be dealt with, and if the political system can’t solve the problem, then let the people slice the knot.

By the way, I have no idea how the vote would go, so this is not a partisan thing. This is a results thing. One way or another, the American people need an answer, even if they have to give it themselves.

3 Comments

James Broadhead
Nov 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Can we please stop living in a world where we think that every issue can be resolved/decided upon with a Yes/No referendum?

Not to mention the problems with asking a Yes/No question (vast bias towards Yes), or Old/New (bias towards New), there are massive problems with illiteracy and innumeracy among the Irish and American populations. How is it at all possible that they can make an informed decision on matters of national importance? It’s ripe for the kind of media manipulation and hype building that we have today. Much better to have the people vote between sets of 5-8 economic principles, then collate their biases into a budget proposal that matches their voting pattern.

Budgets are much more complicated than A or B – why not introduce just _some_ of that at the polling booth, so we’re not stuck with the two-party problem?


 
Jason O
Nov 23, 2011 at 7:52 am

I agree, but as a new party system would takes years to implement in the US, a straight A or B referendum would break the log jam. After all, there is a clear difference between the two parties’s approach to dealing with the defecit.


 
James Broadhead
Nov 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Or you could just compile the results from people’s input into this:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html


 

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