chris_gerrib (chris_gerrib) wrote,

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The Filibuster

There's a great deal of discussion about trying to abolish the filibuster in the Senate. Now personally I am opposed to rules in a democratic institution that prevent the majority from actually ruling, so I support getting rid of the filibuster. Having said that, the real problem with the Senate isn't their rules; rather it's that the institution exists at all.

The Senate has been a problem since the beginning of the Republic. Prior to the Civil War, keeping the Senate 50 / 50 slave vs. free led to a number of political crises. After the Civil War, keeping the Senate safely Republican led to other machinations. These included splitting Dakota into two states, then admitting both plus Montana and Idaho despite none of them having the then-requisite population to be a state. We took a bit of a break from Senate shenanigans in the 20th century, only to fire up again this century with the filibuster.

The fundamental problem is this - any institution that weighs voters from Montana 30 times as much as voters from California is simply wrong. In every other country I'm aware of, they either don't have an upper house at all or if they do, the upper house's power is greatly limited. Eliminating or weakening the Senate would be a great thing to do. Alas, I have no idea how we would do so.

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Tags: politics

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