IMAGE: newsweek graphic 8 ways to fix politics

Newsweek spotlights “8 Ways to Fix Our Politics”

The August 15 issue of Newsweek attracted a lot of attention with its provocative cover photo of Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann, proclaiming her “the Queen of Rage.” ┬áBut with all due respect to Newsweek’s editors, and to Rep. Bachmann for that matter, an item buried inside the struggling weekly is worth a longer look.

Under the headline “8 Ways to Fix Our Politics,” Newsweek simply and succinctly examined the dysfunction of what it called our “unholy mess” of a political system and spelled out common sense ways to make it right. Here are the problems they identified:

CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE FULL SIZE

  1. Redistricting
  2. Funding
  3. Primaries
  4. Elections
  5. Committees
  6. Secret Holds
  7. Filibuster
  8. Debt Limit

The two-page graphic was especially welcome at Common Cause because pretty much all the problems it highlighted, and the solutions, are things we’ve been working on for a long time.

 

To end partisan redistricting, which fractures our communities and hardens partisan divisions, Newsweek suggested turning over our political map-making to non-partisan citizen commissions.

To squeeze the corrupting influence of big money out of our elections, the magazine proposed a national “clean elections” system in which small donations to candidates from individuals are matched by public funds.

To break the partisan stalemate paralyzing the U.S. Senate, Newsweek urged a new filibuster rule, in which senators would have to come to the floor and actually talk about a bill to delay action on it, rather than stopping it simply by threatening to talk.

There’s more, all of it equally sensible. It’s well worth a few minutes of your time.

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3 Responses to “Newsweek spotlights “8 Ways to Fix Our Politics””

  1. Carroll D. French September 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    While a Senate rule that ensured a hearing for a minority Senator for a limited time would be OK, the absence of any limit enables a single Senator to block action by the majority indefinitely. There is no Constitutional basis for that result or for the “holds” practice. Biden as presiding officer should rule them illegal and out of order.

  2. Carroll D. French September 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    While a Senate rule that ensured a hearing for a minority Senator for a limited time would be OK, the absence of any limit enables a single Senator to block action by the majority indefinitely. There is no Constitutional basis for that result or for the “holds” practice. Biden as presiding officer should rule them illegal and out of order.

  3. Carroll D. French September 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    While a Senate rule that ensured a hearing for a minority Senator for a limited time would be OK, the absence of any limit enables a single Senator to block action by the majority indefinitely. There is no Constitutional basis for that result or for the “holds” practice. Biden as presiding officer should rule them illegal and out of order.