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Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 14, 2014 at 7:05 AM

U.S. political system: Fix it by switching to a parliamentary system

Kate Riley in her column “How to fix the American political system from within” [Opinion, Nov. 8] proposed that the top-two primary would get the U.S. around the recent political gridlock. I disagree.

Our political problems are much deeper and may require more radical change.  The real problem is having a bipartisan political system. This creates polarization — each party comes to be defined as what the other is not. Polarization also creates bias against members of the other party. As polarization becomes worse, there is little hope for rational discourse or compromise. It creates a culture where people from either party only listen to those who are like-minded: They exist in an echo chamber of their own rhetoric, engaging in circular reasoning and group-think.  As a result, they pursue the narrow interests of their party’s leadership and donors, instead of acting to the benefit the American public.

This problem requires radical change — replacing our government with a type of parliamentary system. The parliamentary system allows for a plurality of parties and, therefore, better representation of the people. That could move us away from bipartisan gridlock and offer more choices and better representation.

Leslie Jordan, Shoreline

Comments | More in Politics | Topics: bipartisan, democracy, Democrats

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