[EM] Changing government without having to change policy

raphfrk at netscape.net raphfrk at netscape.net
Thu Jun 8 13:58:46 PDT 2006

In the standard peer assembly election method, the only
way to kick the incumbent government out of office is to
give the opposition parties control of the legislature.

This means that there is resistance to kicking out
corrupt/lazy incumbents as it could shift the balance
to parties that would be (in the opinion of the voter)
even worse.  This reduces the effectiveness of the
voters ability to vote against ineffective incumbents.

What about something like the following:

2 Houses elected in the same manner

Election to 1 house renders the person ineligible to ever
become a member of the other house.

At a given time 1 of the 2 Houses is considered primary.

Every few years (say 4) the people vote on which house
should be primary.  If the Primary House doesn't get 50% +
then the Houses switch status.

The Primary House would have to be in some way more
powerful than the Secondary.  For example, there could be
a way to call a join session to pass legislation that the secondary
house has delayed by more than a year with members of
the primary house getting 2 votes.

The parties could run candidates in both houses meaning
that the voters could be just picking between two identical
choices.  I think that the rule preventing people standing for
both houses would lead to some separation of leadership
between the two branches of the same party.  Also, if one
house tends to keep wining, key new party members would
stand in the house where there power is.  This would
weaken the party in the secondary house meaning that
it would have less seats there.  Hopefully, this would lead to
a different mix of parties in both houses.

Parties could try to spoiler the 2nd house in some way.  For
example, they may not support a compromise candidate for
Speaker who could challenge their candidate in the other
House when the public choose the primary house.  I think
that the rule preventing people switching houses would
mean that this would lead to some resentment from
the party members of the house that is being sabotaged.

Anyway, the objective is to give the voters the choice between
two governments that are both representative rather than
having to put people you dislike into power to teach the
party with policies you support a lesson.
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