I disagree with Hightower.

What you will find here is: a centrist's view of current events;
a collection of thoughts, arguments, and observations
that I have found appealing and/or amusing over the years;
and, if you choose, your civil contributions which will make it into a conversation.

He not busy bein' born, is busy dyin'. - Bob Dylan

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Friday, March 25, 2011

filibuster 2

I have changed my mind on the filibuster.

I can see a value to having a rule which allows a very distressed minority to slow something down and make sure that it is considered thoroughly. But there is a limit after which you are "obstructing democracy."

So I would like to see the Senate filibuster rule changed to something like the following:
Recall that cloture is a vote to limit debate on a bill to a specified amount of time. The filibuster rule requires 60 votes to pass a cloture motion. (Apparently they now have a twist where you don't even have to take the cloture vote, you just have to have 60 votes to even bring something to the floor.)

For a particular bill: In the first instance cloture requires 60 votes, the second cloture vote requires 57, the third 54 and the fourth 51. Some fixed period of time, say 1 week, must intervene between each pair of votes.

The first level of reasoning for this is the March 14 post repeated below.

Our government was constructed to handle what was a cross between a confederation and a nation. It was designed to move slowly in a world where very little was expected from government. Therefore it was given very little money.

We long ago gave up the confederation part of that mixture and became, more or less, a nation. Governments, here and around the world, are now expected to do much more for the people, and do it quickly, than they once were. Our American governments are now spending 40+ percent of GDP.

Is it possible we should review how we are doing things?

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