Sunday, November 05, 2006

Divided Government - A Viable Political Strategy?

James Leroy Wilson, a contributing blogger at Indie Castle, used one of my posts about the ping pong mentality of voters in a post (read it here) to suggest that rather than voters being stupid enough to switch party voting because the party they last voted for just screwed them, maybe they were realizing "we are screwed over less badly when we have divided government (President from one party, one or both houses of Congress controlled by the other), than when one party's in charge." I have no idea if this is the case with the voters.

But I have for a long time rejoiced at political stalemate that resulted in civil government's lack of ability to act legislatively. In California, it's almost an annual occurrence that the two parties can't agree on a yearly budget, and by law, the government shuts down until a budget is in place. A few years back, I read a piece by Joel Miller praise a stalemate in the New York state legislature because nobody was getting screwed as a result. When divided government has occurred to the benefit of the people, I have rejoiced, but until James' post, it never occurred to me that this could be used as a political strategy.

Although no longer either a political conservative or a Republican, I still have trouble voting for a Democrat for office. But if I viewed both the Democrats and Republicans as my evil enemies, could I vote for the slightly smaller greater evil to fight the larger lesser evil to gain the result of the two being so engaged disabling each other that they turn a blind eye to my own peaceful agenda of governing my own life? I'll have to sprinkle a dash of this on my next steak. Thank you, James, for turning the light bulb on.

1 comment:

  1. Count me as one who thinks gridlock is good. One party rule, at any level, is not good over the long term. Ohio is a case study in one party rule. At the state level we only have ONE top level government official that is NOT a Republican. Everyone can see what the result is. Of course, that is all going to change tomorrow. For one election I pan to simply vote against EVERY incumbent. We need wholesale change.

    I think this is true also at the Church level . When one party( bloc of people holding the power)controls every aspect of a Church it is not good. When thoughtful dissent is not found, over the long term, Churches can get way off track. Unity in a Church, sometimes, is nothing more than a smokescreen for lazy thinking.