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UNLV professor’s prescription for ending gridlock in Washington is likely unworkable

UNLV professor David Orentlicher’s Sunday essay was interesting, but I found his ideas to be very unworkable (“Wedded to partisanship: Ending winner-take-all elections would encourage both sides to cooperate”). For starters, his model is Switzerland, a nation with about 8 million people. The United States has nearly 325 million inhabitants with constant pressures and social changes, while Switzerland is a small country with many universal social beliefs.

Although our founders had many different visions for our nation, they were able to make major compromises to form a fledgling union. It was not a perfect compromise and they had to “kick the can” of the slavery down the road for future generations, which is why we did have a Civil War.

We may have already traveled too far away from most — if not all — of the founders’ visions of having a government very close to the governed and therefore answerable to those they govern. Even Alexander Hamilton, maybe the strongest advocate for a strong centralized government, would likely be shocked at how much our centralized government has evolved and the massive power it has gained.

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