I believe the United States should reform its political rules and practices to become more democratic by changing who holds power in America and changing voting rules, because there has not been enough balance of power and fewer people are voting nowadays.
Nowadays, the minority rule has mostly only let the rich take in charge of policies, which the lower class of average citizens should do more often. Two effective ways to change who should have the power to rule in America are implementing the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and the Fair Representation Act. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact enables all states “to award all their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner — could circumvent the Electoral College if enough states enacted it” (Goldberg). In other words, the winner with the popular vote will be decided by both the wealthy and lower class, which the Electoral College has not been doing a great job of; with the Electoral College, it is not guaranteed that the person with the popular vote will win. On the other hand, the Fair Representation Act, as introduced by a Virginia Democratic representative named Don Beyer, aims to “change the way the House is elected, replacing single-member districts with larger districts represented by several people. They’d be chosen by a system of ranked voting that would allow third parties to compete without becoming spoilers, while giving political minorities a say in the process” (Goldberg). Here, we can see that Don Beyer isn’t too fond of gerrymandering. With these reforms, minorities can then choose who they want to be elected, which implies that there is more representation for the minorities. Another great aspect of this act is that there won’t be as much of a majority of Republicans compared to Democrats as we have often seen in gerrymandering. Therefore, in alliance with the Fair Representation Act, I believe that the Democrats should hold more power in the House.
Furthermore, I believe that the number of voters depends on term limits. Although I think that term limits for the president is right in the sense that new presidents can establish new policies that can improve the United States, I don’t think Congress should have unlimited terms. Within legislations made by Senators and Representatives, there is a lot of corruption such as lobbying. Some of the main benefits in limiting the number of years that officials serve in Congress are that there will be more creative ideas from different perspectives, more motivation for people to vote, and more restrictions on the impact of corruption and lobbying (Lombardo).
By adding term limits to Congress so that Senators only have 6 years to serve and Representatives with 2 years to serve, new ideas will accumulate and therefore, provide more solutions to the problems in the United States. The actual reform to limit terms for Congress will have to be passed through an amendment. Regarding the motivation for people to vote, it is more likely for people to participate more in elections if they are aware that there will be new representatives who can create changes in policies. Also, more people voting means more democracy, which the United States has not been doing well in, as the voting percentage has dropped over the years due to “generational shift/residence and technology” (class 6). The constraints on corruption would allow for a more legal means in positive influence on Congress and interest groups.
Some may say that the United States is okay the way it is right now. They might argue that the minority rule is the correct way in governing our country, because the rich, compared to the average citizens, have more money and are more knowledgeable in policy-making and voting for the best officials. Because only the opinions of the rich matter, they can also argue that there is no need to end the Electoral College and reform the districts. The Electoral College is created to help make the voting process easier by selecting a president. With gerrymandering, some might say that it is better for one party to be favored and then be elected to win the election. In the case of gerrymandering in America, it is evident that Republicans, rather than Democrats, have benefited more. However, this proves to be undemocratic according to Madison’s ideal form of government. His ideal form of government included a large republic that makes it difficult for majority factions to form and to invade the rights of the minority. Presently, it is true that there is a large republic, but the fact that the rich has all the power while there is not that much representation for the rest of the public makes America undemocratic. This idea is closely associated with the Electoral College and gerrymandering, which Madison disapproved. Madison was originally dissatisfied with the Electoral College because he “repeatedly argued for alternatives to the winner-take-all method of choosing a state’s presidential electors” (“Why James Madison Wanted to Change the Way We Vote For President”). Madison was also against gerrymandering because that made it “difficult for him to win a seat in 1789 representing Virginia in the House of Representatives” (Leight). I would agree with Madison’s views regarding the Electoral College and gerrymandering because those methods are too biased on one party, creating unfair representation for all that should be changed to be more democratic for America. With the congressional term limits, however, he and his followers would have rejected them, asserting that “The greater the proportion of new members of Congress, and the less the information of the bulk of the members, the more apt they be to fall into the snares that may be laid before them” (Gaille). Although this statement is true, I still believe that there should be congressional term limits because as the years pass, new policies will be implemented so the new members of Congress will need to be extra careful on how to best implement those policies.
Overall, I would like the United States to reform the minority rule, Electoral College, gerrymandering, as well as adding the congressional term limits. Although there are pros and cons to all methods, there are more benefits to a better democracy, in my opinion. More people will have the motivation to vote and the power will be more balanced among the rich and the lower classes of citizens. Furthermore, the newly elected officials after a certain number of years can create new proposals for certain policies that can then aid the country to be politically stronger.