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Playing By The "One Vote" Rule

03-03-2011 12:12 PM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: Roger Billings

Our system of government is a wonderful thing. The idea is that everyone gets “one vote,” and the majority wins. In Congress, whether State or Federal, the same simple rule should apply. After everyone has a chance to be heard, each person gets “one vote” to influence the decision-making process according to the dictates of their own conscience. After a count of the votes is taken, the majority wins.

Lately, it seems that some choose not to play by the rules, trying to get more power over the system or more say in the decisions than is afforded to their “one vote.” If they cannot get what they want by playing by the rules, they cheat! A recent example of this behavior is the case where State Senators left their State to prevent a quorum so that a vote could not be taken. Obviously, they seemed to think they would be outvoted. Be that as it may, to try to get more influence over the decision than the "one vote" afforded them by the rules is not fair and is a step toward eroding the system and impeding it from functioning as it was designed.

To me, it is a little bit like trying to score a touchdown during a time out. Maybe there is less opposition when the other team is not present, but the play will be called back -- or the game will lose its integrity and eventually its viewers.

Further examples of misuse of the “one vote” rule are the use of other obstructionist tactics such as the filibuster. Here again, someone is trying to have more say in making a decision at hand than is afforded by the “one vote” rule. As before, these actions bog down and tie up the system, often making it hard to get important business accomplished.

I think that the rules need to be cleaned up in their interpretation and implementation such that, once again, everyone gets their “one vote,” and the majority is allowed to rule. That is, after all, what we call a democracy. This cheater’s approach breeds chaos and will eventually bring down the system. In fact, letting one person have more influence over a decision than their “one vote” prostitutes the system. Having more than one’s share of power or influence opens the doors to the unhealthy practice of purchasing elected officials with donations and perks. If everyone was limited, as they should be, to their “one vote,” they would hardly be worth the money that is currently pouring in from special interest groups and “sugar daddies.” Much of the present day corruption would just fall right out of the system.

I am for cleaning up the rules so that all Congressional leaders, even committee chairpersons, be limited in their power to presiding over the rules of decorum. It is important that they do not have the power to fast track a favored bill or prevent an unfavorable bill from getting to vote. Other than maintaining order “under the rules,” even the majority leaders would be limited in their influence of deciding what will be law to their “one vote.” I am convinced that this simple and obvious fix would eliminate many serious problems and dilemmas impeding our system of free government. When our government officials all know that they have a right to “one vote” and “one vote” only, we will finally be able to show the people of the world how a democracy is really supposed to work...and at the same time, bring back the cheering audience of the American people.

To elected people everywhere my message is: Stop the cheating. Play by the “one vote” rule.


Roger Billings

26900 East Pink Hill Road, Independence, MO 64057

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