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Making All the People Unhappy All the Time

Congress’s overall approval rating continues to remain extremely bad, but in their terribleness they have managed to achieve something that would be impressive if it wasn’t so depressing. Gallup found that disapproval with Congress is basically equal among all political groups. Regular Republicans, Democrats and Independents all have an almost identically bad opinion of Congress. From Gallup:

Congress' Job Approval Ratings, Yearly Averages by Party

Divide government doesn’t lead to compromise or “moving to the middle.” It results in crippling gridlock with the only laws being approved are must pass omnibus bills loaded down with corrupt backroom deals.

When your political system is making everyone unhappy it is time you start seriously questioning how your country runs its elections. The dysfunction of the past two years wasn’t actually the result of the voting public wanting divided government, but the result of really bad election rules. Democrats actually won the popular vote for the House, but bad election rules let Republicans win a majority of the seats. Being able to win with only a minority of public support has created terrible political incentives that undermine effective governance. There are other election system used in other countries which would eliminate this problem. It is possible to assure that the party with the least votes never ends up wining the most seats.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at