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Pickle Me This

July 23, 2011

"A good democratic system is polyphonic…"

“A good democratic government is polyphonic. It doesn’t speak with a unified voice but contains numerous ones of genuine power and high pitch that aren’t under the sway of a central conductor. The idea of real competition within an elected government is the great development of the parliamentary system.

This sometimes produces ugly dissonance – as we saw in Washington this month as the many competing voices of Congress and the White House nearly disagreed their country into bankruptcy – but it’s crucial to have laws and structures that allow competing claims to power among different groups of elected officials. When I hear people calling for “consistency” in government policies, I worry: The best and least corruptible systems are those that produce the least consistency.”– Doug Saunders, “The Week the Yanks saved the Brits”

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