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Heinlein’s Bicameral Government

September 8, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

In these past few years of a Congress beneath contempt and beyond bad, I thought back to an idea that sounds pretty good. It comes from author Robert Heinlein.

In his concept, there are two legislative houses. Members are selected at random from among all adults for one year terms. After their term, they are pensioned off at the average national per capita income for life, and it is a capital crime for them to receive or benefit from any other compensation. Ever. Essentially, they are citizens sacrificed to the state.

One legislative house passes laws. But, a two-thirds majority is required, on the theory that any law not supported by that fraction of the people must be a bad law. The other house’s only purpose is to repeal laws. And only a one-third minority vote is needed to do that, on the theory that any law one in three people don’t like must be a bad law.

That would certainly avoid three thousand pages of “we’ll have to pass the bill before we’ll know what’s in it.” And free us from a power-hungry political class.

Might be worth a try.

And, then, we could use Dick the butcher’s idea from Henry VI to set right the Just Us system!

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