Parliamentary, not plebiscitary

Over at Unmedia, Aziz posts on the abuses of power and House rules going on amongst the GOP leaders to push through favored legislation.
While I agree with the post's point, I think that Aziz has his terms backwards. He says that the House has gone from a parliamentary democracy to a plebiscitary democracy- in reference to the bullying of rank-and-file GOP congressmen to vote en masse for a bill.

But even by the link he provided, a plebiscite is where all those who can vote, do so to decide a single point, bill, measure, etc. It isn't a case where the majority rides roughshod over the minority. That is, in fact, more a function of parliamentary democracy. Looking at the model of parliaments, we see that the majority party (Labour) controls every aspect of government, with neither the Liberal Democrats nor the Conservatives participating at all. It is de rigeur in parliamentary systems for the majority party or coalition to completely shut out the opposition.

Indeed, normally the House of Representatives does act as a plebiscite- it takes a plebiscite of its members for every general house vote, with each member voting as they please. The majority party doesn't rule by default, and minority positions can take the day (if discipline is not enforced). Moving to an absolute discipline system to shut out the minority would be moving towards a parliamentary model.

But as I said, its a trivial matter. The GOP house leadership is rotten in any case.

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