Letter: One-party rule

June 9, 2014 

I probably won't win any elections in Star, but Star letter writer Steve Jones added a valuable alternative perspective to my recent Statesman guest opinion on one-party politics.

I continue to believe, however, that single-party dominance of a state's politics - where one party stands virtually no chance of election, the other risks virtually no chance of defeat - is an out-of-kilter political conundrum injurious to good governance.

I deplore it equally in thoroughly Democratic-blue Rhode Island and New York as much as I do in dyed-in-the-wool Republican-red Oklahoma and Idaho.

One-party rule leads to party factionalism, promotes legislative freelancing by elected ideologues, and impedes compromise in an American political system that is grounded on this very concept. The Idaho Legislature's just-concluded session is only the most recent case study. Productive coalition-building in one-party state governments isn't just thwarted, it becomes irrelevant.

Inability to form two-party consensus around major issues leads, ultimately, to the passage of unwise laws ... or to no action at all, producing the unaccountable "do nothing" Congresses we deplore. Voter demoralization and apathy result.

One-party politics gives us the very government we regrettably deserve.

David Klinger, Boise

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