Press-Republican

Columns

January 6, 2013

A call for extreme independence

Some readers complain that I am far too conservative, while others lament that I am far too liberal. I actually pride myself as a pragmatic independent, and try to be immune to the group-think of either party.

It is ironic that this nation so enthusiastically cast off artifacts of British rule but retained a political system that differed little from the monarchy. We have our House and they have their Commons, we have our Senate and they have their Lords, we have our president and they have a monarch that could, ostensibly, veto any legislation. Both nations maintain a strong sense of party affiliation.

Actually, I would prefer there be either many parties, or perhaps no parties at all. I see little to gain from the self-reinforcing and self-rewarding party system. Parties force us all into group-think and force candidates to subjugate their own ideals.

Have you ever heard of dysfunctional Nebraska politics? Me neither. Long ago, they broke the grip of of party politics. During the Great Depression, Nebraska amended its constitution to abolish the bicameral system and instead adopted one legislative body. They also abolished parties. 

The primary elections for their representatives winnows the field down to two candidates who go head to head in the general election. Candidates do not run as Democrats or Republicans, just Nebraskans. In the process, Nebraska discovered that the cost of legislation went down significantly, and efficiency was raised dramatically. In the year following their amendment to take some politics out of politics, the cost of governing was halved and the number of bills successfully navigating their legislature increased.

Nebraska did so because they believed their elected officials should run on their own records and ideals, and that their actions should be based on convictions, not the dictates of faraway party leaders and moneybags.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • clute_cropped.jpg The Law and You: Police search of vehicles

    Because a car can be moved while a warrant is being obtained, authorities are given powers that let them act more quickly, writes former DA and judge, Penny Clute.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ken_wibecan.jpg Another day in the life

    Each morning I rise from bed, slowly, as is my habit, and sit quietly on the bed contemplating the day that looms before me, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR small talk mug 081714 Corner store is no more

    Columnist Gordie Little offers a reminder of the little grocery stores of days gone by.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR skin deep mug 081714 High-end products worth the splurge

    Regardless of the price, writes columnist Felicia Krieg, she would buy the core group of her makeup products over and over again.

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Tax code needs overhaul

    Corporations may be criticized for exploiting loopholes, but it is the complex tax system that is at fault, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Ideas about soil health changing

    New techniques like no-til and cover crops can make soil healthier than conventional tillage, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Economy may have changed forever

    The Great Recession has reordered the workforce in a way that makes it unlikely it will ever be the same, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg The dark side of fun funerals

    Something strange happened in American culture in the past decade or two: People started planning fun funerals, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR fit bits mug Developing power key to success

    While strength is important, the ability to generate power is required for many basic activities in life, writes columnist Ted Santaniello.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR you had to ask mug 081014 Time to reel in youth sports parents

    Do not scream at a child that he's a loser, at least not in a language he understands, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice
Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk
Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time