What do you think the biggest weakness of the legislature is? How would you correct it?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In my opinion, the biggest current weakness of the legislature is the lack of a middle ground. In many state governments and even at the federal level, many elected officials come from districts that are not diverse or competitive. As a result, elected officials can take a very narrow or extreme position on issues and not have to worry about getting reelected because they know they are safe with their constituents. This leads to hardline positions being taken with very little room for common ground. As a result, either very little gets accomplished because the viewpoints are very far apart on a given issue or a large group of people feels their voices are not being heard. We have seen little progress made at the federal level on so many issues, including immigration and health care, because there seems to be little room for compromise.

One way this can be alleviated is by having nonpartisan agencies draw the lines that make up districts within the state government and for the House of Representatives. By avoiding gerrymandering, a practice that makes some districts safe because the voters are primarily from one political party with little variation in views on issues, districts will become more competitive, which should make it more difficult for elected officials to take extreme positions. For example, in Wisconsin, in the election of 2012, Democrats received 52% of the total vote but only won 33 of the 99 seats in the State Assembly. As a result, there has been little reason for elected officials to compromise, leaving a significant number of people with a feeling that their voices are not being heard. While laws are being passed in Wisconsin because one party has such a large majority, the views of many people are not being acted upon by the state legislature. This can lead to a feeling that the government is not working for the people.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial