Economics professor Charles Weise and Political Science professor Bruce Larson collaborated on a column that was published in the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch on October 17. In the column, they argue for the need to Americans to be able to force Congress into action, particularly when it seems "hopelessly deadlocked."
On the vital issues confronting the nation, Congress more often than not seems hopelessly deadlocked. Even when clear majorities in the House and Senate — and the public — favor compromise, political obstruction prevails.
What if “we the people” had a voice in congressional procedure? What if there were a way for citizens to invoke cloture on legislation being held up by a determined — and often ideologically extreme — political minority in the House or Senate?
To give Americans a sense that Washington listens to their concerns, the Obama administration created an online platform called “We The People.” The platform allows Americans to submit a petition online; if the petition collects 100,000 signatures, administration officials will respond to it. The petition is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go far enough.