What Does the Results of the Mid-term elections represent?
The results of the election on November 2, 2010 surprised many not in the fact that there would be a shift in power in Congress but the level of the shift. Some races are not yet finalized as all the votes have not been counted in some locations. In tight races the method of the voting sometimes plays a part in how long it takes to decide the outcome of elections. The election process with mail-in voting though it is a good thing for those who have difficulty getting to the polls on Election Day or just want to avoid long lines makes the outcome longer to determine.
The results of the races on November 2, 2010 have signified two things. People for the first time in years appeared to be more energized to vote more than ever. While there were large numbers of voters in the 2008 election the numbers in the 2010 election were distinctly different. One aspect that had an impact on many races was the tea party movement. It was not a party but individuals who were voicing their opinion as to what they want their government to do and not do. Those individuals who represented those values found support in all areas of the country as seen in many election results. The second is the message sent to Congress that voters were unhappy with the direction of the country. While some may disagree with the last statement it was reported in many of the polls identified on election night. It is a fact that we are in a tight economic environment with unemployment at high levels. Part of the message sent is that something needs to change to put the country on a different path to address the issues we face as a nation. The power in Congress is now divided with the Democrats in power in the Senate and the Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives.
While some have not addressed the fact that the balance of power is thin in the Senate as Republicans picked up some Senate seats it signals that other methods are going to be needed if progress will be made between now and the next election. This I believe to be a good thing. Legislation written in the new Senate will require consideration of the views of all parties in creating legislation that encompasses the needs and approach the voters want from their federal government. There will need to be some agreement not only on what legislation is needed over the next two years but the content and tone of the legislation. I want to make one point clear. There are good individuals in both major parties. The election results I hope will cause a change in the way Congress has been operating. The results are clear if you ignore the will of the people you will pay the price come Election Day. This has never been more evident than with the results of the races in the House of Representatives and the shift in the balance of power.
I also want to make another point in that legislative proposals in the new Congress must encompass input from all parties in creating a bi-partisan piece of legislation which addresses the issues facing our country. Good ideas come from many individuals and no one party has all the answers to our problems. Good things will happen in the new Congress if the leaders in both houses embrace the input from all political parties to create legislation that addresses the issue reasonably and economically. Legislation must involve the principle of pay as you go. Legislation and the requirements must identify the funds that will be appropriated to enable the requirements to be accomplished. While there may be some exceptions to some topics pay as you go should be the rule in how legislation is created not the exception.
There are many issues that facing Congress regarding legislation that the people have expressed their displeasure with. How the displeasure is addressed will not be easy with the numbers in place in both houses of Congress. Major legislation was passed or is being anticipated. The results of the election may cause the current elected officials to carefully consider the decisions they make as they may pay for them later through the votes of their constituents.
It will be difficult at best to try and repeal some legislation that has been enacted such as the healthcare reform legislation. While the legislation and the approach it takes are unpopular for many issues I do not feel that the approach taken should be to repeal it. There are many good aspects of the legislation which should remain. Those that are unpopular or result in harming the business environment should be targeted to help reduce the burden on business and individuals. One aspect which was not addressed in the legislation is tort reform. Many have called for this kind of legislation but Congress in the past has not had the initiative to create it. Let us hope the new Congress works together to resolve or at least address issues targeted to get the country on track to improving our economic environment. It is also hoped that before the new Congress begins its session that the current elected officials will not take this time to pass further legislation with which the public would have a negative response. The public has indicated they want less government not more. Some issues such as taxes and payments to doctors should be addressed before they cause problems. I wish the new Congress success in their efforts to address the problems we are currently facing.