I believe that our Congress members must begin to function as individuals, instead of as members of a particular party who have lost the ability to think for themselves. The following changes might help to accomplish this.
A. The terms of office of the House and the Senate must be limited to one term only so that re-election worries would be eliminated, and members might then vote as they honestly feel. Representatives might be permitted to serve for 10 years, instead of two, and senators for 15 years, instead of six. They would then tend to vote for what is best for the country rather than what is best for their re-election. Present members of Congress would be more inclined to vote for this change if the bill is “grandfathered” in so that they are permitted to automatically extend their present term for some additional period of years before having to leave congress.
B. The present system of all members of one party sitting together on “one side of the aisle” is totally outdated. It helps to ensure that members vote by party affiliation rather than as individuals. Have members sit together alphabetically, by seniority or by drawing.
Once elections are over, the press, and all others, should be encouraged to refer to members of congress by name without mentioning party affiliation.
Dan Stern, State College