There appears to be a lot more activity toward ending the U.S. government shut down which is now entering week three.  The Senate has been involved in bipartisan talks attempting to reach a deal that would be acceptable to both Republicans and Democrats.  However, House Republicans – who began work on their own legislation – have reportedly rejected the Senate’s proposal… just as the Senate will reject the House’s “anti-bipartisan” proposal.

The reported details of the two proposed deals appear to be remarkably similar in many respects.  However, if either the House or the Senate refuse the other’s proposed solution, America ends up right back where it was two weeks ago: Nowhere, at the corner of Political Impasse.

And so we wait… again.  And just to make things interesting, this week America will reach its borrowing limit (debt ceiling) which, if not dealt with quickly and appropriately, will send the U.S. economy into chaos.

In fluid situations such as these, one can normally predict what is likely to happen.  But considering the varying levels of “unreasonable,” placing bets on what will happen is too tough to call.  And sadly, “whatever is best for the country” seems to be a long shot.

While we wait and ponder the “effectiveness” of Congress, permit me to make an observation.

Since I’ve been living in the U.S., I’ve noted during almost every political “crisis” – of which there is a surprisingly large amount for a mere four years – one word tends to pop up repeatedly: Revolution.

For the most part, it’s subtle – mainly being in the comments section of articles – but the idea that a revolution is “needed” seems to inevitably pop up somewhere.

Does America need a revolution?

Now, Canadians are no stranger to revolution, but it doesn’t generally come up every time we’re disenchanted with our parliamentary system.

So, all I can think is: what a ridiculous notion.

There are people in other parts of the world presently engaged in revolutions to attain democracy.  America already has democracy.  The major problem – as I see it – is that too many people are willing to complain, but too few are willing to actually make a difference by getting involved.

If the system is broken, it’s up to the people (a.k.a. the electorate) to fix it.

In a country where more than 40% of voting-aged citizens don’t vote, it’s no wonder the system’s broken.  You can’t complain the toy is broken when you don’t put all the parts together.  In every part of the world, democracy comes with a label: “some assembly required.”

With that in mind, America does need a revolution; but not the kind where people take up arms against the government.  The revolution that is needed is the kind where people get educated, get involved, and get voting.

It’s not enough to complain that Congress doesn’t take ownership for the calamities that follow their bad decisions; it’s up to Americans to take ownership for putting them there, and collectively take action to fix the problem in the next election.

It’s not just Congress that needs to do its job; it’s up to the “People” to do their job too.

– Erin MacLean