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Pitfalls of political pluralism

I am bemused by the opinion-page article "A Competitive Politics," Nov. 21. The author's uncritical presumption that "true pluralism" is the answer to American political woes is as breathtaking as it is reckless.To take but a single example of the "rest of the world's democracies," which the author would have us emulate, note how "true pluralism" fails in Israel. That country has faced a locked-up parliamentary system for the past 20 years. This is the result of small, generally extremist, parties that hold a constitutional claim to seats in the Knesset. With so many parties sharing power, there is no power to govern - only power to thwart government. As the United States becomes more fragmented by special and single interest groups, I think it is inevitable that "true pluralism" in our election systems would result in a more splintered and ineffective Congress than we have now. John F. Burgess, Washington

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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