Of recent years… representative government all over the world has been threatened with a growing paralysis. Legislative bodies have tended more and more to become wholly inefficient for the purposes of legislation. The prime feature in causing this unhealthy growth has been the discovery by minorities that under the old rules of parliamentary procedure they could put a complete stop to all legislative action… If the minority is as powerful as the majority there is no use of having political contests at all, for there is no use in having a majority.
Theodore Roosevelt, Speech before the Federal Club, New York City, March 6, 1891. Reported in the New York Daily Tribune, March 7, 1891. (via patrickdijusto)