It is often better to pass no law than to pass a law by a slim majority when the minority is very strongly against it. This is the idea behind requiring two-thirds or three-quarters supermajorities for certain things, or requiring legislation to pass majorities of both the house and the senate rather than simply a majority of the combined body. On the other hand, it is frustrating when a large minority prevents all action of any level of necessity not because of legitimate concerns, but out of stubbornness or for political gain. What if there were a way to limit the number of bills that could be indefinitely blocked, forcing the minority to choose what is most important? What also if there were a way to encourage the majority to drop less important, controversial bills for more important, less controversial ones?
I imagined a legislature of four houses of equal size. Because voters in each district must choose only one house race to vote in, the tendency is for each house to represent a broad school of thought or party. Each house is equal in power even if more voters vote in some house races than others. This protects minorities. Crossover voting to elect a weaker candidate in another house will also be kept to a minimum for fear of reciprocation.
Each house has the ability on its own to pass legislation without the approval of the others. Thus, if a majority of the representatives in one of the four houses support a measure, it will pass. At the same time, a majority of any one of the other three houses can repeal said measure before it even goes into effect. This sometimes leads to the opposition continuing to repeatedly vote measures down and supporters continuing to repeatedly vote measures up. Unresolved issues then use up time that could be spent passing (or repealing) other measures. Houses are equal in that only four bills (or other motions) may be passed per cycle (i.e. a day). This means that one unresolved issue does not halt legislation, but four unresolved issues do. If the supporters have something more important to get through, they must give up one issue they are currently pushing, and if the opposition has something more important to get through (or something even more important to stop) they must allow something less important to pass. This leads to a “game of chicken” that forces all parties to focus only on the most important issues to them. This system thus takes into account intensity of feeling, rather than mere numbers of individuals.
This is probably not the best form of government in modern times, because it leads to unpredictability and is therefore bad for commerce, but it could still be very interesting.