(Jan. 19) Politicians of both major parties should embrace a lesson briefly limned in a Jan. 18 column by A.B. Stoddard of RealClearPolitics — lawmakers have every incentive to accomplish procedural reforms in a way that “leaves neither party an advantage.”

Stoddard specifically was advocating a rewrite of the Electoral Count Act that governs how presidential electoral votes are certified. Her main arguments on the ECA are right on target, but some insights she offered should be applied to procedural reforms more broadly. From filibuster rules to how judicial nominations are handled, from civil service laws to the Administrative Procedure Act, a host of procedural rules and laws beg for bipartisan reform.

If both parties work together to improve the “rules of the game,” as it were, and if the fixes are slated to take effect only at a specific future date, before which it is not known which party will benefit more, then it is in all parties’ interests to make the rules studiously neutral.

This should be common sense: If nobody knows who will be in a position to exploit loopholes or an unlevel playing field, then everybody should want to ensure a level field with no loopholes. That’s the only way to know that one’s own side won’t be found helpless on the wrong end of tilted political terrain.

On the Electoral Count Act, which both I and the Washington Examiner institutionally have called for reforming, Stoddard makes great points. It was the ECA’s grossly convoluted language that gave rise to the dubious theories about how Republicans could overturn the presidential election results. This led rioters at the U.S. Capitol to try to stop the vote count.

“In unambiguous language,” she writes, “an amended ECA must clarify a process for the appointment of electors and any resolution of disputes in the states and the timelines under which both must conclude.” Democrats should want such reforms so as to avoid a repeat performance of Jan. 6, 2021. Republicans should be equally insistent on reforms because, with Democrats in the Oval Office leading into the next presidential election, the Democrats conceivably could do to Republicans what the Trump team tried to do to the Democrats in 2020-21…. [The full column is here.]