WE ARE now one week removed from the elections. Regardless of your individual take on the outcome on various races, the framework for the future has been put in place.

On the national level, despite massive spending and relentless mudslinging, basically not much has changed. Barack Obama will occupy the White House for four more years while the Democrats control the Senate and the Republicans still have the majority in the House.

Status quo may prove political paralysis. While the power structure remains basically the same following the election, one thing needs to change for more effective government to play out.

Partisanship needs to loosen its stifling grip when it comes to decision-making. The last four years of the Obama administration and the Nov. 6 election should serve as proof positive that the two parties need to reach across the aisle, extend the olive branch and work in a passionate spirit of cooperation.

The current gridlock that shrouds Washington, D.C. yields nothing but frustration. That has been reflected for much too long.

Since the ballots were counted last Tuesday, both the Democrats and Republicans have intimated that they are up for working together. Both sides, hopefully, will realize that they both can come up losers if cooperation is not implemented, soon and continuously.

The nation is perched on a “fiscal cliff.” It is a perilous position, but one that doesn’t not need to prove fatal.

We urge Democrats and Republicans alike that much more can be accomplished by offering the other honey instead of vinegar.