Monday, October 24, 2005

Democracy = Competitive Elections?

Regarding an editorial that ran in the Washington Post on Sunday, encouraging voters in Ohio and California to pass a referendum that takes redistricting away from legislators in order to create more competitive races. I disagree with the editorial for these reasons: 1. Redistricting didn't kill competition- Larry Sabato and the gang at the UVA Center for Politics have already largely debunked the myth that redistricting is the biggest cause of non-competitive races. The biggest cause of non-competitive races is that the people in a prescribed area have already formed a general consensus about an issue. 2. De Facto Redistricting- Over the past 25 years in particular, Americans have taken to redistricting themselves-- that is to say, moving south and west to areas that are 1) warmer (thank you, air conditioning) 2) lower tax than the north and east, lower cost of living than north and east, and cheaper land than north and east. 3. This is a Republic = Legislators Legislate - This nation is a union of republics. Republics pick their representatives and entrust them to make their decisions for them. Referenda are popular because they are so darn democratic~but not necessarily the best decision. Ohio and California, do what you want~but if I were you, I'd vote no.


At 10/24/2005 03:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think part of the blame for non-competitve races lies with the lack of qualified candidates stepping up to run, and when the non-qualified candidates do get in races they run HORRIBLE campaigns that inspire absolutely no-one to show up at the polls.


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