Monday, October 24, 2005

Get A Clue WaPo

I like the Washington Post's reporting and even enjoy their op-ed columnists. The editorials from the editorial board, however, border on absurd. In particular, their second enodrsement of Prop. 77. I've already discussed how bad Prop. 77 is (here, here, here and here amongst other places).

Let's use some of the editorial boards own words:
While neither is perfect or would be a cure-all to the corrosive problem of noncompetitive elections, both initiatives would bring improvement over the status quo.
Prop. 77 is a constitutional amendment. If it is not perfect or a cure-all, why put it into the constitution? That makes no sense and it's embarassing that they advocate something so dangerous. I'd most likely still oppose this proposition if it wasn't a constitutional amendment, but the fact that even most supporters admit it's not perfect forces me to not even consider it a viable option as a constitutional amendment. We could come up with something better--all sides agree on that--and I'd rather put that into the constitution than a partisan amendment. Constitutional changes should require broad consensus amongst legislators as well as people--Schwarzenegger, Poizner and their corporate backers shouldn't be allowed to buy public opinion.

Here is what the editorial board members say about similar programs in states like Arizona or Iowa
States that have such a system, such as Iowa and Arizona, have not in recent years seen dramatically competitive elections.
Did any change hands last time in those races? Did the races become more competetive? No and No. In their own words, they admited it was not that great of a proposal and that states with similar commission style committees has not increase competition. And they are advocating putting such a proposal on our state constitution? Seems like they are holding on to redistricting ideology rather than facts. That's embarassing.

The facts also show that 90% of Senate campaigns over the last decade have not changed hands--something independent of redistricting. Why don't I ever see advocates of redistricting bring up that point? Probably because it makes their premise look unconvincing.

Bring campaign finance to the table and then we can talk. But quit trying to push abstract ideologies with no demonstrable positive effect into our constitutions.

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