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Term limits and party primaries lead to this July 14, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.
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The state government of California is dysfunctional. The extreme partisanship that pervades the US now has manifest itself as a stalemate over creating a state budget. The Democrats avoid budget cuts for education or services to the poor and other “disadvantaged” people, even though those are 70 % of the budget. The Republicans refuse to go along with any increases in taxes or fees.

One driving force against flexibility and compromise is that elected officials must win a party-base primary before qualifying for the general election. As with every other part of the US, this party-based vote has evolved into a purity test. Democrats must be pro-abortion, pro-immigrants’ right, pro-affirmative action, and so on. Republicans must be pro-life (anti-abortion), anti-gun control, anti-tax, anti-immigrant, and so on. These two camps are only 10 % to 20 % of the electorate, each. The other 70 % to 80 % is then given two choices that are unpalatable. Thus, the continuous low voter turnouts and disgruntled electorate grousing over “the better of two evils”/

One solution is to have a wide-open primary, an unlimited slate. The two or three top vote getters end up on the general election ballot. This forces candidates to appeal more to the bulk in the middle rather than the small parts on either end.

The second area for improvement, at least in the California legislature, is to get rid of term limits. They philosophically sound good, getting rid of vested interests, blah, blah, blah. But before term limits, the legislature did something. There was wheeling and dealing, but it got laws passed and budgets planned. I’ll take a Willie Brown wielding power any day over the ineptitude and posturing the Assembly speaker does today.

California’s legislature has increasing passed the buck, opting to have citizems vote on initiatives and propositions rather than decide themselves. I think one reason why is that term limits rooted out and limited the capable and experienced, leaving more and more people who just cannot do the job.

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Comments»

1. Ψ*Ψ - July 15, 2009

NO ONE is pro-abortion. Some of us just aren’t so short-sighted that we believe a little legislation will prevent women from terminating pregnancies when they can’t support children (illegally and by life-threatening means when no alternatives exist). The REST of the country would be better served by actually providing pregnant women with the resources they need to carry their children to term, and supporting free and effective contraception, instead of lobbying and protesting and generally being annoying. If enough money is thrown at the problem, a large part of it may actually go away…it just needs to be thrown at pregnant women and not politicians.

2. fetzthechemist - July 15, 2009

Yeah, I typed that to play on the “pro” form and ought to have said pro-choice or pro-abortion-rights. Ideally women ought to be able to choose, contraception being the first possibility. I find it more than ironic, akin to hypocritical, that those who are so adamantly anti-abortion also are so against any support for mothers who choose to have a baby that cannot be afforded easily. The religious right falls back on the whole hollow abstinance argument. Even their current goddess has a daughter who could not abstain.

3. Indusly - July 25, 2009

is that true??


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