Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Election Cycles

This blog is not primarily a political blog, however, some topics, I feel, are political without being politicized, so I feel safe blogging about them. Election cycles is one of them. Like redistricting, there is a partisan aspect to them, but we should be able to see beyond partisanship to find a compromise that serves the need of our nation the best.

Right now, for instance, we have national elections every two years (with absurdly low turn outs in non-presidential cycles). This is a problem, for a number of reasons. The biggest reason I see is that elections get used as an excuse by our elected representatives to not tackle difficult things. What do immigration reform, healthcare, entitlement reform, tax reform, deficit spending/reduction, budgets and education reform all have in common?

They have all been pushed off or had reasoned debate truncated because "It is an election year, and you know nothing can get done then. Now, there is some good to having our elections on a two-year cycle. The bums do not get too comfortable before being kicked out, and those short turn-around cycles are balanced out by six- and four-year cycles for the White House and Senate. In addition, the House was intended to represent the shifting moods of the population, with the Senate designed to be a sort of cooling off place.

That seems reasonable to me, but right now, good legislation is dying alongside the bad legislation due to the Sword of Election-ese hanging over representatives heads. Of course, longer cycles means more chance for kickbacks and scheming. But, they also mean that representatives could buckle down for more than a few months before they had to start quidding some quo.

Those are my thoughts; there are pluses and minuses to both set ups, so I'm curious what angles I've missed.



Be nice and let's stick to political theory without dealing political reality!

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