Archive for the 'Election reform' Category

Setting Goals for Political Reform

November 6, 2013
posted by Bob Bauer

Joe Nocera has put out a call for reform and opens the discussion with a few that he favors. Tying his list together is his hope to "invigorate the electorate" and encourage "more responsive, and less extreme, political candidates.” These different goals can pull in different directions. An electorate is often invigorated by negative campaigns—which is not to say that candidates have to be extreme in order to be negative, or that only negative campaigns are invigorating, but the connection is not unknown, either. And there is also nothing to suggest that extreme candidates, however Nocera defines “extreme,” are unresponsive. Many are responsive to constituents that reward them for this type of behavior.

Of the different reforms Nocera lists, two illustrate the reasons why some reform programs open with hope and end in frustration, and others might stand a chance.