Tag Archives: elections

In praise of gerrymandering

Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

“Rather than having unaccountable panels of phony nonpartisans acting behind the scenes, we are far better off letting our political processes be exactly what they are: political. If Texans don’t like how Texas legislators draw up the state’s electoral maps, then they can kick Republicans out and put Democrats in charge. It is not like this has not happened before: Democrats had a near-monopoly on state-level power for a century after the Civil War but eventually were displaced by Republicans, whose policies and attitudes are more amenable — for now — to Texas voters. All of the high and mighty love democracy until democracy gets a little too democratic and starts producing results that they do not like, at which point it is time to ‘rise above politics’ and put the like-minded servants of the high and mighty in charge of things.” (06/21/17)


GA: Republicans hang on to House seat in special election

Source: The Hill

“Republican Karen Handel is projected to win Georgia’s special House election, dealing a major blow to Democrats who were hoping to score an early win against President Trump ahead of the 2018 midterms. Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in what had become the most expensive House race in history. Republicans could tout the victory as evidence that backlash to Trump won’t win the House for Democrats. Georgia’s suburban Atlanta district has been a Republican stronghold for decades, with former Speaker Newt Gingrich among the prominent politicians who have held the seat. Voters in the district repeatedly reelected Tom Price, whose appointment to be Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary brought on the special election.” (06/20/17)


Mueller probe could set the stage for Hillary’s 2020 return

Source: Reason
by Ira Stoll

“Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election is both a preview of Hillary Clinton’s 2020 presidential campaign and a re-run of the insider-trading litigation of the past decade. It’s a preview of the 2020 presidential campaign, because blaming the outcome of the election on illegal Russian interference takes the blame off Clinton for losing. Clinton can already point out that she won the popular vote in 2016. If her electoral vote loss was the result of foreign interference — rather than, say, a poorly managed campaign, or a candidate who couldn’t connect with out-of-work coal miners, or the wrong substantive message — then perhaps a 2020 replay, without foreign interference, might yield a different outcome.” (06/19/17)


RNC contractor exposes data on 198 million voters

Source: The Hill

“A data analytics contractor employed by the Republican National Committee (RNC) left databases containing information on nearly 200 million potential voters exposed to the internet without security, allowing anyone who knew where to look to download it without a password. ‘We take full responsibility for this situation,’ said the contractor, Deep Root Analytics, in a statement. The databases were part of 25 terabytes of files contained in an Amazon cloud account that could be browsed without logging in. The account was discovered by researcher Chris Vickery of the security firm UpGuard. The files have since been secured.” (06/19/17)


SCOTUS to hear potentially landmark case on partisan gerrymandering

Source: Salt Lake Tribune

“The Supreme Court declared Monday that it will consider whether gerrymandered election maps favoring one political party over another violate the Constitution, a potentially fundamental change in the way American elections are conducted. … The court accepted a case from Wisconsin, where a divided panel of three federal judges last year ruled that the state’s Republican leadership in 2011 pushed through a plan so partisan that it violated the Constitution’s First Amendment and equal rights protections. The issue will be briefed and argued in the Supreme Court term that begins in October.” (06/19/17)


Nobody won the Brexit election — but we Leavers risk losing now

Source: spiked
by Mick Hume

“There is a far bigger issue in UK politics now than the survival prospects of hopeless Tory prime minister Theresa May. The future of Brexit is on the line, as the pro-EU elites seek to exploit the indecisive result of the General Election. The question of whether Britain really will withdraw from the anti-democratic institutions of the European Union is in serious doubt. The danger is that we end up with a sort of Remain-by-another-name. That would mark a serious defeat for democracy. It would mean that the vote to Leave by 17.4million last June has been effectively overturned by elitist political manoeuvres inside and outside parliament.” (06/13/17)


UK: May delays Queen’s Speech as she grapples to lead minority government

Source: Sky News [UK]

“Theresa May’s Queen’s Speech has been thrown into chaos after she was forced to delay it, according to Sky sources. The Prime Minister has postponed the key address — due to be on 19 June — as she grapples with how to control a minority government. The Queen is expected to attend Parliament a few days later to give the speech that reveals that year’s legislative agenda. A Labour spokesperson responded: ‘Number 10’s failure to confirm the date of the Queen’s speech shows that this government is in chaos, as it struggles to agree a backroom deal with a party with abhorrent views on LGBT and women’s rights.'” (06/12/17)


France: Macron tightens grip on Assembly as old guard ejected

Source: Bloomberg

“President Emmanuel Macron expanded his control of French politics as voters put his party on track to a sweeping majority in the National Assembly in the first round of legislative elections, ousting establishment stalwarts in the process. The new president’s year-old party, Republic on the Move, won 32.3 percent of the vote alongside its centrist ally MoDem, more than 13 percentage points ahead of the Republicans’ group, according to the Interior Ministry’s final vote count. The first round was marked by record-low turnout with less than half the registered voters casting a ballot. In an alliance with the centrist MoDem party, Macron’s group will have between 415 and 455 seats out of 577 in the lower house of parliament, according to projections by Ipsos.” (06/12/17)


Citizens triumphant

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Last week, the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission considered whether to recommend a constitutional change to create an obvious double standard: requiring citizen-initiated constitutional amendments to obtain a 55 percent supermajority vote, while the very same amendments proposed by legislators would only need 50-percent-plus-one for passage. I traveled to the capitol in Columbus, joining a room full of Ohio citizens and organizations testifying in opposition. As I explained at Townhall yesterday, after hearing from the people, the Commission tabled the idea.” (06/12/17)


Does tribalism breed extremism?

Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“Think about the following stylized model. Let’s assume that 40% of voters are now ‘yellow-dog Democrats,’ who automatically pull the D lever. Another 40% are reliable Republican votes. And 20% of voters are totally disillusioned with the system, and prefer extremists who promise to shake things up. In that case, political parties would have an incentive to nominate an extremist, even though (by assumption) 80% of the public would prefer sensible candidates. Just to be clear, this is an unrealistic example and the real world is far more complicated. Obviously Trump and Corbyn did not win 60% of the votes, or even 50%. But I do think this example gets at something about modern politics, which is much more tribal than when I was young. Polls show that the public is increasingly likely to despise people merely on the basis of their political affiliation. That was not true when I was young. Voters are increasingly partisan.” (06/11/17)