20 Apr 2011

"Narrow Ideology Now Trumps the Needs of the Common Good"

I run across a lot of these… short little letters to the editor expressing disappointment in the lack of connection with mainstream voters that the ideologues in control of the two major parties have with constituents – both at the state and local level.

This part from one in the Arizona Daily Sun stuck out to me:

Unfortunately, I see little opportunity for betterment with the current state of mind of the majority of legislators. Not only have they chafed at voter-mandated health care for the impoverished but other voter mandates such as “First Things First,” which funds early childhood development; increased sales tax to prevent cuts to education (which they cut anyway). It is more than apparent that our governor and the majority of the Legislature are out of touch with the reality and the challenges of our state.

Recently, Gallup conducted a study of the most conservative states. Arizona ranked 28th. Which means that our centrist citizens are being held hostage by radical ideologues. It is my hope that redistricting will set the stage for a more rational and representative form of state government.

Matthew Capalby, from Flagstaff, is spot on here. There is a long list of reforms that we need to push for in coming years, but taking the power of redistricting away from the political parties is at the top of that list. Thankfully, there is movement in the right direction on this, but most states still give this power to the partisans who have a majority. They are able to draw those districts in ways that all but assure the most seats to them for the next ten years.

If any independent and/or centrist movement does bubble up in coming years, this should be one of our top priorities, before the next census.

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4 thoughts on “"Narrow Ideology Now Trumps the Needs of the Common Good"”

  1. “Voter-mandated” healthcare? Really? Even though public opinion was against the bill at time of passage? I don’t think so.

    How in the world do we “fund early childhood development?” Research has shown that Head Start doesn’t produce lasting educational performance gains. Instead, it’s become a welfare program. I question the notion of pouring more resources into such stuff because we want to say we care about raising children well, but lack the courage or willingness or resources to make changes that will place our children in the sorts of environments where they’ll achieve as well as students who are kicking american student ass.

    I’m all for more independent leaders. But it won’t solve the problem of our unwillingness to take a really hard look at what it would actually take to mitigate either the problem of healthcare costs or the problem of underachieving American students.

    1. I wouldn’t have used that term either, but that aspect of the health care bill is widely popular. It is the individual mandate that sinks the overall package. Take that out and most of the rest is not something most people want to get rid of.

  2. I agree that a centrist movement of some sort will need to bubble up before the ideologues in the two parties will take other points of view and policy arguments seriously. I have tried to make that point here before(riseofthecenter.com/2011/03/12/ideology-blocks-view-of-objective-reality-and-effective-policy/).

    However, it is beginning to feel like there is real movement toward a coalescence of centrists and others willing to get past the two-party system of ideology and spin. At the national level, groups like the National Centrist Party (www.nationalcentristparty.org/) are beginning to get off the ground. At the state level, groups like the Independent party of Oregon (www.indparty.com/) are making real headway.

    I feel a fresh political breeze beginning to pick up. Its about time. . .

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