July 28th, 2010
What reforms and policies should centrists promote?
Our top two priorities are:
- End gerrymandering by enacting independently created congressional districts. Currently, congressional districts are created by legislators who design them to be "safe" for their party only. Such a process is called gerrymandering. It decreases the number of competitive seats and it marginalizes centrists. Safe seats increase partisanship because the real election is the primary which is determined by the ideologically extreme activists of each party. Centrists usually only have influence in the general election but by then the contest is between two highly polarized candidates who represent the extremes of their parties. In addition, competitive seats make it more likely that candidates have to appeal to the broadest coalition of voters rather than a narrow group of ideologically pure party activists.
- Reform the Primary System. The primary system gives inexcusable influence to the extremes of the two parties. The goal of elections is to vote for representation. Currently, our primary elections are not representative of the general public at all. Instead they help to increase extremism, partisanship, and a toxic political environment. In addition, we are currently giving control of our elections to two private organizations (The Democratic Party and Republican Party) whose main priority is the success of their organizations not the success of the country. It is a ridiculous arrangement that will go down in history as stupid and dubious as candidates being chosen in back rooms by party bosses. We need to take control out of the hands of the political party politicians and their supporting special interests. We need our elected leaders to be public servants not party servants. Primary reform will change that. By adopting a different system such as a top two instant runoff primary, we will finally give control of our elections back to the general public as well as provide them with more choices.
Without these reforms centrists will never gain enough influence to improve American politics and government. That is why we must first focus on these two reforms. They must be our top two priorities.
What other reforms and policies should centrists promote?
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