Friday, October 24, 2014

Washington Post editorial calls for multi-member districts, 1776 opinion calls for FairVote's reforms

The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote earlier this year about the extreme polarization and partisanship within Congress, saying: "The problem is that the dominant incentives in our political system favor the purists of left and right. Prominent among these is a congressional apportionment process that divides the population into reliably red or blue districts. ... Rebuilding the political center might require more radical measures, such as the revival of at-large or multi-member congressional districts, which used to be common in many states but which were effectively outlawed by Congress in 1967 in favor of single-member districts."

This week another opinion article called for FairVote's reforms. Clark Cohen, an entrepenuer, argued in the online magazine, 1776, that structural reforms to our electoral systems are necessary to end government gridlock. He writes, "What is the opportunity cost to society and entrepreneurs for having a broken Congress?  In a connected world, Congress could be serving as a vital forum to work through multiple complex societal issues. Instead, entrepreneurs whose business plans may be subject to regulation can be blocked too easily from creating new value.  A structural reform promoting fair representation may be key."

FairVote advocates for the use of fair representation voting within multi-member district systems. A simple plan is proposed in FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2014 Report. As Cohen suggests, these plans would decrease the effect of extreme partisanship and help government to work more effectively.

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