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All Americans Agree: Our Politicians Suck

(image: Damian Yerrick)

Pew is out with a new, very complex poll looking at the the diversity of American opinions across a broad range of issues. The whole thing is long, but worth a read.

An aspect of the poll that really stuck out to me, though, is that one of the few things that Americans of all political stripes can agreed on is that our politicians suck. From Pew:

There are few points on which all the typology groups can agree, but cynicism about politicians is one. Majorities across all eight groups, as well as Bystanders, say elected officials lose touch with the people pretty quickly.

When everyone across the political spectrum is this cynical about our politicians, the problem probably isn’t just our current batch of elected officials, but that design of the system itself.

I can’t promise my preferred set of structural reforms would improve the situation, but here goes:

  • A larger number of Congressional seats;
  • Eliminate or fix the Senate;
  • Election rules, like proportional representation or “instant runoff” voting, that would allow people to vote for a greater variety of viable political parties and reduce negative campaigns;
  • Public campaign financing to reduce the pressure for politicians to sell out.

Like I said, I can’t promise these make it better, but given how bad it has gotten, it is hard to believe they could make it worse.

CommunityElections

All Americans Agree: Our Politicians Suck

Pew is out with a new, very complex poll looking at the the diversity of American opinions across a broad range of issues. The whole thing is long, but worth a read.

An aspect of the poll that really stuck out to me, though, is that one of the few things that Americans of all political stripes can agreed on is that our politicians suck. From Pew:

There are few points on which all the typology groups can agree, but cynicism about politicians is one. Majorities across all eight groups, as well as Bystanders, say elected officials lose touch with the people pretty quickly.

When everyone across the political spectrum is this cynical about our politicians, the problem probably isn’t just our current batch of elected officials, but that design of the system itself.

I can’t promise my preferred set of structural reforms would improve the situation, but here goes:

  • A larger number of Congressional seats;
  • Eliminate or fix the Senate;
  • Election rules, like proportional representation or “instant runoff” voting, that would allow people to vote for a greater variety of viable political parties and reduce negative campaigns;
  • Public campaign financing to reduce the pressure for politicians to sell out.

Like I said, I can’t promise these make it better, but given how bad it has gotten, it is hard to believe they could make it worse.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is now living in the Washington DC area. He created a politics and policy blog, The Walker Report (http://jwalkerreport.blogspot.com/).