Tag Archives: Voting

How America Ruined Its Own Election System, and How to Fix It

This is a topic I’ve been hoping to someday write extensively on, and the truth is I’m not quite ready to do so. But I have an observation that is so startling and so much in line with my thinking on this issue that I thought I’d share it as a way of introducing the topic, as I continue to think about it and collect data. Continue reading How America Ruined Its Own Election System, and How to Fix It

Falsehood: “Voters are kept from political involvement by the rules”

Voting is not party involvement.

We hear a lot of talk these days about “voters” being repressed in their attempt to be involved in the Democratic primary process. There may be something to that, and it might be nice to make it easier for people to wake up on some (usually) Tuesday morning and go and vote in a Democratic or Republican primary or visit a caucus. But there is a difference between a desire for a reform and the meaningful understanding of that reform — why we want it, how to do it, and what it will get us — that makes it important to do what we Anthropologists sometimes call “problemetizing the concept.”

We can start with the statement that in the primary system, “Voters should not be kept from involvement by rules that make it impossible for them to engage in the democratic (small “d”) process.” That sentence seems reasonable, even important, and is essentially a call for open, instead of closed, primaries, or in some cases, for replacing a caucus with a primary. Continue reading Falsehood: “Voters are kept from political involvement by the rules”

Saudi Arabia Takes An Important Step Towards the 20th Century

The Medieval Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a relatively progressive King, apparently. He decided that women would be allowed to vote. This is a good thing, but it does remind us of how backwards a nation can be. And makes us wonder if a country like Saudi Arabia should have ever been allowed in the UN to begin with.

From the wp:

Saudi King Abdullah announced Sunday that the nation’s women will gain the right to vote and run as candidates in local elections to be held in 2015 in a major advancement for the rights of women in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.

In an annual speech before his advisory assembly, or Shura Council, the Saudi monarch said he ordered the step after consulting with the nation’s top religious clerics, whose advice carries great weight in the kingdom.

Abdullah said the changes announced Sunday would also allow women to be appointed to the Shura Council, the advisory body selected by the king that is currently all-male.

Note that only local elections were mentioned. Women in Saudi Arabia still can’t drive, and are liable to be sentenced to death if they are raped, etc. etc. But this is an important step in the right direction.