Articles

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  • The Big Question: Will corporate money change campaigns?

    • Posted: May 13, 2011

    Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer insight into Citizens United v. FEC

  • Goodbye, Granny D

    • Posted: May 13, 2011

     

    Remembering the inspiring life of Doris Haddock, a great-grandmother from New Hampshire who decided, at age 88, to take a stand (and a very long walk) to protect democracy.

     

  • Washington should enact changes to rules governing legislative redistricting

    • Posted: May 13, 2011

     

    One of the most important implications of the U.S. census is its use as a basis for revising the states' legislative and congressional districts. Guest columnists Bill Finkbeiner and Krist Novoselic urge changes in the Washington state law to depoliticize the process and encourage citizen involvement.


     

  • Redistricting need not be political blood sport

    • Posted: May 13, 2011

     

    The trouble begins with two seemingly innocent facts: The Constitution requires a census of the population every 10 years, and the 14th Amendment requires that states and cities redistrict legislative lines so that they have the same number of residents per representative. Such population corrections to district lines might seem relatively benign - a task for a few computer-savvy interns able to move the necessary thousands of people from one district to another based on some reasonable criteria. But redistricting instead has become the worst of political blood sports.

     

  • Gottlieb on Voting

    • Posted: May 13, 2011

    Anthony Gottlieb reviews “Numbers Rule: The Vexing Mathematics of Democracy, from Plato to the Present,” a new book by George Szpiro, a journalist and mathematician. The book—and Gottlieb’s essay—are about a subject that got its teeth around my ankle years ago and refuses to let go: voting systems.

  • Census will reshape Peoria's council districts

    • Posted: May 13, 2011

    Peoria has hired consultant National Demographics Corporation for $57,000 to help with its redistricting process. That will start once new census numbers are released by the February deadline.

  • GOP rolls the dice in 2012 with plurality, winner take all rules

    • Posted: May 13, 2011

    No elected office in the world matters more than the presidency of the United States. Given that reality, it's remarkable that our method of electing it can have such flaws. 

  • A Voting Reform Finds its Moment

    • Posted: May 13, 2011

    In a midterm election that otherwise brought grim news, progressive Oakland city councilwoman Jean Quan scored a stunning upset of Don Perata, described by East Bay Express reporter Robert Gammon as "the East Bay's king of big money campaigns."

  • Opinion: Ranked choice voting making a difference in the Bay Area

    • Posted: March 25, 2011

    While our creaky, 200-year-old democracy continues to rust at national and state levels, the Bay Area has become a hotbed of political reform. San Francisco and Oakland have led the way in passing pioneering reforms like ranked choice voting (also known as instant runoff voting) and public financing of campaigns.

  • How to Avoid the Hamas Problem in Egypt

    • Posted: February 18, 2011

    There is great worry in many quarters that elections in Egypt could result in a polarized government, or even an Islamist takeover. But this need not happen if the electoral rules are constructed to encourage broad representation.