Pages tagged "Author sheahan virgin"


Look to Election Rules to Reverse Decline of Political Center

Posted on What's New by Sheahan Virgin on May 11, 2012

U.S. Senators Dick Lugar (R-IN), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Kent Conrad (R-ND) share a history of bipartisan policymaking -- and the reality that they are leaving Congress. With its "the-rules-matter" perspective, FairVote explores the way in which our winner-take-all voting system disadvantages centrist candidates and discourages bipartisanship.

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Primaries Spotlight Sharp Decline in U.S. House Moderates

Posted on What's New by Sheahan Virgin on May 08, 2012

On April 24, two moderate Blue Dog Democrats, Tim Holden and Jason Altmire, lost in Pennsylvania's primary election. They are the latest examples of an accelerating  "no-more-moderates" trend within both major parties. But fair representation of the left, right and center is essential to the health of a democracy. Grounded in its unique the-rules-matter perspective, FairVote explores how winner-take-all voting rules today disadvantage candidates willing to seek bipartisan solutions to problems.

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Snowe-ball Effect: How the Loss of Yet another Congressional Moderate Makes the Case for Election Reform

Posted on What's New by Sheahan Virgin on April 24, 2012

The stunning decision by Olympia Snowe to retire is just the latest example in an alarming series of setbacks for the political center, which is vital to a functioning democracy. What is clear, is that we are living through a period of severe polarization and partisanship, which has had adverse effects on the ranks of moderate politicians. FairVote's unique analysis connects the political center's travails to our damaging winner-take-all election rules and discusses the way in which alternative voting systems could boost moderates like Snowe.

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The 2012 GOP Nomination Contest Affirms Value of New Rules

Posted on What's New by Sheahan Virgin on April 23, 2012

As the 2012 Republican nomination contest effectively ends, FairVote reviews how the Republican Party's new nomination rules improved the process and proposes how to make both major parties can make it better in 2016.

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Congressional Redistricting Matters, and It's Hurting This Country: a Response to Michael Barone

Posted on What's New by Sheahan Virgin on March 22, 2012

Recently, pundit Michael Barone argued in The National Review that redistricting in 2011 has turned out to “matter less than we thought.” But Barone is mistaken, overly concerned about redistricting’s impact on each major party rather its effect on voters already trapped within a troubling winner-take-all framework. Furthermore, Barone is wrong to say that partisan redistricting in 2011 has produced “clean” lines. It has not. With our unique take on redistricting and focus on voters, not political parties, FairVote sets the record straight in its rebuttle to Barone. 

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Egypt and the Winner-Take-All Distortion

After previously explaining the hybrid election system recently used by Egypt in its parliamentary elections, we here analyze how use of winner-take-all elections for many seats distorted fair representation of political views and women. Seats elected by proportional representation provided far more representative results.

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Blame Game: NJ Governor Chris Christie Wrong to Fault RNC's Proportional Rules for Romney's Nomination Travails

Posted on What's New by Sheahan Virgin on February 28, 2012

According to Romney surrogate New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the Republican National Committee’s new rules (which led to more states allocating delegates by proportional representation)—not Mitt Romney and his declining vote shares relative to 2008—are at fault for his candidate’s recent travails. Blaming the rules for one’s poor performance or failure to meet expectations is certainly not a novel political strategy, but Christie’s statement—as we will see—gets a lot wrong. Just ask his state’s voters, which now are far more likely to vote in a meaningful primary.

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Paul vs. Paul

Posted on What's New by Sheahan Virgin on February 13, 2012

Media attention in the 2012 Republican nomination contest is focused on the ace among Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, but it's also instructive to compare Paul to another candidate: himself, circa 2008.

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Rule Breaker: The Florida Republican Primary, Winner-Take-All Allocation, and the Undoing of American Democracy

Posted on What's New by Sheahan Virgin on February 01, 2012

When it comes to presidential elections, Florida has a penchant for controversy. The latest example comes via the 2012 GOP nomination battle: the Sunshine State has caused waves by violating RNC rules barring the use of winner-take-all allocation of delegates in pre-April contests. Winner-take-all is a highly undemocratic, broken system that marginalizes voters and shortchanges the primary process, and the GOP must prevent other states from following Florida's example.

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Romney vs. Romney

Posted on What's New by Sheahan Virgin on February 01, 2012

Media attention in the Republican nomination contest is focused on this year's results for Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum. It's also informative to compare Romney to another candidate: himself, circa 2008. 

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