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Making politics more local?

Like many other American citizens I am not satisfied with much of our political process. How do we end up with so much junk in politics? Each major election we are asked to vote for folk we don't know into positions of power. We try and make value judgments based on what is really to little information (or too little truth).

I admit (in part) to making the problem worse. At one time (or more?) we were asked if we wanted to make more positions elected, and I voted in favor. It sounded like a good idea at the time. Fewer chances for political appointees in exchange for favors (usually dirty). The result is ballots with long lists of names - far too many to look at closely.

Back in 1776 the population of the US was about 2.5 million. That means each member of the 435 member House of Representatives (assuming the number was the same then?) would represent about 5800 people (and less than 1000 voters). With numbers like that my small local suburb would get three representatives. Odds are I would know a lot more about the folk wanting to be my local representative.

There are two political figures I have seen locally. In both cases the first-hand impression gathered seems to have proved accurate.

Maybe the main failing of our country's founders was in not accounting for the effect of massive population growth. Maybe what we lack is true local representation. What if we could vote for one representative who would represent 5-10 thousand people to city, state, and federal government? Certainly we would be far more likely to know something of the character of our representative. Before we had to elect separate representatives for city, state, and federal government - as each had to physically travel to a different place to perform their role, and travel took a lot longer.

Could a Congress with 30,000 representatives actually work?

Pulling back a bit - even local city governments seem to have a fair amount of funny business. Are we seeing another example of the same problem - too few truly local representatives? The writer below is talking about Santa Ana, a city of at least 340,000 people.

Pulido fears ward-specific elections because he doesn't want to lose power The truth about ward-specific elections is that they allow ANYBODY to make a reasonable run at the city council. That is what Ream and Pulido fear the most. Up until this year they have absolutely controlled most of the outcomes of our local elections by raising thousands of dollars from special interests and public employee unions and electing only those who agree to be Pulido hacks. This year we figured out, inadvertently, how to defeat the Pulido puppets by splitting the vote. Never again will Pulido be able to use his machine to keep us down. If we can pass a ward-specific ballot measure, we will be able to make sure that henceforth only those who are truly known in their wards, and in the city, will be able to prevail. Pulido won't be able to elect carpetbaggers from Huntington Beach, and empty suits who do nothing to improve the city or their neighborhoods.

All we are asking is that the voters be allowed to decide for themselves if they want ward-specific city council elections. What are Pulido and Ream afraid of? They are afraid of losing power. And yet that is coming to pass anyway...