It’s no secret that sometimes we elect leaders that are just kind of … well … out there. And by out there, we mean WAY out there. Like everything they say can and will be used against them in an SNL skit. So how does this happen? How do we end up with representatives that don’t really represent the population?

Unlike aliens, radical politicians are actually from Earth

Unlike aliens, radical politicians are actually from Earth

Well, first off, we as a people need to accept responsibility for electing these people. We have nobody to blame but ourselves. But, you might contend, we picked the lesser of the two evils in the general election. That may be, but that means you enabled a radical to emerge from the primary contest. And that is why this ultimately boils down to a question of voter turnout, and involvement.

Nobody denies that America has a voter turnout problem, and this problem is most visible at the primary levels, in which only the most partisan voters vote. Let us take the example of this year’s Republican primary contest. Governor Mitt Romney had to travel very far off to the right, going so far as to call himself  “severely conservative”, in order to satisfy the partisans that vote in the Republican primaries. Then he had to swim back to the center during the general election in order to have a chance to win. All the while without making it look like he was switching positions. This is a symptom of our problem: pragmatic, middle of the line candidates cannot survive primary contests.

This can only be changed if people decide they will vote in their primary elections, and will ensure that both general election candidates represent centrist views and retain the ability to compromise with the other side. At the end of the day, we need choices. We need Republicans that Democrats can see themselves voting for, and we need Democrats that Republicans can vote for. And this can only happen if the candidates produced by these two parties are not diametrically opposed to each other, but rather represent subtle policy differences – honest differences aimed not to rally bases, but to help America move forward.

And now, for your viewing pleasure:

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This is a funny looking horse. Try not to read too much into it. CalSERVE, the oldest existing student political party on campus, has announced that they will not be running any executive candidates in the upcoming ASUC elections.

The move is a little perplexing, given that the party currently holds two of the five executive positions. And while they’ve had a rough two years following it, they swept all four of the partisan executive positions for the 2008-2009 school year.

They are also, it should be noted, one of the two major parties in the campus’s esteemed political system read more »