Category Archives: Democracy Reform

Is “Ward Courtesy” Likely to Happen with SMDs?

Chris Bradford over at Austin Contrarian – the inspiration for this humble blog – argues that SMDs will institutionalize planning and zoning parochialism: Council members whose districts will not be affected ┬ádirectly will have an incentive to defer to the … Continue reading

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What does empirical political science tell us about single-member districts?

In Austin, SMD proponents claim that a new electoral scheme will (1) improve the delivery of public services by creating geographic representation, (2) increase the proportion of Latinos elected to the City Council, and (3) address relatively low voter turnout … Continue reading

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Why is empowering low-information partisans bad, exactly?

Over at Burnt Orange Report, there’s a discussion afoot about the pros and cons of moving our May municipal election to November. No one seems to dispute that the number of people voting for local office holders would increase if … Continue reading

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