When you go to the polls this year, you’ll no doubt want lots of good choices to vote for. But the two major political parties are doing everything possible to make sure you don’t get much choice at all. They want the 2000 elections to be a real yawner.
For one thing, both parties are begging long-serving members not to retire. Why? Well, as even the anti-term limits Washington Post admits: “Congressional incumbents are almost impossible to dislodge.”
In congressional elections, with only rare exceptions, competitive elections are open seat elections where there is no incumbent titling the playing field their direction. Election analysts say Republicans may have three opportunities in the open seats. Democrats have a shot at seven, maybe eight seats. There are 435 House seats up for grabs. Only 2 to 3 percent are competitive. In 1998, virtually every congressional incumbent was re-elected 98.5 percent of them.
With all the advantages of incumbency, they usually aren’t even seriously challenged. No wonder fewer and fewer people even care to vote. There’s little to nothing to vote for. No wonder career politicians don’t care uncompetitive elections mean they stay in power. That’s why when we voters DO get an opportunity to take part in a competitive election, we need to make certain we don’t send just another politician to Washington who will become part of the stay-in-power-forever club. That’s nothing but a yawner.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.