06.04.13

Texas sits squarely at the bottom of the political participation barrel

Posted in Around The State, Elections at 4:19 pm by wcnews

“I’m going to be real honest with you, the Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they’re going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”
- Dallas Tea Party activist Ken Emanuelson, 2013

“Now many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome — good government. They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”
- Paul Weyrich talking to a conservative Christian audience in 1980.

Whether 1980 or 2013 the so-called “conservatives” know that their best bet to win elections is to do what they can to keep turnout low. Whether through apathy, intimidation, or disenfranchisement it doesn’t matter how, just so long as turnout stays low.

A new study from the by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, called the Texas Civic Health Index shows that the plan is working well in Texas. Via the Texas Tribune, Civic Engagement and the Future of Texas.

As the 83rd Texas Legislature winds down, the future of public education, water infrastructure, and other critical problems hangs in the balance. These issues and others will directly impact our pocketbooks, our quality of life, and the future of the nation’s second-largest state. Yet few Texans participated in sending these legislators to Austin to pass laws on our behalf.

In fact, Texas sits squarely at the bottom of the political participation barrel.

The state’s dynamic growth is bringing serious policy challenges. Meeting these challenges will require the public’s involvement. Expert research and common sense both strongly suggest that a society lacking in citizen participation is more prone to inefficiency, corruption, and unresponsive government. When close to 64 percent of voting age citizens choose to sit on the sidelines, that inaction allows an active minority of citizens to drive decisions that affect the majority.

Does that ring a bell or what! The complete study can be read here.

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