House Bill 1164 passed the Senate Monday on a party line vote, 18-17.
This is a bill having to do with district elections not overseen by county clerks. If passed, this bill would gut citizen oversight of district elections.
Democrats support this bill. Republicans do not.
Venture capitalists often ask an entrepreneur, “What is your permanent competitive advantage?” Answers include geography, patents, and special talents unavailable elsewhere.
In politics, a permanent competitive advantage can come from many sources. A relatively benign example is the granting by the state of a copyright. From a libertarian view “economic rent seeking”, that is, the use of government to give certain people economic advantages over others by passing laws is a bad bad thing.
Other advantages might be to restrict certain voters from voting. Not permitting women to vote granted men a political and cultural advantage.
Another not-so-benign advantage is the ability to shut out poll watchers from elections. “It’s not how people voted that count but who counts the votes that matters,” is and accurate and oft-repeated sentiment. Any political entity that can decide elections will have a permanent political advantage. That is why the deeply flawed House Bill 1164 is so contentious: It’s about institutionalizing a permanent political advantage.
At this week’s lunch I’d like to delve into the theory of who should get the voting franchise. I’d also like to discuss if and when the use of violence is justified if a political institution makes it such that voting is massively unfair.