Bring Back Annual Elections

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I’m not big on democracy, but sometimes it can work reasonably well, as it does in Switzerland, or when it can be used to do things like force the government to somewhat legalize marijuana, as in Colorado.

It is also true that politicians hate elections. A seat in the US Senate is so coveted because a six-year term is basically a license to do whatever you want. The voters will reliably forget what you did five years ago. Heck, they’ll forget what you did last year. Politicians hate having to hide their utter contempt for the voters, and they hate having to answer questions and even be in the same room with people who aren’t buying them free drinks at some DC bar.

So, why not make them run for office constantly? We’re already in a perpetual election cycle as is. We could have easily had 3 or 4 elections since Romney began his campaign back in 2009.

Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, state and colonial legislatures frequently employed annual elections. The 6-year term in the US senate was opposed as “an appointment for life.”

No longer. Now, our betters tell us, we need long terms to that politicians can function “above” politics and make rational decisions without having to worry what the voters think. Indeed, presidents often tout how they told the voters to get lost. George Bush, for example, bragged that he prosecuted the Iraq War over the objections of the voters. Obama ran a political ad bragging that he supported the auto company bailout in spite of its unpopularity. Yes, clearly politicians need to be free from all that voter meddling.

People who think that fewer elections will produce better results are free to explain to me how the U.S. Senate is so much better than the House on taxes and spending.

9:03 am on November 8, 2012