03 November 2010

Election 2010

The map above shows the results of the 2010 US mid-term elections for the House of Representatives from CNN, with 13 seats still to be decided.  It is a historic election in many ways, and as significant as the 1994 election.  You see a lot of red in the graph above

Republicans have held more seats in the House in only one Congress (the 80th, 1947-1949) since 1930, with 246 seats (they currently hold 239, with the 13 undecided districts yet to be decided.). Divided government has been the norm much more often than not in recent decades, characterizing 13 of the past 18 Congressional terms (including the forthcoming 112th).

Maybe it is the academic political scientist in me, but irrespective of the political outcomes and the flaws in the process, there is something utterly virtuous in every democratic election.  Of all of the human innovations since fire was tamed, democratic governance has to be at the top of the list. That in itself is something worth celebrating.


  1. I am really not sure that billions of dollars (5.3 billion in 2008) of corporate money in elections has much, or indeeed anything to do with representing the interests of voters. (The last UK election cost a total of 73 million dollars). Especially when it is backed up by massive corporate lobbying between elections. Obama lost because he is a total fraud.

    I had a conversation the other day in which it was agreed that the fight in the 19080s was the people against big business and that they won. They own absolutely everything. Governments, media, international organisations, science, the lot. The slogan for the millions of British protesters against the Iraq war was 'not in my name'. Says it all, really. It made no difference.

    The political system is like a crab, slowly edging to the right thanks to corporate media propaganda. The economic right, because that is all that is important in politics. I am genuinely open to the possibility that it is a good thing for the evolution of the human race. Maybe it is, but there is no point in pretending that there is democracy.

    P.S. I loved it when the American media switched the red and blue parties to disconnect redness from left wing ideology. That was real, brazen cyncism.


    "Political color schemes in the United States diverge from international norms. Since 2000, red has become associated with the right-wing Republican Party and blue with the left-wing Democratic Party. However, unlike political color schemes of other countries, the parties did not choose those colors; they were used in news coverage of 2000 election results and ensuing legal battle and caught on in popular usage"

  2. Politico is reporting that 'over two dozen' House Democrats who voted for cap and trade lost last night. Without a comparison with comparably right-leaning Dems who voted against cap and trade, it's hard to be definitive, but it does seem the bill was somewhat of a millstone around their necks.

    That's particularly poignant since it never even made it to a full Senate vote. The lack of leadership among their party doomed them to having cast an unpopular vote on a measure that had no reasonable hope of becoming law.

  3. it isn't just the number of republicans elected, it is the number of democrats who ran against Obama and his agenda that got elected.

    When you have to run against your leader's policies, you know your leader's policies are toast just waiting for more butter.

    American's are waking up to the fact the governments at all layers have grown hugely and are now a major impediment to their prosperity.

    California is the canary in the American coal mine (sorry for the environmentally incorrect metaphor :)

    Want to know why California is in so much economic trouble, living in IOU's and mounting debt?

    Just look here . . .


    Mind boggling, simply mind boggling. Multiply this by 50 states and mega-multiply it for the Federal government . . . 'nuff said.

  4. Virtuous? Here in Massachusetts, we get to choose which thieves steal our money. That is, indeed a democratic choice, but not exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind. And on about half of my local ballot, there was no opposition. Viva democracy!

    I did get all three referendum questions my way. Sounds good, but this is Massachusetts. The legislature can - and has - simply ignored the outcome of the referendum when they don't like it. Referendum questions in Massachusetts are not binding.

  5. I like divided government. I sometimes decide who to vote for based on a desire to maximize the likelihood of getting a divided government. I think we end up with better legislation that way.

  6. Cap and Trade is dead as well as any climate change legislation.

  7. In-corporated

    Wall Street’s Tea Party

    The Tea Party likes to wrap itself in “grassroots” contempt for wealthy elites, but the 12 leading Tea Party Senate candidates have accepted over $4.6 million in campaign contributions from Wall Street for the upcoming election.

    Despite all the Tea Party rhetoric against big, bad bailouts, the leading candidates have had no problem accepting millions of dollars from Big Finance to further their electoral prospects. Every single candidate has taken money from what the Center for Responsive Politics characterizes as the FIRE lobby—finance, insurance and real estate—a category that includes all of the big financial interests who benefited from the Wall Street bailout.

    A full tally of Wall Street contributions to the Tea Party’s Senate team is below, but some of the Tea Party’s biggest figures have been top recipients: Pennsylvania candidate Pat Toomey, Florida hopeful Marco Rubio and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., have all brought in over $1 million each, while Washington candidate Dino Rossi has pulled in more than $750,000 from Wall Street.


  8. Roger,

    Good line about the CIA at the Purdue forum. "We wouldn't be very happy if the CIA used their influence to support what country we should invade next and began tilting their findings to support it."

    You should add -- and we shouldn't be very happy when the CIA selectively leaks findings and documents in an effort to influence our elections.