There are some reforms you won’t get anytime soon. Vital reforms such as an end to gerrymandering and publicly financed campaigning. Both I believe are critical to a healthy democracy.
The system right now is designed as an huge incumbent protection plan. Strong candidates can’t compete because the deck is stacked against them, and when they do they are drowned in a flood of cash converted into ads by the incumbent. So you don’t get strong candidates running, who then lose by even more, creating an even bigger hurdle to climb to challenge incumbents.
Reform Ohio now sought to significantly deal with the gerrymandering issue, it failed but at least now people recognize there is a problem. In Ohio I suspect little will be done before the elections as both sides wait and see who controls the apportionment board afterwards.
If Democrats do finally take control you are sure to hear the Republicans howl about the need for reform, and the Democrats are sure to want to redistrict in a way that best suits them.
Publicly financed campaigns are also essential. Let’s face it, our candidates have to act like used car salesmen for the bulk of the campaign. Begging donors to buy and and give them money. Incumbents with a long history also have long lists of donors, challengers have to eek out the best they can.
Worst of all, as we see over and over again, too many of our representatives are bought off with this process and exchange legislation for cash.
Blue 88 has been discussing these reforms, and in fact had literature at the statewide candidates forum about it, and today I note they picked up on a Hill article where Voinovich of all people is warming to the idea.
It’s not going to go anywhere, yet, but if you want to improve our Democracy and government pushing these two reforms should be everyone’s goal, left or right.