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10-Mar-2018 11:44

To be dispassionate about these very serious allegations for the moment, it is clear that such information in the current climate regarding sexual harassment and misconduct in the past of powerful men creates a serious political problem for the Republican Party.

This is especially true since Moore was already a controversial political figure.

It belongs to Moore because of the way major US parties nominate their candidates and the candidate-centric nature of the laws governing that process. In simple terms, it means that the parties cannot actually behave as a coherent representative body of citizen preferences, at least not in the way other parties around the world are able to do.

It also means that voters are driven into binary choices. if one cannot understand how a social conservative could still vote for Moore, remember that many of them think that abortion is representative of a contemporary holocaust and they know that Doug Jones (the Democratic nominee) is pro-choice, and Moore is decidedly anti-abortion.

If Moore was to quit tomorrow, his name would remain on the ballot as the Republican nominee.

It should also be noted that independent candidates have to file to be on the ballot prior to the primary, meaning losers in the primary cannot run an independent campaign (see § 17-9-3, paragraph a.3).

If one is a voter who truly believes Moore will prevent the murder of the innocent, and Jones will promote it, then it is not irrational to cast a ballot for Moore (nor it is hard to understand how that voter will seek to rationalize the accusations as “fake news” or somesuch).

Note, too, that a lot of social conservatives have deep opposition to same sex marriage, and Jones favors it, while Moore was willing to lose a seat on the state Supreme Court over the issue.

What Primaries do is to deprive parties, as organized entities, of their vital role in nominating candidates, and by extension, weaken the disciplining authority of party leaders.–Taylor, Shugart, Lijphart, and Grofman (2014), This is what we are currently seeing in the case of Roy Moore’s nomination and the controversy surrounding allegations he engaged in sexual conduct with a 14 year-old when he was 32 (and allegations he dated teenagers on several occasions during that period).

Indeed, the piece itself does a poor job of arguing its case, as it cites examples of party failure to assert control over party label (e.g, the Democrat’s inability to block Roland Burris from being appointed to fill Obama’s seat–which isn’t even a nomination example, and the GOP’s trials and tribulations with Todd Akin).

It does cite a case in which Dick Cheney was able to assert influence over a race in 2002.

The parties are decided nonhierarchical and this in formalized in the rules that dictate who gets to have the “Republican Party” or “Democratic Party” appended to their name on ballot.

As such, we are seeing how our institutional have been designed and they are functioning as we should expect.

Overall, though, the evidence presented actually argues against the alleged thesis of the piece.



Archives and past articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and… continue reading »


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Democrats and Republicans have both had hypocritical responses to the outpouring of sexual misconduct allegations… continue reading »


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