David Schleicher Guest-Blogging:

I'm delighted to say that we'll be joined this coming week by Prof. David Schleicher from George Mason University School of Law (say, haven't I heard of that law school before?). Prof. Schleicher teaches local government law and civil procedure, and writes about these things as well as his main focus, election law.

A few months ago, I read Prof. Schleicher's fascinating Why Is There No Partisan Competition in City Council Elections? The Role of Election Law, 23 J. L. & Politics 419 (2007), and thought our readers would enjoy learning about Prof. Schleicher's arguments -- arguments about why big city local elections do not feature much partisan competition, and about why this is a problem for scholarly understandings of how parties operate, for localism, and for cities themselves. I'm much looking forward to Prof. Schleicher's posts.

Interesting topic. Personally I would prefer partisan elections for municipal races. Without parties it is much harder to get information on candidates and their positions.

Much vague understanding is that the non-partisan system was part of the Progressive reforms (that along with at-large elections and other reforms) were instituted to break machines and reduce corruption and the influence of (non-WASP) ethnic and racial groups.
12.6.2008 11:08am
therut (mail):
Same thing happens in small towns in Arkansas. The State is basically a one party state still. A lot of Conservatives run as Democrats cause of tradition. The county I work in had NOT one Republician vote in local races in the primaries. But come general election the state goes Republician for President most of the time. Clinton ran as a Conservative. If anyone knew he would pass gun control laws he would have had a hard time being Governor much less ever becoming President. He fooled the "folks".
12.6.2008 11:41am
Washington State now (thanks to a vote of the citizenry) has general elections composed of the two candidates who got the most votes, regardless of party. In Seattle, this means that all of them are liberals or worse.
12.6.2008 7:26pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):

Washington State now (thanks to a vote of the citizenry) has general elections composed of the two candidates who got the most votes, regardless of party. In Seattle, this means that all of them are liberals or worse.

And thanks to the State for fighting the lawsuits where both parties sued the state.

And thanks to Justice Thomas's opinion and the justices who joined with him on it :-).

However, I would be interested in what professor Schleicher thinks of the Washington election system since it heavily cuts down on partisanship.
12.7.2008 2:37pm
David Schleicher (mail):
Einhverfr -- I'm not going to spend too much (or really any) time discussing my thoughts on blanket primaries (and systems designed to recreate blanket primaries, like the Washington State system) as there's a lot to cover with this paper. But, if you or anyone else is interested in my thoughts on the subject (fwiw, I think they are a bad idea), you can look at my paper "Politics as Markets Reconsidered"

12.7.2008 6:06pm
David Schleicher (mail):
Whoops that was supposed to contain a link to the paper
12.7.2008 6:09pm

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