Friday, August 15, 2014

What If Question: Politics And Government And Copying Nebraska And North Dakota Edition

Students will walk through the classroom door next week. Math problems and essays will be assigned. Young'uns will be enjoined to show their work and support their answers. In order to get back in practice, I came up with the following question:

North Dakota has no voter registration, and Nebraska has a unicameral legislature. Would South Dakota's politics and government be better if the state abolished voter registration and adopted a unicameral legislature? Support your answer.


P&R said...

Different? Yes. Better? No.

The same people would have the money. The same people would have the offices and votes. The same people would be making the decisions. All that would change is the process by which they make those decisions.

A system of governance can only improve things to the extent that it (a) tends to improve the quality of people selected to make decisions; (b) impedes the making of bad decisions by people of whatever quality.

Neither proposal would noticeably affect either (a) or (b).

Kal Lis said...

I chose "better" rather than "different" because I thought "better" might provoke a longer response whereas different would provoke a "who cares"?

To play devil's advocate, would Dems or Libs have a better chance of finding 35 quality candidates rather than 105 for legislature? Also, it strikes me that a single candidate for legislature might not want to run if opposition has 3. Under uni-cam, everyone would be flying solo. I'm enough of a Hegelian to believe that more argument is better than less argument.

You're right that nothing in the proposal will help the problem you present in your point (b). A uni-com may provide an opportunity for more of the loyal opposition to run. In South Dakota, that might improve on the entrenched stagnancy.

I wish my young'uns would attack premises the way you did. Tough thing to teach.