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The Mechanics
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Illinois Mon Aug 31 2009

What Elections Are Actually Good For

You know, I don't really believe the idea that a competitive electoral race is a good idea because it can make the candidates more liberal or conservative depending on their challenger. I mean at best it's only a temporary shift. Once the politician gets elected (especially in the Senate), there's no more pressure to appeal to a liberal or conservative base and there's plenty of time to work toward the actual agenda, not the agenda that won the election.

But I do think that elections do have their value, as Rich Miller of The Capitol Fax Blog argues today in The SouthtownStar. Miller argues that Illinois State Comptroller Dan Hynes' challenge to Governor Patrick Quinn is a good thing because it will at least sharpen Quinn's campaign skills. I think Miller is making too big a leap of how popular Quinn is but that's beside the point, he's on to something with the campaigns. The difference between learning to campaign better and moving farther on the political spectrum during the campaign season is that the result is only actually real with campaigns, not with policy stances. The better campaigning can't be faked, the becoming more liberal or conservative can be.

(Crossposted)

 
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Feature

Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

Civics

Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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