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What St. Louis’ Political Scene Needs

March 16, 2005 Politics/Policy 2 Comments

I’ve decided since my election that I am going to take a more active role in politics – not just focusing on urban design issues. The best thing we can do for our system is to ditch the so-called partisan elections. Why do we both calling ourselves Democrats?

Everyone in town that has any hopes of getting elected, with a few exceptions, is a Democrat. We’ve got your liberal gay pro-choice Democrats, your conservative pro-life Democrats and everything in between. In any other city the latter group would call themselves Republicans.

My late grandmother was a Democrat. Didn’t matter who was running, she was voting Democrat. Only if the devil himself were as a Democrat against Oral Roberts as a Republican might she have considered not voting a straight Democratic ticket. This is what we have, for the most part, in St. Louis.

So, if everyone is running as a Democrat why do we need to even bother with having party affiliation. I say we do away with the party affiliations for all City and City-County elected officials. This would certainly simplify the election process, we’d no longer need a Democrat & Republican judges.

We’d actually vote on people not based on their years working the Democratic ward system but on the person. Yes, I know – radical concept. Voting on someone based on their ideas.

I haven’t the slightest idea what it would take to make all these elected offices non-partisan. Presumably a change in City ordinances for some and possibly a change in the City’s Charter for the “county” offices. Most likely it will not come to pass but it is nice to think about. Thoughts?

– Steve


Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Matt says:

    Good idea, I’ve often thought about this too. I’ve always dislike that a person can not get elected just because they are running as a Republican, Independant, or whatever other party they can think of, solely because they are not Democrats. I have no problem with Democrats being elected, just as I have no problem with a Republican being elected, as long as they are for the issues that I agree with. I can’t stand straight party tickets. Getting rid of the party system in St. Louis would probably really help the city to advance.

  2. Brian says:

    Another option is for progressives to take over the Green ticket from fringe candidates, maybe targeting central-corridor and near southside wards to build momentum. But of course, going against straight-ticket D-loyalists remains an uphill battle.

    But the realistic option within our one-party town is to take over the ward organizations with true progressives but without the divisive results of the 15th. With term limits on state reps, there is an opening to take over these influential positions first within Dem primaries (i.e. Mott-Oxford) before tackling the ward org’s, and then finally the aldermen.

    [Taking over the existing ward committees is far more realistic than my suggestion of eliminating the party affilication for elected officials. Of course the risk is once the progressives how power they will cease to be as progressive and simply create a younger version of the current system.
    – Steve]


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