Believe it or not, I don’t study Maryland much for my day job as a political scientist. Read my analysis on Catalonia in the Monkey Cage blog in the Washington Post.
Notwithstanding separatist leader Carles Puigdemont’s dramatic flight to Brussels, Catalonia’s fade from American headlines gives the impression that normalcy is gradually returning to the region in the wake of the ousting of the region’s separatist government by the Spanish central government.
Appearances are deceiving. New regional elections are scheduled for December 21 and the electoral system may yet again manufacture a separatist majority in a manner eerily parallel to the electoral college. In other words, what Catalonia has just gone through might well be the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end.
Today, I am testifying at the House Ways and Mean Committee in favor of a bill sponsored by Chair Sheila Hixson (D-20) and Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-20) to establish a Blue Ribbon Commission on Voting, Openness, Transparency and Equality (VOTE). My opinion piece in today’s Baltimore Sun explains why:
It makes sense to get on the off ramp instead of heading directly into the blockages that plague the federal level. Reforms to the electoral system have the potential to encourage cooperation even as we respect the partisan differences that render our democracy vibrant. Happily, many of these changes can also encourage participation.
Capitol Hill looks like dysfunction junction. Let’s take a look at possible changes that could help prevent Annapolis from following that route.
The Committee for Montgomery, a broad-based alliance of business, labor, education, civic and community-based organizations played a key role in developing the ideas behind this bill.
Luke Broadwater of the Baltimore Sun has written a piece analyzing the Currie-Griffith Senate race in Prince George’s. St Mary’s Prof. Todd Eberly and I agree that Currie’s censure won’t prevent him from winning another term:
[Del. Melony] Griffith “has a chance, because of what has happened with Currie over the past few years,” says Todd Eberly, an assistant professor of political science at St. Mary’s College. “But I suspect in the end, it isn’t enough for his constituents to say to him, ‘It’s time to pack it in.’ He’s known as someone with tremendous seniority who has delivered for the district.”