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Sen. Wendy Davis: Average Voters are Shut Out of Political Process

by Chad Peace, published
All the hoopla in Texas right now is over state Senator Wendy Davis and her now famous filibuster of the Texas Legislature's push to end abortions in the state. While the issue of "women's rights" and "women's health" is surely and important one, and one that has predominated the headlines, the most fundamental political issue was addressed by Wendy Davis at the end of her interview with Rachel Maddow … and it has nothing to do with abortion.

As Davis points out, the reason why issues like abortion have risen to the contentious political debate and divided the country is that because of election laws like redistricting and partisan primaries that have taken away the power of a meaningful vote from regular people. The laws have been crafted to ensure that whoever wins the Republican primary in a Republican district wins the election, and vice versa.

As a consequence, real elections occur in the primary, where highly partisan, active, and often single-issue focused groups dominate the discussion.

As Wendy Davis put it, "all of the election conversations are taking place at primaries where these issues don't come to the surface." She's right.

While abortion, gay rights, taxes, gun control, and every other hot topic are important, what we really need is electoral reform. Make it so the average voter has a meaningful vote in the electoral process once again, and a better and more robust national dialogue will follow.

Watch the Video Starting at 6:30

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