Sunday, August 29, 2004


An interesting article from Voice of America discussing the Illinois Senate Race and why Americans care about "carpetbagging" when people in other countries with other systems of government don't:
[Michael Krassa, a Political Science professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne] says in many parliamentary systems, like the ones in western Europe, voters take a "national" approach to the idea of representation. They expect their leaders to look out for the interests of the nation as a whole. But in a federal system, like the one in the United States, voters tend to take a more local, or even personal, approach to representation. Theoretically, everyone in Congress is looking out for the interests of the nation. But voters here also expect their leaders to exhibit special loyalty to the states and districts they represent, getting tax breaks and roads and defense contracts for the people who live there. And the feeling is that in order to have that loyalty, a person has to have lived in the state he represents.