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The Switch

By now you have heard that Arlen Specter made a party allegiance switch.

Which, as someone who tends to lean more Democratic than Republican, I see as sort of a good thing. (If he can do it, maybe more people will…)

But as a regular Jane voter type person this bothers me.

Specter’s Pennsylvania constituents voted in a Republican Senator.

They no longer have one.

Now, I read that there was a large change in the demographic of the PA voters recently… but that is beyond the point.

Let me say again:

Specter’s Pennsylvania constituents voted in a Republican Senator.

They no longer have one.

He was hired by the people of his state to hold a particular position. One that he can no longer hold.

Shouldn’t he have resigned and ran again? Or something?


Or do you think this is the case of the people voting in the man and not the party and therefore no matter what colored tie he wears, he can still properly represent the people who voted him in?

Yes, I think people have the right to claim (or not claim) any political party they wish.

But I also think that if you change sides, you owe it to the people who voted you in to let them revaluate if they really want you representing them.

Should Specter have been allowed to switch? Sure… but not mid term, and not without some sort of response from the voters.

I know that if one of the CA Senators decided to switch parties, it would bug the snot out of me. I can only imagine what the PA people are thinking.

… just my two cents.


david mcmahon said...

Came here from Mojo's site. Swapping parties has always intrigued me as a political weapon or ploy.

Espousing one set of policies shouldn't be so easy to replace with another, diametrically opposite, set of policies!!

Jay said...

I think it would be great if people had to resign from office to switch parties. Then they could run again in a special election and the voters could decide if they are okay with this or not.

Steve Shaw said...

I don't really see anything wrong with what he did. I imagine that his policies have remained the same despite his change in parties and I'd hope it was his policies that mattered more to the electorate than the letter attached to his name. Plus he can probably get more done for his constituents now that he is rolling with the party in power so I'm sure the voters will forgive him for his change of heart.

Jrod said...

From a report I read, the reason why he switched is that he's facing strong opposition in the primary and felt that it would be difficult to win. Yes, we do vote for a person independent of their party affiliation, but to me that speaks of self preservation than reliance on the people who voted for him in the first place.

Anthroslug said...

I have to agre with Steve Shaw. While this does seem strange or disrespectful to the voters, if they were voting for the party rather than the individual whose policies they support, then this is another problem altogether.

Part of the reason why this is possible is because the parties are not in any way supported by the constitution, and such organizations were viewed with suspicion by the founders. Likely, the people who set up our government would be delighted by this and would probably like to see it happen more often.

Kay said...

I guess if he had gotten elected/hired as a Senator from PA who happened to be Republican, I would concede the point.

But he wasn’t. He was elected/hired to be a Republican Senator from PA… which he isn’t anymore.

Ideally, yes, I think that it should be more about policies and such, but the fact is that in our current party system whether he is Republican or Democrat matters in terms of what he does and doesn’t do in office.

Again, I think he had the right to switch parties… I just think the people of PA should have gotten to decide if they still want him to represent them or not.