Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The GOP built a majority the way Anton Cermak did in Chicago. A referendum.

Anton Cermak built the Chicago Democratic Organization -- a mix of rival ethnic groups still loyal to Republicans -- by putting referenda on the city ballot every mayoral election, asking voters if they supported a repeal of Prohibition. And the Irish, the Polish, the Czechs, the Italians, they all shared the same cultural background in resenting the Protestant imposition of Prohibition on their way of life. So they came out to vote in droves, often triggered by the referendum, and voted in the Democratic Mayor Cermak.

The Republicans did something similar this time with 11 (11!) statewide referenda on gay marriage and gay civil unions. And all 11 of them won (meaning they prohibited either marriage of civil unions for gays). And they all brought people out that almost certainly voted for Bush.

We liberals tried something similar, as we had two statewide referenda raising the minimum wage to $6 and change, and indexed those to inflation, on the Florida and Nevada ballots. They likely brought out some Democratic voters, but even better, they both passed. So a majority of voters in both Florida and Nevada decided they wanted to raise the minimum wage and they wanted Bush to serve another four years. A touch of cognitive dissonance.

No comments: