Category Political Science

What Would Multiparty Democracy in RI Look Like?

What if Rhode Island actually had five political parties instead of two?

The “Stop Guilt by Accusation Act” Episode Demonstrates Everything Wrong About the Legislative Process in RI

The way legislation gets passed in Rhode Island is deeply dysfunctional.

How Long Are RI’s Legislators in Office and What Gets Them Out?

Term limit advocates mean well, but the solution is no substitute for competitive elections.

The Troubling Nature of 38 Studios and RI Politics

One of things that’s troubled me in the release of the 38 Studios documents is that beyond Corso’s failure to register as a lobbyist, the deal doesn’t appear to have been done illegally. Speaker Fox, Rep. Constantino, and Governor Carcieri pushed for it, Stokes and the EDC made it happen, Schilling took the money and then […]

Can Term Limits Save Rhode Islander Democracy?

One of the ideas I’ve seen thrown out in the wake of Speaker Fox being charged and pleading guilty for “bribery, wire fraud and filing a false tax return,” is the idea of term limits for state legislators. But there’s a reason I didn’t include it in my last post. Reflexively, it seems like a good idea. […]

March on Washington

There’s No “Best Way to Protest”

News out of Boston about Black Lives Matter protesters blockading a highway has led to State Senator Leonidas Raptakis (D – Coventry, West Greenwich, East Greenwich) to decide he’ll introduce a bill that “will ensure that individuals who interfere with the safety of others on roadways and highways will face legal consequences.” We should note that […]

Independent Man RI

What We Know About the Impact of Unaffiliated Voters in Rhode Island

Not much, really. Katherine Gregg has a short bit in yesterday’s Providence Journal Political Scene about the change in unaffiliated voter proportions from 2010 to 2014. And while it’s interesting that unaffiliateds were a greater proportion of primary voters in 2014 than in 2010, this fact doesn’t really tell us much. First, definition of terms. In Rhode Island, […]

Gina Raimondo

Political Labels Come Down to Authenticity

I’m amused by the debate over whether Gina Raimondo counts as “progressive” as highlighted by Ed Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick’s right that it “depends on what your meaning of the word ‘progressive’ is.” Numerous writers within Rhode Island such as Mark Gray, Steve Alqhuist, Bob Plain, Justin Katz, Andrew Tillett-Saks, and myself, have all taken cracks at definitions […]

Off-Cycle Elections and Public Employee Compensation

A lot of people were interested in this Seth Masket article “How Low Voter Turnout Helps Public Employees” over in Pacific Standard Magazine (if you don’t read Masket, I suggest you do, either at Pacific Standard or at the political science blog Mischiefs of Faction). Masket points to research by UC Berkeley professor Sarah Anzia that the […]

Journal interactive example 4

How to Mislead (Unintentionally) With An Interactive Graph

One of the fun things about the WPRI/Providence Journal poll is the way the two media organizations represent the poll with interactive graphics. I generally tweet my criticisms when the polling comes out, and this year, except for one minor hiccup, I’m pretty impressed with how WPRI displayed the polling. The key thing is that […]