For all the attention it receives, electoral democracy is really quite pathetic. Case in point: Today voters here in the District of Columbia go to the polls to select party candidates for city council and members of Congress. “Wait a minute,” some of you might say, “D.C. doesn’t have any voting members of Congress!” Quite right. There is a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives, which is on today’s ballot — although there is only one Democrat and no Republican candidate. But there are also offices labeled “U.S. Representative” and “U.S. Senator.” These are, of course, not government-sanctioned legislators, but unpaid lobbying posts created by the D.C. government to highlight the lack of voting congressional representation.
D.C. is filled with powerless, unpaid elected officials. There’s a “state” board of education — whose power was stripped and given to the mayor and his lackeys — as well as hundreds of “advisory neighborhood commissioners,” who longingly aspire to Barack Obama’s onetime career of “community organizer.” Come to think of it, a government of unpaid officials with no actual power sounds like a pretty good model.
Alas, there are D.C. elected officials with genuine destructive powers, namely the mayor and the 13-member council. Like any successful democracy, D.C. is a one-party state (well not a “state,” but you know what I mean.) Democrats have a virtual monopoly on elected offices. There are two non-Democrats on the Council who are quite literally affirmative action appointments. Congress reserved two of the Council’s four at-large seats for people who don’t run as Democrats. The results are a Republican who has held the seat as her personal fiefdom for nearly two decades, and a man who ran as a Republican, only to discover the party didn’t welcome homosexuals like him, so he conveniently declared himself an “independent.” Both council members vote in lockstep with the 11 Democrats.