Who do you think better represents voters? A candidate who runs for office against tough opponents every year, or one who gets re-elected year after year without any opponent? If you think it’s better for candidates to compete to earn your vote, we’ve got some bad news: in Massachusetts state government, most of our representatives never have to do that.
In the last election, 54% of candidates for our legislature ran unopposed, and a staggering 99% of incumbents were re-elected. It’s a big part of the reason why public trust in government is at historically low levels - a recent poll showed only 19% of people trust government “all or most of the time.”
Competition is good. Whether in business or sports or school, when there's no competition it's human nature to get complacent and lazy. In politics, elected officials who know they are guaranteed to be re-elected aren't going to do as good of a job representing the people as those who know they have to earn it.
The good news is that with a little effort this kind of system can be changed. It's the story of every start-up company that took on the big guys and won - and it's exactly what we are doing here at the United Independent Party.
So what do you think?
Do you think your government represents you well? Do you think more competition would make our system better?