Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Is Political Representation A Two-Way Street? Does, For Example, Apathetic Houston Merit Municipal Representation?


This is part of an occasional Texas Liberal series called “Central Questions.”  

Is political representation a “two-way street?” Can a group of voters, or a group of citizens who do not vote, perform their civic duties so poorly that they no longer merit representation?

Here in Houston, for one example, our Mayor and City Council members are limited to three two-year terms. A condition of employment for these officials is acceptance of the fact that your employers, the citizens of Houston, do not trust you beyond a certain point.

Why would someone want that job?

Further, voter turnout in Houston for municipal elections is terrible. Runoffs for council seats have been know to attract between 5% and 10% of voters. Even on General Municipal Election Day, most citizens do not vote.

If people don’t care who represents them, why bother to run?

If the question seems abstract, and there’s nothing wrong with abstract, it might be said that by limiting Council terms and not voting, citizens do, in fact, cede municipal representation to large money donors and interest groups who, for whatever reasons, are involved in the process.

In this way, maybe the “abstract” question does lead to a solid, and distressing, answer.

Above is a “big picture” way to look at Houston.

September 21, 2007 - Posted by | Best Posts July-Dec. 2007, Central Questions, Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Politics


  1. its summed up in a episode of south park where the coices in an election were a terd and douche bag. I cant remember who one like most politcal races in cincinnati. when you are to pick between a terd and douche bag whats the difference, there are better folks to run but they dont care or dont have the time. Neil that is why you should run because you do care and you can make the time. i just try to care but really cant wait to see the planet go up in flames or sink.

    Comment by brady | September 24, 2007

  2. wow i need to double check my spelling! shit

    Comment by brady | September 24, 2007

  3. […] Mr. Wales any more or less serious than the process of how we elect our city officials in Houston with silly six year term limits and terrible turnout? I think Mr. Wales might in fact be somewhat […]

    Pingback by A Socialist & Outlaw Josey Wales—A Few Words Of Consideration For Houston’s Mayoral Contenders « Texas Liberal | October 31, 2007

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