2021-06-26:乔·曼钦对美国选举法案的拟议修改应获得广泛支持

Radically reasonable完全合理

Joe Manchin’s proposed changes to America’s voting laws deserve wide support 乔·曼钦对美国选举法案的拟议修改应获得广泛支持

They would help fix three significant defects in how national elections are run将有助于解决全国选举的三大缺陷

Jun 26th 2021 |

JOE MANCHIN, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, is a paradoxical figure. He has torpedoed many of his party’s most cherished plans, from climate-change legislation to scrapping the Senate filibuster. Yet without that willingness to confound his fellow Democrats, Mr Manchin could not win in a state where Donald Trump took nearly 70% of the vote in November. Democrats owe him their one-vote majority in the Senate, something they are quite fond of.

西弗吉尼亚州民主党参议员乔·曼钦是一个矛盾混合体。从气候变化法案到取消参议院阻挠议事制,很多民主党最重视的法案都因为他的反对而翻了车。但要是没有坚强的意志让民主党同僚摸不清头脑,他也不可能在西弗吉尼亚州赢得选举,11月特朗普曾在这个州拿下了近70%的选票。民主党人应该为他在参议院使用一票多数,而且他们也很喜欢使用这个权利。

As a result, Mr Manchin’s proposal for reforming voting laws is worth taking seriously—all the more so now, given that this week the blockbuster elections bill favoured by most of his party, known as HR1, was sidelined thanks to the filibuster Mr Manchin wants to preserve. His compromise has three main parts: ending gerrymandering, making the registration of voters automatic and requiring some form of identification for people who vote in person.

因此,曼钦修改选举法的提案就值得严肃对待——尤其是现在,考虑到本周民主党多数成员都支持的重大提案选举法草案(称为HR1),因曼钦所支持保留的阻挠议事制度而搁浅。曼钦的妥协提案包括三个主要部分:消除党派选区划分,自动登记选民,以及要求亲自前往投票的选民出示身份证明。

The package is not the wholesale reform of elections that many Democrats favour as an antidote to the chaos unleashed by the losing candidate in last year’s presidential election. But it avoids HR1’s unwise focus on public funding for election campaigns. In the past it would have been hailed as a model of bipartisan wisdom.

这个提案并不是很多民主党人所支持的那种对选举法的全面改革。去年的总统选举中,落选候选人发动了一场大混乱,因此对选举法进行全面改革就被视为解决该问题的一剂良方。但是,HR1将关注点放在为竞选活动公开募集资金问题上,这很不妥当,该提案则避免了这一问题。放在过去,人们会称赞其为两党智慧的典范。

Take the gerrymandering first. Most American states hand the power to draw the boundaries of congressional districts to elected politicians. That is an invitation to cheat that the politicians usually find hard to resist. The result is bizarrely misshapen districts which make elections less competitive.

首先来谈谈党派选区划分问题。大多数州都把划分国会选区边界的权力交给当选的政客。这就为欺诈大开方便之门,而政客们往往又很难抵抗这一诱惑。结果就形成了各种奇形怪状的选区,削弱了选举的竞争性。

Mr Manchin wants to end the practice, handing the drawing of boundaries to non-partisan commissions, as already happens in seven states. This is hard to disagree with, but Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, has done so—claiming that the plan “takes redistricting away from state legislatures and hands it over to computers”. As if legislatures don’t use computers, too.

曼钦想要取消这种操作,让非党派的委员会来进行选区划分,已经有7个州采用了这种办法。尽管句句在理很难反驳,但参议院少数党领袖米奇·麦康诺仍表示反对,宣称该方案“把划分选区之权从国家立法机构手中夺走,转身交给了计算机。”说的好像立法机构都不用计算机似的。

Mr Manchin has a similarly reasonable proposal for voter registration. Political parties and elected officials play too great a part in overseeing how lists of eligible voters in American states are maintained. The ideal system would make it easy for voters to register, ensure the lists of who can vote in each state are accurate and put this important administrative work beyond the influence of politicians standing for election.

关于选民登记,曼钦也提出了类似的合理建议。各政党和当选官员在监督各州如何维护合格选民名单方面可谓一手遮天。而理想的系统应方便选民登记,确保每州合格选民名单准确无误,并使这项重要的行政工作免受参选政客的影响。

Mr Manchin proposes a system whereby eligible voters would be automatically registered unless they decide to opt out. Such a system ought to boost participation in elections, something both parties should want and which does not obviously favour one lot over the other.

曼钦提议,除非选民决定不参与投票,应对合格选民进行自动登记。该系统应能提高选举的参与率,这应是两党都乐见其成的事,也并不明显偏向任何一方。

The final part of Mr Manchin’s offer is the one designed to appeal to the right. For at least two decades, Republicans in state legislatures have said it is vital that voters show some form of identification at polling stations. This requirement has often been gamed for political advantage, too: gun permits are fine, student IDs are not. Since November, when the stolen-election conspiracy theory took hold, this impulse has only increased.

曼钦的最后一项提议,旨在迎合右派。至少20年来,州议会的共和党人一直认为,选民应在投票站出示某种身份证明,这事关重大。这一要求也常常被用来谋取政治利益:持枪许可证可以,学生证不算。自11月“选举被盗”的阴谋论大行其道以来,这一想法得到了加强。

Mr Manchin proposes to give Republican lawmakers most of what they have long been asking for, allowing utility bills to serve as proof of identity. Most Americans of both parties support voter-ID laws. Even so, hardliners on both sides reject Mr Manchin’s idea. On the left some say it is unnecessary to show identification at the polls, because for one person to impersonate another person when voting is very rare. Yet America has a public interest in elections not only being secure but also being seen to be so. Others on the right say that only photo identification should count. This makes sense in a country like France where there is a national ID card. But Republicans, like the Conservative Party in Britain, are opposed to ID cards on ideological grounds—even though they think that a document that stands for one must be shown in polling booths.

曼钦提议满足共和党立法者多年来的大部分要求,允许把水电费账单作为身份证明。两党大部分成员都支持选民身份证明。尽管如此,两党中的强硬派仍拒绝接受曼钦的提议。左派中有人说投票时不需要出示身份证明,因为一人冒充他人去投票是很罕见的。但是美国公共利益不仅仅在于选举是安全的,还在于要让公众看到选举是安全的。右派中有人说只要提供照片证明就可以了。这在像法国那样实行国民身份证制度的国家是可行的。但是共和党,和英国的保守党一样,尽管认为投票时必须出示能证明自己身份的文件,仍基于意识形态的立场而反对身份证制度。

On this point, as on others, Mr Manchin’s proposal is the very definition of reasonableness. Given America’s fractured politics, however, that hardly guarantees success. Congressional Republicans have dubbed the plan the “Stacey Abrams” bill, after the politician from Georgia who has backed it. Although they seem likely to reject Mr Manchin’s reform, it deserves their support. ■

这一点,以及曼钦的其他提议,都非常合情合理。但是,考虑到分裂的美国政治现状,很难保证它能成功。自从乔治亚州的政治家斯泰西·艾布拉姆斯表示支持曼钦的投票权妥协提案后,国会共和党议员就把它戏称为“斯泰西·艾布拉姆斯”提案。虽然他们很有可能会反对曼钦的改革,这一提案仍值得他们支持。

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