Saturday, January 24, 2009

Only Caretaker Appointments Permitted

Ezra says that governors shouldn't be appointing senators, which seems good on general democratic grounds. Advantages as awesome as Democratic incumbency in New York should not be attained by gubernatorial appointment. But since it takes time to hold a special election, this would condemn states to a period of senatorlessness.

Maybe the best solution would be to require that appointed Senators may not run for re-election. The only real disadvantage I can see here is that if one person was the absolute best candidate, the state would be deprived of the optimal candidate's service during either the pre-election or post-election period. But I don't think that clearly optimal candidates are very common in our world.

1 comment:

BruceMcF said...

But obviously unlikely to happen for all the game theory reasons that well engineered solutions don't get implemented.

However, if the legislature in a particular state put the appointment in the hands of a panel of all statewide elected executive office holders ... who are barred from selecting a member of the panel ... the odds of a caretaker goes up, since the likelihood that one or more member of the panel harbors the hope of running for the Senate goes up.