The Impact of Elections on Legislators

 To put it simply, a politician’s job is to enact policies that help their constituents. The process of electing the best candidate should be easy: just tell the voters which policies you believe in and how you will make them a reality. Unfortunately, voters do not tend to vote based on policy, or even reality, most of the time. There is no true way for people to become informed from an unbiased, facts and statistics-based source, and as long as one of our two political parties continues to say things like, “Democrats want you to be educated,” as if it’s a bad thing, there never will be.

      This often leads to an infuriating process in which elected officials will walk back promises and delay policies until after an election so that they can seem more moderate and attract more unaffiliated voters. A perfect example is Mayor Michelle Wu (she/her) of Boston. She has obtained funding for The BRIC System, a controversial program in which black and brown communities are put under surveillance and automatically entered into a gang database. If you were thinking, “Wow, that sounds pretty racist,” that’s because it is, and if you were thinking, “Well, what’s the harm, they are just being entered into a database,” you should know a panel of judges for the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston highlighted the database’s flaws, including its reliance on an unreliable point system based on unverified inferences.

      Now, this does not reverse the good Mayor Wu has done, but it does showcase the flaws in our governing system. We need to hold politicians accountable and support the moral ones, so they don’t have to change their priorities just to keep their jobs. If this generation can stay informed and active, we can shape our nation to be equitable for all.




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