Reflecting upon the run up to the MassGOP Chairman’s election coming up later tonight and back the past several years I’ve beeen on the Massachusetts Republican State Committee and before that my years as chairman of the Dartmouth RTC, I wonder if it’s time for a thought experiment.
Quite simply, I wonder if it’s time or past time for the MRSC to expand its membership beyond 80 members.
Now, before I hear too much laughing, the Democrats have done this for years. I’ll stand to be corrected, but by state law each party must have at least 1 man & 1 woman from each State Senate district. That said, the Democrats have several more members per district. Often, it’s done in an affirmative action way or a recognition of long-term service (say 20+ years & you just keep your seat and a new person of the same gender can run in a now open seat). I’m not well versed in how they do it & it’s been several years since I last looked into it so I may be off a bit, but I don’t think so. Again, I’ll stand to be corrected.
Now, perhaps the MRSC could/should follow suit? No, not in an affirmative action way but perhaps 2 men & 2 women per district elected every 4 years at the Presidential Primary.
Yes, I understand that it’s sometimes hard enough to find MRSC members as it is, at least in some areas, but perhaps in others theres an abundance of activists, especially deeply energized grassroots activits, who would be chomping at the bit to be included in such an expansion.
Granted, population per Senate district is supposed to be balanced but I’m thinking that this may especially be helpful in those geographically immense districts that encompass a dozen or sometimes close to two dozen or so municipalities. This may lead not only to more grassroots activist inclusion but it may also help provide better 1-on-1 representation so thta the 4 members could spread out a bit better. Likewise, even in the more compact areas with only 5-8 municipalties then many hands make light work.
Futhermore, there is always that stereotype of the “old blood” MRSC. Well, the doubling of the membership may provide a vigorous blood transfusion and lead to a revitalization. It certainly should shake up the system. After all, if you look at the MRSC members who actively participate on the various standing & ad hoc committees, it’s largely the same stalwart faces who are pulling the load.
The argument of an “absentee” MRSC member may become much more difficult to make if there are more caretakers of a district.
Certainly, it would (small “d”) democratize the process by opening it up to more activist thus diffusing the charge of elitism & establishmentism. There can’t be a perceived nobility cast when there are more opportunities for grassroots volunteers to join the process.
Now again, this is merely a thought experiment. I’m not sure if I necessarily with all that I’ve put forward nor have I thought it out entirely by any means for feasibility.
It does strike me that transparency is all that much easier when there is more inclusion and engagement after all those extra eyes are also more ears to listen to the constituents and voices to bring what needs to be told up to Beacon Hill and back to the grassroots.
It may be a horrible idea. It may be impractical. I’ve by no means hit on every aspect, for or ill. It may simply be unwieldy but size doesn’t seem to limit the opposition. Indeed, perhaps it gives more of an ownership stake to the grassroots activists & demystifies the grind.
It probably couldn’t legally happen until the 2016 primary anyway so we have plenty of time to tear this idea part, discuss it, debate it, reshape it & probably toss it out but it’s a suggestion made out of a desire to embrace the grassroots energy and intensify its involvement.
What say you? What are your thoughts?