Better Listening & Communication
Given the fact that one political party has held the governorship and a super majority in both legislative chambers for many years, Utah is effectively a one-party-rule state. This has led to a lack of accountability which is typically exercised by opposing parties in a healthy multi-party system. One symptom of this is the failure of leaders to act for the benefit of all voters instead of their extreme base. With no fear of viable general election opponents, they only need to fear extreme challengers from within their own party.
The Legislature’s recent actions surrounding tax reform is a perfect examples of this. While tax reform was clearly necessary, a substantial increase in sales taxes on groceries was widely unpopular. The Legislature decided to ignore public sentiment and passed it anyway with little attempt to educate the public or involve them in the decision making process. This resulted in a grass-roots revolt in the form of a citizen referendum that forced the Legislature to walk away from tax reform sporting a historically low approval rating.
What Can Be Done?
- Elect moderate candidates such as from the United Utah Party that can appeal to broad swaths of the Utah electorate and end one-party rule
- Demand better communication and responsiveness from Legislators by utilizing citizen initiatives and referendums when necessary