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Campaign 2002: The Times Recommends
 Perspective: November 17, 2002
November 17, 2002

A better place for pigs
Statutory initiatives would give citizens a way to petition the government without forcing inappropriate subjects into the state Constitution.

Where it's lonely in the middle
The U.S. House of Representatives is becoming less and less representative, and both major parties are to blame. Although the American electorate is basically moderate, House members -- especially those in positions of leadership -- increasingly are clustered on the left-wing and right-wing fringes.

Improvement at the polls
The investment in money and aggravation to upgrade Florida's voting system was worth it. In November 2000, Florida embarrassed itself and left the outcome of the presidential race hanging in the balance. In September 2002, after spending tens of millions of dollars on technology, we still didn't get it quite right. Then, the Nov. 5 general election appeared to go smoothly. Now, the results of a voter survey conducted on Election Day confirm it.

The mentally ill need help before crisis
Re: Officers must do better by mentally ill, Nov. 10.

Philip Gailey
Georgia Republicans pander to those who prefer the ignoble past
On Nov. 5, Georgia became the latest state of the Old Confederacy to fall to the Republicans, and it fell hard. Four-term U.S. Rep. Saxby Chambliss unseated Democratic U.S. Sen. Max Cleland, and Republicans held on to a majority of the state's congressional seats despite a redistricting plan designed by a Democratic legislature. Sonny Perdue, a former state senator who switched parties four years ago, upset Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes, becoming the first Republican elected governor since 1872. Within days, four Democrats switched parties and gave the Republicans control of the state Senate.

Robyn E. Blumner
Electronic snoops will make us a society of open books
The movie A Beautiful Mind illustrated the dementia suffered by Nobel Prize-winning economist John Nash by chillingly demonstrating the way he found suspicious patterns everywhere. Newspaper and magazine clippings, marked up with circles, papered the walls of his office, all appearing to the mathematically gifted Nash to be part of some elaborate code created by our nation's enemies. It turned out to be all in his mind.

Martin Dyckman
Voters' initiatives got the better of Republicans
TALLAHASSEE -- The most important lesson of the election wasn't that the Republicans won it so hugely. Indeed, to hear some of them afterward, you'd think that they had lost. In one sense, they had.


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