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Constituent service has become a major aspect of most democracies.  Legislators figured out that if they became ombudsmen in the 1960's that the could get reelected unless they were found with a dead girl, or a live boy.  

This is the secret to incumbency, and at least in the US it generates something like a 5% advantage at the polls for an incumbent.  I imagine this matters less in Britain where politics is more fluid with no less that three parties being serious players.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 07:20:32 PM EST
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According to Helen [I don't have statistics], in the UK constituencies are even less likely to change party hands, so the power of incumbency is even higher. This may have something to do with "captive voters" who are beholden to one party or another for social/communitarian reasons (as in "my family has always voted Labour").

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 28th, 2007 at 06:04:36 AM EST
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