Mid-Week Reads: Politicians and Leaders

Every week, North Star will take some time out of our schedules to bring you our favorite reads from the past week.

Jeff Van Wychen

Oh, Oklahoma: What Happens When Voters Distrust Their Politicians So Much That They Bind Their Hands

Despite strong bipartisan support to raise the pay of teachers, Oklahoma policymakers were unable to enact legislation to accomplish this. The problem resides in Oklahoma’s requirement that any tax increase be approved by a supermajority of legislators. (Other states are in similar pickles; the example of California leaps to mind.) The article concludes with an insightful comment: “Elected politicians have prospered by urging voters to mistrust them. Voters duly bound legislators’ hands to limit government mischief. Now Oklahoma is struggling to deliver a policy with near-universal support. Hope that someone learns a lesson from all this.”

Stephanie Fenner

Countries and Their First Female Leaders

Ever wondered when specific countries elected their first female leader? The Star Tribune has put together a handy list for your perusal listing the countries, the year in which they elected their first female leader, and who it is.