In opposing Proposition 4, Utah state Sen. Todd Weiler asserts that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t mention “political parties,” so they were not seen as a priority by the Founding Fathers (“Are all Utah voices heard,” Dec. 10). This is a convenient oversimplification.
True, the term “political parties” isn’t found in that document. But, call them what you will, the Federalist and Anti-Federalist “parties” sprouted during the process of drafting and ratifying the Constitution.
Further, the Founders clearly understood and were concerned about the concept of “factions.” In explaining and defending the Constitution, it is addressed more than 50 times in the Federalist Papers.
In Federalist 10, James Madison perceives the most significant source of factionalism was the diversity of opinion in political life leading to disputes over fundamental issues such as what governing regime should be preferred. Madison also posits, “The latent causes of faction are sown in the nature of man,” so, he explains, the Constitution purposely was designed to control their effects.
If any phenomenon of modern political life could be seen as an effect of the Founders’ concept of faction, it’s gerrymandering. Prop. 4 seems like a reasonable effort to control its effects.
Bill Anderson, South Salt Lake