The Edward H. Arnold Institute for Policy Studies

Step Up Or Stop Complaining!

During this year’s municipal elections, voters will see familiar names when they stand in front of their voting machines…not the names from the nightly news, but rather the names of friends and neighbors who want to serve their community.   In a robust democracy, this is clearly what the Founding Fathers envisioned for what would […]

Taxpayers Deserve Timely, Effective Solution on Contract Posting

Pennsylvania’s updated open records law was a monumental upgrade and a major win for advocates of more accessible and accountable state government.  At ten years of age and counting, the law occupies a high position on the list of certifiable legislative accomplishments.  The reform measure was spearheaded by then Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, and […]

Keeping The Lights On For Pennsylvania History

In 1960, a popular Sam Cooke song began with the lyric: “Don’t know much about history…” Sadly, nearly sixty years later, that could be our alternative national anthem.  Successive studies show yawning deficiencies in history and civics knowledge across age classes, but especially among younger people.  The problem has many parts.  Manifold choices of entertainment […]

Redistricting Reform Should Establish Separate Commissions

In politics, reform is a magic word.  During campaign season, as voters know too well, it is tossed as freely as rice once was at weddings.  The concept of reform, wrapped in high principles and noble intentions, invariably draws wide public support.  But getting broad agreement on a practical, detailed plan, and then running the […]

A Letter to America about Immigration . . . from the United Kingdom

Happy New Year to you all and let’s hope that 2019 heralds some positive developments for the planet and for our respective economies and societies, although as we saw for the USA and the UK the numbers of ‘would be’ immigrants beating a path to both of our front doors is growing in intensity. The […]

A Letter to America about Brexit. . . . from the United Kingdom

In the West December normally heralds a wind down towards Christmas and the prospect of spending time with friends and family, eating chestnuts over open fires and cheering ourselves for a busy year of achievements with thoughts of the New Year to come. This December the families of the UK will find little to cheer […]

A Letter to America. . . from the United Kingdom

Click here for an interview with Christine Constable on Behind the Headlines 100 years since the 1918 Armistice  –  what lessons has Europe learned in keeping the peace in Europe? The First World war caused around 40 million casualties and between 15-19 million deaths and ranks as one of the most deadly human conflicts recorded […]

Tantalizingly Close, Yet Still As Far Away As Ever

That phrase pretty much sums up the recent legislative history of a proposed constitutional amendment to reduce the size of the General Assembly, the second largest among states, as the critics constantly remind us.  For decades, proposals to cut the number of state legislators have been introduced with fanfare.  Then they fizzle.  Things changed during […]

Low Voter Turnout A Long-Running Problem Not Easily Remedied

Commentators have no trouble spotting and no hesitation denouncing the various afflictions wracking the body politic in our state and nation.  Devising effective remedies that people are willing to enact and follow has a much higher degree of difficulty to it. The recent Pennsylvania primary election featured conditions that were presumed to be catnip to […]

Why Holocaust Remembrance Matters

For those who share a deep appreciation for history, the combination of pivotal events and powerful intellects and captivating personalities who shaped our nation and way of life, this cannot be said to be the best of times. Many of us are numbed by the succession of surveys showing how little familiarity young people have […]