Just in case you don’t remember your high school civics classes or went to a modern progressive public school and there is nothing to forget, gerrymandering is a process of drawing the boundaries to congressional districts to favor the party in power. By careful analysis you can load one district with a majority of your opponents supporters and leave a bevy of districts in your control. It requires a lot of creativity and no moral scruples, but politicians of both parties are strong on one and lacking in the other.
In California where I am still prisoner the Democrats have been in control so long that with the recently approve “open primaries” the elections are now one party affairs. Several election cycles ago the voters of California approved the establishment of a non-partisan panel to redraw the lines to do away with gerrymandering. As far as I know it is still a vague dream. Here is what former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has to say about the issue.
“America needs non-partisan redistricting commissions,” O’Malley said at Boston College Law School, where he’s now a visiting professor. “This simple reform … must become the new norm of American democracy. … How can we expect people to vote if their voice has been carved into irrelevance by a political map ahead of time?”I find myself in the embarrassing position of agreeing with a former Democratic Presidential candidate. What is probably embarrassing for him is that he is disagreeing with the position he held up until the party started losing elections at every level. There are simple methods for drawing voting districts that pay no attention to party affiliation. It can be done quickly on a computer. The problem is that those who claim to want fair elections are not really concerned that the elections were not fair. They are concerned that “fair” was not defined as making sure they win no matter what the voters want.
I am in favor of simple, compact districts drawn on the basis of population and blind to race, religion, political affiliation and yes, even gender identification. Will it happen? Probably not, but a man can dream, can’t he. Perhaps a Constitutional Amendment would do the trick but it would never get through congress because too many of them would get voted out in honest redistricting.
homo unius libri