Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yes on Proposition 77

Let's say you've been elected to the student council government in high school. And, ambitious politician that you are, you want to make sure you get re-elected. What to do? You can either make sure your policies fit in with the goals of most of the students, or you set up future elections so that the only students that can vote for you are your friends.

If you've a like mind to the California legislature you choose the latter.

Using myself as an example that would meaning my "voting district" would consist of students from the nerd classes and clubs (band, computers, English lit., Model United Nations, Chess). To get this happy group together I'd agree with my jock council member associates that their voting group would consist of football players and cheerleaders, and my Loser council member associates would get voted on by shop class attendees.

Such an arrangement would be great for getting us all re-elected, unfortunately it would also mean we'll never be able to agree on what band to hire for the prom.

Thus the situation in California where the legislature essentially chooses its voters rather than allowing voters to choose them.

It is also the reason I am supporting passage of Proposition 77.

While I'm not completely happy with all the details of the plan (why 3 judges?) the main point is that the legislature can no longer map out its own districts.

Which means that increasingly politicians from both the left and right will be more accountable to all their constituents rather than just to those in their own party.

Which means better, less divided government all 'round.

For more of my thoughts on why non-partisan redistricting is so important go here and here.

[Update: It's been noted elswhere that the Democratic party, and most notably House majority leader Nancy Pelosi are against this propostition. What this tells me is that the Democratic party, as it currently stands, is still tied to the corrupt status quo, and gives further evidence as to exactly why re-districting is so important. Happily, true roots reform Democrats do understand why this measure, flaws and all, is so necessary. Per Kos:

I'm filling out my absentee ballot, and I've been trying to find a reason to vote no on 77, Arnold's effort to create a non-partisan redistricting process in California. And I can't think of any. I'm not sure why busting the current incumbent-protection racket would be a bad thing, why creating competitive districts and forcing incumbents to be more responsive to their constituents than the current 70-80 percent partisan districts require.]


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