January 6, 2005


Texas could use a dose of arnold:

Mr. Schwarzenegger proposed turning over the drawing of the state's political map to a panel of retired judges, taking it out of the hands of lawmakers who for decades have used the redistricting process in a cozy bipartisan deal to choose their voters and cement their incumbency. He threatened to take the issue directly to the voters if the Legislature does not act on the plan in a special session he called for.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, noted that of the 153 seats in the California Congressional delegation and Legislature that were on the ballot in November, not one changed party hands.

"What kind of a democracy is that?" he asked in his address....

Well, the answer to the ending question seems to be as varied as the number of politicos who play the democracy card. Nevertheless, the proposal is certainly an improvement over redistricting practices in most if not all states.

Via Daniel Drezner.

Update (1/7): Kevin Drum is dead set against this unless Texas (see first sentence above)does it first. While he makes a strong point the dems may need to accept a brief setback to get this ball rolling. And, without a proposal in hand, it is not clear just how many seats the dems might lose in California. Perhaps strong candidates would be able to hold the line.

Posted by Steve on January 6, 2005

Turn it over to computers -- the only logical way to do it.

Posted by Ogre at January 6, 2005 10:16 AM

Computers are certainly a required tool for this kind of activity. However, the issue still involves who defines the parameters that will be implemented by the computer software.

Whether it be incumbent legislatures or a panel of retired judges they need to be bounded by a set of 'fair' parameters.

Assuming, of course, that we haven't changed the rules so that no one cares about this anymore: e.g., get congress and legislatures out of the wealth transfer business.

Posted by Steve at January 6, 2005 10:57 AM
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