January 6, 2005
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.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.
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....
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.