Hmmmm...

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Bullypulpit, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    <center><h1><font color=blue>Let's put the Gerrymander on the endagered species list...</font></h1></center>

    Four members of Tom DeLay's Texas based PAC, TrmPAC, stand indicted of violations of campaign finance laws. More recently, five Texas democrats are suing TrmPAC for violations of Texas campaign law. These are the most visible symptoms of a fatal flaw in US election laws. That being that the majority political parties decide how to re-apportion voters and set the boundaries of legislative districts.

    The whole stink in Texas is the result of Tommy's drive to seat a majority republican Texas legislature and then draw up new legislative boundaries which favored republicans, which they did. But there is a simple solution...

    What is required is a Constitutional Amendment which takes the power to redraw legilative districts and put this power in the hands of a non-partisan commission in each state. After each decennial census, this board would be appointed and redraw legislative districts on the basis of, not party affiliation, but population...What a novel concept. This would provide for more representative legislatures on both the state and federal levels. This would, in turn, result in a government which, I believe, would be more in line with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution.

    <a href=http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/rcah/html/ah_036000_gerrymander.htm><b>Gerrymander</b></a> - "Gerrymander refers to the drawing of boundaries of legislative districts to benefit one party or group and handicap another. Although the practice dates back to the colonial period, its name is derived from Elbridge Gerry, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a nonsigning delegate to the Federal Convention of 1787, and a leader of the Jeffersonian Republican party."

    Also see:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/28/national/28delay.html
     
  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Tell me who is going to redraw the bounderies if its not the legislature?

    Why exactly should they do this when this is one of the express duties of the legislature to do. Why exactly should a a nonpartisan commission do it? Especially considering you cant take partisanship out of politics.

    So rather than letting the elected representatives redraw lines, you want take their power and give it to an elite appointed commission to do the work our representatives were elected to do. Why exactly do you hate Democracy so much?
     
  3. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Frankly, I agree with Bully on this one. Congressional districts should be drawn up by non-partisan committees, preferably from out of state, concentrating on the demographics of a region, not on political affiliation. For example, I live in a legislative district that is predominantly rural. However, two precincts in my district - mine, and another adjacent to me - are suburban, and geographically distinct from the rest of the district. It was drawn this way so a neighbor of mine could run for State Senate (he lost). So now I'm stuck for ten years in a district that doesn't represent my needs, while the rest of my town is in a different district. Ridiculous.
    In a perfect world, a non-partisan body should be able to do away with such gerrymandering - though I will say that Democrats are just as guilty as Republicans in this practice.
     
  4. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    It's called giving power back to the people, especially when it's becoming increasingly evident that state legislatures aren't up to the responsibility. And it seems to be you who despises democracy when you seem to prefer gerrymandering to fair legislative reaportionment.
     
  5. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Right, appointing a group of "nonpartisan" people to a commission to redistrict is giving power back to the people. On what planet does this logic work? If you want the People to have the legislature, which is voted in, rather than appointed, redistrict the state the way the majority desires, then let the people themselves approve the redistricting plans by voting for them in a november election. That way if there is a valid reason for opposing it, those who oppose it have a period of time to take their case directly to the people.

    That is how you give power to the people. Your method gives power to an elite group of individuals with no direct accountability to the people. If this is what passes for Democracy among the left, thank God the left has been losing.
     
  6. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I have to disagree. After all, the President appoints all kinds of people to office. Is that any less democratic? The problem is that both parties abuse the redistricting process and gerrymander districts.
     

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