The Therapy Sessions
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Something everyone can agree on
Right and left. Everyone should agree that it is time to end gerrymandering:San Antonio Express News:
Tanner's measure would require each state to create an independent redistricting commission of no less than five members. The commission would be charged with drawing that state's congressional district map once every 10 years, no more and no less.
Texans have some firsthand knowledge of how elected leaders of both parties can manipulate the redistricting process for partisan gain. The wounds of the 2003 redistricting fight - which redrew congressional boundaries for the second time in as many years - are still fresh.
That battle royal was a political payback for decades of redistricting that drew lines in a different direction.
Aside from the partisan acrimony, the current method of redistricting creates a stunningly uncompetitive political environment. Politicians stack and pack voters into safe districts for both Republicans and Democrats.
Outside of Texas, where four incumbent Democrats were targeted in redistricting and defeated, only three of 399 congressional incumbents who ran for re-election lost their seats last November.
There is a better way. A handful of states already have independent commissions that take redistricting out of the hands of partisan, elected officials.
Politicians need convince their voters. Not choose them.
Only three congressional incumbents lost their seats in an election? That is a scandal.