The traditional process of redrawing legislative districts has over preceding decades led to the creation of "safe" districts for both Democrats and Republican. One of the less healthy aspect of this gerrymandering has been a serious polarization of the state house. When politicians use the census statistics, they draw districts in such a way as to give one party or the other a majority in each district. Often times those newly drawn districts ignore geography completely creating districts that wend and wind impossibly.
By gerrymandering representatives districts',.
... has led to oddly shaped districts that split up many communities and, analysts say, favor lawmakers who are further to the left or right than their constituents as a whole. That means a legislature filled with liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans and few if any moderates.
What has followed is gridlock. Neither party has any interest in compromise, or actually crafting legislation that is anything but extreme.
"It just seems to me like it puts the cats in charge of the hen house," said Rebecca Ashworth of Highland, a retired kindergarten teacher who applied to be a commissioner. "The way political boundaries were drawn, it just kind of makes safe districts for everybody. I think that's where a lot of our trouble is."But fear not, Nancy Pelosi and a dozen other Democratic members of the California Congressional delegation have led the charge against this proposition that puts the people in charge, and have donated large sums to a campaign to cast aside the Citizens Redistricting Commission, that was created by the passage of Proposition 11 in 2008. However, their real target is a proposition that will be voted on this fall places Congressional districts within the purview of the Citizens Redistricting Commission as well as state districts. That has them VERY nervous.
The Pelosi-backed measure, called the Financial Accountability in Redistricting Act, or FAIR Act, would ensure all of California's legislative districts - for Congress and the state Assembly and Senate - are drawn next year by the state Legislature, not by the citizens commission. If backers can gather nearly 700,000 signatures supporting the measure, it would appear on the November ballot."Congressional Democrats are very concerned," said Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills. "They want control. But it's not their government; it's the people's government." State Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, who represents parts of San Bernardino County's high desert, said the FAIR Act is "why people hate the Legislature and the Congress."
That's the problem...politicians don't want the people to decide districts because that would make things difficult for them. They would actually have to pay attention to the will of their constiuents rather than their own self interest which is exactly why gerrymandered districts must be eliminated in the first place.
Politicians, regardless of party affiliation, on both the state and federal level have worked very hard to lose the confidence of the people they are supposed to represent. One recent poll has found that a majority of people believe that randomly choosing Congressmen from the phone book would be more effective than what we have now...