This article was written by a former Congressman from Texas (D-24th Dist) who was such a partisan, that when the Texas legislature redistricted the state, his district was formed in such a way that he couldn't win reelection. But the entire tenor of this piece caused this comment,
The first thing that caught my eye was the comment "my seat". Having just watched with fascination the election in Massachusetts I decided to begin the story again, only redefining each step in the story in layman's terms.Step 1) Entitlement and Arrogance with "My Seat"Step 2) Trash your opponent with no ideas of your ownStep 3) Work a base that always votes 90% one wayStep 4) Trash your oppent some more. This approach is used by both sides. The constant increases in taxes just to feed the beast is about to break the system.BY Same Old Story on 02/24/2010 at 08:34 [emphasis is the ed's]At this point, I believe the only way to end the polarizations that has arisen in Mr. Obama's "post partisanship" presidency would be to do what California is in the process of doing. First of all, the citizens of the state in 2008, the people of California passed by referendum Proposition 11 that changes the method used to redraw state Assembly and Senate districts. This proposition calls for the Redistricting Commission to be made up of 14 Californians that will include Democrats, Republicans as well as independents to redraw those districts instead of the traditional corrupt methods of the State Legislature. This non-partisan commission would then redraw the districts, however, the Legislature would continue to draw Congressional districts.
This process is actively under attack in California as Nancy Pelosi and a dozen of her cohorts in the California Congressional Delegation are attempting to not just prevent the extension of this commission to Congressional districts, but to eliminate it all together. The Pelosi supported measure, which is called the Financial Accountability in Redistricting Act, or FAIR Act, would place the power for all of California's legislative districts - for Congress and the state Assembly and Senate - are drawn by the state Legislature, not by the citizens commission that was passed by a large majority of voters. However, she must gather nearly 700,000 signatures supporting the measure before it could appear on the November ballot.
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 districts that have split up many communities and that favor politicians who are much more to the left or right than their constituents are. That means a legislature that contains very liberal Democrats as well as much more conservative Republicans and almost no moderates.
It's now time to extent to every other state in the Union a commission in each state that would contain member of both major parties and independents, drawn by lottery, and made up in proportion of party affiliation or non-affiliation, as it were, to redraw those state and federal district boundaries. This may be an idealistic dream, but it is one that is possible...just look to California, the voters there have passed the beginning of just such a commission.