New Boss, same as the Old Boss – Redistricting
The Politico has a disappointing report on the realities of redistricting reform in California Redistricting and Blade Running
…U.S. House Democrats from California, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco. With their majority potentially threatened, the California delegation is prepared to spend $10 million fighting any ballot initiative that would take redistricting out of the hands of sitting politicians…
Both parties fight to retain power by conspiring to keep districts uncompetitive. This is famously known as the politicians picking the voters rather than the voters picking the Representatives. The irony was stunning in Texas in which Tom Delay helped craft districts to elect a majority of Republicans from Texas, only to lose that majority in the mid term elections, thus leaving Texas with no Democratic congressman with the seniority to become committee chairman. The GOP’s vanity handicapped the influence of Texas in Congress.
A more non-partisan redistricting process to promote more competitive elections may actually be the path towards giving each party more equal opportunity to win the hearts and minds of voters.
It would be refreshing for one or both of the parties to be primarily concerned with what is best for the Voters rather than what is best for their party. So far is seems that Obama and McCain are the only prominent politicians who even entertain this kind of thinking with their pledge to use public campaign financing if they are their parties’ nominees.