Monday, July 02, 2007

Redistricting the Right Way

Recently there's been a lot of press about changing the way Michigan redraws legislative districts every 10 years. Currently, they are gerrymandered by the (Republican or Democratic) party in power, in an effort to skew the votes in their favor and disenfranchise as many voters as possible. The latest proposal is to create a committee of 4 Democratic Party leaders/legislators, 4 Republican leaders/legislators and a 9th person appointed by a majority of the other 8.

Excuse me, but are Libertarians the only ones who see electoral fraud in the making?

The redistricting process should be fair. However, turning the keys to the process over to incumbent Republican and Democratic legislators and their cronies is a recipe for unfairness. Currently, due to Republican gerrymandering, only a handful of legislative districts are competitive, and only a handful of Michigan voters can cast votes that potentially could decide an election. Given the opportunity, the old party incumbents in Lansing will gerrymander districts to guaranatee their re-eelction. Instead, I propose a solution that won't favor the incumbents. Create a re-districting commission that includes one representative from each of the 6 ballot-qualified political parties -- Libertarian, Green, US Taxpayers, Natural Law, Democratic and Republican. And give the many independent Michigan voters a voice by requiring the 6 party representatives to appoint 3 more members to the commission who aren't affiliated with any political party. Now that's fair!

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