Reviewing the 2008 November California propositions — Prop 11


Umbrella yes-vote site.

Umbrella no-vote site.

Oh BOY do I love deep arguments over redistricting.


The thing about redistricting is that it’s one of those key things that has slowly but surely evolved in the course of American political life that is both essential and imperfect. Weird thing, I kinda like it that way.

Partially this derives from the fact that it was America which gave the world the term for shenanigans involving electoral redistricting — gerrymandering, one of those beautiful neologisms that held on over the years. Wikipedia’s entry provides a good enough overview for a casual reader but there’s more out there — this, however, is the legendary illustration of the principle at work, where a district was rather curiously drawn, specifically to favor the political party in charge of such things at the time:

The gerrymander!

It’s probably one of the key political cartoons in American history pre-Thomas Nast, and still relevant today — there are crazily drawn districts everywhere. Texas, notably, has some wacky ones, especially after the last redrawing (which occurs every ten years following the Census). For instance:

Wacky times in Texas

But they’re all around.

Now it may sound flippant on my part to talk about stuff like this in a light tone, I realize. It’s serious stuff, and I’ve no doubt Texas friends of mine are still smarting over the last redistricting, for good reason. Still, some part of me recognizes that perfection is impossible, and that these kind of games will continue in one way or another so long as the process and society continues.

Thus Prop 11, which is one of many attempts to try and make the process of redistricting fair — or at least it’s claimed. Problem is that it makes a complicated process even MORE complicated, and I’m not sure that’s the best approach. The idea of setting up redistricting commissions with set seats for the two major political parties for all time…well, frankly, no. Things can still change, after all, and that limitation alone is enough for me to think this is an imperfect solution to a continuing problem. So no, not this time. Maybe never. But I wouldn’t be surprised if never arrives, stranger has happened — as we can see nationally, after all.

Anyway, an ‘eh…shrug’ NO. Political Blogger Alliance

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