Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gerrymandering

In Sunday's Tribune, Paul Rolly wrote a column on how the gerrymandering efforts have helped the Republicans on the Hill do whatever they darn well please.

The result was that despite Democratic legislative candidates getting 43 percent of the vote in the elections since redistricting, they hold just over 25 percent of the seats.
Here are some residual effects of the partisan boundary alignments. Because most of the rewritten districts are noncompetitive now, the legislative outcomes are decided in the Republican primaries. Because party activists tend to be more conservative than the casual Republican, the more right wing the candidate is in the convention, the better chance he or she has.
Because Republicans in Utah have a super majority thanks to redistricting, and because they tend to be more right wing, the Beehive State has become a laboratory in the United States for privatization fanatics - the followers of Milton Friedman. Hence, the voucher movement in Utah that has been heavily funded over the years by national foundations fed financially by rich Friedmanites.
Talk over the past few months behind the scenes in political circles was that if vouchers succeeded in Utah, the next step would be efforts to privatize transportation, water districts, even police and fire services.
So now that these conservatives have bitten from the privatization apple, then had it taken away, watch for a push to make it more difficult to get signatures on petitions for referendums. After all, they already did that with initiatives. And they still have that super majority, thanks to gerrymandering.


(HT: Jeremy's Jeremiad)

1 comment:

Oldenburg said...

Gerrymandering is a real problem at all levels of government. The computer programs now are so good that politicians are picking their voters, not vice versa.

Hey, do you work for the Jazz? I thought I saw you at the game tonight.