Recently I wrote about how the district I live in is perhaps the most gerrymandered district in the entire country. Great pains have been taken by the Democrats that run Illinois to ensure that my vote can’t count and the legislator that runs our state district doesn’t even have to bother courting voters like me. Even among Illinois legislators (not exactly the highest quality bunch) my guy is famous for not even voting to impeach Blago. Literally we have the worst of the worst representing us, but he is effectively immortal since all he has to do is win the Democratic party primary and he’s in, due to basic mathematics and party-line voting.
While I know writing posts like this is just like shouting into a toilet Rolling Stone recently came out with an article about Red State gerrymandering. While my district in the article above was in the state legislature, our Illinois US House of Representatives balance has been similarly adjusted to ensure that a 50/50 or so state leans completely blue. Of course the entire article acts as if this is a Republican phenomenon, when in fact both parties are equal opportunists at this sad game.
There is a shred of hopefulness in all of this in some electoral advancements coming out of California, of all places. They have a system where the two top vote getters in the primary battle it out on election day, even if they are from the same party. In this sort of system, the Democrat or Republican that reaches out to the constituents in the middle from the other party has a shot at beating a stone ideologue that will generally cruise through the party primary (like my state representative). This solution was “California Proposition 14“. In parallel, they also have a citizen’s commission to draw districts so that they make more sense rather than be amazing gerrymander constructions. It is too soon to tell if California’s results will help that much but it seems like a step in the right direction.
Cross posted at LITGM