Monday, October 17, 2005

Prop. 77

Do I want a more responsible government? Yes. Then why don't I like Prop. 77? All one has to do is take a look at the financial backers of prop. 77 to find out several good reasons why. Of course, that isn't always a good reason. I'm more worried about the particulars of proposal. As Brad Plummer points out, since the prop calls for "compact" and whole city districts,
the judges drawing the boundaries will end up packing the majority of urban voters into a few concentrated, ultra-Democratic districts. Under any decent theory of political representation, this makes no sense at all. Schwarzenegger's plan wouldn't necessarily lead to more competitive districts either, as is widely hoped. Since "[j]udges must maximize the number of whole cities in each district," you'd have a handful of ultra-safe single-city seats that would vote overwhelmingly Democratic. If you wanted more electoral competition, then you'd try to create a bunch of districts that, say, combined parts of "blue" urban areas with parts of "red" suburbs. But Schwarzenegger's plan does the exact opposite.
I think that prop. 77 will probably result in less competitive districts and only serve to pack the highly concentrated Democratic voters into a smaller number of districts. If that's the ultimate goal, then it's a great proposition.


At October 18, 2005 2:30 PM, Blogger DemocracyMarket said...

It's not about results, it's about process. Why should legislators draw their own districts? The current system has produced no competitive elections at all. Your comment that Prop 77 will result in less competitive districts is nonsensical in the face of the evidence: 153 of 153 seats in the last election cycle stayed with the owning party. Not. One. Seat. Changed. Hands.

In other words, it is not mathematically possible for elections in CA to be less competitive between parties.

Oh, and go BEARS!!!

At October 20, 2005 8:57 PM, Blogger Gilbert Martinez said...

Not mathematically possible? Hmmm. I believe my 10 year old niece can show quite definitively that if you define "competition" by the "closeness" of the races you can very easily get less competitive races. Of course that's not quite as convenient a talking point, even if it makes complete--and obvious--sense.

At November 02, 2005 8:34 PM, Blogger Clickbank Mall said...

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