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Get Out Your Crayons

It is getting to be time to practice for that decennial abstract art competition known as reapportionment. Every ten years, following the publication of the Census, states begin redrawing the lines for their Congressional districts.

The GOP is already practicing with their Redistricting Majority Project, which, of course, doesn’t mean they are planning to win with a pencil what they can’t win with a ballot box. [Yeah, right…]

I have previously highlighted the GOP cartography in Florida, which results in the minority party in the state having 65% of the seats in both houses of the state legislature, and the majority of Florida’s Congresscritters.

Fair Districts Florida has managed to get two amendments on the Florida ballot to address these issues. Amendment 5 deals with state districts, and Amendment 6 deals with Congressional districts. They are simple and straight-forward stating that political considerations should be removed from the process.

As Fred Grimm noted in the Miami Herald the Republicans in the legislature are working on their own amendment to gut what the citizens have proposed.

The current problem in Florida is that most of those who represent the people in the state are elected in party primaries, not in the general election. This results in the party activists having inordinate power in how the state is governed. The majority of voters are locked out of the process because the state has closed primaries.

If you are a Florida voter, you should vote “yes” on Amendments 5 & 6 and tell the politicians to put away their crayons.


1 Steve Bates { 04.27.10 at 11:14 pm }

Somebody lock up Tom DeLay for the duration. What I’d really like to see is DeLay shot, but that’s not exactly democracy, is it? Then again, neither is what he did…
.-= last blog ..How To Cheer Yourself =-.

2 Bryan { 04.27.10 at 11:40 pm }

He should be hanged, Steve. The rope is recyclable and there is no leaking of bio-hazards.

To be democratic all you have to do is put it on the ballot.

3 jams O'Donnell { 04.28.10 at 1:48 pm }

THe ghost of Governer Gerry is resurrected Bryan?
.-= last blog ..First bloom on the Tree Paeony =-.

4 Bryan { 04.28.10 at 4:20 pm }

He was an amateur, Jams, and lacked the tools, like Geographic Information Systems, to map out where the voters are and which party they belong to to produce districts that are almost totally filled with Democratic voters, and then build other districts where Republicans own 55-60% of the voters. The purpose being to make 40-45% of Democratic voters unrepresented. That’s how they get 65% of the legislature/parliament while a minority party.

That’s why we have some districts/constituencies that include a couple of blocks from one side of a street in what you would think was logically in another district/constituency.

I’ll be the first to admit that the Republican Party of Florida hired some extremely competent people to design their mapping software for the 2000 Census redistricting. The results look like hell, but they accomplished their primary goal of screwing the Democrats.

5 Steve Bates { 04.28.10 at 6:29 pm }

Texas got redistricted not only in 2000 as usual with the U.S. Census, but again in 2003 when the by then Republican legislature passed a law requiring a midcensus redistricting. (A decent and mostly unbiased summary is in the wiki.) Much skulduggery took place and many strange districts emerged: one was a hundred miles or so along a highway, if I recall; some, like my majority-Democratic district, were dissolved altogether into adjoining Republican-leaning districts. After two boisterous and IMO noble attempts at quorum-busting, Democratic legislators ultimately failed to prevent it, and a court battle ensued. In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all but one of the new districts complied with the Voting Rights Act That ruling set the ‘publicans right back to attempting to assure that Gerry has his day. It’s tough to run a two- or multiple-party system when one of the major parties doesn’t give a good damn about democracy, only about staying in power. I hate to say it, but that ultimately leads to unhappy people committing unhappy acts.

Yes, hanging seems about right for DeLay, but don’t let his buddies get the contract to build the scaffold.
.-= last blog ..How To Cheer Yourself =-.

6 Badtux { 04.28.10 at 6:57 pm }

Here in California we passed Prop 11 which at least takes the California legislative boundaries out of the lege’s hands. Strangely enough, it was Repubs who were for Prop 11, and Dems against it. Just goes to show that the party currently in power in the Legislature really does *not* want to give up that power…

– Badtux the Gerrymandered Penguin
.-= last blog ..And on today in 1939… =-.

7 Bryan { 04.28.10 at 8:28 pm }

Before term limits and the 2000 redistricting things were fairly balanced in the Florida lege, so districts tended to be compact with a certain logic to them. Now everyone is a rookie and the party apparatus is more important than actually being in lege, because everyone is jockeying for their next job.

It’s all the little specks and ribbons that are attached to districts that make them really absurd.