Monday, February 21, 2005

A step in the right direction

I apologize for being a poor blogger lately. My blogging has suffered due to many other duties that arise upon returning to a house and cars after 13 months absence.

I’ve got the cars running again (no small feat when the youngest in the fleet is a 1988 Volvo with 154,000 miles) and the mess in the house is almost under control, so I’m rewarding myself with a post or two tonight.

I haven’t been able to access my gmail in several days either, so I’m sorry if any of you have had messages go unanswered. I’ll get up to speed again a soon as I can.

Anyway, Jeff Jacoby’s “Terminate the gerrymander” is worth a read. He touches on Arnold’s attempt to end gerrymandering in California in time for the next election, which is a noble goal indeed.

A quick teaser:

The deepest and unhealthiest divide in American politics is not the one that separates Republicans from Democrats or conservatives from liberals. It is the gulf between Insiders and Outsiders -- between the incumbents who treat public office as private property and the increasingly neutered electorate in whose name they claim to act.
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The incumbent-protection racket takes many forms, from high ballot-access hurdles to onerous campaign-finance rules. But nothing does more to turn elections into shams than gerrymandering -- mapping congressional and legislative districts so that they become wholly-owned subsidiaries of one political party.

I’m all for making government as transparent as possible, and an end to gerrymandering sounds like it would certainly advance that end.

Like term limits, such a measure is sure to be difficult to get past the politicians, as it would redistribute power, giving more to those who should have it in the first place.