Column: In the hands of politicians, redistricting can be poisonous. The cure is an independent commission, in which voters elect their own leaders.
So says Dan Balz, the chief political analyst for Roll Call, in a new column for TPM. Balz warns Democrats not to cede their power in redistricting to states.
Instead of relying on states, voters should “go for the jugular” by having an independent commission, with no power over state legislatures and no accountability and no requirement to even vote on important issues.
“A good example is the U.S. congressional redistricting process, which continues to flunk voters on important issues like vote splitting and gerrymandering, particularly for Republicans,” he writes. “But, more importantly, the process does little for voters in a number of states.”
For one thing, Congress has no power to redistrict states, so redistricting isn’t going to be solved anytime soon.
But for another, Republicans have spent millions of dollars on the process in recent years, and they’re still losing.
And in the meantime, Democrats have adopted some of the more liberal rules, which lead to bad results for them.
Balz writes, “This is no way to run elections, since voters are supposed to be able to say ‘no’ if their representatives act in a way that doesn’t reflect their interests; and ‘yes’ if legislators do things that help them be reelected.”
If Democrats want to remain popular in 2018, they have to stay focused on making sure voters get the right kind of politicians. Don’t let the state legislatures or the Supreme Court decide the matter by voting.
TPM’s “Redistricting 101” video series: