Sunday, October 09, 2005


My Goodness!

Since Reform Ohio Now started to make some noise, bloggers all over the country have been wondering why similar efforts to reform redistricting haven't been started all over the country. After hearing rumors of a unicameral legislature proposal being drawn up by the MDP, Matt over at Michigan Liberal complained: " Ugh. I'm sick and tired of us always letting the public relations drive the policy here in Michigan. What the hell ever happened to leadership?" No wonder either. It seems like voters would be fools to not pass a proposal setting up independent redistricting. And for some reason we haven't seen anything out of the MDP. The reason is they are working on something much bigger, so big in fact, that independent redistricting is simply stuck on at the end, merely the exclamation point of a much larger proposal that would truly be a revolution.

So what lies at the end of Mark Brewer's crack pipe? First, as earlier noted at Michigan Liberal (see above link), the senate would be eliminated, creating a one house legislature. In order to slow down the legislative process, certain processed would be put in place to ensure that things couldn't slip in under the people's noses.

Second, independent redistricting to be done by a yet to be determined group of citizens. There would be limitations on what details could be considered when drawing districts.

Third and most radical, there are provisions in the proposal that ensure proportional representation. This is not a straight parliamentary system, but rather a mixed one. Most seats would be elected by district by district, but there would be a certain number of seats that would be selected as a correction factor, adjusting the final partisan makeup of the chamber to meet the state wide partisan vote, with (I assume) would have some threshold to keep out third parties. Afterall, this is being drawn up by the MDP.

When I first read about the unicameral legislature, I was as disappointed, if not more so than Matt, but after learning about this.... Wow. That's all I can say. What could be better for democracy than having your vote count regardless if your candidate wins or loses. There is about a month or two left until final decisions are made and the proposal is released to the public, but this is going to be huge!

It will be interesting how they try to sell this to the people. It seems to me that the re-districting stuff doesn't resonate with John Q voter.

For Michigan voters to say, "hey, yeah, this is a good idea," the Dems will have to prove why the current system is broken and needs major overhaul. I don't know if they can . .
I think the first reaction people will have to this proposal will be shock, it is a crazy idea. But when you think about it, give it some time to sit in your head, it really makes a lot of sense. It is also the one thing that could really bring out detroit voters. They've been pretty nicely gerrymandered away for quite some time, but if this proposal passes, everybody's vote will actually count. I think it just too hard to say no to it.

We'll have to see what kind of language they come out with when they're done.
How would this be passed? Would it be through a referendum or something equivalent. This would take one hell of a sell job? I think something like this could pass in 2006 though if we continually press the corruption theme for the next 12 months.
Well done!
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