Thursday, July 14, 2011

Answering Cincinnatus on Redistricting

In one of the comment threads down below, Cincinnatus posted the following comment:
Democrats or Republicans create the Gerrymanders they think will keep them elected.

Mr. Williamson, would you voice similar complaints if your people had drawn the districts?

Both parties do whatever the heck they want. Neither considers what is best for the people as a whole.

The Republicans screw the middle class to help the wealthy and the Democrats screw the middle class to help the poor.

Either way, the folks in the middle get hosed. A plague on both your houses.

7:00 AM

You can -- and have -- accused me of many things, but I will not accept this charge. In 2009, while the Democrats were still in control of Raleigh, the local Watauga Democratic Party passed the resolution reprinted below. I supported it and still do. In fact, back in 2009, so did the current Republican leaders of the NC General Assembly.

The fact is that Republicans are in charge of the process now. The fact is that they said they would be different. They are. They're worse.
Independent Redistricting Commission

Submitted to the Convention by Blowing Rock Precinct

WHEREAS the Democratic Party of North Carolina strongly believes that competitive elections are the essence of democracy; and

WHEREAS the present partisan system of drawing district lines results in fewer than 15% of North Carolina legislative districts being considered competitive; and

WHEREAS it is in the best long-term interests of the Democratic Party to foster electoral democracy and a government of, by, and for the people, and when the Democratic Party is in power, it can better assure a fair and transparent outcome from reforming the redistricting process; and

WHEREAS this model is currently being successfully used in at least 12 other states;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that in order to create legislative and congressional districts that are truly representative of the population, and to devise redistricting plans that result in competitive congressional and legislative districts, the North Carolina Democratic Party will use all of its influence to encourage the 2009 General Assembly to immediately introduce and support a bill to create a nonpartisan independent redistricting process for the state of North Carolina.

Passed by acclamation April 18, 2009


Tea Party Guy said...

Interesting... thanks for posting that tidbit of history. I thought I had "invented" the idea; recently having contemplated something similar to a jury, a panel of randomly chosen citizens to be trained and equipped to come up with something fair and competitive. But sadly, as in 2009, politicians will never give up a shred of their power back to the citizenry. A pox on both their gerrymandering houses!

Anonymous said...

And the state version of the Democratic party gerrymandered as it wanted.

Henery said...

John Hood no less -- John Hood! -- calls it "Republican gerrymandering."

Anonymous said...

Of course it's Republic gerrymandering. Just as the Illinois redistricting was Democrat gerrymandering and the previous NC redistrictings were politically motivated as well.

I agree, let's have a change in the rules here....let's start in one corner of the state and, sticking with county lines and town limits, redistrict without regard to the races or political affiliations of the citizens.

Feeling scientific today, the Teahadist said...

JW says:

1) "WHEREAS the present partisan system of drawing district lines results in fewer than 15% of North Carolina legislative districts being considered competitive; and"

2)"They're [Republicans] worse.

This is easily verifiable. Compare the party affiliation splits in each district in pre-2010 districts with the ones proposed now. Or wait a while and compare pre-2010 results with post-2010 results. Which produces closer splits?

JW's recent posts gloating about how redistricting could backfire on some Republicans implies that the Republican redistricting will produce more competitive results and hence is BETTER.

If JW was wrong and there are fewer competitive races, the Republican redistricting is WORSE.

Either way, an investigative soul with time on his hands could find the real answer--instead of spending that time spewing empty rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

Run for cover JW, you have been caught in a web!!!

Anonymous said...

Teahadist, your idea about comparing splits of results fails to take into account that more and more people are moving to the right because of the failures of the left. The splits as per results would reflect this with no redistricting.

Cinncinatus said...

JW, as my charge relates to you and the local democratic party, I withdraw it. Thank you for sharing this piece of local of history.

As my charge relates to the state and national level democratic party I stand by it.

The politicians of this country irregardless of party make their decisions to preserve their own power and office. They have no more concern for the common man than Marie Antoinette had for the French people of her day.