Monday, April 5, 2010

Putting an end to gerrymandering

From the NY Times:

...the state’s redistricting system creates almost lifetime tenure for elected officials and an almost imperial level of control for the majority leadership. Separating it from political influence must therefore be high on any reform agenda.

The Legislature should create a panel of distinguished citizens, perhaps including a few legislators, which would submit three plans for redistricting; the Legislature could choose one of them, but could not alter it.

The Legislature should also take the process of disbursing member items out of the majority leader’s hands, and create an objective scale for determining the amount given to each legislator.

In the last statewide election, in 2008, many Democratic candidates stressed the need to reform the legislative process in the Senate. They gained the majority, but unfortunately the reform agenda is still on hold.


Ridgewoodian said...

Hey! It's my district!

As long as you have single member winner take all districts you're always going to have gerrymandering and an entrenched two-party system. A relativly simple fix would be to have larger, multi-member districts, with seats given to candidates meeting a certain threshold of election and votes for them in excess of what they need for election transfered to second and third choice candidates, if any, at full value. Say New York City was treated as a single big district with, for argument, fifteen members to elect. You'd maybe end up electing, oh, nine Democrats, three Republicans, a couple of Greens, and maybe a Conservative. Something to consider.

Anonymous said...

This is a despicable practice that should be abolished especially here in the City where there is no reason for it.

Anonymous said...

Gerrymandering must end. It would put the politicians on notice that they better pay attention to its constituents or be out of a job. This has gone on too long and while the politicians are ensured job security, the citizens are left holding the bag.

Anonymous said...

If you enjoy looking at gerrymadering maps, check out Toby Stavisky's district, it's like huge blogs, connected by tiny panhandles.