Given a choice between a House District 72 configured as it is today or the community-based district like the alternative displayed above, who, besides the political party that drew the district to its advantage, would not prefer the latter?
Imagine a country where the voters selected their representatives, not one in which representatives selected their voters. Is there any doubt that elections would become more competitive? Is there any doubt that elected officials would be less ideological, more pragmatic and more inclined to work across party lines?
The United States is becoming more polarized, and that polarization is turning toxic. Two forces are driving this phenomenon. One is the rise of alternative media which allows people to seek news and commentary that confirms their partisan biases without fear of contradiction. The other is the proliferation of computer-aided redistricting which stifles the need for politicians to appeal to voters with different viewpoints.
Here in Virginia, state government can’t do anything about the media, which rightly enjoys freedom of the press. (Fortunately, media is less overtly partisan on a local level than it is in Washington, D.C.)
But we do have the power to change the way we do redistricting. We should do so quickly — before Richmond replicates the partisan hell that is the nation’s capital.There are currently no comments highlighted.