The New York Times has jumped on the gerrymandering bandwagon.
Totalitarian nations hold elections, but what sets democracies apart is offering real choices in elections. In recent years, contests for the House of Representatives and state legislatures have looked more and more like the Iraqi election in 2002, when Saddam Hussein claimed 100 percent of the vote for his re-election.
In that same year in the United States, 80 of the 435 House races did not even include candidates from both major parties. Congressional races whose outcomes were in real doubt were a rarity: nearly 90 percent had a margin of victory of 10 percentage points or more. It is much the same at the state level, only worse. In New York, more than 98 percent of the state legislators who run for re-election win, usually overwhelmingly. Anyone who knows anything about New York’s state government knows that’s not because the populace is thrilled with the job they’re doing.
I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I have:
…talk about domestic politics, and an unintended consequence of the information revolution – paralyzed legislative bodies, unable to come to grips with the real issues facing the various states and the nation and exempt from punishment by the electorate. That’s right, unless you are meaningfully accused of murder (Gary Condit), incumbency is essentially considered a property right these days.
There are a number of reasons, and I’ll focus here on one…reapportionment …[more]