"Who Hijacked Our Country" about the recent court decisions regarding the new voter restriction laws got me to thinking about how rigged the whole election process is in this country. The Democrats and the Republicans have tweaked and twisted the system over the years so that every election tilts in their direction.
While the "two party" system seems to work when both of them actually compromise with each other, the polarization of the last 20 plus years has this country's political process so knotted up, nothing is getting done. It is entirely too easy for gridlock to happen when only two parties have the reins. A viable third party would shake both trees and force policy movement that in the end could be considered progress. Right now though, we are dead in the water and tempers are at an all time high.
But how to change the current political landscape to allow for the rise of other parties? Hmm.
One thing that could be done is to create a national system that does not allow states and local areas to pass laws or redistrict based on arbitrary and often prejudicial criteria. There should be a basic set of election rules every state and local area has to adhere to. Elections are too important to allow locals to set them up as they please.
Included in this national election directive would be the outlawing of gerrymandering, the redesigning of congressional districts to favor one party over another. The number of Representatives in the House could still be based on population, but they would be elected in state wide elections, not by specific districts. This would instantly negate gerrymandering.
I know and hear the whining about how the less populous areas of a state would be ill served by Reps being elected in state wide votes. Cry me a river. The damage done to the elective process by gerrymandering over the years far outweighs the predicted and as of yet unproven lack of representation to folks in the more rural areas of a state.
Regardless, the design of congressional districts should be taken out of the hands of partisan state legislators.