Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

"Non-Partisan Redistricting"

Chad Dotson has a post about non-partisan redistricting policies. This subject has come up quite a bit lately, especially with this year's delegate elections where only about 12 of 100 were competitive and 60 delegates went unchallenged. This begs the question, do we need a new system for redistricting?
I do have a few questions. One is, when folks say "non-partisan" do they mean they want 50-50 districts, or do they want districts that pay no attention to politics but more so to common interests? The second is, with lots of people complaining about money ruining politics, why do we want a system where money will control more than it does now?

What does everyone think? Should we change our redistricting policy and if so, how should we do it?

14 Comments:

  • At 11/27/2005 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Any truth to the rumor that Republicans intend to split Harrisonburg in a redistricting move? If true, this certainly will end Harrisonburg's limited influence in the General Assembly. Here's hoping that Republicans in Harrisonburg stand up and fight this move.

     
  • At 11/27/2005 7:57 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    No I havent heard that. I doubt there is any talk of that type 5 years away from redistricting.
    Also, what would be the motivation for doing so?

     
  • At 11/28/2005 3:22 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said…

    You asked which system we prefered. The one you listed closest to what I prefer was:

    "want districts that pay no attention to politics but more so to common interests?"

    I would define interests as income, county, rural/suburban/urban, and making sure that African Americans continue to have the influence they are required to have by Supreme Court decisions in certain districts.

     
  • At 11/28/2005 12:15 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Certainly there would still have to be majority-minority districts, which would result in gerrymandered districts like they are now.
    I am sure most want common interest districts, not 50-50s

     
  • At 11/28/2005 4:59 PM, Blogger Will Vaught said…

    yea, matt lohr will stand up and fight the republican party and beg that hburg is not split..sure...

    if (or when) the Dems take back the control of the house the need to fight the urge to play partsian poltics and try to encourge a redistricting system that is ethical, and as non partsian as possible..i belive this is called statesmanship...

    how they will do this is anyones guess?

     
  • At 11/28/2005 6:03 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    As I have said, I dont know what the motivation would be to split HBurg. They drew the district like it is to anchor HBurg w/ Rockingham. Anything else wouldnt make sense.

     
  • At 11/28/2005 11:47 PM, Anonymous Chris said…

    You know what, I know its popular to say that we need bipartisan redistricting, to make things more competative. But part of me laughs my ass off to hear Democrats complain about redistricting. Was the Byrd Machine THAT long ago? I say, screw it, to the winner go the spoils. We Republicans had to take it for YEARS, so sorry. Its our time now. We had to beat them on their turf, so they have to beat us on ours. I know thast not popular or responsible. But it strikes me as another way for Democrats to take our power away by denying us the privileges that they used for a century to keep Republicans out of power. But we win on their terms, suddenly the rules need to be changed. Sorry, i don't buy it.

     
  • At 11/29/2005 12:31 AM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Yea I agree, but alot of people have said that we shouldnt care what they did, we should do what is right.
    I believe its right to let the legislature draw districts. I know there are other points of view though.
    Glad to see I am not alone in my opinions though.
    Thanks Chris.

     
  • At 11/29/2005 11:20 AM, Blogger Will Vaught said…

    chris - your right about the byrd machine, IT WAS NOT RIGHT (OR ETHICAL) WHEN DEMOCRATS DID IT, AND IT IS NOT RIGHT FOR REPUBLICANS EITHER...

    My point is I want the Democratic Party to become the party that promotes democracy (statesmanship), not the party of "to the winner goes the spoils" (see George Allen) wich in my opiniion is fundemntally undemocratic...

    Therefore, you keep prodding your candidates to play hardball politics and I'll keep prodding mine to be statesman. Does that word mean anything to you?

     
  • At 11/29/2005 11:20 AM, Blogger Will Vaught said…

    chris - your right about the byrd machine, IT WAS NOT RIGHT (OR ETHICAL) WHEN DEMOCRATS DID IT, AND IT IS NOT RIGHT FOR REPUBLICANS EITHER...

    My point is I want the Democratic Party to become the party that promotes democracy (statesmanship), not the party of "to the winner goes the spoils" (see George Allen) wich in my opiniion is fundemntally undemocratic...

    Therefore, you keep prodding your candidates to play hardball politics and I'll keep prodding mine to be statesman. Does that word mean anything to you?

     
  • At 11/29/2005 5:08 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    I am not sure its unethical to have the legislature draw partisan districts as long as they dont go too far.
    Besides, if people dont like the way their reps draw districts; vote them out.

     
  • At 11/29/2005 7:28 PM, Anonymous Chris said…

    Don't give me this statesman crap. Come on, if the Dems won power tommorow, ya'll would work to do the EXACT same thing. Its power, and its intoxicating. We might as well be honest about it. Political power is to be protected, that is a reality. Instead of wishy-washy dreams of acting like statesman, lets be honest. If the Dems took power by 2010, you KNOW they woudl redistrict the Republicans into a minority. But the facrt of the matter is no matter how "bad" it is, redistricitng always seems to acuratley reflect the political leanings of a state (for the most part). We need to stop this myth that the Dems are these high-minded statesmen and the Republicans are just clinging to power. The fact is, when your in power, you want to protect it. Will Vaught, your Dems would do it jsut the same as my GOPers. Its reality, These things ebb and flow on their own natural course. I agree that in a perfect world, we shoudl have fair and competative races. But its not perfect, and don't pretend your "statesmen" wouldn't do anything different.

     
  • At 11/30/2005 10:48 AM, Blogger Will Vaught said…

    i hear you chris, but once again I would like for politicians to be above this, regardless of party afflication. Disinfranchising voters (say minority populaitons especially) isn't fair, and yes it is undemocratic. I will support any leader (regardless of party) who supports breaking this very broken system.

     
  • At 11/30/2005 12:30 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Well the "disinfranchisement" card is getting a little old too.

     

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