There is one significant problem with Mr. Schwarzenegger's idea: He wants new districts drawn as soon as his constitutional amendments are approved. We understand his reasoning: Past gerrymandering has produced an unrepresentative legislature, which in turn is blocking some of his other proposed reforms, so, for him, the sooner the lines are redrawn the better. But we think the counter-argument is stronger: The advent of mid-cycle redistricting is a dangerous trend, threatening a new front in partisan warfare as district lines become subject to change whenever the political balance shifts.
Redistricting should take place after each census, once every 10 years, and Mr. Schwarzenegger should push to change the system now but leave the lines in place until 2010. He should not let mid-cycle redistricting pollute his otherwise crucial message.
Friday, February 11, 2005
From a Southern Mississippi paper (apparently originally from the Wash Post): praise for Schwarzenegger's reform idea, but with an important caveat: