I’ve decided that when I retire, I’m going to run for Congress. It may not be a serious bid, but I’m going to do it. I may start small and run for city council or the school board, but I’m running. I hear more and more every day about how corrupted everything’s become by the two-party system, and it just bothers me. My latest point of ire? Redistricting. We don’t pay a lot of attention to it because it happens once a decade, but here’s how it works:
- The census is taken and numbers counted. In the 10 years since the last census people have moved around, and populations shift. This means it’s time to move voting districts and reallocate representatives.
- State legislatures have the responsibility for redistricting, and if you think the national legislature is bad, get a load of your state houses. They’re snake pits of people not bright enough to make it to the national level. They’re the ones who decide how to draw up the lines.
- Whichever party is in power in the house at the time of redistricting gets to draw up the lines. As long as they don’t get too crazy, they can draw them up however they want, giving them advantages over the other party whereever possible.
- There have been several public cases of abuse, mostly in the South and California. If you get caught goofing with the lines too much, it’s called gerrymandering, which is my new favorite word.
Doesn’t that piss you off? Couldn’t the lines be drawn by computer simulation? I’m no genius, but I think I could write that in Tcl over a weekend. I’m tired of everything in government being a vast winged (left or right, take your pick) conspiracy. The work of government should be apolitical for the most part. Legislation I completely understand as being a point of much contention, but the daily work of government and even the courts has become rife with political machinations. It makes me want to become a conspiracy theorist, but I just don’t drink that much coffee…