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View Diary: Democrats, it's time to register as Republicans (28 comments)

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  •  Addressing symptoms rather than the problem (0+ / 0-)

    It's going to be hard to get an organized and significant movement behind such an idea.

    For one thing, laws can get complicated.  Here in Texas, I signed someone's petition to get on the ballot for the Democratic primary.  And in doing so, by state law I had to promise not to vote in the Republican primary.  So this scheme would require me to give up any chance of influencing Democratic primary choices, in the hope that I might be able to elect some mythical moderate Republican who wouldn't cave to the very real and well-understood phenomenon of a challenge from the far right rather than the much more nebulous idea that her district might contain a lot of partisan stalking-horses.

    Plenty of people don't want to have to maintain some artificial fiction in their head: "I'm a Democrat, but I vote Republican to get better candidates."  That's a form of cognitive dissonance, and most healthy people try to avoid such internal conflict... which, again, adds to your trouble in achieving buy-in for this scheme.

    What we need is a popular movement to overturn gerrymandering on a national level, through universal federal mandates.  Ideally we'd accomplish it legislatively; under our conservative-riddled court system, it's probably hard to enact it judicially (even though reforming redistricting is a natural follow-on to the Supreme Court's 1960s-vintage decisions that first enshrined the "one man, one vote" ideal for equal-population, single-member districts).

    Election reform is a much-needed effort.  Heck, President Obama brought it up during his victory speech after Election Day, 2012.  The current mess in Washington should serve as the driver to enact federal legislation mandating minimum standards in early voting, polling places, ballot design (perhaps with a generous shout-out to preferential ballots and cumulative voting!), and redistricting (with, perhaps, a reversal of Congress' 1960s-vintage ban on multi-member districts, as long as balloting with the "super-district" is done via preferential or cumulative voting to protect the ability of minorities, whether political or ethnic, to elect a candidate of choice).

    •  Democrats Gerrymander too (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not trying to pull some false-equivalence minimizing bullshit, just point out the reality of the situation.

      Democrats are also guilty of gerrymandering. When they're the party in power, they gerrymander districts of their own. Isn't that short-sighted of them? Of course. Once they're the minority party again, like the Republicans, gerrymandering ends up hurting them.

      Nevertheless, it makes it that much less likely that they would spearhead any real efforts. Hopefully, they would. But they haven't in the past. Cali and Washington and Oregon are recent examples, but examples that are too far and in between. I really don't think it's realistic to expect this anytime soon. Should we work toward this end? Absolutely. But as another commenter said, where big steps are not possible, baby steps.

      •  True Enough (0+ / 0-)

        But sometimes a chasm is too broad to cross with baby steps alone.

        Neither Democrats nor Republicans should be permitted to gerrymander.  And our electoral process should permit and affirm third parties, rather than using the "spoiler effect" on archaic  first-past-the-post ballots to crowd them out.

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