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View Diary: Chuck Schumer wants to ruin voting with his worst idea ever (112 comments)

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  •  California's other electoral reform (21+ / 0-)

    I'd say if we are going to take any lesson from California and apply it across the country, it should be putting redistricting in the hands of a citizen's redistricting committee.

    1. Books are for use.

    by looty on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 12:36:13 PM PDT

    •  Now that's an idea that works (6+ / 0-)

      Takes away the power of the legislature to give out political gifts in the form of favorable districts, and leads to districts that make more sense geographically. I remember the old CA-10 that went all the way from Tracy down until it curved in to cover Morgan Hill. Is there any reasonable way a legislator can cover that sort of district?

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 12:40:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ironically, a top two system (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eztempo, Sonnet, Calamity Jean

      encourages the parties to retrench partisan gerrymandering.  It is the only way to mitigate the risk of a D+x district electing a republican because 5 democrats split the vote for two republicans to make the runoff.  

      Now, one way this COULD work is to combine a top-two system with instant runoff voting, and say if anyone gets over 50% in the primary, they hold the seat, but that's only available as an option for non-federal elections.  The effect of ranked preference in this instance would, however, to ensure that there is a choice between candidates of different parties, which is sort of the system we have now.

      Regardless, as Schumer's own continued employment proves, the only party that doesn't nominate moderates is the Republicans, so let them fix their problems.  Or lose, they could also lose, and that'd be fine.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 12:50:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Instant Runoff is better than "top-two" (9+ / 0-)

        ...because it mostly avoids the counter-majoritarian possibilities of the "top-two" system, while at the same time freeing voters to give their #1 vote to their truly preferred candidate without worrying about thereby inadvertently helping a horrible candidate from the other party.  Think how differently Florida 2000 would have gone had "instant runoff" been available to Nader voters, enough of whom would likely have made Gore rather than Bush their #2 pick.

        •  Runoffs are also antidemocratic n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

          by Big River Bandido on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 01:05:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  disagree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            enough candidates, someone can win with single digit support and no appeal outside of his or her base.  A run off at least helps balance breadth of support with depth of support.  IRV is better than a runoff, but either is good.

            Now, California has separate laws in place to prevent this, but my main point is simply if I'm a party leader looking at top two, i'm going to want to ensure the districts are partisan as fuck.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 01:17:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Apologies (0+ / 0-)

          I mis-read your comment.  Instant runoffs are not the same thing as a runoff.  The latter are antidemocratic.  The former are less so.  But I am still not enthralled with the idea that the winner must have a majority.  That requirement tends to eliminate a lot of candidates who don't fit the "majority" profile, but who would be good office holders and good representatives for the people.  Sometimes having only a plurality does wonders for one's governance, because the winner has to appeal to those who did not vote for him/her.

          Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

          by Big River Bandido on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 01:12:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Even better (0+ / 0-)

      IMO would be a simple mathematical formula...

      Start at the top of each state, and draw a line horizontally, and then "sweep" that line down north to south.  Once the area encompassed has 1/nth the state population (n = number of representatives), that's a district.  And just repeat from that point.

      Do it vertically if you want.  Diagonally.  ANYTHING to get rid of the gerrymandering and political games these a-holes play to get/keep "safe" districts.

      As for elections...frankly, I'm so sick of the whole two-party system and its stranglehold on our government, I'd be for a single election, winner take all.  Get rid of primaries entirely.  To be on the ballot, you need some percentage of registered voters to sign for you.  Then everyone who meets that criteria is on the ballot.  One with the most votes wins, end of story.

      Please, anything, ANYTHING to break this corrupt, deadlocked, career-politician, corporatist system we have now.

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