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There have been quite a few diaries concerning wins for "Democrats" in Tuesdays election.  On TV, this was generally presented as follows: the successful vote was described, and then followed up by an interview with a Democratic pundit.  The topic of discussion then turned to - will democrats win more seats in the coming election.

I think these type discussion totally missed the point of what happened on Tuesday.  I think many of the legislative wins on tuesday had a common thread; they were the result of the direct vote of the people, not elected officials.

Its clear that Republicans have a stranglehold on many state governments, and possibly the House of Representatives.  Why?  Because so many districts are hopeless gerrymandered.  

A good example is President Obama's Jobs Bill.  Poll after poll show that voters support it by a 2-1 margin.  If it were put to a direct vote by citizens, rather than elected representatives, it would easily pass.  But the reality is that through gerrymandering, Republicans are able to easily defeat it, repeatedly, even though it has the support of the people.

Taking all this into account seems to present an alternative approach for many states.  Maybe its time to abandon financing politicians, and instead use our money and efforts to create and support ballot initiatives, where the vote of the people is the final say, not the vote of a politician from a gerrymandered district.

Unfortunately, our US Constitution does not directly allow for ballot initiatives.  If it did, the Jobs bill could easily be passed.  But the good news is that 24 states do allow ballot initiatives.  Voters may want to consider bypassing their gerrymandered government representatives and directly enacting legislation in these states.

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