Political posturing

Jan 152002

In the next few days, we should get some solid idea of what our state will look like after a seventh congressional district has been added. This is a regular change, as congressional districts are shifted slightly after every census in an attempt to more accurately represent the population of the country. But frankly, we’re quite sick of the process.

The Colorado State Legislature, the body with the authority to draw up a districting plan, has failed in every attempt to do so. If they do not reach a compromise by January 25, then Denver District Court Judge John Coughlin gets to decide what Colorado’s political future looks like. The plan that looks to have the best chance of success in the legislature passed the House with only a two-vote margin. Most voted on party lines.

The issue, for many legislators, seems to be that they want a division that will ensure that the particular political party in control retains control. At the very least, say several Democrats, the districts should be competitive when it comes to elections.

And if only the Democrats had control, then perhaps they would get their way. But that cannot happen in a Republican-heavy state like Colorado, and that means Colorado’s future will probably mean continued Republican control.

It would be wonderful if there were some way to redraw district boundaries without the process becoming a political struggle. However, it would be moronic to assume the process will be fair, even though we wish it could be.

Politicians, do what is best for the state of Colorado. Try to create districts that legitimately represent the make up of Colorado. Even better, make them competitive so that, come election time, we can focus more on ideas and individuals than on political parties.

Everybody else, realize that, no matter what happens with redistricting, someone will feel cheated or neglected. That is, unfortunately, one of the problems with a system of majority rule.

Perhaps it is ridiculous to allow politicians to be in charge of making political rules. But that is our system, and it is the best we have.

Maybe some of our political science students can fix this silly system someday.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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