Friday, September 29, 2006


I often sympathise with the "it's not ideal, but it's what CAN be done" argument. It makes sense. When you're talking about some things. Things like settling for a 5% flat tax when you really want 3%. Or whatever. But safe districts are a subversion of our Republican form of government. Instead of leading a battle for Utah, Governor Huntsman is leading a cowardly retreat before the battle has even begun. His four safe district map perpetuates a system by which incumbents create such unassailable positions of power that they are not held accountable until they committ such gross misconduct that even the most strident partisan finally says "enough".


Anonymous Justin said...

This is a compromise that will be made by party hacks in Congress, not here in SLC. Control of the House could come down to a single Representative, and no Democrat in DC is going to agree to a plan which might result in Utah sending 4 gerrymandered Republicans to Congress instead of the current 2.

The Governor has to go along with the Big Plan between the two parties in the House or it won't happen. He can get a fourth seat now by agreeing to a 3 to 1 party apportionment, or he can lead a pointless battle on principle and get nothing until 2012. There is no middle ground here. It's Congress.

His best approach would be to take the deal now and lead the real battle on principle when the four districts are redrawn. With the Supreme Court decision on Tom Delay's redistricting scheme, the Republican supermajority in the Legislature will try to create one-party representation in time for 2008. He can show his commitment to fairness then.

And Chris Cannon is proof that nobody cares about "gross misconduct."

9/29/2006 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Ethan, much as I yearn for more competitive districts, and as much as I find it a betrayal of the public to make the interests a priority in districting, the fact remains that except for one geographically small region, the state is overwhelmingly Republican. How could the districts be arranged in a way to make them more competitive without giving an unfair advantage to (indeed, gerrymandering in favor of) the Democrats?

9/30/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take the map - divide it into fourths and let the chips fall where they may. Interesting that we're all up in arms about those bad Republicans who (since they are in control) get to draw those boundaries. Where is the outrage for the exact same stuff from the Democrats in states where they rule. What about Florida - where they actually draw the map around individual houses. Also, there is no such thing as an "independent" commission. Somebody has to appoint those guys. And everyone has a bias. That's not bad, it's just reality. The Democrats need to stop whining and come up with something that is meaningful enough and sensible enough to make people want to vote for them. It can be done - look at Salt Lake County.

After 40 years of Democratic control of this country, a Republican came along with a meaningful and sensible message and turned the political tide. It didn't matter how the political maps were drawn (heavy Democrat), the people spoke because someone spoke to the people. The Democrats are not going to be able to do it with their "we hate George Bush and that's our only platform" thinking.

10/01/2006 11:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this really such a big deal?

10/02/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Stan said...

I can't stand Chris Cannon.

10/02/2006 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Reach Upward said...

I agree that we should have as many competitive districts as possible, but Justin has a point. The only way this thing will pass is if it provides exactly one additional firmly GOP seat and one firmly Democratic seat. I argue (here) that the whole thing is unconstitutional. It would be better to just wait until 2012, and then do it the right way at that time.

10/04/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Looking at the plan, it isn't impossible to have two Democrats elected. The new 4th CD contains much of Matheson's current 2nd CD, including SE Salt Lake County, and Washington County. Does anyone else think it is possible for Matheson to be elected in this new district? It's a type of political deviousness that I doubt Matheson possesses, and it could torpedo the whole plan, but Matheson could move into the new 4th CD, and run there, leaving the 2nd CD to elect a more progressive Democrat.

10/12/2006 12:57:00 AM  

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