Friday, October 12, 2012

YES on 40: A No-Brainer to Support Citizens' Redistricting

Some of the propositions require wading through lots of argument for and against, but not Prop 40. You may recall that over the last several years, California has instituted a citizens redistricting commission to draw the political district boundaries that for years had been egregiously gerrymandered by both parties. (Seriously, look up gerrymander in Wikipedia, and you'll see a picture of California's 2008 State Senate districts.) The first citizen's commission completed their work in 2011, and the new more fairly and rationally drawn districts were in place for the June 2012 elections. Alas, several incumbents were unhappy about the new districts, and they placed this referendum on the ballot and sued in court, in the hopes of getting the districts tossed out for the 2012 elections. These politicos were righteously smacked down by the California Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion that noted that not only do the new districts appear to comply with all of the constitutionally mandated criteria, but they were arrived at through an "open, transparent and nonpartisan redistricting process", as was the intention of the California voters in establishing the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Having lost in court, the proponents of this referendum are no longer even supporting their own referendum. If you look in the voter information guide, the argument against Prop 40 is just a short statement from the people who put it on the ballot saying essentially "we give up". (Yes, it's a bit confusing, but the people who put the referendum on the ballot wanted a "no" vote.) So the obvious thing to do is to vote YES on 40, and show your support for California's open, transparent, and nonpartisan redistricting process.

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