The League of Women Voters has been holding a series of forums on redistricting reform. Everyone who has studied the issue and has any sense of fairness knows that our present system of gerrymandering has badly crippled democracy in this state. Peoples are frustrated, angry, disillusioned, and less and less likely to vote, because they think their votes don’t matter and nothing they can do will have any effect. What’s even worse, they are mostly right. In Michigan their votes mostly don’t matter, not for state government, anyway. Though more voters chose Democratic candidates for Congress and the state house of representatives last year, Republicans once again won huge majorities. Twenty-five years ago, that would have meant a government that might have been unrepresentative, but which would at least been able to get things done. We don’t even have that. The combination of term limits and one-party districts has resulted in a legislature full of craven extremists who have no interest in bipartisan cooperation or solving long-term problems.
For proof, you have only to look at what’s happening with our roads.
The legislature is close to passing a horrible package of bills which would require future lawmakers to strip $600 million dollars every year from the state’s battered general fund, money that virtually has to come out of things like education. And it really won’t fix the roads the way they need to be; the money it adds will be too little, too late.
But those passing this bill don’t care.
They are in safe districts, and by the time the bad effects really hit, many of them will be off working for the special interests they served in the legislature. Redistricting reform would go a long way towards helping restore democracy and functional government. That was very clear to those at a forum the League of Women Voters held near Lansing yesterday. But that forum also revealed why nothing is likely to happen.
Full Article: Redistricting reform and frustration | Michigan Radio.