[Marxism] The Green Party and California Redistricting Initiative

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Wed Aug 17 10:04:27 MDT 2005

The way California's legislative districts are drawn will be on 
November's special election ballot. The measure would take aware the 
power of redistricting from the legislature and give that power to a 
panel of retired judges.

Schwarzenegger claims that this is the most important measure on the 
ballot and is using it to make gains for the Republican Party. Since 
the legislature is in the hands of the Democratic Party (part of the 
winner-takes-all system of U.S. elections), it is easy to see how this 
would result in a gain for the Republicans. His main arguing point is 
fairness requires that it be taken out of the hands of the legislature 
and given to independent judges.

This is an excellent opportunity for supporters of Proportional 
Representation to launch a big campaign to explain Proportional 
Representation would benefit voters, who under PR would be able to 
choose candidates that actually represent their views instead of having 
to choose between two parties, neither of which represent their views.

Under PR, congressional districts would be combined and voters could 
vote by preference. If, for example, out of a field of 10 
congresspeople, 10 percent chose a Green Party candidate as their first 
choice, that person would go to Congress. Since California is the 
largest state and has 53 representatives, it is obvious that the Greens 
and perhaps one or two other left-wing independent parties would be 
able to win.

A couple of weeks ago, one of the Green Party groups held a forum on 
the subject, but at this point it seems that nothing is happening. In 
other words, there is no plan to fight for PR, and they are losing a 
great opportunity to put themselves before the public as an advocate of 
democracy and meaningful electoral reform.

The campaign should be to defeat the initiative and win individuals and 
organizational allies for a future reform in favor of PR.

For California districts,

Brian Shannon

More information about the Marxism mailing list