In theory, Proposition 77 is a step in the right direction. Gerrymandering is a serious problem that needs to be fixed if we want a legitimate, truly representative democracy, but employing three old, likely out-of-touch judges to play doctor just doesn’t seem like the best remedy.
Our main concerns lie in Prop 77’s oh-so-fine print. If passed, voters would forfeit their right to refuse the redistricting before it takes effect, meaning that officials elected under the rejected plan would still serve full terms.
So, individuals would essentially be at the mercy of three – possibly grumpy – old men. While we at the Daily Nexus agreed that this would make great television, it would also make for bad democracy.
It is unnerving that not one seat changed parties out of the state’s 153 congressional and legislative spots that were up for grabs on the Nov. 2004 ballot, but there are too many holes in this proposition to ignore. The redistricting would be based on the 2000 census – which isn’t exactly current – neglecting about three million new California residents in the process.
While taking the power to carve up the state out of the hands of the legislature is an admirable goal, Prop 77 is a poor excuse for a solution.