Posted 5 years ago on March 5, 2015, 8:59 p.m. EST by larryathome
from Red Bank, NJ
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Voting and elections have consequences, especially for those that do NOT turn out to vote. We have seen midterm shellacking in two consecutive midterm election cycles, but not based on what has been done or not done by the executive branch, but because turnout was extremely low. In fact, we have very low participation in our democracy compared to other nations in the world. The election cycle that left us in a decade long state of gridlock in Washington was the 2010 midterm cycle and that was not solely due to the results for the House Of Representatives, but it ultimately was with the state legislatures in six states.
This post explains how the GOP used their majorities in the various state legislatures to redraw the map in order to insure Republican majorities in the House for a decade. The state legislatures in question have the task of redrawing the map so that congressional districts are drawn. Both parties have abused this in the past by packing opposition voters into a smaller number of districts while the majority party will spread out to many districts with lower, but safe margins of victory. This all but assures that the representation in Congress for that state will reflect the views of the majority at the time of redistricting.
Regardless of the beliefs that you have, you should find this practice to be dangerous to democracy, because you have no way to hold your elected officials to account for their actions. If they have a safe bet that they will win their race every election cycle, partisan purity will rule their vote and their threats to leadership in their own party thus dividing the parties in a way that leads to gridlock. In fact, it can be said that every extremist view from the GOP ultimately did not come from the centrist members of the party, but from the far right wing of the party and if it made it to the desk of the President, he would veto it.
Please give your thoughts both here and on the blog. I really would love to hear how people feel about this if it bothers you or not.