Reform is needed

Reform is needed

California is leading the way in reforming Congressional elections and driving members back toward the middle rather than force them onto the extremes.


California instituted two important reforms


First, they have an independent Commission in charge of reapportionment. As a result two sets of incumbents ran against each other. States with one party rule (both the legislature and Governor of one party) produce partisan maps that in this case net over the next decade favor Republicans. Of course, in Illinois the Democrats did the same thing


Second, California instituted an all-party primary. Hence, Republicans don’t gallop to the right to win their primary and Democrats don’t sprint to the left.


The results:


7 California incumbents aren’t coming back


Two Democrats (Stark and Baca) were defeated because they lost against a member of their own party in the general election.


In one race with two Republicans the moderate (Gary Miller) won.


For the first time Henry Waxman was forced to run a real campaign because he was challenged by an independent (who really is a Republican) as a result of the all party primary.


Overtime districts will be more competitive and partisan extremes through an all party primary will be moderated.


Think for a moment the primary in Wisconsin that will follow in the wake of someone like Jim Sensenbrenner’s opting to retired. In all party primary a moderate Republican will win the seat. In the event of a party primary a very conservative victor of a primary will become the Congressional representative Similarly in Milwaukee when Gwen Moore departs or runs for higher office, the winner of an all party primary will be much more moderate than the victor of a democratic primary.


To return to the middle reform is needed.

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