Posted by Russell Daniels on September 26, 2019 at 2:11 PM
Ban Partisan Gerrymandering and Enact Open Primaries Nationwide
In my second inaugural address, I said, “The American people are instinctively centrist. So should be our government.” That was in 2007. When I delivered the speech, 30 percent of Americans considered themselves Republicans, 35 percent Democrats and 34 percent independents.
Today, the independents have gained, rising to 40 percent, as the Republicans and Democrats have dropped to 27 and 29, respectively. But our political system is not designed for the voter who likes ideas from both parties; it is designed for hardcore activists on the right and left. Gerrymandering creates districts so safe that incumbents win 98 percent of their elections. The only elections that matter are primaries, but closed primaries—in which voters must be registered to vote with a party to vote in that party’s primary—ensure that the right or the left get their most partisan candidates. In Washington, nothing gets done, yet the representatives come home and get reelected—unless they dared to work across the aisle, in which case a more loyal partisan warrior takes their spot.
Our reforms have made their leaders more accountable and more reflective of the people. The country could use that right now.