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Thursday, January 10, 2013

One Constitutional Amendment to support

    For anyone who is tired of the partisanship in Congress these days you should read an article by Nate Silver of the 538 Blog on the declining swing Congressional districts today.   As he reports:
   "In 1992, there were 103 members of the House of Representatives elected from what might be called swing districts: those in which the margin in the presidential race was within five percentage points of the national result. But based on an analysis of this year’s presidential returns, I estimate that there are only 35 such Congressional districts remaining, barely a third of the total 20 years ago. " 
   Gerrymandering of congressional districts has eliminated the need to compromise to get re-elected for most people in Congress.  The House Republicans still hold a healthy number advantage even after obtaining 1 million less votes than House Democrats in the 2012 election.
    Here in Maryland it seems that the Democrats were able to draw new lines for the 6th Congressional to include enough Montgomery County Democrat votes to turn this seat to the Democrats after being a long time Republican seat.  If you want to see the definition of gerrymandering just take a look at the shape of the 3rd Congressional district that includes some of Howard County.  If you want to see a Maryland Congressional district map drawn based on Presidential voting click here.
   Nine states have gone to a non partisan method to draw Congressional districts.  Maybe it is time for a Constitutional Amendment to have all state move in this direction.  Having politicians draw the lines will always give us our present dysfunctional Congress.

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