Thursday, July 6, 2017

Why Am I Skeptical of This Headline?

In 2016, the U.S. House had a 97 percent re-election rate, despite the latest Gallup poll placing the House’s approval rating at 21 percent.

A big part of the reason why is the way we elect our representatives. The U.S. uses a winner-take-all, single-member district system. Those districts are often drawn in a way to privilege one party over another — which is called gerrymandering. So if you’re a Democrat living in a district drawn to include a huge number of Republican voters, your vote is purposely drowned out (and vice versa).

And [if] a candidate wins 40 percent of the vote, while her two opponents get 30 percent each, the first one wins, even though 60 percent of the district voted against her. That dynamic effectively forces political actors to sort themselves into two parties, or risk being boxed out of power entirely.


A group of representatives in the House want to change this system, and are introducing legislation to [...] make America’s federal elections more representative and competitive.

Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer authored and introduced the Fair Representation Act. [...] Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland have co-sponsored the legislation.

  The Intercept
I think I see a flaw in this.

Because of gerrymandering, Republicans hold the reins of power, and this is a Democrat sponsored bill.
The bill would do three things: require all congressional districts to be drawn by independent redistricting commissions, establish multi-member districts, and have all districts use what’s known as ranked-choice voting (RCV).
All things that we've needed for decades but which the Democrats were happy enough to reject until now that the gerrymandered Republican congress is in power and looks to stay that way.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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