Eliminate districts

By Juan Reardon
Published August 19th 2006 in Contra Costa Times
Every 10 years there is a sort of "partisan cleansing" of the voters by moving the district boundaries around. The party with the current majority in the state Assembly, the Democratic Party, looks after its safe districts, and the Republicans keep theirs. The governor's proposed alternative was introduced in the hope that a panel of friendly judges would help the GOP gain some of the secured Democratic districts. I suggest we expand our democratic participation and give the voters a chance to be represented in Washington by a Californian for whom we want to vote for regardless of where we live. Let's eliminate all together the use of "districts elections" for our California's national representation, and start a system that elects members to the U.S. Congress based on proportional representation. Statewide primaries will select lists of candidates within each party. Statewide general elections will assign to each party the number of seats proportional to the number of votes the party receives in the statewide election. It works in most civilized nations of the world. It might even reinvigorate the discussion within the political parties about the platform that voters really want and limit the corrupting influence of money. Juan Reardon Richmond