We’re back! I’ve been quiet for the last two weeks, the short version behind my absence is that I had two weeks left on an internship during the day while I got a job at night delivering pizzas. Working between 60 and 70 hours a week, I just didn’t have time to write, source, research, and finalize posts for this blog. I barely had time to run.
The internship ended last Friday and with more time back in my hands, we should be getting back into our usual routine here at Everybody Calm Down. I’m sorry for all of our devoted readers and followers, but I look forward to getting back at it. The Spiderman: Far from Home review will be dropping soon. As always, leave a comment below and if there’s any topic in particular you want me to write about, let me know!
Our order of business today originates with Rucho v Common Cause, a Supreme Court case from last Thursday in which the Court ruled 5-4 they did not have the power to redraw gerrymandered Congressional districts. Our purpose here is not to analyze the decision, but I agree with the majority that drawing legislative districts is a political issue, not a legal one, and it needs to be handled by political bodies such as state and national legislatures, not the Supreme Court. (Gerrymandering is the practice of drawing Congressional districts for partisan political gain, a good explanation on the problem of gerrymandering can be found here.)
Rucho and the problem of gerrymandering has brought questions of electoral reform back into focus, and what policies might help ensure our elections lead to effective and representative government. For conservatives, that usually takes the form of support for voter ID laws. For progressives, that means automatic voter registration, stronger campaign finance restrictions, expanding early voting, and an independent commission to prevent the gerrymandering seen in Rucho.
We talked about a couple of my ideas for electoral reform a very long time ago, such as having nationwide same-day voter registration and a civics test as a requirement to vote. As for the policies I just listed, some I find unobjectionable, such as expanding early voting, and some I dislike, such as campaign finance restrictions.
However, all of these are narrow solutions, and I’m not sure how much many of them would actually change things, at least not to the degree their proponents think they will. Automatic voter registration isn’t going to usher in an era of Democratic dominance, and voter ID laws aren’t going to ensure Republican victory by preventing millions of fraudulent votes. If you actually want meaningful electoral reform and to fix the problems of voting in America, you need to shoot higher. We are going to discuss two of these ideas, but since this got somewhat long, I wrote them out as two distinct posts.
The first idea is to expand the size of the US House of Representatives. To learn why that would be a good idea, click this link here.
The second idea is to adopt Mixed-Member Proportional representation. To find out what that is and why it’s a good idea, click this link here.