Monday, September 19, 2011

Need Something to do Monday?

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 6:40 AM

The most important political issues are not thrilling conflicts of values that pit neighbor against neighbor and fuel the raging fire of culture war. They're boring, bureaucratic techincalties that allow government to function. They're slow, frustrating and boring but they're essential to a working democracy.

Right now, Idaho is mired in one of the most boring and most essential of such processes: redistricting.

The process of carving up a state into districts to ensure proportional representation in government gets controversial when someone realizes that whoever shapes those districts can do so in a way to further their agenda by stacking voter demographics toward their political party.

That's what's happening here as state Republicans work to carve up the the few Democratic districts in the state.

Many say, "So what? Let 'em. Idaho is a majority-Republican state and this is just government reflecting the people's will." But the Idaho Mountain Express made an important counterpoint to that idea in a recent editorial.

There's a problem with long-term, out-sized majorities. When they face too little countervailing political muscle, they get flabby and careless. In the worst cases, they may become intellectually and politically corrupt.

Minority party senators and representatives bring countervailing viewpoints to bear when overwhelming majorities go thundering toward a cliff. Sometimes minority viewpoints can stop an ill-advised political stampede or at least modify a majority's destructive path.

And that's to say nothing of the fact that one-party rule is what the founders of America rebelled against hundreds of years ago.

So today, do something about it.

District 20 Democrats will meet to go over redistricting progress and see what role they can take in the process.

The meeting is at the Moxie Java in Eagle. It starts at 7 p.m. and is free.

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