Thursday, January 06, 2005


It is indeed rare that I have an opportunity to praise a Republican. However, the moment has come and I applaud a recent action by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Governor has moved to change the system of drawing legislative districts in such a way that the incumbent is protected. He proposes to take the authority to draw districts away from the legislature and turn it over to a panel of retired judges. The Governor is in for a fight but he vows to take the issue to the people if necessary.

Whether or not Mr. Schwarzenegger's motives are political, he is doing the right thing. In the last election, not one of 153 legislative seats changed hands. This is a state disgrace, and it is a national disgrace. Because of district gerrymandering, only a few of our national congressional races are truly competitive.

Perhaps we should spend more time and money improving democracy in America rather than imposing it on others by force.