I run across a lot of these… short little letters to the editor expressing disappointment in the lack of connection with mainstream voters that the ideologues in control of the two major parties have with constituents – both at the state and local level.
This part from one in the Arizona Daily Sun stuck out to me:
Unfortunately, I see little opportunity for betterment with the current state of mind of the majority of legislators. Not only have they chafed at voter-mandated health care for the impoverished but other voter mandates such as “First Things First,” which funds early childhood development; increased sales tax to prevent cuts to education (which they cut anyway). It is more than apparent that our governor and the majority of the Legislature are out of touch with the reality and the challenges of our state.
Recently, Gallup conducted a study of the most conservative states. Arizona ranked 28th. Which means that our centrist citizens are being held hostage by radical ideologues. It is my hope that redistricting will set the stage for a more rational and representative form of state government.
Matthew Capalby, from Flagstaff, is spot on here. There is a long list of reforms that we need to push for in coming years, but taking the power of redistricting away from the political parties is at the top of that list. Thankfully, there is movement in the right direction on this, but most states still give this power to the partisans who have a majority. They are able to draw those districts in ways that all but assure the most seats to them for the next ten years.
If any independent and/or centrist movement does bubble up in coming years, this should be one of our top priorities, before the next census.