National and local pundits are talking about the chances of the Republicans taking control of Congress, and what impact that will have on our nation. But the races for governor are not receiving as much attention. I think that is a mistake.
The campaigns for governor and for control of the various state legislatures may have a greater impact on our nation’s future than the current congressional races.
We have just had our 10-year census and the results are starting to trickle in. The number of seats each state has in Congress is determined by population, and there will be changes in the way Congress is divided among the states. That means that congressional districts have to be redrawn next year and the party in charge of each state will have a large impact on the process. Naturally, the party in power will attempt to draw the lines in a way that increases their power.
Georgia will be given another seat in the House of Representatives as a result of the census. Our state will now have 14 seats in Congress, one of the larger delegations. And if the polls are right, the Republicans will control the state legislature and the governor’s office. So, naturally, they will draw district lines that will enhance their power.
Currently, Georgia’s delegation in the House of Representatives is evenly divided. We have seven Republicans and six Democrats. Local pundits have the Republicans picking up one or two of them, thus contributing to the expected Republican control of the House. You can be sure that the new district will be located in a strong Republican area, thus enhancing Republican control in Georgia.
I wish it were not so. We the people are supposed to control Congress, not political parties. Congressional districts ought to be compact so that the people have easy access to congressional offices in their area. They should be drawn based on the social and economic needs of the area. Coastal Georgia has an entirely different culture from the mountains in the north. Agricultural areas require different programs from the urban centers. The sprawling suburbs have yet another set of issues.
Drawing congressional districts to assure elections for one political party or another is simply wrong. Just as it is wrong to draw districts to assure that some special interest group gets a seat in Congress. And most of all, it is unacceptable to draw districts designed to keep some long-term professional politician in office.
Our congressional districts ought to be drawn by a non-partisan committee, and submitted to the voters for their approval. Political party officials and elected officials should be ineligible to serve on the commission. Only then will we the people be fairly represented in Congress.
Congressional offices belong to the voters, not to the politician who currently sits in the chair. We need to keep it that way.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be accessed at http://www.frankgillispie.com/gillispieonline.
Frank ,I couldn't agree with you more.
The gerrymandering of the district's has long led me to believe that we aren't picking our
elected official's but rather they are picking
Not to mention all the propaganda fed to us thru the mass media which is by the way controlled by the FCC and the same two party system.
Couple that with the government run indoctrination system we call Public Schools.
A massive formula for disaster and continued erosion of Freedom,Liberty and Equality !
I personally plan on mixing it up for them all
Some Republican some Democratic and some Libertarian. All for America !!!!!