At least at the magisterial district level, we now know what the lines will be in November. The utter beauty of this plan is that a bunch of the people that Supervisor Wally Covington screwed over by blocking the establishment of a new elementary school — because it didn’t benefit his district — will now be his constituents and be in the position to hold him to account for harming the educational opportunities of their children. As for the rest of the outcomes, this ended up being the very model of inclusive redistricting where everyone in the community had their say and to the maximum extent possible, everyone in the community got what they wanted.
Compare this open, inclusive and thoroughly bi-partisan approach to that of Senate majority leader Dick Saslaw and Senator George Barker. Their utterly goofy gerrymander failed to garner a single minority party vote, was vetoes by the Governor for violating state and federal law, and all we’re hearing so far from Senate Democrats is that they’re not going to change their horrible plan one bit, no mater what anyone says. The plan has been subjected to a strongly bipartisan withering fire from the press, the blogs, and the community and he has vowed not to modify that plan one bit.
So whose the model for actual Democracy here? Republican Chairman Corey Stewart who listened and adjusted lines based on community input and got a unanimous vote supporting his plan? Or Senate Democrats who won’t listen to anyone, draw ridiculous district lines that violate the law, and vow that any efforts to actually get the Senate to listen is tantamount to political surrender?
We in the county now have some certainty about what’s going to happen. The most likely outcome of the hysterical partisanship in the General Assembly is that we’re going to have elections for state offices based on the current district lines in 2011 and a judge is going to draw boundaries for new elections in 2012. Back-to-back years and we’re going to see not only 140 delegates and senators running for elections that year, but one U. S. Senate seat, eleven Congressional house seats, and a President running as well. It’ll be a real mess. Complete election overload.
For the next 18 months or so we’re going to live very interesting lives because the Senate of Virginia can’t operate with an efficiency even approaching what we see in Prince William County government. Government works best when it listens to people, and that makes all the difference.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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