The more I think about, the more I’m compelled by what Arnold had to say. For example, he’s proposed a redistricting of California. What’s happened is that the legislature has been given the power to redistrict, so that, in a rare show of bipartisanship, Democrats and Republicans came together and redistricted in such a way that it ensured that there would be no competition for the districts they represent. It hardened everything along party lines, sometimes going to ridiculous lengths to do so. This page shows one absurd example, a district that is 200 miles long and only 100 yards wide in places.
Why is this bad? As Arnold says, it’s reversed the process – instead of voters choosing their legislators, legislators are choosing their voters. And by making most districts heavily weighted towards one or the other party, it encourages extremism on both sides. Were districts more competitive, those elected would likely be more centrist (and reasonable) as Arnold sees himself.
His plan is not for the governor to have redistricting power, but to put in in the hands of a panel of retired judges who have never held public office, with certain other requirements in regards to their political affiliations, who are selected by the legislature and have no personal political stake.
I think it’s a great idea, and I can’t see any negatives about it. It’s definitely not unfair. It’s definitely not partisan. I dunno, I’m highly in favor.