In my series from a while back, THE TERRIBLE TWO PARTY SYSTEM, I argued that proportional representation, rather than what we have now,which depends on majoritarianism. Majoritarianism, in terms of race relations, can be haphazardous. In fact, this, along with the prevailing identity politics of the day, along with the economics of elections (only the richest prevail in primaries), means a system dedicated to the exclusion of the poor and the oppressed, no matter what race or ethnicity. Thus, what happens is that certain groups, in majoritarian democracies such as the United States receive over-representation, while leaving the minority begging for scraps.
This is exactly what happens with majority-minority districts, as created by the regularly renewed Voting Rights Acts of 1965. Originally, the VRA was designed to ensure disenfranchised persons access to the ballot as well as representation. Consequently what has happened is that African Americans, Hispanics, and other racial minorities have their political fates determined, as communities, by the process of re-districting. In the United States, in each state legislature, no one party cannot be said to be guilty of gerry-mandering. Gerry-mandering is the norm, make no mistake about it, even if we discuss re-districting in terms of individual candidates and how “liberal this district was” etc.
As recent as last year, the Supreme Court of The United States upheld Section 5 of the VRA, requiring districts with histories of discrimination to request permission from the federal government to change their procedure. This clause, for me atleast, is problematic for a couple of reasons, if you jump over the race issue for a second, the idea that each state has different barriers for ballot access in the first place, rather than one national policy is problematic. This is the primary hurdle for third party candidates, and the restrictions of free speech in recent campaign finance reform, like McCain-Feingold actually add to the burden of those persons who reject the duo-poly of power held by the DummoCrats and Repukeicants.
Now, according to Politico, the states are once more challenging Section 5, yes yes, Amendment 10, we know, same argument. Nothing new. Rather then go through all of this bureaucratic tape, it would be better to revise the Voting Rights act to reform the U.S. into a proportional representation system, with a constitutional amendment ridding ourselves of the Electoral College, and installing the Speaker of the House as the head of state on all domestic matters. All of this red tape leads to more losses on the part of tax dollars (to defend a law that could be so easily changed); this way we will have LESS off a problem of identity politics and charges of racism throughout primaries and redistricting efforts. The VRA should be considered offensive because it takes power out of the hands of individuals and restricts our choices for representation (at both the state and federal level).
Power to the People!