The new Citizens Redistricting Commission won't be able to do much to make California politics work better. Changing who draws legislative district lines won't do much more than produce a handful of slightly more competitive district lines. This is a minor change at a time when partisanship, an outdated election system and the blue-red geographic divide coastal and inland California has all but ended competitive legislative elections in the state.
But at least the commission promises to be entertaining. The first eight members of the 14-member commission were selected lottery-style yesterday using Bingo balls. They were chosen from among 36 finalists in a long process designed to attract people who had no recent history of political involvement. They will then have to draw lines for districts under guidelines that limit what data they can see. (Yes -- this is political virgins wearing blindfolds).
Now, these eight members will select the six remaining commission members themselves from the 28 remaining finalists.
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One hopes that this particular reality show will be televised. Political reform has never been so intriguing. If only this reform were substantive.