Only five percent of respondents in a recent poll answered that they approved of the “way Congress is handling its job.” (1) Yet 38% of the current members of Congress were elected with at least 67% of the vote. (2) One of the reasons for this inconsistency is that the districts that they represent have been engineered to protect the interests of the parties over the positive results for the voters.
When a member of Congress comes from an ideological homogeneous district, there is no reason for them to interact with those with different viewpoints. When they only need to satisfy their base the ability to compromise is looked at negatively. This translates to a Congress that is stuck in the mud with the needs of the party placed above the needs of the country.
Looking to end gerrymandering would be a good place to start if we want to break the impasse in our government. (3)
While I understood the concept of gerrymandering I did not have a full appreciation of how it worked until I reviewed my own congressional district. A street level view of the intricacies of just a small section of these boundaries can be found at http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1053355
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