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Florida Initiative for Electoral Reform Logo

Broward County needs proportional representation

Instead of debating how to best pack and crack voters, Broward County should consider a better solution. FLIER calls on Broward County to consider proportional representation in the interests of the public and a functional representative democracy.

 
PRLog - May 4, 2012 - The Florida Initiative for Electoral Reform (FLIER) noted in September 2011 that while the public's attention was focused on whether the Legislature would stay true to the spirit of the Fair Districts amendments, local politicians were busy gerrymandering. Among them are county and city commissioners that supported the Fair Districts amendments which only apply to legislative and congressional districts, not local ones. Broward County is no exception. Its own proposed redistricting plan is presently the subject of a lawsuit claiming the County Commission's gerrymandering protects incumbents while diminishing the opportunities for representation of African American and Hispanic voters. Specifically, the criticism is aimed at the "packing" and "cracking" of voters by partisan and racial demographics to guarantee better outcomes for incumbents or their chosen successors.

Based on the historical and current actions of the two dominant political parties, the Legislature, and the governor, FLIER recognizes that representative democracy in Florida is only valued as much as it benefits incumbent interests. However, for the benefit of all Broward residents and democracy in Florida, FLIER urges the Broward County Commission and the plaintiffs of the lawsuit to consider a better option for resolving this issue.

The best solution to maximize representation for all Broward residents would be proportional representation. Using the single transferable vote method of proportional representation, where voters can rank their candidates in order of choice, a candidate would need roughly 10% of the vote to proportionally win a seat on the nine member County Commission. This would put all seats within the reach of any of the county's diverse demographic groups. Cambridge, Massachusetts has successfully used this method to elect its city council and school board since 1941. Until the McCarthy era, proportional representation was used in 24 big and small U.S. cities including New York City and Cincinnati where it resulted in the first African Americans being elected to city office, among other achievements. Proportional representation is also used by many of the world's established democracies.

Instead of debating how to best pack and crack voters, Broward County should consider a better solution. FLIER calls on Broward County to consider proportional representation in the interests of the public and a functional representative democracy.

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Contact Email:
***@floridaelectoralreform.org Email Verified
Source:Florida Initiative for Electoral Reform
Phone:561-921-5309
City/Town:West Palm Beach - Florida - United States
Industry:Government, Legal, Society
Tags:broward, redistricting, Florida, reform, voting, elections, politics, proportional representation, gerrymandering
Shortcut:prlog.org/11863173
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