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Comments about ‘My view: Critics of redistricting process diminish representative democracy’

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Published: Friday, Oct. 21 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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CHS 85
Sandy, UT

It must be pretty easy to write an article like this when your views are given priority and your way is the way adopted.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

I wonder what Mr. Mero would think if he were on the other side of the equation...

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Mr. Mero recently made a comment that Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County should be split into as many pieces as possible, precisely to nullify liberal voters. And now he's saying it was fair?

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

The headline made my jaw drop. Then I saw who the author was, and I understood.

War is peace. Slavery is freedom. Up is down. And blatant gerrymandering is good for representative government.

Got it.

Thanks, Mr. Mero.

one old man
Ogden, UT

I rarely agree with Paul Mero. But this one time when he got it completely correct.

Sal
Provo, UT

Democrats need to earn the votes necessary to be in charge of the redistricting process. Stop promoting abortion, begin to defend traditional marriage, and stop taxing and spending so much.

Currently, the maps represent the wishes of conservative voters.

Esquire
Springville, UT

This is nothing more than partisan rationalization. It deserves no credibility at all.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Roland Kayser | 6:17 a.m." would have wanted them to keep Salt Lake City and County together, essentially nullifying any conservative votes?

To "CHS 85 | 12:16 a.m." be specific, what views were given priority? How would you have split the state up so that you don't give one group an advantage over another?

From Iraq
Riverton, UT

While some good points are made what is missed is the basic understanding of the hypocracy of the entire process. The legislature has mandated that all local government entities meet in open session to handle all but a few personnel, proerty acquisition, and litigation matters. Yet they can "caucus in private" in what is actually the overwhelming majority of the legislature at anytime and for any purpose. Why not apply the same rules for all governments levels in Utah. Of course any elected or appointed official would prefer to step away from the shrill exchanges that often characterize our public discourse - but that is not open government. Redistricting is a patently partisan process and for anyone to claim otherwise is at best disengenuous and more likly just plain descetive. I am a Republican and am embarrassed that our legislature cannot just be open and say we drew the maps to diminish the impact of the demorcratic party. Be honest. Of course then we would also expect them to tell us the real truth at all times and that is not going to happen in this life.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

In Orwell's 1984, words are redefined as their opposites: war = peace, love = hate, etc. Thus has Mero redefined the word "fair." Orwell would not be surprised.

Noodlekaboodle
Salt Lake City, UT

@ Red Shirt
How would you split up the state to be more fair... Well dude, you split SL County into 2 districts a northern/southern split. Then create a Northern Utah District and a Southern/Western district. That way you create communities of interest, the way the Constitution indicates that congressional districts should be split. Instead of a mix, which defeats the purpose of differentiating between senators and congressmen. Congress is not a state wide election, congressional districts are not supposed to be representitive of the entire population. They are supposed to combine communites of interest, and the Avenues residents have different problems than St George residents.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

If you thought the handling of HB116 and HB447 were bad,
You ain't seen NOTHING yet!

Rand
FLAGSTAFF, AZ

Perfectly written from the perspective of the majority. When districts are drawn to benefit the majority, it is reasonable community representation. When the minority objects to being intentionally marginalized, it is partisan whining and harmful to Democracy.

Hey, Mr. Mero, I hear redistricting like this has been going on in Massachusetts for years, except the Democrats are doing it to preserve their majority representation. To preserve your integrity and prove that this editorial is not partisan, could you publish a similar rationalization in the Boston Globe?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Try as I might, I could not find the definition of "representative democracy" that Mr. Mero is using. His most definitive statement seems to be " Representative democracy does not mean agreement".

The dictionary findings seem to be:

Representative Democracy is where the representative represents the people with the overriding object of doing those things that are in the interests of people. Sort of like the statement "Representatives are elected by the people to do the will of God".

Direct Democracy was defined as have the representative perform exactly as the people desire.

I think I would like movement toward direct democracy better than representative democracy.

In ether case, democracy is not served by dividing people by their home address.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@RedShirt

I honestly don't know how I would divide the state, but if I closed the door and shut out everyone I don't agree with, I could come up with something.

Shaun
Sandy, UT

I have lived in Salt lake County and Washington County and their issues and needs are entirely different.

I think the legislators were trying to dilute democrat voters but in the processes they disfranchised everyone. Even though I hate Utah County I rather have half of Salt lake county be grouped with Utah County and the other half be paired with Davis County than be grouped with Saint George or Vernal.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Mr. Mero is incorrect in stating that we have a "representative democracy".

Everyone should know by now our Legislature has corrected this misperception and Utah children are now taught that instead of having a type of democracy, we have a "compound constitutional republic".

So, it seems, his concerns about the damage done to our representative democracy are, by definition, moot. That system doesn't exist in Utah.

Carol P. Warnick
Ephraim, Utah

What seems to be the focus of this redistricting plan for those that oppose it has been politics rather than urban and rural representation. There needs to be a combination of both urbal and rural to work together for the good of our state and meet the needs of it's people.

John Jackson
Sandy, UT

Mr. Mero presents a thoughtful argument, but I do not agree with it. "Critics of the map . . . argue that they are unfairly represented because their party lost an election." If Paul is suggesting that to the victors, go the spoils, and Republicans won the last election, so they ought to be allowed to draw the lines to their favor without the opposition whining, I disagree. Yes, some of those who voted might, indeed, have been thinking, "Silence those Democrats, if you get a chance, by ensuring they have no Congressional seat they can win." Most voters, I would hope, desire fairness. Most, of them, I believe, would rather that we practice the adage, "I might not agree with what you say, but I'll fight for your right to say it." Most do not want to see the state homogenized at the cost of being unfair to Democrats.

If the Democrats can win a majority in some quadrant of the state, let them.

All this said, I do not know that the Republicans did seek to silence the Democrats. It has been said the urban/rural mix was but a ploy, but perhaps the Republicans were honest in wanting just that.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

It is so easy for liberals to either forget or ignore the fact that in the state wide 2010 election for governor a weak Republican beat a strong Democrat by a margin of greater than 2 to 1. What they can't accept is that the Democratic message doesn't resonate with conservative minded people who think individuals should bear more personal responsibility for their lives.

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