Critics of redistricting process diminish representative democracy

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  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 24, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    I very much agree with Mr. Mero this time, since he isn't writing about amnesty for illegal immigrants.

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 23, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    To Carol P. Warnick | 8:26 p.m. Oct. 21, 2011
    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.


    Combining rural and urban interests dilutes both, and works to the benefit of neither. Especially, it does not work for the good of either the state or its people. The only thing this redistricting works to benefit is the far right wingers, who want to disenfranchise everyone else. Utah and its people deserve better.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 22, 2011 8:29 p.m.

    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.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:19 p.m.

    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.

  • Carol P. Warnick Ephraim, Utah
    Oct. 21, 2011 8:26 p.m.

    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.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 6:04 p.m.

    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.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    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.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 1:56 p.m.


    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.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:41 a.m.

    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.

    Oct. 21, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    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?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 9:08 a.m.

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

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 8:55 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 21, 2011 8:29 a.m.

    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.

  • From Iraq Riverton, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 8:02 a.m.

    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.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    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?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:36 a.m.

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

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:30 a.m.

    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.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:10 a.m.

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

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:09 a.m.

    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.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 6:17 a.m.

    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?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 12:55 a.m.

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

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 12:16 a.m.

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