You make many good points. This is not a issue that has one good answer. Each answer has drawbacks and which solution is better or worse is in many ways a subjective decision.
Both parties gerrymander. A good friend of mine recently ran for Congress (and lost) as a Republican in a gerrymandered Democrat district and he complained about gerrymandering being unfair to him.
I’m not proposing an end-run around gerrymandering to help democrats. I’m proposing it to make election results reflect the voters desires.
If the districts were neutrally drawn to represent a community or a geographical area there wouldn’t be much for reasonable people to complain about. When they’re specifically designed to give a minority party a majority of the seats it’s an improper interference with the electoral process.
So, if districts were neutrally drawn, I wouldn’t be proposing a Party Voting system.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of voters do vote for party, not candidate. A case in point is Duncan Hunter who was re-elected in spite of being under indictment and then blaming the criminal conduct on his wife!
When interviewed the common response of Hunter supporters was “He’s a Republican. If he is convicted we’ll just vote for another Republican.”
If he were a Democrat in a Democratic district I think the response would be the same.
If we are going to have a representative democracy then it needs to be reflect the views of the majority of the voters, not be gamed to reflect the minority of the voters who may control the drafting of the district maps.
Personally, I would prefer to let a computer program with public source code draw party/gender/income/age-neutral district boundaries and then have a non-partisan primary in each district where the voters could pick their top two candidates irrespective of party. But that’s not the world we live in today.
Unless and until election districts are neutrally drawn I believe that we need a way to make election results match the voters’ choices or at least a mechanism that makes gerrymandering so irrelevant that the parties will abandon it.
So, yes, in the real world today people do vote for party, not candidate, and the election results should not be gamed to favor one party over another. I’m certainly open to other ideas about how to neutralize a system that is manipulated to give a minority party a majority of the seats.
I would happily abandon support for party voting if the district boundaries were neutrally drawn.
— David Grace