Jim Vote- 2008 MCPP Intern
While conducting some research recently, I came across this candid document on a UAW web site: “Government Reform Proposal to Help Democrats.” It gave me a laugh, and I brushed it off, given the lack of sources and the overtly partisan nature of the presentation.
But now this proposal is gaining strength, and according to the Detroit Free Press, it will probably be on the ballot in November (“Voters may be asked to downsize Lansing”). There are so many things wrong with it that I’m not really sure where to begin. We’re all for “right-sizing” and reforming state government, but the blatantly partisan nature of what this measure does to make that happen in disturbing. The redistricting provision, for example: A truly fair way would be to have a Senate with a representative from every county, and a House that is districted based on population, not along partisan lines as proposed by RMGN. Yes this would create a larger Senate, but at least it would be fair and reasonable.
The proposed Executive Branch cuts appear to be a response to the absence of a strong candidate to succeed Gov. Granholm. The cuts in the Judiciary are a blatant response to the strict constructionist court Michigan currently enjoys. The only “non-GOP” Justice position proposed for removal is a new appointee of the Bush Administration who is moving to the federal bench anyway.
Partisan politics has its place, but restructuring state government to play this game is wrong, regardless of who’s doing it. Taking advantage of an angry and defeated population is unprincipled. The truly scary part is that this proposal really could become law. Michigan’s population is angry, but if their backlash assumes this form it will do nothing to solve the state’s real problems.