May 4, 2009, 9:00 - 12:00 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
In partnership with
held a panel discussion of
Reforming American Redistricting:
Lessons from British Columbia
"As the next census approaches… I think we should begin an open bipartisan discussion about ensuring that future attempts at redistricting are as fair as possible…. [T]he fact of the matter is that we now have a system where, too often, our representatives are selecting their voters, as opposed to the voters selecting the representatives. That is a situation that I think the American people should not accept."
--President Barack Obama
In April 2010, the U.S. government will conduct its next decennial census, triggering a wave of redistricting that will affect elections at all levels of U.S. government. Anticipating this once-in-a-decade event, policymakers and democratic reform activists throughout the United States are crafting laws to create a more democratically accountable redistricting process.
One innovative approach to creating an independent commission on electoral reform has taken place in the Canadian province of British Columbia. On May 12, the British Columbian voters will head to the polls to vote on a redistricting referendum recommended by a randomly selected group of provincial citizens called a "citizens assembly." Does this innovation hold any lessons for American redistricting reform? On Monday, May 4, Hudson Institute gathered analysts and officials to discuss this and other questions that may present themselves as we move towards the 2010 census.
Christopher Sands, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Recent American Proposals for Redistricting Reform
Les Francis, California Proposition 11 and Principal, Washington Media Group
Ellen Freidin, Chairwoman of FairDistrictsFlorida.org
Randy Ford, Aide to Democratic Representative John Tanner
David Vance, (moderator) Director of Communications and Research, Americans for Redistricting Reform
Looking North for a Redistricting Model? A Closer Look at Efforts in British Columbia
J. H. Snider, President, iSolon.org
Click Here for Snider's presentation
Click Here for Snider's working paper
Legislative Update on Redistricting Reform
Gerald Hebert, Executive Director, Campaign Legal Center
Critique of the Redistricting Reform Proposals
Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar on Congress, politics and the elections at American Enterprise Institute
Michael P. McDonald, Non-Resident Senior Fellow on governance studies at Brookings Institution
Bruce E. Cain, Professor of Political Science, University of California-Berkeley
Christopher Sands, (moderator) Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Betsy and Walter Stern Conference Center
1015 15th Street, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
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