Every 10 years we redraw the legislative and congressional line, usually poorly.
Watch for two issues next year to be at the forefront: whether we should ask people their immigration status when we count them and what impact the foreclosure crisis will have on where people live. Congressional Quarterly does a good primer on this issue.
The immigration is a non-issue that some on the right will howl about. They will say that we favoring states with high illegal immigration. Its a bit of an issue de jour. I don’t remember this being such a do or die issue in 2002 or 1992. We’ve always counted everybody, regardless of where they are from. That does not mean that the illegal immigrants will control our government. At least, if history is to be a lesson.
As for foreclosures, that might be one reason that Arizona will only get one new member of congress, and not two. Projections in 2007 and 2008 when I was working on the issue were that we would get two new congressional seats. Stand back and watch in 2011 as politicians in Maricopa county fight to get that new district laid out to favor their races.
I know it is unpopular to “increase the size of government”, but perhaps we might look at having more than 435 members of Congress for 235 million Americans. Something about better representation when your member of congress does not have to attend to over 500,000 constituents all at once.
Call me crazy.