I have previously discussed some of the factors that make British politics more functional than U.S. politics at the moment, such the smaller gap between the parties’ views and the greater prevalence of cross-party friendships.
Bagehot points out another critical force for good in UK politics: Non-partisan redistricting commissions that command wide public respect. Bagehot describes a public meeting of the district Boundary Commission of England at which politicians of all stripes make their varied self-serving pleas for gerrymandering but nonetheless accept the legitimacy of the independent commission’s ultimate findings.
Contrast this victory for democracy and decency with the situation in Arizona. A bipartisan resdistricting commission refused to gerrymander in a fashion that satisfied Republican Governor Jan Brewer. The Governor and her allies in the state legislature therefore promptly removed the commission’s chair from office.