so last year we californians passed a couple of measures that will impact congressional elections next year. the first change is to completely redraw all of the congressional districts by a non-partisan committee. they have some rules they have to follow. reasonable sounding things. like follow city boundaries. there's still quite a bit of wriggle room for gerrymandering. but this should put the kibosh on the most egregious manifestations. which really sounds like a good thing. the other thing we now have to have two elections. the first election determines which two candidates run off in the final election. this one is pretty weird. presumably the idea is to prevent a minority candidate from winning because two majority candidates split the majority vote. which seems like a good thing. the other possibility is when the minority is so small the majority can put two of its candidates in the final election. in this case the minority might be able to swing the vote towards the more moderate candidate. in other words, this could move politics towards the center instead of towards the extremes. which again, seems like a good thing. i don't know how often either of those cases would come up. but it'll be an interesting experiment. at least until someone decides to put forth enough effort to get the always pliable voters to change the rules again.