Terrible news! California has a big new problem at the heart of its democracy:

There are too many Asian Americans drawing lines.

The lines in question are district lines for Assembly, Senate, Congressional and Board of Equalization seat. The Asian Americans in question are four people from around California whose names were among the first eight people selected – via lottery — to serve on the new Citizens Redistricting Commission.

This over-representation of Asians is suddenly a concern for supporters on the redistricting commission, which is the product of two ballot initiatives, Prop 11 in 2008 and Prop 20 from this November. Those initiatives were supposed to create a line-drawing body independent from politics and representative of the state.

It remains to be seen how politically independent the commission will be. But the body’s structure puts the goal of a representative body beyond reach – and show just how preposterous the commission itself is.

Prop 11 established rules for a selection process that relied on a lottery to select the first eight commission members by lottery from a pool of 36 finalists. In the lottery, candidates who happen to be Asian were lucky, winning four of the eight spots. So now, as these eight commission members pick the next six members needed to fill out the commission, observers of the commission are advising them how to choose.

The Center for Governmental Studies, the state’s leading think tank on political reform issues, argues that the final six commission slots should include at least two Latinos, a mix of four men and two women (including at least one white female), and at least some members from counties that weren’t represented in the first eight.

Yes, my head hurts too.

Creating a representative body of 14 people to represent the 38 million people of California isn’t just foolish. It’s impossible. Fourteen is far too small a number to reflect the diversity of a state with so many different regions, dozens of languages, and nearly as many ethnic groups as there are on planet earth. Heck, the state has more professional sports teams (15 across the four major sports) than it has redistricting commissioners; at least one team’s fans will be left out.

Almost as difficult as 14 is 120. That’s the number of legislators California has – the same number the state had in 1879, when there were fewer than one million Californians. The notion that 120 people could represent a state of 38 million is also laughable. California’s legislators represent three times as many people as lawmakers in the state with the next largest districts. Our districts are 10 times more populous than the national average. No legislature is less representative of its people than California’s.

But these basic facts haven’t stopped the good government reformers of California from focusing relentlessly on the commission. They seem to believe in magic – that getting the right number of Latinos, Southern Californians and political independents – to draw lines will make some difference. So they are devoting precious energy, time, thought and money to the absurd project of trying to create a representative body of 14 that can’t be representative to draw lines for a representative body of 120 that can’t be representative.

The redistricting commission is a grand waste. It can’t change the politics of the state when there are only 120 seats. And it can’t draw more than a few additional competitive districts, given that Californians have sorted themselves into communities of the like-minded, with a blue Democratic coast lapping a red Republican inland.

So forget this pointless commission. If your goal is a more representative legislature, then the body must be expanded in size. (In the book California Crackup, my co-author and I suggest tripling the number of lawmakers to 360 and putting them all in one house). Elect those lawmakers to represent regional, multi-member districts using proportional representation, which would create political competition everywhere, make the legislature more representative of the different kinds of people in an area, and end once and for all the practice of partisan gerrymandering.

And guess what? California could have as many Asian representatives as the voters choose.