As the days dwindle down to a precious few – to be precise, a precious two – the 15 members of the state’s Congressional Reapportionment Commission remained unable Monday to reach a compromise on drawing the boundary between Maine’s two congressional districts.

With a meeting set for today (postponed from Monday because of Irene) and a plan due by Wednesday, the commission’s Republican and Democratic members apparently are still miles apart (at least on the map) as to where the district line should go.

Republicans appear to believe that significant adjustments to the boundary will improve their odds of gaining at least one seat in the 2012 election.

Democrats, on the other hand, seem to think that keeping the boundary as close as possible to the current line will enhance their chances of maintaining their current dominance of both congressional seats.

Yet the commission is tasked with producing a plan by Aug. 31 that will be presented to a special session of the Legislature (which has both chambers controlled by Republicans for the first time in decades) on Sept. 27.

The GOP members, claiming that they had produced a district division that resulted in just a one-person surplus instead of the current disparity of 8,600 or so, produced a plan that had the home towns of both Democrats in the same district. Unsurprisingly, that didn’t win over any minority support.

Meanwhile, the first Democratic version moved just one town – Vassalboro – and came up with an 11-person difference. The Republicans sniffed at that, but subsequently said they had offered the Democrats new schemes that kept Rep. Chellie Pingree’s home town of North Haven in her current district. But the latest version, released Monday, still shifted the Lewiston-Auburn area into the 1st.

Democrats responded with new plans called “China-Vassalboro” and “Gardiner-Vassalboro” that ended up with a 1-person discrepancy as well.

At this point, the average Mainer is probably ready to switch to a parliamentary system, and we are wondering why we ever thought that it was a bad idea to let judges draw the lines – which is what will happen if the Legislature’s ultimate selection faces a successful court challenge.

Sad to say, that may be the best we can hope for out of this “process.”