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(Slate)   On Tuesday night, Democrats swept the Presidential and Senate elections, but despite more total votes for Democratic candidates, the solid Republican house majority was saved by the heroic actions of one man, Mr. Gerry Mander   (slate.com) divider line 132
    More: Hero, Democrats, Senate, Republican, democratic  
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2782 clicks; posted to Politics » on 09 Nov 2012 at 9:31 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-09 10:04:44 AM  

Chimperror2: I woke Wednesday and it looked a lot like Tuesday.


The roving rape gangs and rampant cannibalism won't start in earnest for a few more weeks. The economy still has some upward momentum left over from the Bush recovery.
 
2012-11-09 10:06:31 AM  
I am glad they mentioned IL in that mix. God was I dumbfounded by the shapes of some of the new districts.

We need omputer generated districts which rely on census data to get the most compact districts as possible.
 
2012-11-09 10:06:48 AM  

Wellon Dowd: If the per-capita number of members of the House was the same now as in the first Congress there would be over 8000 Representatives. Smaller districts, by the very nature, would be more homogenous and more clearly represent the interests of the populace of that district. It would also allow regular people to run for Congress.


Good God, are you suggesting that we have MORE congressmen? I thought we had way too many as it is. The last thing we need is 8000 of those retards; 435 is too many as it is.
 
2012-11-09 10:07:44 AM  

that bosnian sniper: Proportionally-elected statewide Congressional delegations.

That's all I have to say about it.


That's really the only solutions given how partisan mapping has become and will likely always remain.

There's plenty of evidence out there that non-partisan mapping commissions are influenced by partisans on both sides.

And leaving it to the computer simply doesn't work because you'd still have to decide on what criteria the algorithm should use in drawing districts. For instance, how far should it go with contorting district boundaries to ensure the a minority population has enough representation in a district to be able to elect a congressmen of their choice? Or in other words, I think it makes sense to sometimes draw funky looking districts in areas where there is a very large minority population but it is not geographically compactly consolidated to ensure that there can be a minority member of congress.
 
2012-11-09 10:08:13 AM  
In Federalist Paper #46

I love how conservatives cite the Federalist papers as if they hold some sort of legal authority.
 
2012-11-09 10:08:56 AM  

theknuckler_33: In Federalist Paper #46

I love how conservatives cite the Federalist papers as if they hold some sort of legal authority.


Oops, wrong thread.
 
2012-11-09 10:10:15 AM  

CPennypacker: Just take how many seats the state has and let everyone vote for their top 2 or 3 candidates. If a state has 12 seats the top 12 voted-for candidates get the seats. This way everyone's voice is heard.


That would have the same effect in a state that the electoral college has on the presidential election. Rural areas in a state wouldn't get any attention at all, while you could end up with 9 or 10 people from a large city which would ordinarily only get 3 or 4 of the 12 going by district.
 
2012-11-09 10:10:17 AM  

BMulligan: CPennypacker: BMulligan: CPennypacker: The district concept is flawed and needs to be reworked. Land does not need representation, people do.

And this is exactly why congressional districts are drawn the way they are. Those boundaries that look so artificial on the map are intended to follow demographic, not geographical, contours. As much as I regret the present Republican majority in Congress, I think people who point at oddly shaped congressional districts as though they represent some tragic flaw in the system are being kind of dumb.

They are drawn by partisans. The states are enough of a geographical divisor. Just take how many seats the state has and let everyone vote for their top 2 or 3 candidates. If a state has 12 seats the top 12 voted-for candidates get the seats. This way everyone's voice is heard.

And when I want to go down to my congressman's neighborhood office and speak to a policy assistant, maybe even make an appointment to speak directly to my representative, which of those 12 at-large representatives represents me? None of them, that's who. "Having a voice" doesn't mean voting; it means influencing my representative's vote by letting my voice be heard. I can do that under the current system, but not under the system you're proposing.


Call him?
 
2012-11-09 10:11:24 AM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: Terlis: Uchiha_Cycliste: Los Angeles county has 10 million and is almost 5,000 square miles. Does a hard limit of 8 really sound like a good idea?

You do realize that because California has 55 electoral votes, that means up to 55 counties can be divided in CA.

I'm speaking solely to the idea that a county should be restricted to 8 districts. It's a foolish idea as it in no way takes into account population density. I am aware of California's overall representative potential.
If you go by pure population, LA country should have 14 or 15 representatives, not a max of 8.


Where did you get that LA county would have a maximum of eight?
 
2012-11-09 10:12:23 AM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: First of all, the man is dead and isn't going to win any more elections so I'm unclear why you're harping on him when he has nothing to do with TFA or election (no, just kidding, actually I'm not, it's because you're horribly dishonest).


C'mon, TFA runs a couple days after the election and points out where Republicans did well in an area with a long history of corrupt gerrymandering, and all of a sudden NOW it's an issue? That's what I brought up Murtha. He was the left's military darling even despite his obvious ethical faults and even though there was never a piece of defense or highway pork he didn't get a taste of.

Second of all, what part of "it's never been okay" is too complicated for you?

It's never been okay in places like Texas where Tom Delay was massaging the districts, but it sure is fine in places like California, New York, Illinois and (until Tuesday's result) Pennsylvania. TFA is obvious cherrypicking. It's still okay anywhere Democrats won on Tuesday.

Do I need to break it down syllable by syllable for you to understand it or would that still be too much for your feeble mind? Finally, don't think you're fulling anybody with your libertarian bullshiat, you're a "Fark Independent" and everybody here knows it.

Yeah, that's so totally me. Pro-same-sex marriage, pro-choice, pro-over-the-counter-birth-control, pro-drug-legalization, pro-science, pro-felons voting, pro-higher-taxes-on-the-rich (in exchange for zeroing out corporate taxes and subsidies). I'll cop to being a cheap bastard, but I'm an across-the-board cheap bastard. I don't want to pay for abortions, contraceptives, wars, flood insurance for Hamptons asshats, food stamp programs that promote obesity, OR the military-, medical-, prison- or education-industrial complex.

I hope that covers enough for your finely honed and superior sensibilities.

BMulligan: If you think Congress is an unworkable mess now, just wait until it's sixteen times bigger.


If each representative then has 1/16th the power of a current member, I see no problem with it.

State of the Union speeches would turn into sucktacular arena theatrics, but I can live with that.
 
2012-11-09 10:13:01 AM  
After 2010 when NC ended up with a big Republican majority in both state houses, they promptly redistricted the entire state. When done they had several districts that had two Democratic incumbents running against each other (in a now majority Republican district).

Even though they had complained about the district running down I-85 from Concord to Greensboro, they didn't change that one. Instead, they turned David Price's district into a meandering, rambling affair that now runs from Chapel Hill (where he has his voter base), east to southern Raleigh and up to east Raleigh, and then south down to northern Fayetteville. The idea was to put enough Republicans in his district to offset the Democrats in Orange County. Meanwhile, Renee Ellmers (R), after being elected in 2010, got a new district that ran all the way from the Virginia border near Elizabeth City to west Raleigh, and south to southern Fayetteville. Her and Price's districts are so enmeshed together they look like matching jigsaw puzzle pieces. They ended up splitting Wake County (Raleigh) into three different districts; Price, Ellmers and one other, rather than just two in the past.

It worked, too. NC is sending a large majority of Republican Representatives to the House this year.
 
2012-11-09 10:13:19 AM  

wxboy: CPennypacker: Just take how many seats the state has and let everyone vote for their top 2 or 3 candidates. If a state has 12 seats the top 12 voted-for candidates get the seats. This way everyone's voice is heard.

That would have the same effect in a state that the electoral college has on the presidential election. Rural areas in a state wouldn't get any attention at all, while you could end up with 9 or 10 people from a large city which would ordinarily only get 3 or 4 of the 12 going by district.


Shouldn't the city get more representation? It has more people in it
 
2012-11-09 10:14:23 AM  
Gerry Mander?
I love that guy!
I'm in the midst of a half-assed PR campaign to look bat-shiat crazy instead of criminally corrupt, and I still won reelection to my congressional seat.

Thanks Gerry!
www.chicagomag.com
 
2012-11-09 10:16:28 AM  

Triumph: Simple solution - follow the Iowa model. Pass a national law that counties cannot be broken up by a number greater than the number of districts. 8 districts = 8 counties can be divided.


Or California's model, where we voters took the process out of the hands of the Legislature entirely. Our Constitution requires compact districts that to the extent consistent with equal representation respect (in order of priority) counties, municipalities and neighborhoods, and puts the job of drawing the maps into the hands of an independent commission of Dems, GOPs and "none of the above" voters.

When we used to have gerrymandering I lived in Dan Lundgren's safe GOP district, which snaked from the Nevada border all the way to Napa, sometimes less than a mile wide and snaking around cities to capture nothing but reliably GOP voting ranchers, farmers and vintners. I was voting with people who lived 100+ miles from me rather than the town 5 miles away.

This year the district was compacted into co-terminus counties, including several small cities he had previously avoided, where he fought a close and ultimately losing fight with his Democratic opponent. District 7 now comes no closer than 50 or 60 miles to me, and I still vote with my neighbors.

Our Commission doesn't break up neighborhoods, either, so when Vallejo was put in the same district as Napa, there was no giving half the blacks to Napa and half to the neighboring district, thereby diluting their voting power. Successful candidates will have to appeal to their entire district instead of getting to pick their own voters.

The rest of the country could do worse than adopt a similar system.
 
2012-11-09 10:17:06 AM  

Flab: Uchiha_Cycliste: Terlis: Uchiha_Cycliste: Los Angeles county has 10 million and is almost 5,000 square miles. Does a hard limit of 8 really sound like a good idea?

You do realize that because California has 55 electoral votes, that means up to 55 counties can be divided in CA.

I'm speaking solely to the idea that a county should be restricted to 8 districts. It's a foolish idea as it in no way takes into account population density. I am aware of California's overall representative potential.
If you go by pure population, LA country should have 14 or 15 representatives, not a max of 8.

Where did you get that LA county would have a maximum of eight?


I was responding to Triumph's comment (quoted below). And was using LA county as a counter argument to a maximum of 8 districts per county.

Triumph: Pass a national law that counties cannot be broken up by a number greater than the number of districts.

 
2012-11-09 10:17:49 AM  

thornhill: that bosnian sniper: Proportionally-elected statewide Congressional delegations.

That's all I have to say about it.

That's really the only solutions given how partisan mapping has become and will likely always remain.

There's plenty of evidence out there that non-partisan mapping commissions are influenced by partisans on both sides.

And leaving it to the computer simply doesn't work because you'd still have to decide on what criteria the algorithm should use in drawing districts. For instance, how far should it go with contorting district boundaries to ensure the a minority population has enough representation in a district to be able to elect a congressmen of their choice? Or in other words, I think it makes sense to sometimes draw funky looking districts in areas where there is a very large minority population but it is not geographically compactly consolidated to ensure that there can be a minority member of congress.


Allow me to play the dumb Canadian, here for a minute...

Canadian ridings are, for the most part, roughly square (or follow a natural boundary, such as a provincial border, or river) and are based solely on the number of residents, yet we have no problem electing whites, latinos, blacks, asians, indians, straights, gays, and probably even a martian or two.

Why do you feel the need to make special rules for minorities?
 
2012-11-09 10:18:09 AM  

CPennypacker: wxboy: CPennypacker: Just take how many seats the state has and let everyone vote for their top 2 or 3 candidates. If a state has 12 seats the top 12 voted-for candidates get the seats. This way everyone's voice is heard.

That would have the same effect in a state that the electoral college has on the presidential election. Rural areas in a state wouldn't get any attention at all, while you could end up with 9 or 10 people from a large city which would ordinarily only get 3 or 4 of the 12 going by district.

Shouldn't the city get more representation? It has more people in it


The problem is that they would end up with all of the representation. In Virginia, for instance, all the representatives would be from either Northern Virginia, Richmond, or Tidewater. Nobody from southwest of Charlottesville would get elected.
 
2012-11-09 10:21:03 AM  

theknuckler_33: Liberals should really give up this whining about gerrymandering because liberals do exactly the same thing every time they get the chance. Doesn't make it right by any stretch of the imagination, but clutching at pearls and hand wringing about the Republicans doing it is pretty hypocritical.


You're right. Both sides do it so we should never fix it ever.
 
2012-11-09 10:21:17 AM  

BMulligan: Gulper Eel: Wellon Dowd: If the per-capita number of members of the House was the same now as in the first Congress there would be over 8000 Representatives. Smaller districts, by the very nature, would be more homogenous and more clearly represent the interests of the populace of that district. It would also allow regular people to run for Congress.

I could go for this.

My god, what a farking awful idea. If you think Congress is an unworkable mess now, just wait until it's sixteen times bigger.


Agreed. But it would make sense to redistribute representation based on population. You could tweak it so that our least populous state, Wyoming, gets 1 representative and everyone else gets reps based on how much bigger they are then Wyoming. That would mean California, with the biggest population, would have 66 reps. It would result in a bigger and more representative Congress but not one with an unmanageable number of reps.
 
2012-11-09 10:21:24 AM  

CPennypacker: wxboy: CPennypacker: Just take how many seats the state has and let everyone vote for their top 2 or 3 candidates. If a state has 12 seats the top 12 voted-for candidates get the seats. This way everyone's voice is heard.

That would have the same effect in a state that the electoral college has on the presidential election. Rural areas in a state wouldn't get any attention at all, while you could end up with 9 or 10 people from a large city which would ordinarily only get 3 or 4 of the 12 going by district.

Shouldn't the city get more representation? It has more people in it


I'm thinking of a situation where, say, 50% of the population lives in the large city and the rest is spread out through the state (sort of like close to half in Michigan lives in four or five counties around Detroit). In that scenario, 12 people from the city can all be elected, while chances are candidates from around the state have their support diluted by people voting for hometown favorites. So, the city would effectively have 12 representatives while the rest of the state had none.

It would mean that every candidate would have to appeal to the city only, because the rest of the state isn't enough.
 
2012-11-09 10:22:01 AM  

StoneColdAtheist: Triumph: Simple solution - follow the Iowa model. Pass a national law that counties cannot be broken up by a number greater than the number of districts. 8 districts = 8 counties can be divided.

Or California's model, where we voters took the process out of the hands of the Legislature entirely. Our Constitution requires compact districts that to the extent consistent with equal representation respect (in order of priority) counties, municipalities and neighborhoods, and puts the job of drawing the maps into the hands of an independent commission of Dems, GOPs and "none of the above" voters.

When we used to have gerrymandering I lived in Dan Lundgren's safe GOP district, which snaked from the Nevada border all the way to Napa, sometimes less than a mile wide and snaking around cities to capture nothing but reliably GOP voting ranchers, farmers and vintners. I was voting with people who lived 100+ miles from me rather than the town 5 miles away.

This year the district was compacted into co-terminus counties, including several small cities he had previously avoided, where he fought a close and ultimately losing fight with his Democratic opponent. District 7 now comes no closer than 50 or 60 miles to me, and I still vote with my neighbors.

Our Commission doesn't break up neighborhoods, either, so when Vallejo was put in the same district as Napa, there was no giving half the blacks to Napa and half to the neighboring district, thereby diluting their voting power. Successful candidates will have to appeal to their entire district instead of getting to pick their own voters.

The rest of the country could do worse than adopt a similar system.


That sounds much more fair. It's equally objectionable to me to have things gerrymander-ed to be close as to gerrymander vote sinks and safe districts. People who live near each other should work together to pick a representative.
 
2012-11-09 10:22:48 AM  

Gulper Eel: Ridiculous gerrymandering in Pennsylvania was okay until Jack Murtha died.


It was never OK, districts should not look like a jigsaw puzzle.
 
2012-11-09 10:23:27 AM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: Flab: Uchiha_Cycliste: Terlis: Uchiha_Cycliste: Los Angeles county has 10 million and is almost 5,000 square miles. Does a hard limit of 8 really sound like a good idea?

You do realize that because California has 55 electoral votes, that means up to 55 counties can be divided in CA.

I'm speaking solely to the idea that a county should be restricted to 8 districts. It's a foolish idea as it in no way takes into account population density. I am aware of California's overall representative potential.
If you go by pure population, LA country should have 14 or 15 representatives, not a max of 8.

Where did you get that LA county would have a maximum of eight?

I was responding to Triumph's comment (quoted below). And was using LA county as a counter argument to a maximum of 8 districts per county.

Triumph: Pass a national law that counties cannot be broken up by a number greater than the number of districts.


I still don't see why that means 8 is a hard limit, and not just an example of a state with 8 congressional districts.
 
2012-11-09 10:23:55 AM  

wxboy: CPennypacker: wxboy: CPennypacker: Just take how many seats the state has and let everyone vote for their top 2 or 3 candidates. If a state has 12 seats the top 12 voted-for candidates get the seats. This way everyone's voice is heard.

That would have the same effect in a state that the electoral college has on the presidential election. Rural areas in a state wouldn't get any attention at all, while you could end up with 9 or 10 people from a large city which would ordinarily only get 3 or 4 of the 12 going by district.

Shouldn't the city get more representation? It has more people in it

I'm thinking of a situation where, say, 50% of the population lives in the large city and the rest is spread out through the state (sort of like close to half in Michigan lives in four or five counties around Detroit). In that scenario, 12 people from the city can all be elected, while chances are candidates from around the state have their support diluted by people voting for hometown favorites. So, the city would effectively have 12 representatives while the rest of the state had none.

It would mean that every candidate would have to appeal to the city only, because the rest of the state isn't enough.


I can also think of a scenario where everyone in the city votes for the same people and the top 3 candidates get 50% of the votes. The rest of the state gets disproportionally represented.

It's not ideal but its better than the way it is now.

We could also have non-partisan groups create the districts based on demographic data instead of elected douchebags redrawing lines so their party-mates get elected.
 
2012-11-09 10:23:56 AM  
Four words: Mixed Member Proportional Representation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT0I-sdoSXU

----

lamecomedian: Headline: "How Ridiculous Gerrymanders Saved the House Republican Majority"

TFA: "To be perfectly fair, Democrats played the same game in Illinois and Maryland, squeezing out suburban Republicans by packing just enough of Cook County and Montgomery County, respectively, into their districts."


Blue states where Republican legislatures and governors gerrymandered the districts: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin: 83 Representatives.

Red states where Democratic legislatures gerrymandered the districts: Arkansas, West Virginia: 7 Representatives.

But hey, both sides are bad, right?

----

If I had time, I'd do the math for each state, but I've already done it for my own. In OH, Republican representatives got 52.5% of the votes statewide. Republicans won 75% of the seats, though: 12 out of 16. If representation were proportional, Republicans should have 9 out of 16 seats--as the majority, they get the "round up" benefit.

Average Republican share of 11 districts (1 R district uncontested): 57.8%
Average Democratic share of 3 districts (1 D district uncontested): 71.0%

These are the numbers you have to look at.

----

Since Maryland was brought up as a counter "But but Dems do it too!" example, let's consider their shares:

Democrats received 64.8% of the votes, which should translate to 6 out of 8--again, they get the "round up" benefit. They will have 7 out of 8 seats.

Average Democratic share of 7 districts: 70.0%
Average Republican share of 1 district: 70.1%

----

Anyone want to do the math on all the rest of the states?
 
2012-11-09 10:24:06 AM  

Gulper Eel: Second of all, what part of "it's never been okay" is too complicated for you?

It's never been okay in places like Texas where Tom Delay was massaging the districts, but it sure is fine in places like California, New York, Illinois and (until Tuesday's result) Pennsylvania. TFA is obvious cherrypicking. It's still okay anywhere Democrats won on Tuesday.


No it's farking not, dipshiat. No one ever said it was. In fact, from TFA: To be perfectly fair, Democrats played the same game in Illinois and Maryland, squeezing out suburban Republicans by packing just enough of Cook County and Montgomery County, respectively, into their districts.

Now STFU, you whiny little shiat.
 
2012-11-09 10:24:10 AM  
My proposal:

1. Let each party on the ballot (and interested parties that get enough signatures) propose a districting map.
2. Let voters decide which map they like best every two years, during the general election.
3. Use the winning map for the next election.
4. Rinse and repeat.
 
2012-11-09 10:24:10 AM  

Gulper Eel: all of a sudden NOW it's an issue


No, it's an issue after every farking election. It was an issue before this election. There have been lawsuits. Stop making shiat up.

Gulper Eel: It's still okay anywhere Democrats won on Tuesday.


Your words, nobody else's. If you're that butthurt about it, go write your own article.

Gulper Eel: I hope that covers enough for your finely honed and superior sensibilities.


If you don't like society, feel free to get the fark out of it. Nobody is making you stay here to reap the horrible, horrible benefits that come from living in a modern world supported by a system constructed and maintained by the collective wisdom and resources of the people.

Get your bootstraps and GTFO.
 
2012-11-09 10:26:03 AM  
I'm curious as to how much the votes for representatives reflects the actual electorate -- does anyone have a good centralized data source for how many votes were cast in individual House races? The NYT site only shows the percentage of each race's victory, not the actual votes cast. I figure there would be discrepancies between votes cast for House races and the Presidential races due to provisional ballots and third-party votes, but I wonder how big that discrepancy is.
 
2012-11-09 10:26:54 AM  

Flab: Allow me to play the dumb Canadian, here for a minute...

Why do you feel the need to make special rules for minorities?


Because there is a looooooooooonnnggg history in the US of conservative political parties (primarily the Democrats from 1865 through about 1970, then the Republicans after that) who routinely divided up minority towns and neighborhoods to dilute their voting strength, ensuring the dominant party won all or most seats.

All snark aside, this is still a very much ongoing struggle in the USA.
 
2012-11-09 10:27:04 AM  

odinsposse: Agreed. But it would make sense to redistribute representation based on population. You could tweak it so that our least populous state, Wyoming, gets 1 representative and everyone else gets reps based on how much bigger they are then Wyoming. That would mean California, with the biggest population, would have 66 reps. It would result in a bigger and more representative Congress but not one with an unmanageable number of rep


This cannot be said enough.
 
2012-11-09 10:27:08 AM  

Flab: Uchiha_Cycliste: Flab: Uchiha_Cycliste: Terlis: Uchiha_Cycliste: Los Angeles county has 10 million and is almost 5,000 square miles. Does a hard limit of 8 really sound like a good idea?

You do realize that because California has 55 electoral votes, that means up to 55 counties can be divided in CA.

I'm speaking solely to the idea that a county should be restricted to 8 districts. It's a foolish idea as it in no way takes into account population density. I am aware of California's overall representative potential.
If you go by pure population, LA country should have 14 or 15 representatives, not a max of 8.

Where did you get that LA county would have a maximum of eight?

I was responding to Triumph's comment (quoted below). And was using LA county as a counter argument to a maximum of 8 districts per county.

Triumph: Pass a national law that counties cannot be broken up by a number greater than the number of districts.

I still don't see why that means 8 is a hard limit, and not just an example of a state with 8 congressional districts.


You may be right, and I misread his comment and intent. Or rather misinterpreted it to mean no county divided greater than 8 sections. I conceded all arguments and will flee into a 40 degree morning ride to work as penance.

\I probably blew it.
 
2012-11-09 10:29:31 AM  
Interesting that subby thinks that Gerry is a male.

Continuing with the war on women. Sad.
 
2012-11-09 10:29:37 AM  

CPennypacker: I can also think of a scenario where everyone in the city votes for the same people and the top 3 candidates get 50% of the votes. The rest of the state gets disproportionally represented.

It's not ideal but its better than the way it is now.


This whole idea does work if you only get to vote for one person instead of 12. I was thinking of a situation where each person can vote for 12.
 
2012-11-09 10:32:34 AM  

LazarusLong42: Four words: Mixed Member Proportional Representation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT0I-sdoSXU

----

lamecomedian: Headline: "How Ridiculous Gerrymanders Saved the House Republican Majority"

TFA: "To be perfectly fair, Democrats played the same game in Illinois and Maryland, squeezing out suburban Republicans by packing just enough of Cook County and Montgomery County, respectively, into their districts."

Blue states where Republican legislatures and governors gerrymandered the districts: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin: 83 Representatives.

Red states where Democratic legislatures gerrymandered the districts: Arkansas, West Virginia: 7 Representatives.

But hey, both sides are bad, right?

----

If I had time, I'd do the math for each state, but I've already done it for my own. In OH, Republican representatives got 52.5% of the votes statewide. Republicans won 75% of the seats, though: 12 out of 16. If representation were proportional, Republicans should have 9 out of 16 seats--as the majority, they get the "round up" benefit.

Average Republican share of 11 districts (1 R district uncontested): 57.8%
Average Democratic share of 3 districts (1 D district uncontested): 71.0%

These are the numbers you have to look at.

----

Since Maryland was brought up as a counter "But but Dems do it too!" example, let's consider their shares:

Democrats received 64.8% of the votes, which should translate to 6 out of 8--again, they get the "round up" benefit. They will have 7 out of 8 seats.

Average Democratic share of 7 districts: 70.0%
Average Republican share of 1 district: 70.1%

----

Anyone want to do the math on all the rest of the states?


I could see the "good" side of gerrymandering being exactly what's done in Maryland- like-minded people pick a like-minded representative. If we made districts so that they're made up of the precise average demographics of the nation as a whole, the majority party would control all of the seats, and that's crazy. But if the outcome is that the strength of victory regardless of party and proportion of seats compared to overall vote are roughly equal, then that seems like the right outcome.
 
2012-11-09 10:33:11 AM  

Arkanaut: I'm curious as to how much the votes for representatives reflects the actual electorate -- does anyone have a good centralized data source for how many votes were cast in individual House races? The NYT site only shows the percentage of each race's victory, not the actual votes cast. I figure there would be discrepancies between votes cast for House races and the Presidential races due to provisional ballots and third-party votes, but I wonder how big that discrepancy is.


Not saying you should trust it, but ThinkProgress says 53,952,240 D and 53,402,643 R

Not finding anything else easily.
 
2012-11-09 10:34:39 AM  

wxboy: CPennypacker: I can also think of a scenario where everyone in the city votes for the same people and the top 3 candidates get 50% of the votes. The rest of the state gets disproportionally represented.

It's not ideal but its better than the way it is now.

This whole idea does work if you only get to vote for one person instead of 12. I was thinking of a situation where each person can vote for 12.


It's still a problem, though. Look at my state, Washington. Right now I think we have 4 Republicans and 6 Democrats in our congressional delegation (I'd have to check to be sure, but that's close). If we had at-large voting, we'd have probably 9 Democrats and 1 Republican (Dave Reichert would survive a statewide vote, I think). Virtually all of our representatives would come from the I-5 Corridor, and none would come from the eastern half of the state. Outside of Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, and Bellevue, no one in Washington State would be represented in Washington, D.C.
 
2012-11-09 10:35:09 AM  
ITT: "Libs do it a little bit too so pay no attention to how much more the GOP does it."
 
2012-11-09 10:36:02 AM  

wxboy: CPennypacker: I can also think of a scenario where everyone in the city votes for the same people and the top 3 candidates get 50% of the votes. The rest of the state gets disproportionally represented.

It's not ideal but its better than the way it is now.

This whole idea does work if you only get to vote for one person instead of 12. I was thinking of a situation where each person can vote for 12.


Yeah that was my plan. They can vote for 1-3 candidates. This way there's still room at the bottom of the scale for the less populated demographics to win representation.
 
2012-11-09 10:36:22 AM  

Gulper Eel: It's never been okay in places like Texas where Tom Delay was massaging the districts, but it sure is fine in places like California, New York, Illinois and (until Tuesday's result) Pennsylvania. TFA is obvious cherrypicking. It's still okay anywhere Democrats won on Tuesday.


What are you talking about? New York's redistricting helped republicans like Richard Hanna (R). The old district lines put Ithaca and Binghamton in the same district, pretty much guaranteeing a democratic majority there; the new lines cut Ithaca free to float in the derp of its own county, and tie Binghamton up with Utica. Also, NY has a republican majority in the state legislature, at least up until tuesday, and democrats opposed the redistricting.

That being said, the redistricting in NY looks very logical. If it helped Republicans, it's only because some unjustifiable squiggles were redrawn into straighter lines.
 
2012-11-09 10:37:45 AM  
New Jersey's districts are equally divided up between Republicans and Democrats, but 'mandered in such a way it's always a safe seat. So when you win, you're basically a congressman for life.

There's a reason why congressmen have a two year term - it wasn't supposed to be a lifelong career. You do your normal job, then take two years off to go represent your constitutions in Washington, then you go back home to your normal life.
 
2012-11-09 10:37:49 AM  
A little liberal butthurt to go with the heaping servings of butthurt the GOP had shoved down their throats on Tuesday? Greedy much?
 
2012-11-09 10:39:53 AM  

StoneColdAtheist: Flab: Allow me to play the dumb Canadian, here for a minute...

Why do you feel the need to make special rules for minorities?

Because there is a looooooooooonnnggg history in the US of conservative political parties (primarily the Democrats from 1865 through about 1970, then the Republicans after that) who routinely divided up minority towns and neighborhoods to dilute their voting strength, ensuring the dominant party won all or most seats.

All snark aside, this is still a very much ongoing struggle in the USA.


This assumes that people only vote for someone of their own ethnic background. I understand that it may be the case in many instances, but in my riding, for example, a dominican immigrant was elected last year against someone with a greek name, even though there are a lot more greek immigrants in the riding. I guess the party platform was more important to most voters than the ethnicity of the candidate.

Make the districts follow county limits, city limits, or neighborhood limits for bigger cities, and these other rules will become unnecessary.
 
2012-11-09 10:43:29 AM  

Flab: thornhill: that bosnian sniper: Proportionally-elected statewide Congressional delegations.

That's all I have to say about it.

That's really the only solutions given how partisan mapping has become and will likely always remain.

There's plenty of evidence out there that non-partisan mapping commissions are influenced by partisans on both sides.

And leaving it to the computer simply doesn't work because you'd still have to decide on what criteria the algorithm should use in drawing districts. For instance, how far should it go with contorting district boundaries to ensure the a minority population has enough representation in a district to be able to elect a congressmen of their choice? Or in other words, I think it makes sense to sometimes draw funky looking districts in areas where there is a very large minority population but it is not geographically compactly consolidated to ensure that there can be a minority member of congress.

Allow me to play the dumb Canadian, here for a minute...

Canadian ridings are, for the most part, roughly square (or follow a natural boundary, such as a provincial border, or river) and are based solely on the number of residents, yet we have no problem electing whites, latinos, blacks, asians, indians, straights, gays, and probably even a martian or two.

Why do you feel the need to make special rules for minorities?


I think the Canadian model is the correct model to use here.

Question though: Are Canadian cities as segregated as American ones?
 
2012-11-09 10:44:16 AM  

BMulligan: wxboy: CPennypacker: I can also think of a scenario where everyone in the city votes for the same people and the top 3 candidates get 50% of the votes. The rest of the state gets disproportionally represented.

It's not ideal but its better than the way it is now.

This whole idea does work if you only get to vote for one person instead of 12. I was thinking of a situation where each person can vote for 12.

It's still a problem, though. Look at my state, Washington. Right now I think we have 4 Republicans and 6 Democrats in our congressional delegation (I'd have to check to be sure, but that's close). If we had at-large voting, we'd have probably 9 Democrats and 1 Republican (Dave Reichert would survive a statewide vote, I think). Virtually all of our representatives would come from the I-5 Corridor, and none would come from the eastern half of the state. Outside of Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, and Bellevue, no one in Washington State would be represented in Washington, D.C.


Why does someone need to live next to you to represent your interests in congress?
 
2012-11-09 10:44:36 AM  

CPennypacker: BMulligan: CPennypacker: BMulligan: CPennypacker: The district concept is flawed and needs to be reworked. Land does not need representation, people do.

And this is exactly why congressional districts are drawn the way they are. Those boundaries that look so artificial on the map are intended to follow demographic, not geographical, contours. As much as I regret the present Republican majority in Congress, I think people who point at oddly shaped congressional districts as though they represent some tragic flaw in the system are being kind of dumb.

They are drawn by partisans. The states are enough of a geographical divisor. Just take how many seats the state has and let everyone vote for their top 2 or 3 candidates. If a state has 12 seats the top 12 voted-for candidates get the seats. This way everyone's voice is heard.

And when I want to go down to my congressman's neighborhood office and speak to a policy assistant, maybe even make an appointment to speak directly to my representative, which of those 12 at-large representatives represents me? None of them, that's who. "Having a voice" doesn't mean voting; it means influencing my representative's vote by letting my voice be heard. I can do that under the current system, but not under the system you're proposing.

Call him?


BMulligan is, and correctly so, talking about the responsibilities of the reps, not the ability to access them. Why should a rep listen to a single voter? They want influence across the entire state.
 
2012-11-09 10:51:36 AM  
"Republicans gerrymander for their own benefit."

"Quit being smug, democrats pulls that stunt all the time."

"HURR, CLEARLY YOU THINK THE GOP IS BETTER THEN, WHY DO YOU NOT WANT TO FIX THE PROBLEM"

It's like the politics derp never left.
 
2012-11-09 10:51:53 AM  

12349876: Arkanaut: I'm curious as to how much the votes for representatives reflects the actual electorate -- does anyone have a good centralized data source for how many votes were cast in individual House races? The NYT site only shows the percentage of each race's victory, not the actual votes cast. I figure there would be discrepancies between votes cast for House races and the Presidential races due to provisional ballots and third-party votes, but I wonder how big that discrepancy is.

Not saying you should trust it, but ThinkProgress says 53,952,240 D and 53,402,643 R

Not finding anything else easily.


Link?
 
2012-11-09 10:56:58 AM  

Flab: thornhill: that bosnian sniper: Proportionally-elected statewide Congressional delegations.

That's all I have to say about it.

That's really the only solutions given how partisan mapping has become and will likely always remain.

There's plenty of evidence out there that non-partisan mapping commissions are influenced by partisans on both sides.

And leaving it to the computer simply doesn't work because you'd still have to decide on what criteria the algorithm should use in drawing districts. For instance, how far should it go with contorting district boundaries to ensure the a minority population has enough representation in a district to be able to elect a congressmen of their choice? Or in other words, I think it makes sense to sometimes draw funky looking districts in areas where there is a very large minority population but it is not geographically compactly consolidated to ensure that there can be a minority member of congress.

Allow me to play the dumb Canadian, here for a minute...

Canadian ridings are, for the most part, roughly square (or follow a natural boundary, such as a provincial border, or river) and are based solely on the number of residents, yet we have no problem electing whites, latinos, blacks, asians, indians, straights, gays, and probably even a martian or two.

Why do you feel the need to make special rules for minorities?


The makeup of Congress should be reflective of the nation.

Since the birth of the Republic gerrymandering has been used to dilute minority voting power within Congressional districts. This is what's currently going on in Texas. Arbitrarily drawn lines could result in the same problem.
 
2012-11-09 10:57:03 AM  

CPennypacker: BMulligan: wxboy: CPennypacker: I can also think of a scenario where everyone in the city votes for the same people and the top 3 candidates get 50% of the votes. The rest of the state gets disproportionally represented.

It's not ideal but its better than the way it is now.

This whole idea does work if you only get to vote for one person instead of 12. I was thinking of a situation where each person can vote for 12.

It's still a problem, though. Look at my state, Washington. Right now I think we have 4 Republicans and 6 Democrats in our congressional delegation (I'd have to check to be sure, but that's close). If we had at-large voting, we'd have probably 9 Democrats and 1 Republican (Dave Reichert would survive a statewide vote, I think). Virtually all of our representatives would come from the I-5 Corridor, and none would come from the eastern half of the state. Outside of Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, and Bellevue, no one in Washington State would be represented in Washington, D.C.

Why does someone need to live next to you to represent your interests in congress?


Well, again to use my state as an example, the Puget Sound corridor is heavily liberal, has an economy based on tech and international trade, is ethnically diverse (aside from an under-representation of African Americans), and is generally irreligious, anti-gun, and pro-union. The remainder of the state is strongly conservative, relies mostly on agriculture and other extractive industries, is ethnically homogeneous (aside from Hispanic agricultural workers), and is al about God, guns, and union-busting. There's no way that my congressman, "Baghdad" Jim McDermott, could possibly represent the interests of voters in Omak, Poulsbo, or Walla Walla.
 
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