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(The Nation)   Strategies to stop gerrymandering   (thenation.com) divider line 41
    More: Interesting, Thom Hartmann, national popular, Eric Schneiderman, gerrymandering, Florida House, divided government, Priebus, swing states  
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1870 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Jan 2013 at 10:54 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-28 10:27:17 AM
FTFA: "...responsible Republicans."

Haha - so, never.
 
2013-01-28 10:58:10 AM
Control+F "Nuking red districts"

Phrase not found.

Not happening.
 
2013-01-28 10:58:47 AM
What's a matter, upset that the Republicans are turning the tables on you?

I'll say it again... The Democrats in NC made gerrymandering so bad that they were taken to court. And lost.

They went back to NC, and redid the map... and gerrymandered the hell out of it again.

They were taken back to court where they lost again. The congressional rep for this area spent the last 6 months of her term in office basically telling constituents "It's not my problem now"
 
2013-01-28 11:01:16 AM

randomjsa: What's a matter, upset that the Republicans are turning the tables on you?

I'll say it again... The Democrats in NC made gerrymandering so bad that they were taken to court. And lost.

They went back to NC, and redid the map... and gerrymandered the hell out of it again.

They were taken back to court where they lost again. The congressional rep for this area spent the last 6 months of her term in office basically telling constituents "It's not my problem now"


Because if there is one thing we can be absolutely sure of it's that two wrongs make a right.

Math trumps straw man. You can't explain that.
 
2013-01-28 11:04:16 AM
I like Iowa's basic rules

* Districts can't divide counties.
* Counties must be contiguous.
* Population of each district can't deviate by greater than 1 percent from the ideal size (Iowa's 2010 population of 3,046,355 divided by four districts, or 761,589).
* Districts should be reasonably compact.


That's how their congressional district map avoids looking all jacked up.
 
2013-01-28 11:07:59 AM
I always thought that voting districts should follow postal zip codes and must be contiguous. Very simple especially since the USPS is supposedly an outside non-political agency.
 
2013-01-28 11:10:47 AM

Spade: I like Iowa's basic rules

* Districts can't divide counties.
* Counties must be contiguous.
* Population of each district can't deviate by greater than 1 percent from the ideal size (Iowa's 2010 population of 3,046,355 divided by four districts, or 761,589).
* Districts should be reasonably compact.

That's how their congressional district map avoids looking all jacked up.


Iowa does not have any racial problems to deal with. When whites are known to be unwilling to vote for a black candidate, and black political opinion is united, racially gerrymandered districts are the only fair solution.
In the south, one appropriate course of action would be to endeavor to prove that this is not the 1980s anymore and white folks will be willing to vote for a black candidate.
 
2013-01-28 11:12:20 AM

kenfury: I always thought that voting districts should follow postal zip codes and must be contiguous. Very simple especially since the USPS is supposedly an outside non-political agency.


All US congressional districts are contiguous.
If you require that districts have equal (deviation of one person) population, you have to divide zip codes.
 
2013-01-28 11:12:22 AM
I've always been a fan of increasing the number of congressmen. It wouldn't eliminate gerrymandering, but it would mitigate it's effect without having a state-by-state rules battle every 10 years. Plus, you get more equal representation in the House, which was supposed to be the whole point.
 
2013-01-28 11:12:47 AM

kenfury: I always thought that voting districts should follow postal zip codes and must be contiguous. Very simple especially since the USPS is supposedly an outside non-political agency.


How long do you think it would stay non-political if it wielded that level of power?
 
2013-01-28 11:12:53 AM
www.thenation.com
xfinity.comcast.net

Hmm.....
 
2013-01-28 11:15:20 AM

Lost Thought 00: I've always been a fan of increasing the number of congressmen. It wouldn't eliminate gerrymandering, but it would mitigate it's effect without having a state-by-state rules battle every 10 years. Plus, you get more equal representation in the House, which was supposed to be the whole point.


The effect of gerrymandering would not be mitigated in the slightest. Look at Florida's US district results, with 27 seats, compared to their State House district results, with 120 seats. Both, due to racial gerrymandering plus partisan gerrymandering, end up having 60-70% of seats won by republicans.
 
2013-01-28 11:18:45 AM

randomjsa: What's a matter, upset that the Republicans are turning the tables on you?

I'll say it again... The Democrats in NC made gerrymandering so bad that they were taken to court. And lost.

They went back to NC, and redid the map... and gerrymandered the hell out of it again.

They were taken back to court where they lost again. The congressional rep for this area spent the last 6 months of her term in office basically telling constituents "It's not my problem now"


So you support Gerrymandering, but only if it works for groups you support.

I wonder if you'll reply.
 
2013-01-28 11:21:06 AM

Spade: I like Iowa's basic rules

* Districts can't divide counties.
* Counties must be contiguous.
* Population of each district can't deviate by greater than 1 percent from the ideal size (Iowa's 2010 population of 3,046,355 divided by four districts, or 761,589).
* Districts should be reasonably compact.

That's how their congressional district map avoids looking all jacked up.



I like those a lot, but they would have to be tweaked somewhat to work at all in Wisconsin. Ideal population per district would be 716,000 plus or minus 7,200, but Milwaukee County has approx. 950,000 residents. Maybe 'districts cannot divide municipalities' would be all it takes.

"Reasonably compact" should be easy enough to quantify and define better than the vagueness of "reasonably", maybe using some ratio of perimeter to area or something.
 
2013-01-28 11:21:50 AM
Let every party on the ballot offer a districting map, and then let voters choose the one they want.

Or better yet, make all representative seats "at large", and use some form of proportional representation.
 
2013-01-28 11:28:30 AM

Raharu: randomjsa: What's a matter, upset that the Republicans are turning the tables on you?

I'll say it again... The Democrats in NC made gerrymandering so bad that they were taken to court. And lost.

They went back to NC, and redid the map... and gerrymandered the hell out of it again.

They were taken back to court where they lost again. The congressional rep for this area spent the last 6 months of her term in office basically telling constituents "It's not my problem now"

So you support Gerrymandering, but only if it works for groups you support.

I wonder if you'll reply.


He never does, which is why I wish people would quit responding to him. It's the same thing every thread...he makes an incendiary comment early on, all the Liberals get all lathered up and he busts a nut because of the outrage his comment generated.

Stop feeding the trolls.
 
2013-01-28 11:28:35 AM
This article is actually about attempts to do electoral vote by US House districts. That is not gerrymandering because the districts in question have already been drawn. But it is a very bad idea, because it will produce a President that is just as bad, if not worse than, the US house at representing the will of the people.

Gerrymandering is not necessarily a bad thing. It becomes very bad when paired with our current primary system. That's when extremists win seats disproportionate to the size their support. Any solution not only has to make the district lines fairer, it also has to address the primary system.

The best way to mitigate extremism in the US Congress is to demand that multiple representatives are seated from each district. Each voter votes for one candidate, but the top two or three or four candidates each get seats. Basically, you need the same number of representatives but larger districts. Some people like rank voting, or approval voting, but these are too complicated. Voters are used to voting for one person and they wouldn't have to change that behavior.

As far as picking the President, I wouldn't have a problem with states assigning their electors to the national popular vote winner, or assigning them proportionately based on the state vote (Romney wins 55% of the vote in Missouri, give him 6 out of the 10 electoral votes in Missouri). But this should only be done nationwide, with states only doing it if a majority of other states are also doing so. Assigning based on congressional district would be a disaster.
 
2013-01-28 11:35:52 AM
TFA doesn't seem to say anything about non-partisan redistricting commissions, open primaries (keeps candidates moderate), or proportional representation (tip o' the hat to Snarfangel).
 
2013-01-28 11:37:11 AM
To address the article more directly, in the states where they're considering assigning electoral votes by US Congressional districts, Republicans are in a precarious position. True, they control the state houses but there are enough Democratic voters out there that, if they were motivated to vote for state races (many vote for President only), they would vote the Republicans out of the state house easily. If Republican politicians in any of these states that have a lot of electoral votes tried any of these shenanigans, you can bet the other guys would be motivated and the Republicans would lose the governor's mansion and maybe the state house too in the midterm. Then their changes would be undone.
In other words, I wouldn't start to worry about this until after 2014 elections. At that point they can make the changes apply to the 2016 election and not worry about the backlash.
 
2013-01-28 11:40:17 AM

Arkanaut: TFA doesn't seem to say anything about non-partisan redistricting commissions, open primaries (keeps candidates moderate), or proportional representation (tip o' the hat to Snarfangel).


Open primaries are not a good idea. The first stage results are too easily skewed if one point of view has too many candidates dividing support. If you have an electorate with slightly more conservatives, but 2 liberals run while 5 conservatives run, it is too easy for the choices at the end to be only two liberals. Then it's winner takes all between them.
Multi-member districts is the best way, so long as each voter only selects one candidate.
 
2013-01-28 11:41:13 AM

Lost Thought 00: I've always been a fan of increasing the number of congressmen. It wouldn't eliminate gerrymandering, but it would mitigate it's effect without having a state-by-state rules battle every 10 years. Plus, you get more equal representation in the House, which was supposed to be the whole point.


Incorrect. Look at at any state house, or school district. Gerrymandering is scalable in both directions. So even in a small district, you can draw the lines to benefit one party. For example: Wisconsin has 8 Congressional districts, gerrymandered to help Republicans. At the State Assembly level, we have 99 districts... again, they benefit Republicans. Same geography, divided into smaller chunks. In 2012, total votes cast for Democrats for State Assembly got about 5% more votes than GOP in total across the state, but the GOP control the State Assembly 60 to 39.

Scale doesn't matter, it is who gets to cut up the pie that matters.
 
2013-01-28 11:42:09 AM
I don't want any more representatives.

I want the Congress collectively to all be fired. I want all their pensions returned to the Treasury. I want them to cry bitterly and miserably, like we do.

Fark them all.
 
2013-01-28 11:44:11 AM

silo123j: I don't want any more representatives.

I want the Congress collectively to all be fired. I want all their pensions returned to the Treasury. I want them to cry bitterly and miserably, like we do.

Fark them all.


Let me revise and extend.
Fire the current ones. Hire new ones.

Have them tied to a 401k with NO pension attached. If only we had such a pension system.
 
2013-01-28 11:46:09 AM
End of gerrymandering? Three words: Computer Generated Districts
 
2013-01-28 11:47:55 AM

lilbjorn: End of gerrymandering? Three words: Computer Generated Districts


Oh I like...
 
2013-01-28 11:49:27 AM

Snarfangel: Let every party on the ballot offer a districting map, and then let voters choose the one they want.

Or better yet, make all representative seats "at large", and use some form of proportional representation.


Letting voters choose their districts is not a good idea. Most will not be informed enough to make a good choice, and probably would abstain, so then it would become a question of turning out each party base. Plus, would each "candidate" map have to be pre-cleared by DoJ?

Now, talking about "at large", yes that's closer to being a good idea, but typically when there are at-large seats, I as a voter get a chance to vote someone into seat one, then someone else for seat 2, etc. If voters go straight party line, then very quickly you have a delegation of a single party only. The minority party gets no voice. This is why if you do "at-large" for congress, you should only give each voter a chance to vote for one person.
 
2013-01-28 11:56:12 AM

lilbjorn: End of gerrymandering? Three words: Computer Generated Districts


We'd never agree how to program the computer. It could seek the smallest perimeter or some other measure, but then how do we make sure that minority voting concerns are addressed if we're staying with single member districts? The solution is not to have everyone gather around software that 20 people in the world will ever understand. The solution is to have multi-member districts.
 
2013-01-28 12:04:15 PM
Going to a dictatorship. That'll nix gerrymandering REAL fast!
 
2013-01-28 12:11:59 PM

lilbjorn: End of gerrymandering? Three words: Computer Generated Districts


Link
 
2013-01-28 12:18:38 PM
Range voting asks voters to put way too much thought in. No other country does it. People already have jobs for the most part. They don't have time to consider an elaborate voting strategy. That's why we vote for representatives. It sounds crude but it's the truth. That's why any solution should only ask people to vote for one person or thing, then move on to consider other issues.
 
2013-01-28 12:19:42 PM

lilbjorn: End of gerrymandering? Three words: Computer Generated DistrictsTax Cuts


If you are a democrat who is a blue district and move to a red district, you get to deduct 50% of your tax burden.

If you are a republican who is in a red district and move to a blue district, your tax burden is decreased by $5 or a Subway card for a free footlong.

/Tax code is supposed to be used to influence behavior correct?
 
2013-01-28 12:24:53 PM
That was a useless article of finger pointing. I really would like to see real proposals to fix gerrymandering. It doesn't matter which side does it, it is still wrong.

Of course I would also like to see a fix to the electoral college that allows for both popular vote and fair representation of rural areas.


/also a pony
 
2013-01-28 12:31:23 PM

lilbjorn: End of gerrymandering? Three words: Computer Generated Districts


It can be just like the BCS, where in no one knows the algorithm used to generate the computer results because it was created by a private contractor and is a protected trade secret
 
2013-01-28 01:18:50 PM

zappaisfrank: He never does, which is why I wish people would quit responding to him. It's the same thing every thread...he makes an incendiary comment early on, all the Liberals get all lathered up and he busts a nut because of the outrage his comment generated.

Stop feeding the trolls.


That thing there.
 
2013-01-28 02:21:54 PM
1. "NAME AND SHAME" THOSE WHO WOULD RIG ELECTIONS

"NAME AND SHAME"

"SHAME"


In American politics? How cute.
 
2013-01-28 02:41:25 PM

GentDirkly: Range voting asks voters to put way too much thought in. No other country does it. People already have jobs for the most part. They don't have time to consider an elaborate voting strategy. That's why we vote for representatives. It sounds crude but it's the truth. That's why any solution should only ask people to vote for one person or thing, then move on to consider other issues.


Range voting is a little much, but everyone can understand instant runoff voting. If you don't like it, you don't have to rank them all.
 
2013-01-28 02:42:14 PM
How about:

All districts must have only 4 sides and 4 90-degree angles.

That way all districts are box-shaped and cannot be crazy shapes and squiggles. I would be okay with that.
 
2013-01-28 04:47:18 PM

k1j2b3: All districts must have only 4 sides and 4 90-degree angles.


A little oversimplified.

Still, there are a couple algorithms that look interesting --  minimum district to convex polygon ratio, shortest splitline, minimum isoperimetric quotient, and so on. It gets a little trickier when you have to consider interacting electoral districts -- say, Federal House, State Assemby and Senate, city school district divisions. Drawing the lines might end up with some amusingly tiny micro-precincts.
 
2013-01-28 06:28:56 PM

randomjsa: What's a matter, upset that the Republicans are turning the tables on you?

I'll say it again... The Democrats in NC made gerrymandering so bad that they were taken to court. And lost.

They went back to NC, and redid the map... and gerrymandered the hell out of it again.

They were taken back to court where they lost again. The congressional rep for this area spent the last 6 months of her term in office basically telling constituents "It's not my problem now"


No. The Republicans have changed to cheating because they cannot win otherwise.
 
2013-01-28 09:39:08 PM
They name Ed Schultz as an effective advocate in their "name and shame" effort. I think I found a flaw in your plan, The Nation: many people distrust loud, obnoxious assholes, even when they are right.
 
2013-01-28 11:37:37 PM
Range voting is a little much, but everyone can understand instant runoff voting. If you don't like it, you don't have to rank them all.

IRV requires a matrix of bubbles next to each candidate's name, or an optical scanner that reads handwritten numbers. My proposal requires no new equipment, no endless columns of bubbles, and requires so little re-education that voters may not even know that the system changed. Meanwhile, it creates the same incentive to appeal to a mushy middle of voters. Voter regret comes from choosing the lesser of two evils. This is because FPTP gives only two viable candidates per seat. If, instead, you had four seats in a pool, you might have eight viable candidates. Surely for most voters, the lesser of two evils will be more evil than the least evil among eight choices.
 
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