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(CBS Miami)   FL GOP to judge: So I know you said the districts we drew make a mockery of the democratic process and all, but it's gonna take us... say, two years to redraw them, so we're cool using them until then right?   (miami.cbslocal.com) divider line 135
    More: Unlikely, GOP, tags, Don Gaetz, League of Women Voters, Steve Weatherford, congressional districts, absentee ballots, Common Cause  
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4010 clicks; posted to Politics » on 19 Jul 2014 at 3:48 PM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



135 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-07-19 02:07:17 PM  
So, the court found that the GOP-dominated legislature rigged the map for partisan advantage in violation of both state and federal laws, and they now want to say "well, there's no other map we can use in time...."

I have a modest proposal. Allow the map to continue to be used going forward for this election if they cannot be revised -- but as a matter of equity, with no legislator who voted in favor of the unlawful maps being eligible for state legislative office in any election using the existing maps, to at least insure they may not themselves benefit from their own impropriety.

Florida's constitution does not appear to have a "speech and debate" privilege for their legislature, and Ballotpedia indicates an amendment to give such privelege was voted down during the Reagan years.
 
2014-07-19 03:17:22 PM  
I used to think the people that said the GOP is the greatest threat democracy were just being hyperbolic. Used to.
 
2014-07-19 03:52:41 PM  

Peter von Nostrand: I used to think the people that said the GOP is the greatest threat democracy were just being hyperbolic. Used to.


Democracy is for stupid little people.
 
2014-07-19 03:54:49 PM  

sendtodave: Peter von Nostrand: I used to think the people that said the GOP is the greatest threat democracy were just being hyperbolic. Used to.

Democracy is for stupid little people.


Hey, tell us the one about how we're a republic, not a democracy! That's always good for a diversion!
 
2014-07-19 03:55:56 PM  
The gerrymandering is a travesty, yes, but this is what they get for sending a GOP majority to the statehouse in the first place.  What did they think was going to happen?

Maybe next time Florida voters will have more sense.
 
2014-07-19 03:56:38 PM  
There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.
 
2014-07-19 03:57:29 PM  
Ok, enough of this.

Here's what you do. Anyone can run for Congress. The people that receive the most votes win. They're representatives for all of Florida.

However, the losers? They're summarily hunted for sport in the everglades (license fees to hunt them go to the Florida education fund). Why? To discourage non-serious candidates.

/Problem solved.
 
2014-07-19 03:58:46 PM  

Doc Daneeka: The gerrymandering is a travesty, yes, but this is what they get for sending a GOP majority to the statehouse in the first place.  What did they think was going to happen?

Maybe next time Florida voters will have more sense.


Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha!
 
2014-07-19 03:59:44 PM  

lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.


Common sense in politics? Common sense in a post citizens united America?

Thanks for the laugh brother.
 
2014-07-19 04:02:33 PM  

Kittypie070: sendtodave: Peter von Nostrand: I used to think the people that said the GOP is the greatest threat democracy were just being hyperbolic. Used to.

Democracy is for stupid little people.

Hey, tell us the one about how we're a republic, not a democracy! That's always good for a diversion!


If we were a democracy, the people would have power. Instead, rich people have power.

QED
 
2014-07-19 04:06:39 PM  

Destructor: Ok, enough of this.

Here's what you do. Anyone can run for Congress. The people that receive the most votes win. They're representatives for all of Florida.

However, the losers? They're summarily hunted for sport in the everglades (license fees to hunt them go to the Florida education fund). Why? To discourage non-serious candidates.

/Problem solved.


As much as I hate politicians and our goofy system- you may have watched a few too many dystopian movies lately

How about when you are elected you turn over 75% of your wealth (including real property) and once your term in office is done you can never mention politics or your role in govt (no books no movies no interviews) on get your wealth and property back in 10% segments annually after another year of STFU
 
2014-07-19 04:07:43 PM  

Doc Daneeka: The gerrymandering is a travesty, yes, but this is what they get for sending a GOP majority to the statehouse in the first place.  What did they think was going to happen?

Maybe next time Florida voters will have more sense.


Unfortunately the Alzheimer's has eaten enough holes in the brains of the average Florida voter that I expect them to continue to believe it's the 1950's and they're voting for Ike again for another decade or so.
 
2014-07-19 04:08:57 PM  
You know what would solve all of this?

Philosopher kings.
 
2014-07-19 04:10:40 PM  

Doc Daneeka: The gerrymandering is a travesty, yes, but this is what they get for sending a GOP majority to the statehouse in the first place.  What did they think was going to happen?

Maybe next time Florida voters will have more sense.


warosu.org
 
2014-07-19 04:18:26 PM  
But Voter ID must still be enacted before the election to ensure faith in the process, amirite? People can totes get them by then.
 
2014-07-19 04:24:50 PM  

sendtodave: You know what would solve all of this?

Philosopher kings.


Simmias: The senate is furious over your ideas for a Utopian state.

Allen: I guess I should never have suggested having a philosopher-king.

Simmias: Especially when you kept pointing to yourself and clearing your throat.
 
2014-07-19 04:25:17 PM  

smellysocksnshoes: As much as I hate politicians and our goofy system- you may have watched a few too many dystopian movies lately


May have? :-)

smellysocksnshoes: How about when you are elected you turn over 75% of your wealth (including real property) and once your term in office is done you can never mention politics or your role in govt (no books no movies no interviews) on get your wealth and property back in 10% segments annually after another year of STFU


Your system is far better and much more practical. Which is why it will fail.

You're dealing with Florida here. Any sort of change has to be

* Visual Interesting
* Action Oriented
* and Capable of producing Emotional Moments.

You know. Like American Gladiators.
 
2014-07-19 04:27:06 PM  

sendtodave: You know what would solve all of this?

Philosopher kings.


At one time, that was my career goal. After the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh episode, though, those jobs sort of dried up.
 
2014-07-19 04:33:40 PM  

lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.


Well, let's just contact our legislators to get those laws requiring it passed.  Easy peasy.
 
2014-07-19 04:35:59 PM  

sendtodave: You know what would solve all of this?

Philosopher kings.


In all seriousness, some states would probably actually fare better if they were run by a benevolent-enough dictator.  Recent history has shown us that some places (I'm looking at you, Kansas, Florida and North Carolina) are on average just too stupid to make decisions for themselves through the democratic process.
 
2014-07-19 04:40:04 PM  
Outsource it to Canada. They seem to know how to come up with electoral districts that don't look like a Rorschach Test.

img.fark.net
 
2014-07-19 04:47:55 PM  

lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.


If I ran the world computers would be charged with drawing all possible maps that create districts that are as compact as possible. Then a special grand jury of 100 citizens from across the state would be randomly selected sequestered and given all the variant maps to vote on wioth no toher information furnished
 
2014-07-19 04:59:08 PM  
Are they suggesting that our troops are too stupid to understand why they could get a second ballot?  Troops that are from Florida, and that should know that Florida is the worst state as far as running elections goes?

We really need to switch to an algorithmic districting scheme.  A system that discriminates against minorities by coincidence sounds bad, but it's much better than a few states having a "token" minority candidate.
 
2014-07-19 05:04:51 PM  

Destructor: Ok, enough of this.

Here's what you do. Anyone can run for Congress. The people that receive the most votes win. They're representatives for all of Florida.

However, the losers? They're summarily hunted for sport in the everglades (license fees to hunt them go to the Florida education fund). Why? To discourage non-serious candidates.

/Problem solved.


Given that it's the winners that write these laws, your idea would solve literally nothing.

Here's a better one. Anyone can run for election. Unlimited spending, unlimited airtime, no ballot access laws. However there's a "none of the above" option on the ballot. If that option wins over 1% of the vote, all the candidates are thrown to the alligators, and the new rep is picked at random from everyone who voted "none of the above."
 
2014-07-19 05:16:01 PM  

The Name: sendtodave: You know what would solve all of this?

Philosopher kings.

In all seriousness, some states would probably actually fare better if they were run by a benevolent-enough dictator.  Recent history has shown us that some places (I'm looking at you, Kansas, Florida and North Carolina) are on average just too stupid to make decisions for themselves through the democratic process.


Some? I think most places that have a successful political structure have it by accident.
 
2014-07-19 05:18:29 PM  

lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.


Won't work. When all is said and done Diebold or Xe would get the contract and it'd be as bad or worse than it is now.
 
2014-07-19 05:18:32 PM  

TheSopwithTurtle: Destructor: Ok, enough of this.

Here's what you do. Anyone can run for Congress. The people that receive the most votes win. They're representatives for all of Florida.

However, the losers? They're summarily hunted for sport in the everglades (license fees to hunt them go to the Florida education fund). Why? To discourage non-serious candidates.

/Problem solved.

Given that it's the winners that write these laws, your idea would solve literally nothing.

Here's a better one. Anyone can run for election. Unlimited spending, unlimited airtime, no ballot access laws. However there's a "none of the above" option on the ballot. If that option wins over 1% of the vote, all the candidates are thrown to the alligators, and the new rep is picked at random from everyone who voted "none of the above."


I like your style- that would be some good reality tv
 
2014-07-19 05:30:54 PM  

EngineerAU: Outsource it to Canada. They seem to know how to come up with electoral districts that don't look like a Rorschach Test.

[img.fark.net image 800x567]


gerrymandering is not even a concept in Canada
 
2014-07-19 05:33:26 PM  
Gerrymandering takes a long time.  A fair redistricting takes no time at all.  You could fairly redistrict a State in about an hour using the shortest split linealgorithm.
 
2014-07-19 05:36:30 PM  

TheSopwithTurtle: Here's a better one. Anyone can run for election. Unlimited spending, unlimited airtime, no ballot access laws. However there's a "none of the above" option on the ballot. If that option wins over 1% of the vote, all the candidates are thrown to the alligators, and the new rep is picked at random from everyone who voted "none of the above."


If the voting can be by a condorcet method instead of the idiotic first-past-the-post we currently use, this would be a surprisingly effective electoral system.

/ok, the alligators might lead to a Vengeance on Varos-style situation, but we shouldn't let such a fun plan be blocked by minutia.
 
2014-07-19 05:58:42 PM  
Computer drawn maps, Alligators,  etc.. all good plans, and yet we get none of them.  While I like those plans best, can Florida just revert back to an acceptable district map?

Which came first?  Dumb voters or corrupt politicians.  Which one drives the system?  Can either be fixed?
 
2014-07-19 06:01:46 PM  

EngineerAU: Outsource it to Canada. They seem to know how to come up with electoral districts that don't look like a Rorschach Test.

[img.fark.net image 800x567]


Well, sure, but that's just because you don't have blacks to draw around.
 
2014-07-19 06:08:02 PM  

TheSopwithTurtle: Here's a better one. Anyone can run for election. Unlimited spending, unlimited airtime, no ballot access laws. However there's a "none of the above" option on the ballot. If that option wins over 1% of the vote, all the candidates are thrown to the alligators, and the new rep is picked at random from everyone who voted "none of the above."


I'm thinking a few more of these variants, and we have a whole new bunch of items for "The Wheel Of Failure"... An extra item to add more excitement to...

The Congressional Games.
One way or another...
...they will serve the people.


(Rated R/D: Partisan Politics, Strong language,
Violence. Lots of violence.)
 
2014-07-19 06:18:18 PM  

lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.


No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.
 
2014-07-19 06:32:04 PM  

EngineerAU: Outsource it to Canada. They seem to know how to come up with electoral districts that don't look like a Rorschach Test.

[img.fark.net image 800x567]


Why does the False Creek district get that little wedge of water that extends so far out into the inlet? Are there houseboats out there or something? Are they gerrymandering the waterfowl who are demanding equal representation despite claiming exemption from taxes?

But yeah, that's waaaay better than what you usually see in the US.
 
2014-07-19 06:34:27 PM  
Remember kids, it's only wrong when Republicans do it.
 
2014-07-19 06:39:23 PM  

ox45tallboy: Why does the False Creek district get that little wedge of water that extends so far out into the inlet?


They wanted to look like a shark. Sharks are cool.

And here's how the most multicultural city on Earth handles redistricting:
img.fark.net
on the other hand, this is also the city that elected Rob Ford so...
 
2014-07-19 06:40:30 PM  
Wahh!  Redraw the lines- it's the only way we stand a chance!  (take your choice.)
 
2014-07-19 06:50:24 PM  
The purpose of a Republican form of government is to best reflect the will of the governed, so as to ensure their consent to be governed is maintained.  This type of gerrymandering is anathema to that purpose.  Republicans are against the Republican form of government.
 
2014-07-19 06:50:34 PM  

lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.


You would never see a more vicious, dirty, back-room-dealing, underhanded, downright nasty fight from Congress, than them trying to prevent a national mandate for such a thing. I honestly think it would come down to reps barring themselves, armed, in their respective Capitals.
 
2014-07-19 06:54:50 PM  

sendtodave: Peter von Nostrand: I used to think the people that said the GOP is the greatest threat democracy were just being hyperbolic. Used to.

Democracy is for stupid little people.


-Rand Paul?
 
2014-07-19 06:56:38 PM  

mod_reright: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.


I believe the way to do it is make all Representatives elected from the state's population at large. For instance, Florida has 27 Representatives. On election day, everyone votes for the candidate they think represents them the best, and you take the top 27 vote-getters. In this manner, ANY group of people that can churn up enough support for their cause gets a representative in Congress. Whether that's the teachers' union, the corporate bigwigs, the factory workers, the fast-food workers, even the unemployed people can get their own rep if there's enough of them.

This would solve several problems at once, not the least of which is gerrymandering. It also enables any minority group with vested interests to have a pretty good shot at getting their own rep regardless of the proximity of their homes. Sure, candidates have to have a statewide campaign, but that's not as bad as what you might think - most people are going to vote for someone relating to their job, their church, or a particular issue they feel strongly about, so they'd likely find out easily which candidate best fits their interests. Racial minorities making only single-digit percentages of the population could easily get representation in this manner.

The candidates are supposed to represent the people. Back in the olden days they were chosen to represent people on a geographical basis for practical reasons, most of which don't apply anymore. The atheist stockbroker who lives in a million dollar mansion probably doesn't have the same interests as the christian factory worker who lives in a trailer park a few miles away, and neither have much in common with the immigrant store owner that sells them their coffee each morning - but they're all supposedly represented by the same person. This needs to change.
 
2014-07-19 06:58:03 PM  

bizzwire: sendtodave: Peter von Nostrand: I used to think the people that said the GOP is the greatest threat democracy were just being hyperbolic. Used to.

Democracy is for stupid little people.

-Rand Paul?


--Lemuel Gulliver
 
2014-07-19 07:00:58 PM  

lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.


We could use the same one that picks the NCAA Div 1 Football championship teams. Everyone loves that one!
 
2014-07-19 07:05:19 PM  

lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.


Unless it's that malevolent AI we were talking about the other day.
 
2014-07-19 07:16:30 PM  
I don't know why you guys are so upset with the GOP.

We should be blaming Gary and his meandering ways.

/that bastard
 
2014-07-19 07:19:37 PM  

AmbassadorBooze: Computer drawn maps, Alligators,  etc.. all good plans, and yet we get none of them.  While I like those plans best, can Florida just revert back to an acceptable district map?

Which came first?  Dumb voters or corrupt politicians.  Which one drives the system?  Can either be fixed?


Yes. money. not with money involved
 
2014-07-19 07:20:44 PM  

ox45tallboy: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

We could use the same one that picks the NCAA Div 1 Football championship teams. Everyone loves that one!


How sad is it that we can point to that as a better system...
 
2014-07-19 07:25:43 PM  

mrshowrules: Gerrymandering takes a long time.  A fair redistricting takes no time at all.  You could fairly redistrict a State in about an hour using the shortest split linealgorithm.


Democrats would fight that tooth and nail. Gerrymandering is not isolated to Repubs, it occurs whenever and wherever there is a lack of a serious opposing party. Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....
 
2014-07-19 07:27:08 PM  
Let the current drawn districts stand.  Just don't let anyone from the republican party run in either one of them.
Only Democratic or Independent parties can participate.  Redraw the districts and let the newly elected reps. make the finale decision on the newly drawn districts boundaries. That'll learn them!
 
2014-07-19 07:41:35 PM  
simpsonswiki.com
I've said it before and I'll say it again:  Democracy just doesn't work
 
2014-07-19 07:44:03 PM  

officeday: mrshowrules: Gerrymandering takes a long time.  A fair redistricting takes no time at all.  You could fairly redistrict a State in about an hour using the shortest split linealgorithm.

Democrats would fight that tooth and nail. Gerrymandering is not isolated to Repubs, it occurs whenever and wherever there is a lack of a serious opposing party. Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....


Yeah ..cry me a river.  The last congressional race  Democratic votes exceed Republican votes by more than half a million.
And yet the GOP has a huge advantage 234 to 201.  Sounds fair to me?
 
2014-07-19 07:58:49 PM  

The Name: sendtodave: You know what would solve all of this?

Philosopher kings.

In all seriousness, some states would probably actually fare better if they were run by a benevolent-enough dictator.  Recent history has shown us that some places (I'm looking at you, Kansas, Florida and North Carolina) are on average just too stupid to make decisions for themselves through the democratic process.


Everything runs better under a benevolent dictator.

Pretty tough finding one and keeping them that way.
 
2014-07-19 08:05:20 PM  

Smackledorfer: The Name: sendtodave: You know what would solve all of this?

Philosopher kings.

In all seriousness, some states would probably actually fare better if they were run by a benevolent-enough dictator.  Recent history has shown us that some places (I'm looking at you, Kansas, Florida and North Carolina) are on average just too stupid to make decisions for themselves through the democratic process.

Everything runs better under a benevolent dictator.

Pretty tough finding one and keeping them that way.


Lord Acton's rule.
 
2014-07-19 08:13:57 PM  
Florida GOTP "Judge we're going to violate the law just one more time for old time's sake. Is that so bad?  Since we've already sent ballots to our troops if we are forced to clean up the mess we made before the election the troops might feel like they have been left out of our new and improved plans to fark over Floridians and that will make them cry.  WHy do you want to make our brave troops cry, Judge?"
 
2014-07-19 08:16:53 PM  

officeday: Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....


Oh yeah, you're the victim in all of this. (conservative credentials confirmed)
 
2014-07-19 08:26:20 PM  
officeday: Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....

Absolutely.

After the shiat your party has pulled on everyone around the entire world in the past 14 years...
 
2014-07-19 08:28:24 PM  
That it took 2 years for a judge to decide that the 2012 Florida GOP redistricting plan was in violation of the law is a bigger shame than the plan itself (which is a farce, in and of itself).
 
2014-07-19 08:37:39 PM  

officeday: mrshowrules: Gerrymandering takes a long time.  A fair redistricting takes no time at all.  You could fairly redistrict a State in about an hour using the shortest split linealgorithm.

Democrats would fight that tooth and nail. Gerrymandering is not isolated to Repubs, it occurs whenever and wherever there is a lack of a serious opposing party. Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....


Ohhh, did baby leave his echo chamber for a minute ?

/pssssttt...Fark isn't liberal. Unless you think facts and accuracy are liberal.
 
2014-07-19 08:43:00 PM  

ox45tallboy: mod_reright: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.

I believe the way to do it is make all Representatives elected from the state's population at large. For instance, Florida has 27 Representatives. On election day, everyone votes for the candidate they think represents them the best, and you take the top 27 vote-getters. In this manner, ANY group of people that can churn up enough support for their cause gets a representative in Congress. Whether that's the teachers' union, the corporate bigwigs, the factory workers, the fast-food workers, even the unemployed people can get their own rep if there's enough of them.

This would solve several problems at once, not the least of which is gerrymandering. It also enables any minority group with vested interests to have a pretty good shot at getting their own rep regardless of the proximity of their homes. Sure, candidates have to have a statewide campaign, but that's not as bad as what you might think - most people are going to vote for someone relating to their job, their church, or a particular issue they feel strongly about, so they'd likely find out easily which candidate best fits their interests. Racial minorities making only single-digit percentages of the population could easily get representation in this manner.

The candidates are supposed to represent the people. Back in the olden days they were chosen to represent people on a geographical basis for practical reasons, most of which don't apply anymore. The atheist stockbroker who lives in a million dollar mansion probably doesn't have the same interests as the christian factory worker who lives in a trailer park a few miles away, and neither have much in common with the immigrant store owner that sells them their coffee each morning - but they're all supposedly represented by the same person. This needs to change.


I like the cut of you jib, but I do think there is an idea l number for it. Something more than 5, but probably less than 10. 27 is not that number. The first time that the system was used, a handful of people would be so popular statewide that they may have 10x as many votes as the 27th place candidate, who would equally get a seat. These very popular candidates would have to find ways to focus their efforts and spread their popularity to others that agree with them. It would be messy. Finally, you're giving the voter a very long ballot with over 50 names on it and asking them to choose one. It may be difficult for voters to find the candidate they want. It may be difficult for them to feel secure in their decision. This is the reason your grocer stocks 3 brands of pasta, not 20.
 
2014-07-19 08:43:44 PM  

ghare: officeday: mrshowrules: Gerrymandering takes a long time.  A fair redistricting takes no time at all.  You could fairly redistrict a State in about an hour using the shortest split linealgorithm.

Democrats would fight that tooth and nail. Gerrymandering is not isolated to Repubs, it occurs whenever and wherever there is a lack of a serious opposing party. Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....

Ohhh, did baby leave his echo chamber for a minute ?

/pssssttt...Fark isn't liberal. Unless you think facts and accuracy are liberal.


According to Faux News, facts and accuracy *are* liberal, haven't you been paying attention to the soulless minions of evil at Faux News these past few years? I know that they have been spewing forth all manner of falsehoods and distorions, but one *must* pay attention to them, otherwise one will not know what the talking points of the forces of darkness are this hour.
 
2014-07-19 08:52:26 PM  
Use the map previous to the one the GOP submitted.
 
2014-07-19 09:06:40 PM  

Colour_out_of_Space: EngineerAU: Outsource it to Canada. They seem to know how to come up with electoral districts that don't look like a Rorschach Test.

[img.fark.net image 800x567]

Well, sure, but that's just because you don't have blacks to draw around.


Nailed it
 
2014-07-19 09:13:07 PM  

Trapped: Remember kids, it's only wrong when Republicans do it.


If you can project all your personal failings on to "those others" then you never have to face the reality that you personally may be an awful person.

To put a finer point on it: Not everyone thinks that something is wrong by the very fact that it is done by some group of people. It is possible that it is wrong if any group of people do it.

So, would you be prepared to say this is unequivocally wrong and the Republicans who did this are unamerican and hurt our democracy?
 
2014-07-19 09:16:22 PM  

GentDirkly: I like the cut of you jib, but I do think there is an idea l number for it. Something more than 5, but probably less than 10. 27 is not that number. The first time that the system was used, a handful of people would be so popular statewide that they may have 10x as many votes as the 27th place candidate, who would equally get a seat. These very popular candidates would have to find ways to focus their efforts and spread their popularity to others that agree with them. It would be messy. Finally, you're giving the voter a very long ballot with over 50 names on it and asking them to choose one. It may be difficult for voters to find the candidate they want. It may be difficult for them to feel secure in their decision. This is the reason your grocer stocks 3 brands of pasta, not 20.


The grocer only stocks three brands because he has limited shelf space. The ballots can be as big as necessary; people will be more likely to know ahead of time who they're voting for once they get used to it. But if you feel it's a valid issue, split some of the bigger states like Florida, Texas, New York, and California into districts with 10 or so Representatives.

I currently reside in TN, where there are 9 representatives. In 2012, Mitt Romney got 59% of the vote to Barack Obama's 39%. You would think that an accurate representation of the population would be 3 Dem, 6 Republican, or 4 Dem, 5 Republican. Instead there are 2 Democrats and 7 Republicans, and it's not even gerrymandered that badly. 9 Representatives would be optimal in my opinion; the ballot would likely have about 20-25 names of people who could get enough signatures.

I think what you brought up about very popular Representatives getting huge numbers of votes is actually a good thing, not a bad thing. People will feel confident that that person will win again and instead vote for someone like them in order to get double the representation. Large organizations that currently wield tremendous political power will have to decide if they wish to run two candidates instead of one, and risk neither being elected as people look to a candidate that better represents their individual interests rather than the aggregate political goals of the organization.

The other upside is that political parties will have less control over the political process. Coalitions must form in order to accomplish major legislation or even elect a Speaker. The Tea Party can split off from the Republican Party, which will make both far happier, yet marginalized. Dems can remain a centrist party, while the real liberals can branch off and form their own organization. Swing voters will still be more likely to swing towards the tallest guy or the one with the biggest billboard, but the real politically active people will be less likely to "settle" for someone. Voter participation will likely increase because it will take so few votes to put the 9th-place candidate into office - and that person will know they barely skimmed by and they will be far more likely to respond to the people that elected them.
 
2014-07-19 09:22:08 PM  

Kittypie070: Hey, tell us the one about how we're a

plutocracy republic, not a democracy! That's always good for a diversion!

Fixed that for you.
 
2014-07-19 09:22:23 PM  

Kittypie070: officeday: Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....

Absolutely.

After the shiat your party has pulled on everyone around the entire world in the past 14 years...


I was only in MD for a year, but the Dems there are pretty bad....I do agree though that the GOP deserves whatever it gets
 
2014-07-19 09:39:09 PM  

GentDirkly: The first time that the system was used, a handful of people would be so popular statewide that they may have 10x as many votes as the 27th place candidate, who would equally get a seat.


Three words: Representative Vermin Supreme.

welovecult.s3.amazonaws.com

 
2014-07-19 09:40:00 PM  
This "War on women" I have heard about must be working.
 
2014-07-19 09:50:24 PM  

officeday: mrshowrules: Gerrymandering takes a long time.  A fair redistricting takes no time at all.  You could fairly redistrict a State in about an hour using the shortest split linealgorithm.

Democrats would fight that tooth and nail. Gerrymandering is not isolated to Repubs, it occurs whenever and wherever there is a lack of a serious opposing party. Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....


I'm against gerrymandering anywhere even where it benefits the DNC.
 
2014-07-19 09:52:53 PM  

Smackledorfer: The Name: sendtodave: You know what would solve all of this?

Philosopher kings.

In all seriousness, some states would probably actually fare better if they were run by a benevolent-enough dictator.  Recent history has shown us that some places (I'm looking at you, Kansas, Florida and North Carolina) are on average just too stupid to make decisions for themselves through the democratic process.

Everything runs better under a benevolent dictator.

Pretty tough finding one and keeping them that way.


Please have pity for those of us here in North Cackalacky. We are but prey for the beady eyed employee of the nation's largest utility...
 
2014-07-19 10:12:24 PM  

smellysocksnshoes: How about when you are elected you turn over 75% of your wealth (including real property) and once your term in office is done you can never mention politics or your role in govt (no books no movies no interviews) on get your wealth and property back in 10% segments annually after another year of STFU


Anyone who could actually do the job would never volunteer.
Joe Schmuckatelli from the middle class couldn't afford to turn over that much of what they have, and Jane Poorwoman doesn't have anything to turn over - and is most likely not educated enough to handle the position. Wellington Richguy ain't turning over 75% of JACK only get get it back in drips later, and is not going to give up a chance to make even more money after their term ends.

Not gonna happen. Money drives politics, and without money there is no politics.
 
2014-07-19 10:25:31 PM  

officeday: mrshowrules: Gerrymandering takes a long time.  A fair redistricting takes no time at all.  You could fairly redistrict a State in about an hour using the shortest split linealgorithm.

Democrats would fight that tooth and nail. Gerrymandering is not isolated to Repubs, it occurs whenever and wherever there is a lack of a serious opposing party. Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....


I may be new to this game, but isn't this a strawman argument?
 
2014-07-19 10:44:02 PM  

AnonAmbientLight: officeday: mrshowrules: Gerrymandering takes a long time.  A fair redistricting takes no time at all.  You could fairly redistrict a State in about an hour using the shortest split linealgorithm.

Democrats would fight that tooth and nail. Gerrymandering is not isolated to Repubs, it occurs whenever and wherever there is a lack of a serious opposing party. Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....

I may be new to this game, but isn't this a strawman argument?


But, but, butt... Reality is paradoxical. How else does one explain that, while there is nothing new under the sun, on the other hand time changes everything?
 
MFK
2014-07-19 10:44:45 PM  

officeday: mrshowrules: Gerrymandering takes a long time.  A fair redistricting takes no time at all.  You could fairly redistrict a State in about an hour using the shortest split linealgorithm.

Democrats would fight that tooth and nail. Gerrymandering is not isolated to Repubs, it occurs whenever and wherever there is a lack of a serious opposing party. Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....


Yeah yeah... Maryland and Illinois are gerrymandered blue states. Let's be sure to put those two states against the 30 gerrymandered red states to show how both sides are exactly the same.
 
2014-07-19 10:45:26 PM  

Doc Daneeka: The gerrymandering is a travesty, yes, but this is what they get for sending a GOP majority to the statehouse in the first place.  What did they think was going to happen?

Maybe next time Florida voters will have more sense.


Last election, I helped a lot of my friends register, but I warned them to register either Independent or Republican. Some did, but most registered Dem. Incidentally, all of my friends who were registered I or R had no problems voting on election day, but three of my friends who registered D had trouble. Two were turned away. My roommate, for example, never receive his voter registration card, and was denied - flat out denied by the woman working there - a provisional ballot at the polling station. As he had never voted in any previous election, and was kind of annoyed at having waited like 3 or 4 hours in line, he did not know or did not care that was wrong and went home without having voted. I, a registered Republican (because someone with some sense should vote in the Republican primaries here), had absolutely no problems come election day (still voted Dem on election day, though). My roommate received his voter's registration card 3 months after the election. The incident infuriated myself and a lot of my friends, even our staunch conservative Republican friend, that we couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of the situation, and to vent we wrote in "[Roommate's name]'s voter registration" as one of the blank card in Cards Against Humanity. It tends to be a trump card if he's judging certain cards like "Why can't I sleep at night?" Similarly, a friend of mine, who also registered Dem and had never voted before, was denied a ballot at her polling station and told to go home or else they would call the police on her trying to vote illegally. She was 18 at the time, that scared her, and off she went to avoid a run in with police. Sadly, neither of them could be assed to care enough to pursue the matter in any legal capacity, which I can kind of understand (both working full-time, both are full-time students, both broke) but at the same time... *sigh* c'est la vie.

So, some of it, sure, has to do with Florida voters being asshats. Some of it, however, may have to do with bullsh*t tactics by Republicans to prevent registered Democrats from voting in elections. This year, my roommate changed his party affiliation and, lo and behold, we both received our voter cards on the same day a few weeks ago. Not sure about my other friends, but some of them seem less enthusiastic about mid-terms; a position I'm trying desperately to reverse.

In fact, given the sheer volume and diversity of tactics pushed by Republicans over the last several years to try and prevent certain groups of people, who typically vote for Democrats, from voting, I am surprised at the number of people who assume Republican governors or Republican-controlled state legislatures are fairly voted in. I'd put good money on that being true less than half the time.
 
2014-07-19 10:51:54 PM  
CSB*: My father was a returning officer in the last Alberta election. They're hired by the government, not a party, and their job is simply to get a census of eligible voters in their assigned region and break it up into voting districts with a reasonably equal distribution of people. The work is overseen/checked/whatever by some kind of independent government committee in case they try to bias the result.

Why on earth would you let the party in charge draw the districts themselves? What person, at any point, ever thought that was a good idea? Might as well let my dog decide which shelf to keep the peanut butter and whether or not to leave the cupboard open.

*well, as C as a CSB can be in the Politics tab...
 
MFK
2014-07-19 10:56:09 PM  

Kome: Doc Daneeka: The gerrymandering is a travesty, yes, but this is what they get for sending a GOP majority to the statehouse in the first place.  What did they think was going to happen?

Maybe next time Florida voters will have more sense.

Last election, I helped a lot of my friends register, but I warned them to register either Independent or Republican. Some did, but most registered Dem. Incidentally, all of my friends who were registered I or R had no problems voting on election day, but three of my friends who registered D had trouble. Two were turned away. My roommate, for example, never receive his voter registration card, and was denied - flat out denied by the woman working there - a provisional ballot at the polling station. As he had never voted in any previous election, and was kind of annoyed at having waited like 3 or 4 hours in line, he did not know or did not care that was wrong and went home without having voted. I, a registered Republican (because someone with some sense should vote in the Republican primaries here), had absolutely no problems come election day (still voted Dem on election day, though). My roommate received his voter's registration card 3 months after the election. The incident infuriated myself and a lot of my friends, even our staunch conservative Republican friend, that we couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of the situation, and to vent we wrote in "[Roommate's name]'s voter registration" as one of the blank card in Cards Against Humanity. It tends to be a trump card if he's judging certain cards like "Why can't I sleep at night?" Similarly, a friend of mine, who also registered Dem and had never voted before, was denied a ballot at her polling station and told to go home or else they would call the police on her trying to vote illegally. She was 18 at the time, that scared her, and off she went to avoid a run in with police. Sadly, neither of them could be assed to care enough to pursue the matter in any legal capacity, which I can kind of understand (both working full-time, both are full-time students, both broke) but at the same time... *sigh* c'est la vie.

So, some of it, sure, has to do with Florida voters being asshats. Some of it, however, may have to do with bullsh*t tactics by Republicans to prevent registered Democrats from voting in elections. This year, my roommate changed his party affiliation and, lo and behold, we both received our voter cards on the same day a few weeks ago. Not sure about my other friends, but some of them seem less enthusiastic about mid-terms; a position I'm trying desperately to reverse.

In fact, given the sheer volume and diversity of tactics pushed by Republicans over the last several years to try and prevent certain groups of people, who typically vote for Democrats, from voting, I am surprised at the number of people who assume Republican governors or Republican-controlled state legislatures are fairly voted in. I'd put good money on that being true less than half the time.


Are you farking serious? Is this common knowledge in Florida??
 
2014-07-19 11:39:53 PM  

ox45tallboy: Why does the False Creek district get that little wedge of water that extends so far out into the inlet? Are there houseboats out there or something?


That's where the harbour float planes land and the Seabus ferries commuter passengers back and forth to the North Shore. Houseboats are more of False Creek thing.

I think it may be to disenfranchise the Otters who try to vote Green Party in the election.
 
2014-07-19 11:48:03 PM  
America needs an army of soldiers to guard against enemies foreign, and an army of Sam Vimeses to defend against enemies domestic.
 
2014-07-20 12:01:07 AM  

lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.

This should be required for all states.

 
2014-07-20 12:05:49 AM  

fatassbastard: This should be required for all states.


US law leaves the details of voting to states.

You will be shocked, shocked to hear that conservatives in pro-secession and pro-slavery states work very hard to disenfranchise black voters.
 
2014-07-20 12:07:30 AM  

jaytkay: fatassbastard: This should be required for all states.

US law leaves the details of voting to states.

You will be shocked, shocked to hear that conservatives in pro-secession and pro-slavery states work very hard to disenfranchise black voters.


Can we stop pretending states' rights still matter as much as they did back in the 18th or 19th centuries? Back then, traveling cross-country took weeks or months. Today, it's a matter of hours or days.
 
2014-07-20 12:08:03 AM  
Like gerrymandering is a partisan issue. Both sides indulge in this when they're in power. It would be very simple to come up with a model that divides voting districts on a very objective basis, but neither party would ever go for it as too many of their seats would be put in jeopardy.

Wait though, this is the Fark Political tab, so Republitards bad and Dems have never done this.
 
2014-07-20 12:17:28 AM  

officeday: Democrats would fight that tooth and nail. Gerrymandering is not isolated to Repubs, it occurs whenever and wherever there is a lack of a serious opposing party. Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....


I'm a liberal in rural Indiana. I'm apathetic about guns, I'm not Christian, I don't sympathize with farmers, and I think social issues are a giant waste of time.

If you want to play "woe is me", I can play that too.
 
2014-07-20 01:11:12 AM  

IamKaiserSoze!!!: Like gerrymandering is a partisan issue. Both sides indulge in this when they're in power. It would be very simple to come up with a model that divides voting districts on a very objective basis, but neither party would ever go for it as too many of their seats would be put in jeopardy.

Wait though, this is the Fark Political tab, so Republitards bad and Dems have never done this.


Ah the old saw, "both sides are bad - so vote Republican".

Sorry buddy, but I prefer a no rape/no hate platform.
 
2014-07-20 01:35:22 AM  
Similarly, a friend of mine, who also registered Dem and had never voted before, was denied a ballot at her polling station and told to go home or else they would call the police on her trying to vote illegally

And that's where kitty gets stabby.

Now let's rephrase this:

Similarly, a friend of mine, who also registered GOP and had never voted before, was denied a ballot at her polling station and told to go home or else they would call the police on her trying to vote illegally

And kitty gets stabby again.

Don't ever EVER f*ck with people when they want to goddamn vote, I don't give a fart in the Sahara if they're a member of the American Communist Party or they're voting for Richard Sh*t Nixon as a write in.
 
2014-07-20 03:02:08 AM  

IamKaiserSoze!!!: Like gerrymandering is a partisan issue. Both sides indulge in this when they're in power. It would be very simple to come up with a model that divides voting districts on a very objective basis, but neither party would ever go for it as too many of their seats would be put in jeopardy.

Wait though, this is the Fark Political tab, so Republitards bad and Dems have never done this.


No, you're correct. Dems have done it a few times.
Which is like saying jaywalking and drunk driving can cause lethal vehicular accidents.
 
2014-07-20 03:18:33 AM  

ox45tallboy: mod_reright: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.

I believe the way to do it is make all Representatives elected from the state's population at large. For instance, Florida has 27 Representatives. On election day, everyone votes for the candidate they think represents them the best, and you take the top 27 vote-getters. In this manner, ANY group of people that can churn up enough support for their cause gets a representative in Congress. Whether that's the teachers' union, the corporate bigwigs, the factory workers, the fast-food workers, even the unemployed people can get their own rep if there's enough of them.

This would solve several problems at once, not the least of which is gerrymandering. It also enables any minority group with vested interests to have a pretty good shot at getting their own rep regardless of the proximity of their homes. Sure, candidates have to have a statewide campaign, but that's not as bad as what you might think - most people are going to vote for someone relating to their job, their church, or a particular issue they feel strongly about, so they'd likely find out easily which candidate best fits their interests. Racial minorities making only single-digit percentages of the population could easily get representation in this manner.

The candidates are supposed to represent the people. Back in the olden days they were chosen to represent people on a geographical basis for practical reasons, most of which don't apply anymore. The atheist stockbroker who lives in a million dollar mansion probably doesn't have the same interests as the christian factory worker who lives in a trailer park a few miles aw ...


Great idea, but I'm not sure how it'd work in my state (Washington). A mountain range pretty much divides it into two domains. The eastern portion is twice the size of the western portion in area, but has only one-third the population. The Seattle side (the west side) would have enough of a population advantage to elect all the representatives . . . leaving the east side being taxed without representation. (Wasn't there a war about that once?)

I believe you (like me) are a city person, but you haven't taken into account the sparsely populated agricultural areas that most states have. Their needs and wants rarely coincide with the wants and needs of us city slickers.
 
2014-07-20 03:34:24 AM  

HammerHeadSnark: I believe you (like me) are a city person, but you haven't taken into account the sparsely populated agricultural areas that most states have. Their needs and wants rarely coincide with the wants and needs of us city slickers.


in some respects, I get that, but in others...I just really don't give a shiat anymore.

I've lived in the rural-est of rural, I've lived in urban centers, and now I live in surburbia...and in every instance, no matter how you atomize the situation, there was always competing interest present.

in other words, within any geographical designation, you can arbitrarily place a line and say 'people on this side are different from the ones on the other' - be it a state, a county, or a township.
 
2014-07-20 03:57:35 AM  

HammerHeadSnark: Great idea, but I'm not sure how it'd work in my state (Washington). A mountain range pretty much divides it into two domains. The eastern portion is twice the size of the western portion in area, but has only one-third the population. The Seattle side (the west side) would have enough of a population advantage to elect all the representatives . . . leaving the east side being taxed without representation. (Wasn't there a war about that once?)

I believe you (like me) are a city person, but you haven't taken into account the sparsely populated agricultural areas that most states have. Their needs and wants rarely coincide with the wants and needs of us city slickers.


I'm normally a city person, but I'm definitely living in a rural area at the moment. However, that doesn't matter in this thought experiment.

Situations like Washington State are exactly what my idea would address - ANY subset of the population can have a Representative - and the people will divide themselves the most efficient way possible. Right now, we depend on geographical division, but there is simply no practical reason why the division cannot be according to one's occupation, one's religious beliefs (or lack thereof), or one's desire for a specific piece of legislation.

Washington state has 10 Reps. While I'm sure that there is some overlap of interests, under the system I have in mind the Eastern half (with 1/3 of the population) has every bit of the ability to elect a Rep as half of the Western half. You vote for whatever Rep best represents your interests, instead of voting for whichever of your two choices that you feel is less evil. Keep the same qualifying petitions, and you'll likely only have about 25 people on the ballot. You could do like India and let each candidate choose a symbol and put those symbols on the ballot next to each candidate's name if you wanted it simpler.

For example, if one person wants to sell themselves as a Tea Party type, they can get votes from the huge numbers of Conservatives in the Eastern half, and might even pick up a few from the Western half. That's the whole idea - if all of the candidates are campaigning only in the Western half of the state, they're missing out on 1/3 of the votes, making it easy for a candidate to pick up a seat by campaigning in the Eastern half. With 10 winners in the election, you at most need 10% of the whole vote to be guaranteed a seat, but the 10th place candidate will likely be closer to 2 or 3 percent or even lower.

In this way, the Western half simply cannot choose all of the candidates. The Eastern half, with 34% of the population, has more than enough votes to get at least 3, if not 4 reps. And those reps won't be representing an area, they'll be representing only their voters - far better than the system we have in place now where a candidate is almost invariably representing hundreds of thousands of people who preferred someone else's platform.

With this system, you would likely wind up with less than 5% of the population who did not vote for their Representative. Compare that to the current situation when it is normal for 45% or more people in a district to be represented by someone they did not vote for and you'll see the advantages.
 
2014-07-20 04:02:31 AM  

heap: in other words, within any geographical designation, you can arbitrarily place a line and say 'people on this side are different from the ones on the other' - be it a state, a county, or a township.


A couple of hundred years ago it made sense to make the divisions geographical in nature. Nowadays, especially considering mass communication and easy travel, it's kind of silly. There are far better criteria from which to determine who should represent you than whether or not that person normally resides within a day's travel by horse.

Do away with the districting lines altogether and gerrymandering will cease to exist.
 
2014-07-20 04:29:17 AM  

heap: in some respects, I get that, but in others...I just really don't give a shiat anymore.

I've lived in the rural-est of rural, I've lived in urban centers, and now I live in surburbia...and in every instance, no matter how you atomize the situation, there was always competing interest present.

in other words, within any geographical designation, you can arbitrarily place a line and say 'people on this side are different from the ones on the other' - be it a state, a county, or a township.


Well, I've lived a bit in the rural realms, but most of my life has been in the city. I do, however, have shirttail relatives still on the farm and their crying about how we city folk don't understand their problems and (I guess) we don't appreciate the tremendous sacrifices they make to ensure we have chicken, milk, and hops for beer.

All that being said, I too, weary of all the whining.
 
2014-07-20 04:37:26 AM  

ox45tallboy: Washington state has 10 Reps. While I'm sure that there is some overlap of interests, under the system I have in mind the Eastern half (with 1/3 of the population) has every bit of the ability to elect a Rep as half of the Western half. You vote for whatever Rep best represents your interests, instead of voting for whichever of your two choices that you feel is less evil. Keep the same qualifying petitions, and you'll likely only have about 25 people on the ballot. You could do like India and let each candidate choose a symbol and put those symbols on the ballot next to each candidate's name if you wanted it simpler.

For example, if one person wants to sell themselves as a Tea Party type, they can get votes from the huge numbers of Conservatives in the Eastern half, and might even pick up a few from the Western half. That's the whole idea - if all of the candidates are campaigning only in the Western half of the state, they're missing out on 1/3 of the votes, making it easy for a candidate to pick up a seat by campaigning in the Eastern half. With 10 winners in the election, you at most need 10% of the whole vote to be guaranteed a seat, but the 10th place candidate will likely be closer to 2 or 3 percent or even lower.


Okay, I get it now. I suspect my understanding of your original statement was lacking. I now see how this could work . . . if it weren't for them damned incumbents standing in the way of innovation.

Your response to me was well-reasoned and unexpected. Thanks for taking the time.
 
2014-07-20 04:40:42 AM  

HammerHeadSnark: Well, I've lived a bit in the rural realms, but most of my life has been in the city. I do, however, have shirttail relatives still on the farm and their crying about how we city folk don't understand their problems and (I guess) we don't appreciate the tremendous sacrifices they make to ensure we have chicken, milk, and hops for beer.


again, you'll find the same 'but they don't represent me!' divisions within a neighborhood.

it's just become one of those 'I fully understand your complaint, I just don't care' kinda things for me.
 
2014-07-20 04:48:47 AM  

HammerHeadSnark: Your response to me was well-reasoned and unexpected. Thanks for taking the time.


Have a month of TF.
 
2014-07-20 04:56:57 AM  

ox45tallboy: HammerHeadSnark: Your response to me was well-reasoned and unexpected. Thanks for taking the time.

Have a month of TF.


Well, that was unexpected. Did you know that a shortage of sheep in New Zealand has push up prices of wool 11% in just three months? I'm doing my part to bring prices down by refusing to eat mutton.

Thanks for the TF.
 
2014-07-20 05:06:05 AM  
If only there were some sort of ....electroic network that people could go to and print a new ballot from, and then send it in........
 
2014-07-20 05:15:06 AM  

Destructor: TheSopwithTurtle: Here's a better one. Anyone can run for election. Unlimited spending, unlimited airtime, no ballot access laws. However there's a "none of the above" option on the ballot. If that option wins over 1% of the vote, all the candidates are thrown to the alligators, and the new rep is picked at random from everyone who voted "none of the above."

I'm thinking a few more of these variants, and we have a whole new bunch of items for "The Wheel Of Failure"... An extra item to add more excitement to...

The Congressional Games.
One way or another...
...they will serve the people.

(Rated R/D: Partisan Politics, Strong language,
Violence. Lots of violence.)


Ah yes, and the early stages, wherein the candidates first try to get on the ballot?  We can follow each of them individually, and call it The Running Man.
 
2014-07-20 06:16:33 AM  
The Real Fark here is that this GOP redistricting...just ruled unconstitutional by a judge...cost the GOP 2 seats to the Democrats...and allowed NutJob WhackJob Alan Grayson to be re-elected back to the House
 
2014-07-20 07:02:47 AM  

Gway: How else does one explain that, while there is nothing new under the sun, on the other hand time changes everything?


Entropy.
 
2014-07-20 07:18:30 AM  

FloridaFarkTag: The Real Fark here is that this GOP redistricting...just ruled unconstitutional by a judge...cost the GOP 2 seats to the Democrats...and allowed NutJob WhackJob Alan Grayson to be re-elected back to the House


Yes, the 2012 map, though two of its districts have appendages which the judge ruled could not be justified, is much less gerrymandered than the 2002-2010 map. So not only did you see more competitive primaries in most districts, the overall balance of seats became slightly more similar to the overall composition of voters. Once these two problem areas are fixed on the current map, both district 10 and district 7 become very competitive, with an advantage to democrats if a popular presidential candidate like Obama is running.
 
2014-07-20 07:25:59 AM  
But most people, when they hear "gerrymandering" and "Florida" would immediately point to district 5, which sticks out on the map. Long, skinny, connects black neighborhoods in Jacksonville to black neighborhoods in Orlando, Gainesville, and Sanford. The judge agreed with he defendants that such a district is actually required by the VRA and Florida's redistricting amendments. The reason is that the district existed previously, and reducing its % black population would reduce chances for minority candidates. But the judge found that the legislature actually packed even more black voters in than it had previously. His order is that the district be redrawn as compact as possible while still having the same % black it had in 2010. That minor change is still probably enough to flip 2 seats touching the district.
 
2014-07-20 08:06:58 AM  

MFK: Are you farking serious? Is this common knowledge in Florida??


That elections in Florida are fishy? Pretty sure that's been common knowledge across the United States since late-2000.
 
2014-07-20 08:29:05 AM  

ox45tallboy: heap: in other words, within any geographical designation, you can arbitrarily place a line and say 'people on this side are different from the ones on the other' - be it a state, a county, or a township.

A couple of hundred years ago it made sense to make the divisions geographical in nature. Nowadays, especially considering mass communication and easy travel, it's kind of silly. There are far better criteria from which to determine who should represent you than whether or not that person normally resides within a day's travel by horse.

Do away with the districting lines altogether and gerrymandering will cease to exist.


Just select people to go serve in congress randomly among registered voters and be done with it. Italian city starts did it and it solved a lot of problems.

No election machines, lobbyists and special interest groups can't buy off a candidate by contributing to the campaign.

They would need to pass a citizenship test before serving or a new name is picked.

Everybody makes what they made the previous two years with a basement at the current salary for congress and a max at half a million a year, so people will be less inclined to refuse. Maybe have them automatically serve two terms, just to have some continuity.

Just make it like jury duty, get the elections out of it. Politicians are corrupted by elections and election efforts in this country. Take it out ID the equation.
 
2014-07-20 09:25:16 AM  

ox45tallboy: With this system, you would likely wind up with less than 5% of the population who did not vote for their Representative. Compare that to the current situation when it is normal for 45% or more people in a district to be represented by someone they did not vote for and you'll see the advantages.


It's not a terrible idea. Certainly not significantly more terrible than the current system. The real problem is that while you get representative voting, you may not get representative petitioning. What voters does a rep listen to when the mail (electronic and snail) flows in? Which voters does a rep seriously think about the questions they asked after a town hall event? Doesn't this just lead to tyranny of the majority? So do we publicize who voted for who so the rep knows who to listen to? That has its own repercussions, such as voter intimidation. And so on.

It's not a terrible idea, though. But a better idea is a levelled playing field, an algorithmic distribution of area, perhaps with weighting to attempt to not mix rural and city areas.
 
2014-07-20 09:37:33 AM  

Ishidan: We can follow each of them individually, and call it The Running Man.


Gives a whole new meaning to "...survived the election to run for the White House..."
 
2014-07-20 09:45:45 AM  
Why couldn't they just use the previous lawful map (instead of the current unlawful map) until they come up with a new map?
 
2014-07-20 10:03:37 AM  

Aldon: Why couldn't they just use the previous lawful map (instead of the current unlawful map) until they come up with a new map?


The price you pay for a chaotic alignment.
 
MFK
2014-07-20 10:26:34 AM  

ox45tallboy: heap: in other words, within any geographical designation, you can arbitrarily place a line and say 'people on this side are different from the ones on the other' - be it a state, a county, or a township.

A couple of hundred years ago it made sense to make the divisions geographical in nature. Nowadays, especially considering mass communication and easy travel, it's kind of silly. There are far better criteria from which to determine who should represent you than whether or not that person normally resides within a day's travel by horse.

Do away with the districting lines altogether and gerrymandering will cease to exist.


That would work in smaller states but in states like Texas and California it is ridiculous to expect one person to cover a land mass of that size.

Districts are supposed to be based on population and geography. Take all political data out of the districting process and problem is solved
 
2014-07-20 10:28:43 AM  

MFK: Take all political data out of the districting process and problem is solved


You'll notice that everyone likes this idea except the politicians.

So, it'll never happen.
 
2014-07-20 11:02:02 AM  

ox45tallboy: GentDirkly: I like the cut of you jib, but I do think there is an idea l number for it. Something more than 5, but probably less than 10. 27 is not that number. The first time that the system was used, a handful of people would be so popular statewide that they may have 10x as many votes as the 27th place candidate, who would equally get a seat. These very popular candidates would have to find ways to focus their efforts and spread their popularity to others that agree with them. It would be messy. Finally, you're giving the voter a very long ballot with over 50 names on it and asking them to choose one. It may be difficult for voters to find the candidate they want. It may be difficult for them to feel secure in their decision. This is the reason your grocer stocks 3 brands of pasta, not 20.

The grocer only stocks three brands because he has limited shelf space. The ballots can be as big as necessary; people will be more likely to know ahead of time who they're voting for once they get used to it. But if you feel it's a valid issue, split some of the bigger states like Florida, Texas, New York, and California into districts with 10 or so Representatives.

I currently reside in TN, where there are 9 representatives. In 2012, Mitt Romney got 59% of the vote to Barack Obama's 39%. You would think that an accurate representation of the population would be 3 Dem, 6 Republican, or 4 Dem, 5 Republican. Instead there are 2 Democrats and 7 Republicans, and it's not even gerrymandered that badly. 9 Representatives would be optimal in my opinion; the ballot would likely have about 20-25 names of people who could get enough signatures.

I think what you brought up about very popular Representatives getting huge numbers of votes is actually a good thing, not a bad thing. People will feel confident that that person will win again and instead vote for someone like them in order to get double the representation. Large organizations that currently wield tremendous political power will have to decide if they wish to run two candidates instead of one, and risk neither being elected as people look to a candidate that better represents their individual interests rather than the aggregate political goals of the organization.

The other upside is that political parties will have less control over the political process. Coalitions must form in order to accomplish major legislation or even elect a Speaker. The Tea Party can split off from the Republican Party, which will make both far happier, yet marginalized. Dems can remain a centrist party, while the real liberals can branch off and form their own organization. Swing voters will still be more likely to swing towards the tallest guy or the one with the biggest billboard, but the real politically active people will be less likely to "settle" for someone. Voter participation will likely increase because it will take so few votes to put the 9th-place candidate into office - and that person will know they barely skimmed by and they will be far more likely to respond to the people that elected them.


After 3 or 4 choices further variety fosters discontent. Read that study in Intro to Material Culture a few years ago. There's a significant number of people who actually are depressed over too many choices. More than 3 or 4 induce mental paralysis and an inability to make a decision.
 
2014-07-20 11:51:08 AM  

Relatively Obscure: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

Well, let's just contact our legislators to get those laws requiring it passed.  Easy peasy.


Correct.  It will never happen.  A judge will have to order it.
 
2014-07-20 11:59:24 AM  

starsrift: It's not a terrible idea. Certainly not significantly more terrible than the current system. The real problem is that while you get representative voting, you may not get representative petitioning. What voters does a rep listen to when the mail (electronic and snail) flows in? Which voters does a rep seriously think about the questions they asked after a town hall event? Doesn't this just lead to tyranny of the majority? So do we publicize who voted for who so the rep knows who to listen to? That has its own repercussions, such as voter intimidation. And so on.


Absolutely not. Exactly the opposite in fact - you'll likely only need 2-3% of the population to elect a Representative.

As far as who the Rep has to listen to, I would say he's got to listen to anyone from his state that is an eligible voter. The added bonus is that people are far more likely to contact the candidate they voted for instead of one they don't like, which is the way it works nowadays. The candidate runs on a particular issue, or to say he or she is representing a particular group of people (for example, the unions). The people he marketed himself to become his constituents. This doesn't mean he wouldn't want even more support the next election, but he's definitely going to try to represent the people the people whose vote he asked for. People who voted for someone else will likely be contacting the rep they voted for, since less than 5% of the voters will have a rep they didn't vote for.
 
2014-07-20 12:05:32 PM  

rga184: They would need to pass a citizenship test before serving or a new name is picked.


Easiest way to get out of this = purposely fail the test.

The one piece of logic that you missed is that the people who campaign for public office want to be in public office. If you volunteer (draft) someone to do something they don't want to do, they will do as little of it as possible.  The only reason it works for the military is due to the severe consequences of non-compliance.

I would not want to be a politician. It's not running for office that might corrupt a person, it's the system that exists, with lobbyists, corporations as people, religious nutjobs, wall street banks and other big money and big power groups who will do whatever they can to influence those politicians to vote for or write legislation which favors them. No matter how well-scrubbed and squeaky clean you are when dropped in a sewer you will, after a time, stink.

And before you say it, term limits won't help either. Anyone who is elected knowing that they will be tossed after one or two terms will do their damndest to clean up and make a tidy bed for themselves from the help they would give various groups during that time.
Need a cushy board of directors job on wall street after you're done? Check! Just vote "no" on this banking regulation bill.
Want to make sure the water rights are set for that farmland you have back in your home state? Check! Just vote yes on this water apportionment bill.

Of course some of the highest profile offices like president of the united states don't have to do this... they can make enough money with book deals, memoirs and speeches (and a decent retirement package) that their futures are secure no matter what. But your local state congressperson doesn't have that kind of clout or influence, and certainly won't have it after they leave office.

Constituents? Fark'em. I'm getting mine.
 
2014-07-20 12:11:49 PM  

MFK: That would work in smaller states but in states like Texas and California it is ridiculous to expect one person to cover a land mass of that size.

Districts are supposed to be based on population and geography. Take all political data out of the districting process and problem is solved


Why?

In this day and age of cell phones, email, automobiles, and jets, why does geographical representation make more sense than representation by occupation, trade, or career? Why not marital status? Why not religious belief? Why not intelligence? Why not income level? Why not sexual preference? Does a guy living in Galveston likely have more in common with someone living in San Antonio or someone living in Myrtle Beach, SC? Does a person living in Austin have more in common with someone from Laredo or someone from Denver, CO?

I know they're "supposed to be" based on geography, but that was a couple of hundred years ago when basing representation on geography made sense. With all communication taking days, it made elections and communication with one's constituents possible. It was a constraint of level of technology that is simply no longer applicable. We've progressed a lot since then.

But as I said earlier, if you really think it's necessary, you can chop the bigger states into districts of about 10 reps each.
 
2014-07-20 12:18:17 PM  

BolloxReader: After 3 or 4 choices further variety fosters discontent. Read that study in Intro to Material Culture a few years ago. There's a significant number of people who actually are depressed over too many choices. More than 3 or 4 induce mental paralysis and an inability to make a decision.


The only people that this would affect are those who walk into the polling place not knowing who they're going to vote for. And to me, that's yet another bonus. You haven't bothered doing the research, so therefore you should feel uncomfortable when you're voting. Not that I think anyone should be disenfranchised, but they should understand who they're voting for instead of the "D" or "R".

People that have made up their mind already might have a little more trouble finding the name they want, but as I said before, India solves this problem by allowing each candidate to choose a "symbol" - a little cartoonish icon of an ordinary object (say, a shovel or a star or a wheel) which appears next to their name on the ballot. In this manner, voters are less confused by candidates with similar names.
 
2014-07-20 12:22:54 PM  

GodsTumor: officeday: mrshowrules: Gerrymandering takes a long time.  A fair redistricting takes no time at all.  You could fairly redistrict a State in about an hour using the shortest split linealgorithm.

Democrats would fight that tooth and nail. Gerrymandering is not isolated to Repubs, it occurs whenever and wherever there is a lack of a serious opposing party. Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....

Yeah ..cry me a river.  The last congressional race  Democratic votes exceed Republican votes by more than half a million.
And yet the GOP has a huge advantage 234 to 201.  Sounds fair to me?


When we take into count black votes are worth only 3/5 or a real vote, that half a million disappears.
 
2014-07-20 12:26:16 PM  

MFK: That would work in smaller states but in states like Texas and California it is ridiculous to expect one person to cover a land mass of that size.


Oh, by the way, one person covers even more land mass than either of those states in Alaska.

Yes, our largest state has only one Representative.
 
2014-07-20 02:45:21 PM  

Aldon: Why couldn't they just use the previous lawful map (instead of the current unlawful map) until they come up with a new map?


1) previous map had 25 districts, not 27.
2) the law changed when Florida voters passed a redistricting amendment. The process used in 2001 to make the previous map was openly partisan, as was legal at the time.
 
2014-07-20 07:28:00 PM  
Another thing to consider about comparing ox_tallboy's idea to the status quo is the consideration of children, non-voters, non-citizens, etc. Districts are drawn to be equal in population according to the census - so the three groups I mentioned really are represented even though they did not vote. If you live in an area with a lot of children or non-citizens, your vote counts more. Most people in our political establishment consider this a feature, not a defect. That goes away with most other possible voting systems.
 
2014-07-20 08:19:00 PM  

GentDirkly: Another thing to consider about comparing ox_tallboy's idea to the status quo is the consideration of children, non-voters, non-citizens, etc. Districts are drawn to be equal in population according to the census - so the three groups I mentioned really are represented even though they did not vote. If you live in an area with a lot of children or non-citizens, your vote counts more. Most people in our political establishment consider this a feature, not a defect. That goes away with most other possible voting systems.


While there are plenty of places that this does occur more so than others (think areas of New York or Miami that have huge immigrant noncitizen populations), pretty much every region or district has children. None of these people would get the vote under this system - I'm not suggesting any changes to voter eligibility. The number of nonvoting citizens being represented would be the same, only they would be spread out to the entire state rather than concentrated in certain districts.

Once again, the beauty is that people would be able to organize themselves according to their own preference for representation or political agenda. A group of people making up only 4% of the voters has a pretty good chance of electing their own rep, the same as a different group making up 20% of the voters. Does this mean that the vote of those in the former group counts 5 times as much as those in the latter, since it only takes 1/5 of the number of voters to elect someone? Or does this mean that the voters in the second group should consider splitting their votes somehow to elect 2 or 3 reps instead?

Of course this gives minority groups of all sorts (racial, political, religious, sexual identity, etc.) more political power than they currently have. That's the idea.It also gives those with the most mainstream political agenda practically guaranteed representation, just not overly so. They still need to pay attention to the voters in their district.

But the absolute best part is that only about 5% or so of voters in total will be represented by someone they didn't vote for, whose politica agenda they don't like. 95% of voters will send their chosen candidate to Congress, which is far better than the ~50% of the current Congress (Republicans got 500,000 fewer votes than Democrats, yet control Congress 234 to 201). .
 
2014-07-20 09:15:10 PM  

ox45tallboy: GentDirkly: Another thing to consider about comparing ox_tallboy's idea to the status quo is the consideration of children, non-voters, non-citizens, etc. Districts are drawn to be equal in population according to the census - so the three groups I mentioned really are represented even though they did not vote. If you live in an area with a lot of children or non-citizens, your vote counts more. Most people in our political establishment consider this a feature, not a defect. That goes away with most other possible voting systems.

While there are plenty of places that this does occur more so than others (think areas of New York or Miami that have huge immigrant noncitizen populations), pretty much every region or district has children. None of these people would get the vote under this system - I'm not suggesting any changes to voter eligibility. The number of nonvoting citizens being represented would be the same, only they would be spread out to the entire state rather than concentrated in certain districts.

Once again, the beauty is that people would be able to organize themselves according to their own preference for representation or political agenda. A group of people making up only 4% of the voters has a pretty good chance of electing their own rep, the same as a different group making up 20% of the voters. Does this mean that the vote of those in the former group counts 5 times as much as those in the latter, since it only takes 1/5 of the number of voters to elect someone? Or does this mean that the voters in the second group should consider splitting their votes somehow to elect 2 or 3 reps instead?

Of course this gives minority groups of all sorts (racial, political, religious, sexual identity, etc.) more political power than they currently have. That's the idea.It also gives those with the most mainstream political agenda practically guaranteed representation, just not overly so. They still need to pay attention to the voters in their district.

But ...


I like it. I'll sign on, you signed on to my gun control proposal iirc......
 
2014-07-20 09:18:38 PM  

Doc Daneeka: The gerrymandering is a travesty, yes, but this is what they get for sending a GOP majority to the statehouse in the first place.  What did they think was going to happen?

Maybe next time Florida voters will have more sense.


Need I remind you which state has its own Fark tag?
 
2014-07-20 09:26:56 PM  

mod_reright: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.


How so?

10000 voters is 10000 voters. It's not complicated.
 
2014-07-20 09:30:29 PM  

Flab: mod_reright: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.

How so?

10000 voters is 10000 voters. It's not complicated.


I think what he's referring to is gerrymandering that is necessary to provide representation of minorities. If the districts aren't drawn so that minorities are the majority in at least one, they're not likely to be represented. Districting for reasons other than geography has been around since long before Gerrymander started doing it; he just saw the potential and popularized the idea of marginalizing those he didn't agree with.
 
2014-07-20 10:23:27 PM  

ox45tallboy: Flab: mod_reright: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.

How so?

10000 voters is 10000 voters. It's not complicated.

I think what he's referring to is gerrymandering that is necessary to provide representation of minorities. If the districts aren't drawn so that minorities are the majority in at least one, they're not likely to be represented. Districting for reasons other than geography has been around since long before Gerrymander started doing it; he just saw the potential and popularized the idea of marginalizing those he didn't agree with.


I don't get this argument. Are you saying that a minority person will not even run for office unless she knows her district in made up of a majority of "her people", or that people will prefer voting across party lines rather than for the minority candidate ?

Doesn't the fact that two of the redneckest states have governors of Indian descent fly in the face of that argument ?
 
2014-07-20 10:38:31 PM  

Flab: I don't get this argument. Are you saying that a minority person will not even run for office unless she knows her district in made up of a majority of "her people", or that people will prefer voting across party lines rather than for the minority candidate ?


Nope, I'm saying that in a town of 30% black people, 40% non racist whites, and 30% racist whites, you won't get 3 black people on a 10-seat city council. You might get one if enough black people happen to live near enough to each other, but it's not guaranteed. This isn't a ideal world we live in, and so SCOTUS said that some creative districting is okay, and sometimes necessary to see that minorities were not underrepresented.

Flab: Doesn't the fact that two of the redneckest states have governors of Indian descent fly in the face of that argument ?


No.
 
2014-07-20 11:03:54 PM  

ox45tallboy: Flab: I don't get this argument. Are you saying that a minority person will not even run for office unless she knows her district in made up of a majority of "her people", or that people will prefer voting across party lines rather than for the minority candidate ?

Nope, I'm saying that in a town of 30% black people, 40% non racist whites, and 30% racist whites, you won't get 3 black people on a 10-seat city council. You might get one if enough black people happen to live near enough to each other, but it's not guaranteed. This isn't a ideal world we live in, and so SCOTUS said that some creative districting is okay, and sometimes necessary to see that minorities were not underrepresented.


Pretty much.  To expand on it a bit, if you are a white guy living on a farm in Iowa, and districts are laid out in a neat grid, you can safely assume that your elected representative will be someone from your community who shares many of your interests.  If you are a minority living in a big city, it is likely that your community -- due to the vagaries of history, economics, city planning, bigotry and the real estate market -- will be laid out in some geometrically complicated island (or archipelago, even).  Historically in America, laying down a grid of districts will probably split your community into half a dozen different districts.  This might be notionally unbiased, but the practical effect is to tell the members of that community "no, you may not elect your community  leaders to represent you, no, your vote will never really count, and yes, the person who is elected to represent you will likely be actively hostile toward your interests."  This creates marginalized underclasses of people who are denied access to government representation, which is bad for them, bad for society, and awful for democracy.

Maybe things have improved enough in recent history that we can place less emphasis on these considerations, so sure, run your algorithms and see what they produce.  But it is still prudent to look at the outcome and ask, "is this going to fark anyone over?" and make reasonable adjustments.
 
2014-07-20 11:13:05 PM  

mod_reright: Pretty much.  To expand on it a bit, if you are a white guy living on a farm in Iowa, and districts are laid out in a neat grid, you can safely assume that your elected representative will be someone from your community who shares many of your interests.  If you are a minority living in a big city, it is likely that your community -- due to the vagaries of history, economics, city planning, bigotry and the real estate market -- will be laid out in some geometrically complicated island (or archipelago, even).  Historically in America, laying down a grid of districts will probably split your community into half a dozen different districts.  This might be notionally unbiased, but the practical effect is to tell the members of that community "no, you may not elect your community  leaders to represent you, no, your vote will never really count, and yes, the person who is elected to represent you will likely be actively hostile toward your interests."  This creates marginalized underclasses of people who are denied access to government representation, which is bad for them, bad for society, and awful for democracy.

Maybe things have improved enough in recent history that we can place less emphasis on these considerations, so sure, run your algorithms and see what they produce.  But it is still prudent to look at the outcome and ask, "is this going to fark anyone over?" and make reasonable adjustments.


Which is why I like the idea of electing all reps at large, so that any community or group of people with shared interests has the ability to elect their own representative regardless of geographical proximity.
 
2014-07-20 11:19:19 PM  
ox45tallboy:
Which is why I like the idea of electing all reps at large, so that any community or group of people with shared interests has the ability to elect their own representative regardless of geographical proximity.

It's a clever idea.  Might be hard to implement statewide here in CA, but some variation of it might work very well.  I'll subscribe to your newsletter and sign your petition ;-).

Meanwhile, if we're stuck with the district model, CA has actually made some very good progress toward minimizing gerrymandering without completely ignoring the practical concerns of the electorate.  Leaving it up to the party in charge of the the government at that moment is the height of insanity.
 
2014-07-20 11:32:28 PM  

ox45tallboy: Flab: mod_reright: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.

How so?

10000 voters is 10000 voters. It's not complicated.

I think what he's referring to is gerrymandering that is necessary to provide representation of minorities. If the districts aren't drawn so that minorities are the majority in at least one, they're not likely to be represented. Districting for reasons other than geography has been around since long before Gerrymander started doing it; he just saw the potential and popularized the idea of marginalizing those he didn't agree with.


That wouldn't be as much of an issue if districts were the size they're supposed to be.  One Congressman in the House for every 20,000 citizens.  Changed by Congress in 1911/1912, which lead to the individual citizen being meaningless to our elected "representatives" and going back to the Constitutionally mandated apportionment would provide plenty of chances for minority groups to select their own representatives to represent them.

I also think it would break the stranglehold of the two parties - in a 20,000 citizen district, you realistically only need to talk about 6,000 people into voting for you to win, which is actually possible.  And with a constituency of only 20,000, a Congressman could, theoretically at least, get to know his constituents so he can represent them, or even ~gasp~ by chosen by his own community to represent them.

Yes, this would massively inflate the size of the House, but I don't think it would render it unworkable.  I think we'd see a diversification of political parties, which would then require coalition building to get things done, which I actually think would increase the rate of things getting done.

/With a multi-party system, no one group is large enough to halt everything by being the party of No
//No party could field candidates who campaigned on how little they accomplished
///It would have to be about how much they could get done towards their goals
 
2014-07-20 11:42:56 PM  

Jorn the Younger: I also think it would break the stranglehold of the two parties - in a 20,000 citizen district, you realistically only need to talk about 6,000 people into voting for you to win, which is actually possible.  And with a constituency of only 20,000, a Congressman could, theoretically at least, get to know his constituents so he can represent them, or even ~gasp~ by chosen by his own community to represent them.


I sympathize with this, but how workable is a Congress consisting of 320,000,000/20,000 = 16,000 Representatives? Who decides who gets to address the Congress? How long does each person get to speak? Who gets to raise an objection, and how many procedural votes are necessary? Who gets to introduce legislation, and what are the procedures for amending it prior to voting?

We're pretty much at the limit of the size of our Congress, and considering Puerto Rico and possibly Guam might be looking at statehood in the foreseeable future, it's only going to get bigger as it is without lowering the number of people represented by each Rep.
 
2014-07-20 11:57:06 PM  

ox45tallboy: Jorn the Younger: I also think it would break the stranglehold of the two parties - in a 20,000 citizen district, you realistically only need to talk about 6,000 people into voting for you to win, which is actually possible.  And with a constituency of only 20,000, a Congressman could, theoretically at least, get to know his constituents so he can represent them, or even ~gasp~ by chosen by his own community to represent them.

I sympathize with this, but how workable is a Congress consisting of 320,000,000/20,000 = 16,000 Representatives? Who decides who gets to address the Congress? How long does each person get to speak? Who gets to raise an objection, and how many procedural votes are necessary? Who gets to introduce legislation, and what are the procedures for amending it prior to voting?

We're pretty much at the limit of the size of our Congress, and considering Puerto Rico and possibly Guam might be looking at statehood in the foreseeable future, it's only going to get bigger as it is without lowering the number of people represented by each Rep.


I concede there would be a fair amount that would need to be worked out for this to be implemented, and it would probably be easiest to go on a sliding scale of a large number of years, but I really do think we'd be better off in a system in which it was actually possible for a Representative to represent their constituents.  As it is, our "representatives" represent their donors.

In the meantime, I'd be willing to accept some form of plurality/instant runoff voting and publicly funded elections
 
2014-07-21 12:46:46 AM  

Jorn the Younger: I concede there would be a fair amount that would need to be worked out for this to be implemented, and it would probably be easiest to go on a sliding scale of a large number of years, but I really do think we'd be better off in a system in which it was actually possible for a Representative to represent their constituents.  As it is, our "representatives" represent their donors.

In the meantime, I'd be willing to accept some form of plurality/instant runoff voting and publicly funded elections


The other downside I see is that just as with today's system, nearly half of the voters would be represented by someone they voted against.

Your argument does support the conjecture that the United States may have become too large and too diverse to be able to centrally governed effectively. It may be best to move backwards towards more autonomous states, which would mean that one would more likely know one's Representative that passes the laws that most directly affect oneself.
 
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  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

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