Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

February 20, 2018 - 9:11am

Today's Poll: Should courts end political district gerrymandering?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Brian Graz
Brian Graz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: Sep 18 2010 - 4:57pm

Gerrymandering as cause of polarization is wrong. First, polarization has taken place in both chambers at about the same time and rate and, since redistricting does not affect the Senate, it cannot wholly explain what’s happened in the House. Second, much polarization in the House has taken place in districts that have not been redrawn by legislators. Third, much of the polarizing in gerrymandered districts preceded their redrawing, The best calculation is that redistricting accounts for no more than ten or twenty per cent of the polarization in the House. Gerrymandering is bad for all kinds of reasons, but polarization isn’t one of them. - Jill LaPore

Howard B. Owens
Howard B. Owens's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 43 min ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm

That's an answer to a question that wasn't asked.

Further, gerrymandering enables party power to persist. One party or another is always trying to rig the system so that their party alone predominates. The party system promotes polarization and polarization plays into the hands of those who want to perpetuate party power.

End gerrymandering and one mechanism that enables power grabs by parties is removed and one mechanism that drives polarization is diminished.

Christopher Putnam
Christopher Putnam's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 2 hours ago
Joined: Oct 11 2012 - 1:05pm

ger·ry·man·der
ˈjerēˌmandər/
verb
gerund or present participle: gerrymandering

manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so AS TO FAVOR one party or class.
achieve (a result) by manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency.
"a total freedom to gerrymander the results they want"

Yeah, sounds like something that would not contribute to fair elections. End it, and divide each state into a grid mathematically. People down voting need to have your head examined, the practice of gerrymandering is screwing YOU.
Origin

Howard B. Owens
Howard B. Owens's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 43 min ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm

Districts must be population weighted so that each gets, numerically, the same representation. A grid system wouldn't do that. In some parts out west, you'd wind up with districts with like 10 people in them next to one with a million.

But districts should be geographically contiguous, as much as possible. You should try to avoid, for example caring out one corner of a county or town or city to shoehorn into another district or wrap all the suburbs surrounding an urban center into a district so that the west side of the city and the east side of the side are suburban areas that aren't contiguous.

Mary Finnegan
Mary Finnegan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 6 hours ago
Joined: Apr 24 2010 - 6:17pm

Did anyone notice that Hilary won the popular vote?What is the sense of voting, rigged or not?

Tim Miller
Tim Miller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 5 hours ago
Joined: Jun 20 2010 - 9:51am

In North Carolina the GOP took over both state chambers in 2010, and have gerrymandered the crap out of NC. In 2012 Dems received 52-53% of all votes for US Congress, yet the GOP won 9 seats. More recently the ration has been 10-3 in favor of the GOP even though this is a purple state.

Dems did it too, back in the 90s and prior, just nowhere as well (fewer computer models to work with).

Screw that. I want my vote to be able to count for something, not just be a blue stamp on a token seat because I live in a liberal-leaning blocked off area.

Howard B. Owens
Howard B. Owens's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 43 min ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm

How computers turned gerrymandering into a science

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/06/opinion/sunday/computers-gerrymanderi...

Competitive seats help keep politicians honest and focused on constituents not pleasing party bosses.

Ed Hartgrove
Ed Hartgrove's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 3 hours ago
Joined: Dec 20 2012 - 11:54am

Mary. Yes, millions of people noticed that Hillary won the popular vote.
What does that have to do with elections?

Tim Miller
Tim Miller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 5 hours ago
Joined: Jun 20 2010 - 9:51am

And one cannot blame Trump being in office on gerrymandering. Blame it on the Electoral College, and how the EC gives extra power to small states... Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota have a total population of approximately 4 million. California is 37 million. Yet those 4 states have 13 EC votes vs California's 55. In a true democracy, the 4 states would have slightly more than 10% of the voting power of California. But due to the EC gives those 4 states almost 24% as much power in the Presidential vote. (An even more lopsided power structure exists in the Senate, but that's for another day)

I believe that is unfair, but it is also written into The Constitution so fairness does not come into play. Well, that and it was a compromise that helped create the union...

Post new comment

Log in or register to post comments

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 

Copyright © 2008-2018 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button