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Is Gerrymandering affecting you?

ThoughtEx.

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I think the largest obstacle to free elections today is the practice of Gerrymandering. Incumbent Gerrymandering more so than Party. Party is still bad though. A lot of responsibility for the state of the Union is laid at the office of the President. But in truth it is Congress who decides most issues. Here is an hour long video on Gerrymandering courtesy of endgerrymandering.com

[video]http://www.snagfilms.com//films/title/gerrymandering?utm_medium=player&utm_campaign=player_referral[/video]

Did you think the video showed bias?

Did it accurately represent a real problem?

Did it show enough evidence, in your opinion, to support its premise?

Could your district be manipulated?

If something similar to Prop 11 came up in your state would you vote for it?

On a scale of 1-10 how serious is this issue, in regards to obstructing elections.
 

BitterPill

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I think the largest obstacle to free elections today is the practice of Gerrymandering. Incumbent Gerrymandering more so than Party. Party is still bad though. A lot of responsibility for the state of the Union is laid at the office of the President. But in truth it is Congress who decides most issues. Here is an hour long video on Gerrymandering courtesy of endgerrymandering.com

[video]http://www.snagfilms.com//films/title/gerrymandering?utm_medium=player&utm_campaign=player_referral[/video]

Did you think the video showed bias?

Did it accurately represent a real problem?

Did it show enough evidence, in your opinion, to support its premise?

Could your district be manipulated?

If something similar to Prop 11 came up in your state would you vote for it?

On a scale of 1-10 how serious is this issue, in regards to obstructing elections.

I live in California, and a non-partisan commission draws our congressional lines. It works great, so I give it the highest marks.
 

EMNofSeattle

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I think the largest obstacle to free elections today is the practice of Gerrymandering. Incumbent Gerrymandering more so than Party. Party is still bad though. A lot of responsibility for the state of the Union is laid at the office of the President. But in truth it is Congress who decides most issues. Here is an hour long video on Gerrymandering courtesy of endgerrymandering.com

[video]http://www.snagfilms.com//films/title/gerrymandering?utm_medium=player&utm_campaign=player_referral[/video]

Did you think the video showed bias?

Did it accurately represent a real problem?

Did it show enough evidence, in your opinion, to support its premise?

Could your district be manipulated?

If something similar to Prop 11 came up in your state would you vote for it?

On a scale of 1-10 how serious is this issue, in regards to obstructing elections.
I do not believe gerrymandering is a problem, functionally I do not even think it really exists.

Most people who gripe about it are the same people who gripe about everything the legislature does and couldn't even point to their own states capitol on a map, or are operatives a political parties who lose elections and want to make up an excuse for why their candidate can't win an election
 

EMNofSeattle

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I live in California, and a non-partisan commission draws our congressional lines. It works great, so I give it the highest marks.

We have the same thing in Washington. It's OK, but just forming a body and calling it a nonpartisan commission does not mean it's free of political influence. Nothing is politics is politics you cannot make politics nonpolitical, anymore than you can make a dog a cat
 

Southern Dad

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I always find it hilarious to read people on the left posting about gerrymandering. Especially considering that Democrats won 9 of the 10 most gerrymandered districts in the country. Even odder is that Republicans drew 8 of the 10 districts. Who is benefiting again? My favorite is the Illinois 4th which is called the Latin Earmuffs. Of course, it is Democrat and has been since it was created but all the districts around it are also Democrat.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...s-most-gerrymandered-congressional-districts/
 

Southern Dad

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We have the same thing in Washington. It's OK, but just forming a body and calling it a nonpartisan commission does not mean it's free of political influence. Nothing is politics is politics you cannot make politics nonpolitical, anymore than you can make a dog a cat

Elections have consequences. It is important to win the state legislatures especially in census years.
 

Carjosse

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imrs.php

These are not electoral districts America! This is someone scribbling on a map. Electoral districts should not have exclaves.
 

Carjosse

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We have the same thing in Washington. It's OK, but just forming a body and calling it a nonpartisan commission does not mean it's free of political influence. Nothing is politics is politics you cannot make politics nonpolitical, anymore than you can make a dog a cat

Yes you can, if you make the commission out of people with no party affiliation and give guidelines like try to have x number of people in each and try to use neighbourhoods, geographic borders (e.g. rivers), no exclaves, must have a central point, etc.
 

Winchester

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Moot for our state being we have one congressional district.
 

Southern Dad

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Gerrymandering actually has a purpose. For example the Illinois 4th which is the most gerrymandered district in the country. Without the lines the way that they are, the Hispanics would never be able to have a congressman representing them. By configuring that district the way that they did, it made the district very heavily Hispanic resulting in one being elected. It was done to give a voice.

I've heard the cries from the left that gerrymandering cost them the House. The problem is that is untrue. What cost them the House was ramming a 2700+ page healthcare bill up the tails of Americans without any Republicans on board. The districts that got the Democrats their majority in 2006, and caused them to hold their majority in 2008, are the very same districts that resulted in the shellacking of 2010.
 

EMNofSeattle

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Yes you can, if you make the commission out of people with no party affiliation and give guidelines like try to have x number of people in each and try to use neighbourhoods, geographic borders (e.g. rivers), no exclaves, must have a central point, etc.

There is no such thing as a politically unaffilated person. It is a myth, non partisan only means not signing up for mailing lists. Everyone has sympathies. In addition they work for the legislature which has final say on approving the boundaries.

While a rectangular district is nice in theory, people do not live equally distributed across the land, and districts all have to have an equal number of folks. To quote Chief Justice Warren, legislators represent people, not acres or trees
 

Carjosse

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There is no such thing as a politically unaffilated person. It is a myth, non partisan only means not signing up for mailing lists. Everyone has sympathies. In addition they work for the legislature which has final say on approving the boundaries.

While a rectangular district is nice in theory, people do not live equally distributed across the land, and districts all have to have an equal number of folks. To quote Chief Justice Warren, legislators represent people, not acres or trees

Yes but what I posted above are clear cases of gerrymandering and are not what electoral districts should be. For example here in Canada our electoral districts follow neighbourhoods and city limits. In rural Canada we use county or geographic boundaries. Have a look, that is what electoral district should look like. Each riding represents ~100,000 people. As a result we have ridings larger than some states and one larger than any state.
 

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How did gerrymandering effect me?? Well, a proposed local voting district that consisted of a small circle in the most liberal part of the town I lived in was the deciding factor in whether I should register as a Dem. or a Rep. The local Dem. party threw out a proposal that would have made one small area an exclusively liberal district. I thought that was so unethical that I finally came down on one side of the fence after riding the fence for quite some time. There were other factors, but that was the final straw for me...
 

EMNofSeattle

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Yes but what I posted above are clear cases of gerrymandering and are not what electoral districts should be. For example here in Canada our electoral districts follow neighbourhoods and city limits. In rural Canada we use county or geographic boundaries. Have a look, that is what electoral district should look like. Each riding represents ~100,000 people. As a result we have ridings larger than some states and one larger than any state.

Under the US constitution a congressional district can only encompass one state.

Further more the civil rights act in some ways requires certain districts to be composed of a majority of ethnic minorities. Which actually ironically dilutes their representation in congress, but nonetheless these are very real limitations on how districts can be drawn. You cannot use county or neighborhood boundaries exclusively unless you can make them with districts have roughly equal representation.
 

ThoughtEx.

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Added topic of discussion, should prisoners be added to the town the prison is in or counted where they otherwise would reside?
 

Carjosse

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Under the US constitution a congressional district can only encompass one state.

Further more the civil rights act in some ways requires certain districts to be composed of a majority of ethnic minorities. Which actually ironically dilutes their representation in congress, but nonetheless these are very real limitations on how districts can be drawn. You cannot use county or neighborhood boundaries exclusively unless you can make them with districts have roughly equal representation.

That is stupidest rule I have ever heard. You can very easily, combine neighbourhoods and counties, as long as it is done in a logical manner. Take the riding of Outremont for example, it covers the Montreal neighbourhoods of Outremont, Mile's End, and Le Plateau almost exactly. As another example say the fictional Louis County is not large enough to warrant a district by itself you can add part of another county up to say the Brookline River. The rest of the county can be in its own district. Usually when our ridings do not have straight borders it is because it meets some some kind of water whether that be a lake or river.
 
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upsideguy

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I do not believe gerrymandering is a problem, functionally I do not even think it really exists.

Most people who gripe about it are the same people who gripe about everything the legislature does and couldn't even point to their own states capitol on a map, or are operatives a political parties who lose elections and want to make up an excuse for why their candidate can't win an election

The Democrats running for the HoR received 500K more votes than the Republicans in 2012.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...publicans-yet-boehner-says-hes-got-a-mandate/
Steny Hoyer: House Democrats won majority of 2012 popular vote | PolitiFact
Gerrymandering Rigged the 2014 Elections for GOP Advantage | BillMoyers.com

...but Republicans ended up with 54% (233 to 200, the majority) of seats in the house. How does that happen if we truly have a House of Representatives.

In a non-gerrymandered designed of congressional districts, the 113th congress should ave a a composition much closer to 217 to 217. But, thanks to the effective gerrymandering of the Republicans via capturing so many state legislatures in 2010, they were able to maintain a majority in the House when they had a minority in the vote.

Sorry, you can tell us that gerrymandering is part of the political games or make another type of "so-what" argument, but telling us that gerrymandering does not exist is simply either disingenuous or ignorant. Fell free to pick the label that best describes you.
 
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ThoughtEx.

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I always find it hilarious to read people on the left posting about gerrymandering. Especially considering that Democrats won 9 of the 10 most gerrymandered districts in the country. Even odder is that Republicans drew 8 of the 10 districts. Who is benefiting again? My favorite is the Illinois 4th which is called the Latin Earmuffs. Of course, it is Democrat and has been since it was created but all the districts around it are also Democrat.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...s-most-gerrymandered-congressional-districts/

Please, stay on topic. At this point in the thread claiming post biased toward the left makes no sense. If this person had watched the video, that shows gerrymandering being responsible for Obama's election, he may have a more considered opinion. I myself am fiscally conservative, so not a lefty.
 

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Of course it has, this has been one of the prime drivers of the breakdown of Washington, of the refusal to compromise so that the work can get done.
 

Southern Dad

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Please, stay on topic. At this point in the thread claiming post biased toward the left makes no sense. If this person had watched the video, that shows gerrymandering being responsible for Obama's election, he may have a more considered opinion. I myself am fiscally conservative, so not a lefty.

Gerrymandering was not responsible for President Obama's election. House districts have nothing to do with the Electoral College.
 

kanabco

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Gerrymandering actually has a purpose. For example the Illinois 4th which is the most gerrymandered district in the country. Without the lines the way that they are, the Hispanics would never be able to have a congressman representing them. By configuring that district the way that they did, it made the district very heavily Hispanic resulting in one being elected. It was done to give a voice.

I've heard the cries from the left that gerrymandering cost them the House. The problem is that is untrue. What cost them the House was ramming a 2700+ page healthcare bill up the tails of Americans without any Republicans on board. The districts that got the Democrats their majority in 2006, and caused them to hold their majority in 2008, are the very same districts that resulted in the shellacking of 2010.

Gerrymandering has three purposes I can think of.
First to isolate partisans in a single area so they cannot effect elections in contiguous districts like putting all the Hispanics in one district in your example.
Second to make a district so stuffed with a single party so as to make it so untouchable that a sitting congressman does not have to do all the re-election dances like fund raising and town halls.
Third to eliminate entirely or squeeze out districts inhabited by a hated opponent. Two that come to mind are Barney Frank and Dennis Kucinich but Republicans have suffered equally over time... I just cant think of one right now.
 

kanabco

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We have the same thing in Washington. It's OK, but just forming a body and calling it a nonpartisan commission does not mean it's free of political influence. Nothing is politics is politics you cannot make politics nonpolitical, anymore than you can make a dog a cat

Nevertheless less it works. It is working well in Utah now too.
 

Checkerboard Strangler

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I live in California, and a non-partisan commission draws our congressional lines. It works great, so I give it the highest marks.

Yet another reason why I moved BACK to Southern California.
 

Checkerboard Strangler

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I do not believe gerrymandering is a problem, functionally I do not even think it really exists.

Most people who gripe about it are the same people who gripe about everything the legislature does and couldn't even point to their own states capitol on a map, or are operatives a political parties who lose elections and want to make up an excuse for why their candidate can't win an election

Ummmmm, maybe you aren't getting out much? :lamo
No seriously, I think you might have missed some of the news!

A gerrymandering attempt that went hilariously awry [UPDATED] - LA Times
 
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