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Is gerrymandering wrong?

Is gerrymandering wrong?


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digsbe

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Yes or no, and explain your answers please. With Republicans winning many governors races they will have a say within their state legislatures on how the new Congressional districts will be drawn. Every 10 years after the census the districts are changed by the states. Gerrymandering is the redistricting for partisan advantage and both parties do it. Do you think it's wrong? Do you think it's balanced in that Repubs and Dems swap out on who gets to draw the lines? Nashville is roughly 60% Democrat and 40% Republican. I live in TN Congressional district 5. The Democrats drew state congressional lines giving an overwhelming Democrat majority in the TN state congress. in a city where the ratio of Dems to Repubs is 6 to 4, the actual representatives in the city are Dems to Repubs by 9 to 1. District 5 includes Nashville, excludes the very conservative and more populated Williamson county, and includes half of the 2 counties next to it that tend to be more conservative. Essentially, The TN 5 district always goes Dem because of how it is drawn. Do you think this is right? Should Gerrymandering be outlawed? Or is it part of the natural political process?
 

Morality Games

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Morally you would draw a district so that it conforms to the patterns set by the resident demographic. Political parties are rarely rewarded for observing moral principles, however.
 
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MKULTRABOY

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I don't know its the devil I guess, but what the hell are we supposed to do about it /disaffected.
 

Morality Games

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I don't know its the devil I guess, but what the hell are we supposed to do about it /disaffected.

Some states form non-partisan commissions for the purpose. I'd say that's the least corrupt alternative in a two-party system.
 

repeter

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Its certainly part of the natural political process, and has been for a long time, but just because its so commonplace doesn't make it right in any sense.
 

DrunkenAsparagus

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Redistricting should be down by an independent body. Asking politicians to control district lines is like a fox guarding a hen house.
 

other

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Yes, I'm against it. As DrunkenAsparagus says, they should be established by independent commissions. Who exactly and how these commissions should be picked is a more difficult question to answer. Maybe districts could be alotted more strictly along existing county lines-- they're stable and easily identified by addresses. Lump several less dense counties into single districts roughly equivalent in population to more populous single county districts.
 
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FederalRepublic

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Yes. It's wrong to draw up congressional districts based on nothing other than numerical benefit for your party.
 

haymarket

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Both parties do it out of both self preservation and out of economic necessity. For example, in my state of Michigan there are 110 House seats in the State Legislature. In a district which is truly competitive, You need at least $25K - and sometimes double that - to win a competitive party primary. Then you move to the general election in which you will need at least $50K and sometimes a lot more than that. That ends up being an expense of $75 grand or more to win election to the State House. There is no possible way that enough people can raise the eight to ten million dollars to make that happen. I know this from first hand experience having managed and won a successful campaign for a candidate.

So what happens is this: the Dems are "given" favorable district boundaries in which they will take between 35 and 40 seats. In other words, they run in a primary but the Democratic primary winner almost always wins in the general. The candidate I managed won by 85 votes in a nine person field where over 5,000 votes were cast. He won the general last week with 95% of the vote in a 15,000 vote election.

Same with the GOP. They are "given" the same favorable district boundaries and produce the same results.

So we end up with 30 or so actual competitive districts into which the state party organizations can pour their limited resources in an attempt to win.

Thats the way it works in almost every state. Election campaigns could not be paid for otherwise. In a presidential election year its even worse as the Presidential race sucks up money and there is even less for local candidates.

This is hard cold brutal political reality folks. Like it or not, praise it or criticize it - its the way it is.
 

The Mark

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Personally, I would say "Yes".

IF some kind of impartial method for deciding districts could be used, it would be best.

Perhaps a grid?
 

jamesrage

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Do you think this is right? Should Gerrymandering be outlawed? Or is it part of the natural political process?

It should be illegal. If a person's vote is anonymous then so should their political preference or alignment or anything else that politicians can use to try to redistrict in their favor.
 

Kandahar

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Personally, I would say "Yes".

IF some kind of impartial method for deciding districts could be used, it would be best.

Perhaps a grid?

I think it shouldn't be too hard to make a computer program that can draw up the districts. You just feed in the population of every precinct, give the program a few basic rules (e.g. districts should be contiguous, should be as square as possible, etc) and let it do its thing.
 
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