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Old 06-18-2017, 04:32 AM   #1
zica
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US districting...

Having very awkward district shapes, purportedly designed to give poor people(and maybe usually African people) a voice, accomplishes the opposite.

If the poor voted as a block they could be the deciding vote in a district otherwise fairly evenly divided between left and right and so, elect whoever was best for them in very many districts. The current situation puts them all in a few districts and this results in far fewer Congresspeople who care about their issues being elected, but gosh, they sure got some people of the same color, so ain't that fair.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:56 AM   #2
DrChesspain
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Re: US districting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zica View Post
Having very awkward district shapes, purportedly designed to give poor people(and maybe usually African people) a voice, accomplishes the opposite.
What makes you think the purported purpose of redistricting is to give poor people a voice?
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:44 PM   #3
ecriture d'adulte
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Re: US districting...

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Originally Posted by DrChesspain View Post
What makes you think the purported purpose of redistricting is to give poor people a voice?
One of the justifications of gerrymandering was to strengthen the power of minority voters.
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:06 PM   #4
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Re: US districting...

lol justificationaments

the purpose of gerrymandering is to win more elections. everything else is noise / legal maneuvering to get away with it.
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:09 PM   #5
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Re: US districting...

Doesn't the term predate minorities in the US having the right to vote?
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:43 PM   #6
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Re: US districting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecriture d'adulte View Post
One of the justifications of gerrymandering was to strengthen the power of minority voters.
[Citation Needed]
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:08 PM   #7
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Re: US districting...

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Originally Posted by Noodle Wazlib View Post
[Citation Needed]
I'm not sure which specific case to cite here, but it has to do with the Voting Rights Act. After the VRA was passed, southern states started messing with their districts to avoid having any districts that were majority-black, or moving to having only state-wide districting. Basically, they were looking for ways to make it harder for black citizens to elect their own representatives. One of the court cases that was heard in reference to the VRA (I'm not sure which, or exactly when) added a rule to the enforcement of the act that led to the requirement that those states created some majority-minority districts. The interpretation of the VRA that led to this sort of racial gerrymandering was modified in the case the S.C. recently decided in reference to North Carolina.

cf. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/22/u...districts.html

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...errymandering/

Quote:
The legislators, on the other hand, say they are merely complying with the Voting Rights Act, which requires states to create districts where minority voters can select their preferred candidate. The question at the heart of these cases is a political riddle: How much mandated racial gerrymandering is too much racial gerrymandering?
https://www.jstor.org/stable/796320
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:12 PM   #8
Noodle Wazlib
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Re: US districting...

The term was first used in 1812, so you're saying the CRA predates it?
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:14 PM   #9
well named
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Re: US districting...

I wasn't describing the history of the term "racial gerrymandering", I was describing the history of the practice of racial gerrymandering as it exists in the US today. African Americans didn't gain the right to vote until 1870, so whatever the term "racial gerrymandering" meant in 1812, it probably was a bit different.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:27 PM   #10
Noodle Wazlib
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Re: US districting...

You picked an odd person to quote if that's what you were doing.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:32 PM   #11
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Re: US districting...

I'm explaining to you what max is referring to. I see you're hung up on the term gerrymandering but he means racial gerrymandering
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:47 PM   #12
Original Position
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Re: US districting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by well named View Post
I wasn't describing the history of the term "racial gerrymandering", I was describing the history of the practice of racial gerrymandering as it exists in the US today. African Americans didn't gain the right to vote until 1870, so whatever the term "racial gerrymandering" meant in 1812, it probably was a bit different.
A nit, but some free blacks did have the right to vote in some states and territories prior to 1870. For instance, it wasn't until 1838 that they lost this right in Pennsylvania. Also, my assumption is that even prior to black male suffrage other racial and ethnic categories were still quite relevant in drawing up political districts.

Last edited by Original Position; 06-18-2017 at 04:48 PM. Reason: accuracy
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:57 PM   #13
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Re: US districting...

OrP: fair enough. What happened though is that I inferred that Max was talking about the VRA from the context and because of the very recent ruling. I didn't realize noodle thought he was talking about gerrymandering in general.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:10 PM   #14
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Re: US districting...

The best solution to this problem is obviously to have computers draw the maps fairly. However, you'll have partisan bickering over that too.

This may be a weird take on the issue, but I think the only way to truly get rid of the practice of gerrymandering at the federal level is to move to state-wide Congressional elections.

You'd hold a statewide party vote, and then proportionally assign each party a number of Representatives. At that point, you'd have open jungle primaries for every party that won a seat, and whoever wanted to could play a part in choosing the candidates to fill the seats.

You'd then assign those candidates to a district for that term - it could be the closest geographical matches possible, or it could be random.

An added benefit could be helping out third party candidates.

Here's an example of how it would work based off the presidential vote in 2016 in California:

Democrats 61.73% (33 seats)
Republicans 31.62% (17 seats)
Libertarians 3.37% (2 seats)
Green 1.96% (1 seat)

Currently, California has 39 Democrats and 14 Republicans.

On the flip side, here's Texas, which currently has 36 seats (25 Republicans, 11 Democrats)

Republicans 52.23% (19 seats)
Democrats 43.24% (16 seats)
Libertarian 3.16% (1 seat)

While I hadn't thought of it initially, one of the biggest changes in this system would be boosting third parties and eroding the two party system a little bit, which I think would be a huge positive for our democratic republic. Not only would 2-5% of the vote in most states get you a seat, thus giving Independents around 40-50 seats in the House, it would incentivize third party votes instead of making them "worthless," or simply protest votes. I think within a few cycles you'd see a third party grabbing maybe 100 seats in the House, and that could begin to make them viable in Senate elections too - especially considering the fundraising they could then begin to do.

There are obviously huge drawbacks to this system, but I think at some point if we want to fix gerrymandering and the computer option is a no-go (Republicans would obviously fight it), some sort of state-wide system is better than what we have.

Also, states with one seat could just hold normal Candidate A vs Candidate B elections... Although maybe a viable third party makes a lot of those interesting three-way races.
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