Author Topic: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .  (Read 2389 times)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #50 on: July 03, 2019, 08:24:02 AM »
The government has always been able to intervene in some capacity.

Only in the very partial understanding of "government" and "always" which is mostly predicated on the views of recent fanatical evangelical Christians in the USA and only a small part of the tide of human history.
Again, this is being argued in the other thread about "conservatives always being wrong." 

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #51 on: July 03, 2019, 10:19:13 AM »
For the amusement of all, here is the origin of "gerrymander."

Note that usually one hears "gerrymander" pronounced with a soft "g" which is incorrect because  the "G" in Gerry is hard.




"In 1812, Governor of Massachusetts and future Vice President Elbridge Gerry notoriously approved congressional districts that the legislature had drawn to aid the Democratic-Republican Party. The moniker 'gerrymander' was born when an outraged Federalist newspaper observed that one of the misshapen districts resembled a salamander."


« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 04:11:32 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #52 on: July 07, 2019, 01:07:54 PM »


The United States is not a democracy it is a republic. Individuals elect representatives that will represent them.  Gerrymandering is a result of that republic and both sides do it to help their representation.


"To hold that legislators cannot take partisan interests into account when drawing district lines would essentially countermand the Framers’ decision to entrust districting to political entities."


"An expansive standard requiring 'the correction of all election district lines drawn for partisan reasons would commit federal and state courts to unprecedented intervention in the American political process.'"

"What the appellees and dissent seek is an unprecedented expansion of judicial power."

"We have never struck down a partisan gerrymander as unconstitutional—despite various requests over the past 45 years."

"The expansion of judicial authority would not be into just any area of controversy, but into one of the most intensely partisan aspects of American political life."

"That intervention would be unlimited in scope and duration—it would recur over and over again around the country with each new round of districting, for state as well as federal representatives."

"Consideration of the impact of today’s ruling on democratic principles cannot ignore the effect of the unelected and politically unaccountable branch of the Federal Government assuming such an extraordinary and unprecedented role."




The normal oscillations of elective politics are the best remedy for districting disputes. The federal judiciary's involvement in them invites the remote possibility  of an actual partisan intervention as well as the certain belief of many of the losing side's partisans that an unelected,  unfair Court ruled against them, both of which will only  increase rancorous partisanship.

There is neither a  constitutional command nor democratic requirement that elective politics be perfectly sinusoidal. A variety of districting options are available to  States including their empowerment of bipartisan, impartial redistricting commissions.

The day will come when today's  complaining factions  ascend again  to majority power and control of  districting.

As it should be, "that's politics."



« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 01:37:02 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #53 on: July 07, 2019, 07:18:42 PM »
I guess I am spoiled. Canada has an independent agency set riding boundaries.  A riding is supposed to be represented by its MP (or MPP) - how can an MP do her/his job if the riding has totally irrational boundaries?

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #54 on: July 08, 2019, 01:43:33 AM »
Anyone who says that gerrymandering will be fixed by the normal oscillations of political power doesn't understand that the fundamental nature and purpose of gerrymandering is to get rid of the normal oscillations of political power.

Or does understand but thinks that the rest of us are too stupid to understand it and is happy to perpetrate the lie for political advantage.  The sad thing is that the conservative judges on the Supreme Court have fallen, knowingly or unknowingly, for the lie - which is a bad predictor for the future, because it means they are either very stupid or hopelessly corrupted.

gentmach

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #55 on: July 11, 2019, 11:21:35 AM »
I think it depends on your definition of "Democracy".

"Pure" Democracy means you go and get everyone's opinions on issues.

We have a representative democracy. It seems to me that to increase the democracy in our system, you have to increase the number of people who vote in the House of Representatives.

Our constitution states there is supposed to be 1 representative per 30,000 people. I believe this implies that the value of the "average" voter is 1/30,000.

The best way to solve gerrymandering is to bring everyone's value in line with that number.

Map based solutions imply that you don't want to make the "pie" bigger. You want to keep the size the same only change the rules to make things more "competitive."

So any solution that doesn't involve increasing representatives is merely about trying to win more than democracy.

Telecaster

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #56 on: July 11, 2019, 12:14:58 PM »
Map based solutions imply that you don't want to make the "pie" bigger. You want to keep the size the same only change the rules to make things more "competitive."

So any solution that doesn't involve increasing representatives is merely about trying to win more than democracy.

You could increase the number of representatives, but still crack and pack the districts.   That wouldn't make Congress any more representative of the will of the people than it is now. 


gentmach

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #57 on: July 12, 2019, 08:41:51 AM »
Map based solutions imply that you don't want to make the "pie" bigger. You want to keep the size the same only change the rules to make things more "competitive."

So any solution that doesn't involve increasing representatives is merely about trying to win more than democracy.

You could increase the number of representatives, but still crack and pack the districts.   That wouldn't make Congress any more representative of the will of the people than it is now.

There are supposed to be 10,866 districts throughout the country. I doubt that anyone could gerrymander every single one to reliably deliver for one party or the other. Gerrymandering is the act of drawing districts to reduce minority voices. So divide the district up into smaller blocks.

former player

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #58 on: July 12, 2019, 08:48:58 AM »
Map based solutions imply that you don't want to make the "pie" bigger. You want to keep the size the same only change the rules to make things more "competitive."

So any solution that doesn't involve increasing representatives is merely about trying to win more than democracy.

You could increase the number of representatives, but still crack and pack the districts.   That wouldn't make Congress any more representative of the will of the people than it is now.

There are supposed to be 10,866 districts throughout the country. I doubt that anyone could gerrymander every single one to reliably deliver for one party or the other. Gerrymandering is the act of drawing districts to reduce minority voices. So divide the district up into smaller blocks.

So, you want 10,966 members of Congress?


Not sure you'd get many votes for that.

Dabnasty

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #59 on: July 12, 2019, 09:31:58 AM »
I think it depends on your definition of "Democracy".

"Pure" Democracy means you go and get everyone's opinions on issues.

We have a representative democracy. It seems to me that to increase the democracy in our system, you have to increase the number of people who vote in the House of Representatives.

Our constitution states there is supposed to be 1 representative per 30,000 people. I believe this implies that the value of the "average" voter is 1/30,000.

The best way to solve gerrymandering is to bring everyone's value in line with that number.

Map based solutions imply that you don't want to make the "pie" bigger. You want to keep the size the same only change the rules to make things more "competitive."

So any solution that doesn't involve increasing representatives is merely about trying to win more than democracy.

You say "So" as if the rest of your comment justifies the last bit but I don't see the connection*. Even if you believe the best solution is to increase the number of representatives, why would taking away the ability of a political party to manipulate voting districts in their favor be a bad thing?

Are you saying that if we can't have more districts, you're fine with gerrymandering?

*I'm also not entirely sure what "win more than democracy" means, but I assume you're saying any other solution is an attempt to give their side an advantage.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #60 on: July 12, 2019, 10:41:30 AM »
Our constitution states there is supposed to be 1 representative per 30,000 people. I believe this implies that the value of the "average" voter is 1/30,000.

Article I, Section 2, Subsection 3 states: "The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative."

This is a ceiling, not a floor; i.e., they did not want *more* than one representative for every 30,000 people.

gentmach

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #61 on: July 12, 2019, 11:34:28 AM »
Map based solutions imply that you don't want to make the "pie" bigger. You want to keep the size the same only change the rules to make things more "competitive."

So any solution that doesn't involve increasing representatives is merely about trying to win more than democracy.

You could increase the number of representatives, but still crack and pack the districts.   That wouldn't make Congress any more representative of the will of the people than it is now.

There are supposed to be 10,866 districts throughout the country. I doubt that anyone could gerrymander every single one to reliably deliver for one party or the other. Gerrymandering is the act of drawing districts to reduce minority voices. So divide the district up into smaller blocks.

So, you want 10,966 members of Congress?


Not sure you'd get many votes for that.

See. That's the problem. Everyone here is going "we want more democracy."
"Well by the rules in our constitution the house of representatives is supposed to be about 11,000."
"Woah there! That's a little too much democracy."

So what would be the proper amount of representatives for a nation of 328 million? No one wanted to answer that question. Everyone just wants to point at maps and claim that is the problem.

I think it depends on your definition of "Democracy".

"Pure" Democracy means you go and get everyone's opinions on issues.

We have a representative democracy. It seems to me that to increase the democracy in our system, you have to increase the number of people who vote in the House of Representatives.

Our constitution states there is supposed to be 1 representative per 30,000 people. I believe this implies that the value of the "average" voter is 1/30,000.

The best way to solve gerrymandering is to bring everyone's value in line with that number.

Map based solutions imply that you don't want to make the "pie" bigger. You want to keep the size the same only change the rules to make things more "competitive."

So any solution that doesn't involve increasing representatives is merely about trying to win more than democracy.

You say "So" as if the rest of your comment justifies the last bit but I don't see the connection*. Even if you believe the best solution is to increase the number of representatives, why would taking away the ability of a political party to manipulate voting districts in their favor be a bad thing?

Are you saying that if we can't have more districts, you're fine with gerrymandering?

*I'm also not entirely sure what "win more than democracy" means, but I assume you're saying any other solution is an attempt to give their side an advantage.

More representatives means your representative has less power. In turn, you have less power. Rather than give up power, people want to change districts to make them "competitive." It sounds like you are content with the size and the lack of representation, while being upset your party does not have all the power.

The size of Congress is from the 1920's. It is nearly 2020. Our population has boomed. You are trying to make a system that is undersized meet the needs of a larger country. I don't think that whatever tricks and manipulations you do on a map will get you where you want to be.

Dabnasty

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #62 on: July 12, 2019, 01:08:19 PM »
More representatives means your representative has less power. In turn, you have less power.

No I wouldn't. My representative would have less power but my vote would have an inversely larger say in who that representative is. My power would be the same.


Quote
Rather than give up power, people want to change districts to make them "competitive." It sounds like you are content with the size and the lack of representation, while being upset your party does not have all the power.

I intentionally made no comment on whether I want more representatives or not. I'm open to the idea but I haven't given it much consideration so I don't know the pros/cons. My point was that you seem to have decided that your solution is the only solution and any other suggestion must be a partisan plot.

Quote
The size of Congress is from the 1920's. It is nearly 2020. Our population has boomed. You are trying to make a system that is undersized meet the needs of a larger country. I don't think that whatever tricks and manipulations you do on a map will get you where you want to be.

No tricks or manipulations needed. Letting a computer draw our districts will give us unbiased results.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 01:10:34 PM by Dabnasty »

robartsd

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #63 on: July 12, 2019, 01:53:12 PM »
It seems to me that a house of representatives large enough to approach 1:30,000 would be too large to effectively do any work at all. The power would flow even more towards the committees which would be controlled by the party in power much the same as gerrymandering.

I think a more appropriate solution would be to make multi-seat districts with single transferable vote or other proportional election of representatives. Require that all states with three or fewer representatives be a single district; states with 4 or 5 representatives could choose to either form 2 districts or remain a single district, and larger states would have multiple multi-seat districts with up to 5 seats per district (requiring that the districts within a state differ in size by at most 1 seat and disallowing 2 seat districts in states with more than 3 districts).

No tricks or manipulations needed. Letting a computer draw our districts will give us unbiased results.
Computers provide results based on the parameters provided. I'm sure computers are used in modeling the partisan districts we currently get. You'd need to be much more specific about what parameters to use in drawing district lines. Perhaps something like: 1) all districts must be continuous, 2) each census tract must be assigned to only one district, 3) minimize sum of district perimeters times sum of the squares of the deviations in district size.

Dabnasty

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #64 on: July 12, 2019, 02:03:58 PM »
No tricks or manipulations needed. Letting a computer draw our districts will give us unbiased results.
Computers provide results based on the parameters provided. I'm sure computers are used in modeling the partisan districts we currently get. You'd need to be much more specific about what parameters to use in drawing district lines. Perhaps something like: 1) all districts must be continuous, 2) each census tract must be assigned to only one district, 3) minimize sum of district perimeters times sum of the squares of the deviations in district size.

Perhaps I should have said algorithm rather than computers, but I figured that part would be assumed. I don't want to be more specific because the conversation is already too complex it seems.

And even if an algorithm can't be perfect, it can be far more fair than what we have today.

Here's one example:

https://rangevoting.org/SplitLR.html

robartsd

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #65 on: July 12, 2019, 05:12:54 PM »
Here's one example:

https://rangevoting.org/SplitLR.html
The splitline algorithm would be better than what we currently do. I'd rather see a lot more consideration for existing political and geographical boundaries.

gentmach

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #66 on: July 12, 2019, 07:47:19 PM »
More representatives means your representative has less power. In turn, you have less power.

No I wouldn't. My representative would have less power but my vote would have an inversely larger say in who that representative is. My power would be the same.


Quote
Rather than give up power, people want to change districts to make them "competitive." It sounds like you are content with the size and the lack of representation, while being upset your party does not have all the power.

I intentionally made no comment on whether I want more representatives or not. I'm open to the idea but I haven't given it much consideration so I don't know the pros/cons. My point was that you seem to have decided that your solution is the only solution and any other suggestion must be a partisan plot.

Quote
The size of Congress is from the 1920's. It is nearly 2020. Our population has boomed. You are trying to make a system that is undersized meet the needs of a larger country. I don't think that whatever tricks and manipulations you do on a map will get you where you want to be.

No tricks or manipulations needed. Letting a computer draw our districts will give us unbiased results.

Since we are adding people, we would have to redraw the districts anyway. Just draw them into blocks of 30,000 people.

1. Algorithms have bias. (https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608248/biased-algorithms-are-everywhere-and-no-one-seems-to-care/)
2. We have 438 people in the house of representatives. There is supposed to be 10866. Our system is 4% of the size it should be. If you wish to reduce the power struggles and allow new points of view you have to create new opportunities.
3. Algorithms won't help common people work their way through the bureaucracy and gate keepers to actually talk to people with power.

So increasing the number of representatives would alleviate these problems by spreading the workload out amonst more people and allow them to actually understand their district.

It seems to me that a house of representatives large enough to approach 1:30,000 would be too large to effectively do any work at all. The power would flow even more towards the committees which would be controlled by the party in power much the same as gerrymandering.

I think a more appropriate solution would be to make multi-seat districts with single transferable vote or other proportional election of representatives. Require that all states with three or fewer representatives be a single district; states with 4 or 5 representatives could choose to either form 2 districts or remain a single district, and larger states would have multiple multi-seat districts with up to 5 seats per district (requiring that the districts within a state differ in size by at most 1 seat and disallowing 2 seat districts in states with more than 3 districts).

Democracy is messy. I don't know what to tell you.