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  #1  
Old December 13th, 2017, 08:30 PM
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Default Gerrymandering

Gerrymandering is a uniquely US problem.

The fact that individual votes in presidential elections have different weights, depending on what state that individual lives in, is a terrible leftover of the war of independence and slavery. A vote in Montana counts for about seven votes in New York City, or San Francisco, or Los Angeles.

Historically, particularly after the original Voting Rights Act was passed in the late 60s, the current Republican party has done its damnedest to redraw voting districts in its favor--to the point that Democratic candidates can have twice as many individual votes, and yet either win by an impossibly narrow margin, or lose altogether.

(See Gore or HRClinton)

The problem is obvious, yes? and so, it would seem if looking at it from the outside, so is the solution: either eliminate the Electoral College, or regulate how voting districts are drawn to avoid privileging one party over another.

The first (and most sensible) solution requires a Constitutional Amendment--and even bringing this up requires the party in favor should have at least a two-to-one majority in BOTH chambers of Congress, and that at least 38 out of 50 states are in favor of such an amendment.

The second requires that the US establish a proportional representation voting system. (see more here)

Neither of which, given current circumstances, is gonna happen--because GOP has uniformly benefited at all levels of government from gerrymandering, they are never going to move on a constitutional amendment, and because the current level of gerrymandering basically protects the incumbent party.

The Supreme Court, currently 6 to 3 GOP (overtly or not, this is the reality we live in), has basically washed its hands off the current egregious gerrymandering issue in Texas. Between that, and ever more restrictive voting ID requirements enacted by incumbent GOP elected officials (and lets not even start with the 'voting fraud' commission created for the sole purpose of disenfranchising legitimate voters), vote suppression is rampant.

Then we add PRISON gerrymandering (allow me to say: how is this even a thing? ah, little grasshopper, because when men see only themselves as human, and the rest as means to their enrichment, evil is pervasive on earth), and we see just how impossibly rigged the system actually is.

For an extremely informative twitter thread--with sources--on just how bad prison gerrymandering is, click here.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: Gerrymandering

Given the insane percentage of our population which we choose to lock up, how could prison gerrymandering NOT be a thing? It's the 21st century version of that old 18th and 19th century classic called slave gerrymandering, back when each slave added a fraction of a power to the district in which that slave lived, even though slaves were forbidden to vote. Did you think that 3/5 thing was just for census purposes? It was put there by the Virginians. They never imagined that they could find themselves on their asses in less than a century, but we're supposed to believe that The Constitution is a magical document that foresaw all modern problems... well at least it allows itself to be amended, and apparently it allows itself to be ignored when convenient too.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Gerrymandering

I just <sarcasm>love</sarcasm> how the whole thing is presented by the GOP and its mouthpieces.

"Them criminals shouldn't have a say on how the country is run, because smoking weed/stealing a car/being homeless/whatever we imprisoned them for, means they cannot EVER be responsible citizens, we cannot allow them a voice here, they'll make TERRIBLE decisions!"

while, simultaneously:

"Well, we obviously NEED to count all these prisoners as people for the purposes of district sizing and vote weight in elections--they are people too!"

And, where Democrats have successfully worked to restore voting rights to ex-convicts who have completed their sentences, the GOP's horror at the 'travesty' is...well, amazing to watch (Virginia, anyone?)
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Old January 2nd, 2018, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Gerrymandering

And, starting the year right (says she, bitterly), here's how the orange waste sack intends to rig the 2020 elections in his favor:

First, appoint a gerrymandering expert (from the GOP, natch!). Second, make sure all local laws suppressing immigrant and minority participation are upheld (how? continue rigging the courts with GOP/Trump loyalists). Voilá! Now only the most ardent of the orange sack's fanatics will be allowed to vote. (link)

As Benjamin Franklin said, "A Republic, if you can keep it."

Obviously, we can't.

Welcome to the authoritarian/kleptocratic USA that is the natural progression from electing the most unqualified candidate for president in the history of the country.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Gerrymandering

Both parties have long and decadent histories of gerrymandering. At the Federal level, the Republicans are currently in power, so naturally they're the ones desperately researching demographic maps in search of ways to keep that power.

In New York State, the Democrats are in power; also in the city of Albany, capital of New York State. Therefore Albany is a hotseat of gerrymandering right now. The Governor and State Legislature look to move voting district boundaries around to favor themselves, and they almost outsmarted themselves last time, as Zephyr Teachout nearly took down Cuomo in the primaries in spite of the fact that the state was so well gerrymandered that the state Republicans had an extremely difficult time finding even a single candidate, much less a field for a spirited primary. To be fair, their difficulties had more to do with Cuomo's Clinton-esque ability to thrill Republican moderates than the effectiveness of the gerrymandering that had taken place. As for the city itself, the gerrymandering has reached a point that a Democratic leader in the City Council walked out in disgusted protest during "re-districting" talks. "Something approaching 70% of the people who work in Albany and live at or above 400% of the Federal Poverty Level already refuse to live in the city," i'm paraphrasing from memory, "further gerrymandering at this point in favor of our party will further alienate this critical part of our property tax base. Is maintaining power more important than improving our city?"

____

The Tammany Hall political machine really modeled urban gerrymandering in a lot of ways. Their party? The Democratic Party, of course!
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Old January 11th, 2018, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: Gerrymandering

Gerrymandering is only possible because the US isn't a proportional democracy--which is stupid.

And while the Democratic party of the 1950s was reactionary and cruel, the Democratic party of today wants to expand rights to all minorities. I'll call your attention to Democrats in all states fighting ID laws that suppress vote, working to restore voting rights for former prisoners, fighting for the voting rights of students, the elderly, minorities, etc.

GOP of today, on the other hand, is hellbent in ensuring that only an ever shrinking percentage of the public can vote.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: Gerrymandering

Quote:
Originally Posted by azteclady View Post
Gerrymandering is only possible because the US isn't a proportional democracy--which is stupid..
Unless you were a powerful "land-owning" Virginian in the late 18th century USA.

Or a political party looking for angles to exploit to retain power.
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