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  #51  
Old 06-26-2019, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Nitpick: It wasn't decided by drawing of lots. It was decided by the Republicans saying that they had drawn lots, and then declaring themselves the winners.
Maybe, but that's not really the point of my post. The point is that the district was as even as even can be.
  #52  
Old 06-26-2019, 11:05 AM
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Here's a post of mine from a thread about the Wisconsin Assembly 2018 elections.

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Originally Posted by Lance Turbo View Post
More on this.

This gerrymander is extremely resistant to the will of the people. Similar to the plot in the link posted by RTFirefly a few posts ago I looked at the district by district results found here.

We can calculate the net difference in two party vote share for each district or even all the districts together with the formula (D - R)/(D + R).

For example, statewide there were 1,308,454 D votes and 1,103,521 R votes in assembly races so the net difference on two party vote share is (1308454 - 1103521)/(1308454 + 1103521) = 0.08496... = D + 8.5.

When I did this calculation for all districts the thing that struck me was the sparseness of districts that fell in the even to D + 20 range. There are two.

What does that mean? In an election that went D + 8.5 assembly seats went 36 D to 63 R. Had the electorate flipped and this election went R + 8.5 assembly seats would have gone 34 D to 65 R. It is pretty unlikely that we're going to see an election outside +- 8.5 point range anytime soon so the range of achievable assembly outcomes for the foreseeable future is something like 34 - 36 D versus 63 - 65 R.

The make up of the assembly barely responds at all to massive swings in the electorate that realistically achievable. Also by my analysis, which is far from perfect and limited to exactly one election, Wisconsin voters would have to go about D +21 in assembly voting to put the median seat in play. A two party vote split of 60 - 40 would probably fall just for of Democratic Party control of the assembly.

On the other hand, Democrats did once make people wait two weeks to fuck over teachers eight years ago.
The mean district was D+8.5. The median district was R+12.5. Sickening.
  #53  
Old 06-26-2019, 11:42 AM
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In Canada, election rules are determined by a federal organization, not by subnational units. In the US, the problem has to be solved 50 times. I don't see why states should have any impact on federal election rules.

And I wish we had a federal education system, as in France. But we are getting way beyond the bounds of anything remotely possible under our constitution. Anti-gerrymandering efforts are going to result in unilateral disarmament in blue states, plus maybe some slight amelioration of the most extreme gerrymanders in some red states if the SCOTUS so rules in a best case scenario. (Let's also note that Stephen Harper's Conservatives had a majority government for a number of years, despite getting a distinct minority of votes, so I'm not sure if Canada is a great model to emulate.)


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It's already outlawed in my very blue state, which has just gotten bluer. The efficacy of the new method used( citizen commission ) is arguable, but it hasn't done the Republicans any great favors.

You don't think it would make any difference if your very blue state scrapped the commission and just "gerrymandered the shit" out of the state as I propose? Republican lawmakers would be no worse off? Really?

Last edited by SlackerInc; 06-26-2019 at 11:43 AM.
  #54  
Old 06-26-2019, 05:27 PM
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(Let's also note that Stephen Harper's Conservatives had a majority government for a number of years, despite getting a distinct minority of votes, so I'm not sure if Canada is a great model to emulate.)
A Canadian political party winning over 50% of the vote virtually never happens. There's a few provinces where you see that (Alberta, for instance) but otherwise, no. I'm not sure that has ever happened since the creation of the NDP.

The rules aren't particularly unfair, however. Smaller provinces tend to have more representation than they "should". Rural areas tends to have higher representation, which favors (favours) the Conservatives slightly.

There's nothing blatant. Urban ridings are basically a few neighborhoods stuck together, organized by geographyand generally rectangular. Even the most obvious examples (such as Chinatown) aren't really bad examples. Toronto's Trinity-Spadina riding includes a big chunk of Chinatown... and also the homes of many university students living off-campus, but nearby. While the area has a fairly large Chinese population, and of course offending the community means you won't be elected, you don't have to be Chinese to run or win there, there are many more Chinese voters living outside of the riding, and nobody has changed Trinity-Spadina's shape every election in an effort to either increase or decrease the Chinese population of the riding.

But...

The alternative (eg proportional representation) would be replicating the system in Israel and many European nations where every government is a coalition of dozens of parties, and nobody actually gets the government they want.

We also avoid the issue of having a political leader whose party does not control the House of Commons. (Trudeau is the leader of the Liberal Party, the majority part in the House of Commons. We will not have a situation where Trudeau is the leader but the Conservatives have the majority. On occasion we do have an issue where the political leader failed to win their seat, so it's not perfect.)
  #55  
Old 06-27-2019, 02:16 AM
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Yeah, fuck that noise.

Gerrymandering is wrong because it thwarts the will of the people not because it thwarts the will of a particular political party.
Statements like this make it difficult to eliminate gerrymandering. As you (should) know, American districts are sometimes gerrymandered to protect the voice of minorities. If your main argument is that gerrymandering "thwarts the will of the people", then you have an argument for "good" gerrymandering, not an argument for getting rid of it.
  #56  
Old 06-27-2019, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Let's also note that Stephen Harper's Conservatives had a majority government for a number of years, despite getting a distinct minority of votes, so I'm not sure if Canada is a great model to emulate.
Consistently on these boards ĎMercians bemoan their political environment not having multiple parties while at the same time getting themselves in knots over about the necessity of winning a majority of the popular vote.

Have you really thunk out how it all works?
  #57  
Old 06-27-2019, 09:22 AM
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Consistently on these boards ‘Mercians bemoan their political environment not having multiple parties while at the same time getting themselves in knots over about the necessity of winning a majority of the popular vote.

Have you really thunk out how it all works?

Don't look at me. I don't advocate for third parties. I'm a Democrat.

ETA: Just so people understand: Harper's Conservatives parlayed a distinct minority of the vote into a comfortable majority of seats. Not a plurality, an outright majority.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 06-27-2019 at 09:25 AM.
  #58  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:11 AM
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Don't look at me. I don't advocate for third parties. I'm a Democrat.

ETA: Just so people understand: Harper's Conservatives parlayed a distinct minority of the vote into a comfortable majority of seats. Not a plurality, an outright majority.
But that's a function of a first past the post parliamentary system, nothing to do with gerrymandering. I wouldn't be surprised if it was similar for almost every majority Canadian government in the last 80 years.

Last edited by CarnalK; 06-27-2019 at 10:13 AM.
  #59  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:15 AM
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When did I ever claim it was a result of gerrymandering?
  #60  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:20 AM
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When did I ever claim it was a result of gerrymandering?
This thread is about gerrymandering and you said "let's not forget Harper got a majority government with a minority of the votes, so maybe Canada is not the model to follow". That's a non sequitur because Canada redistricting system had nothing to do with Harper's majority. So yes, maybe you shouldn't switch to a FPTP parliament but that doesn't mean our redistricting is bad.

Last edited by CarnalK; 06-27-2019 at 10:21 AM.
  #61  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:26 AM
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And it’s apparently been ruled not (facially?) unconstitutional: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/27/u...mandering.html
  #62  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:57 AM
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Now hopefully this decision will spur Democrats to realize unilateral disarmament in blue states would be political suicide.


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This thread is about gerrymandering and you said "let's not forget Harper got a majority government with a minority of the votes, so maybe Canada is not the model to follow". That's a non sequitur because Canada redistricting system had nothing to do with Harper's majority. So yes, maybe you shouldn't switch to a FPTP parliament but that doesn't mean our redistricting is bad.

At best, it's completely irrelevant to our system. The idea of being anti-gerrymandering is (or should be) to avoid having a minority of voters control the majority of seats in the national legislative body. Canadians fail at this worse than Americans, so have no standing to lecture us.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 06-27-2019 at 10:58 AM.
  #63  
Old 06-27-2019, 11:01 AM
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Oh sorry, didn't realize you were just being touchy about a lecture.
  #64  
Old 06-27-2019, 11:14 AM
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We're not trying to disarm Democrats in blue states. We're trying to keep Republicans from hogging the power even when they shouldn't have it. Take North Carolina, for instance: What color is it? You'd probably call it a "red state", but it's only red because of gerrymandering (and other anti-democratic policies, some of which are illegal). If we get rid of gerrymandering, we turn that red state blue. If we keep gerrymandering there, then guess who's going to be doing the gerrymandering?
  #65  
Old 06-27-2019, 11:30 AM
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Curious why both sides have showed restraint in gerrymandering thus far. You would think that red states would end up with some 10-1 advantage in terms of districts won, and vice versa for blues.
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:41 AM
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We're not trying to disarm Democrats in blue states. We're trying to keep Republicans from hogging the power even when they shouldn't have it. Take North Carolina, for instance: What color is it? You'd probably call it a "red state", but it's only red because of gerrymandering (and other anti-democratic policies, some of which are illegal). If we get rid of gerrymandering, we turn that red state blue. If we keep gerrymandering there, then guess who's going to be doing the gerrymandering?

I'm speaking of course about states where the legislature and governor's mansions are controlled by Democrats.
  #67  
Old 06-27-2019, 11:49 AM
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I'm speaking of course about states where the legislature and governor's mansions are controlled by Democrats.
Very, very few of those around. I would think it would behoove Democrats to try and adopt anti-gerrymandering as a rallying cry, so that they could reduce the effect that partisan gerrymandering has had in maintaining Republican control of certain states, which would probably have a bigger overall effect on growing Democratic power. But, then again, I am someone who believes that you shouldn't do bad things just because the end justifies the means you use. So I reject your hypothesis entirely, and, thankfully, as I noted, so do most other Democrats.
  #68  
Old 06-27-2019, 12:13 PM
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Open season, boys. Let's start the gerrymandering right away.
  #69  
Old 06-27-2019, 12:32 PM
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Quoth Velocity:

Curious why both sides have showed restraint in gerrymandering thus far. You would think that red states would end up with some 10-1 advantage in terms of districts won, and vice versa for blues.
The one I really wonder about is Nebraska. Overall, the state is pretty solidly Republican, enough so that it'd be really easy for even a very slight gerrymander to give them three reliably Republican representatives. But if you look at the map of Nebraska's three Congressional districts, it's almost identical to what a minimum-boundary-length algorithm would give you, with the result that they can have one or even two of their three districts Democratic. And this on top of their unusual (shared only by Maine) splitting of their electoral votes, which meant that even as conservative as the state is, they still ended up giving Obama one elector.

The best explanation I can find is that Nebraskans just like doing politics their own way, without regard to what the rest of the nation is doing (see also their unique unicameral legislature).
  #70  
Old 06-27-2019, 12:47 PM
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Curious why both sides have showed restraint in gerrymandering thus far. You would think that red states would end up with some 10-1 advantage in terms of districts won, and vice versa for blues.
Possibly because neither side wanted to push the SCotUS into a decision against it. Now that the Court has rule the issue non-justiciable, you may see some legislatures get even more creative.

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The one I really wonder about is Nebraska. Overall, the state is pretty solidly Republican, enough so that it'd be really easy for even a very slight gerrymander to give them three reliably Republican representatives. But if you look at the map of Nebraska's three Congressional districts, it's almost identical to what a minimum-boundary-length algorithm would give you, with the result that they can have one or even two of their three districts Democratic. And this on top of their unusual (shared only by Maine) splitting of their electoral votes, which meant that even as conservative as the state is, they still ended up giving Obama one elector.

The best explanation I can find is that Nebraskans just like doing politics their own way, without regard to what the rest of the nation is doing (see also their unique unicameral legislature).
It would certainly be nice if more states got independent in their thinking on things. You would expect that, with 50 states, and some significant regional differences still, there would be a number of different ways for dealing with this question applied.
  #71  
Old 06-27-2019, 01:59 PM
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...Now that the Court has rule the issue non-justiciable, you may see some legislatures get even more creative...
"Creative". You have a gift for euphemism.
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  #72  
Old 06-27-2019, 06:11 PM
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Just so people understand: Harper's Conservatives parlayed a distinct minority of the vote into a comfortable majority of seats. Not a plurality, an outright majority.
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
The idea of being anti-gerrymandering is (or should be) to avoid having a minority of voters control the majority of seats in the national legislative body. Canadians fail at this worse than Americans, so have no standing to lecture us.
At the recent Australian federal election the LIB/NAT coalition won 41.44% of the primary vote and 51% of the seats. The Greens won 10.4% of the primary vote and 0.6% of the seats.

Yet there is no suggestion from any active political party that there are instances of gerrymander in any seat and that malapportionment is as minimal impact as practical.

To do our little bit to help you make a more perfect union we are going to continue to inform and agitate because the US electoral system has been behind worlds best practice for over a century.
  #73  
Old 06-27-2019, 08:02 PM
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Consistently on these boards ‘Mercians bemoan their political environment not having multiple parties ...

I find this statement puzzling.

I didn't realise Mercia had a strict two-party system for the Witangemot.





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  #74  
Old 06-27-2019, 08:10 PM
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'Mercia! Futhark Yeah!
  #75  
Old 06-28-2019, 04:38 AM
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The one I really wonder about is Nebraska. Overall, the state is pretty solidly Republican, enough so that it'd be really easy for even a very slight gerrymander to give them three reliably Republican representatives. But if you look at the map of Nebraska's three Congressional districts, it's almost identical to what a minimum-boundary-length algorithm would give you, with the result that they can have one or even two of their three districts Democratic. And this on top of their unusual (shared only by Maine) splitting of their electoral votes, which meant that even as conservative as the state is, they still ended up giving Obama one elector.

The best explanation I can find is that Nebraskans just like doing politics their own way, without regard to what the rest of the nation is doing (see also their unique unicameral legislature).
Omaha, which makes up the majority of the district that went to Obama, has a large poor black population, concentrated in a relatively small urban area who came out for Obama in a big way. It's worth noting that the Republicans immediately acted to redraw the district line to move some of those poor black neighborhoods into the second district, thus preventing them from repeating the electoral vote division in 2012. Because gerrymandering.
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