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View Diary: Renters make good Democrats, and other demographic observations (129 comments)

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  •  My district is an abomination (5+ / 0-)

    The Maryland 3rd, the most gerrymandered district in the country - gerrymandered by Democrats, six blocks wide and about 125 miles long adding together its several tentacles.  I have no idea how you could collect data from such an abomination.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 02:33:25 PM PDT

    •  If there were any Constitutional Amendment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Navy Vet Terp

      raised in the modern era, which would have the most impact - and still be desired by and supported by a vast majority of ALL VOTERS, even the TBagRs, I think....

      Congressional districts should be, so far as is possible, roughly rectangular in shape and hold about 750K to 800K population.

      This would throw all the damned Gerrymandering out the window in one fell swoop. It would then reflect the actual desire of the voters - because the Districts would reflect the actual voters and not the desires of the politicians running in them.

      For Democrats, of course, it would be a big winner - because the younger population is trending Democratic in large measures due to social issues which they support (marriage equality, 14th Amendment rights for all classes of Americans and not just some, progressive taxation for federal purposes).

      Imagine if the Democrats took up this issue for the 2014 election cycle:

      Voters - have you seen how past politician have rigged elections via Gerrymandering? Drawing District lines so as to include neighbors they like and toss out ones they don't? LET's STOP this practice and support a Constitutional Amendment which provides Equal Access to representation which best reflects the populations of our Districts!


      "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

      by Angie in WA State on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 03:27:23 PM PDT

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      •  NO! (8+ / 0-)

        "Congressional districts should be, so far as is possible, roughly rectangular in shape and hold about 750K to 800K population."

        NO! This would create strongly unrepresentative districts that benefit Republicans. See http://www.dailykos.com/...

        It's impossible to create a legislature that doesn't systemically under-represent Democrats unless you have relatively ugly districts that split up cities.

        Otherwise you just have nice square Urban districts where Obama gets 80% of the vote, and all the other districts are at a great 45% Obama sweet spot.

        •  why geography (0+ / 0-)

          Sometimes I wonder why we're completely stuck on geography as a way to divide up representation.  How about dividng the population by age, so if there's 3 districts, then the lower third, middle third, and upper third of age ranges each get their own rep.

          I'm still mad about Nixon.

          by J Orygun on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 06:01:29 PM PDT

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      •  Just because a district looks pretty... (5+ / 0-)

        Doesn't make it representative of the population it represents. Aesthetic appeal should never be a requirement of redistricting.

        Actually, if you really want to eliminate gerrymandering, either do pure proportional representation, or create multi-member districts, where you don't have to care about districts being equal and are simply allotted by how many people are in those districts (not sure if it would be constitutional though).

        Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 26 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

        by NMLib on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 04:00:35 PM PDT

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        •  However, not breaking county lines, etc (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bronx59, Angie in WA State

          can be a very good idea.

          Most of the gerrymandering maps that I've seen have no need to have crazy shapes.  Counties that reliably vote 60+% to one party nonetheless get split.

          Just lowering the number of intrusions into various sub-district political units would be a big win.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 04:41:57 PM PDT

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        •  Multi-member districts (0+ / 0-)

          I remember when I was a teen in the 1960's (yes I was a political junkie even then) and the courts declared Maryland's state legislative districts unconstitutional.  The House of Delegates districts hadn't been redrawn in decades and each county got the same number of state senators - rural counties on the Eastern Shore had the same number of senators as Baltimore City or Baltimore County.

          The result, until post 1970 reapportionment, was that most of the districts in Baltimore City and the adjacent suburbs in Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties had seven representatives.  When there are 30 or 40 names on a ballot and you are asked to choose 7 and you don't know who all but 2 or 3 of these people are, that, IMO, is not very Democratic.

          Since then, the most populated urban and suburban districts elect 3 delegates, and 1 senator.

          "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

          by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 05:05:45 PM PDT

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          •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

            In my perfect world, people would vote by party and the party would select the slate of candidates. Providing that you have ideologically cohesive parties, this would be the most democratic way to do it (as ultimately it's a lot easier to just look up a party's platform). It seems to me that individual-based elections for legislators is kinda stupid, so long as you have ideologically cohesive political parties.

            Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 26 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

            by NMLib on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 06:22:25 PM PDT

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      •  God no (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Englishlefty, skibum59

        1) Partisanship aside, people don't live in rectangles. Like population groups spread out in weird tendrils, following rivers, highways, lakes, whim.

        2) From a partisan perspective, GOD NO. Take Illinois. IL-13 (currently a swing district) is butt-ugly. If you were to draw the area in even rectangles you'd get several Republican districts as you'd get nice boxes containing a single Democratic leaning city and then a ton of dark Red countryside.

        About half of the Republican advantage in 2012 came from their maps, the other half came from the propensity of Democrats to naturally gerrymander themselves.

        IL-10 to IL-07 by way of -09, -17 and -18.

        by GaleForceBurg on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 08:07:55 PM PDT

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