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View Diary: To Create a More Perfect California: What California's Redistricting Commission Should Have Drawn (58 comments)

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  •  And that's about all the method is good for (1+ / 0-)
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    Making pretty maps.

    Shortest splitline is a great method unless you care about keeping communities intact, respecting municipal boundaries, political competitiveness, the Voter Rights Act, or any other conceivable metric you would use to evaluate the quality of a redistricting proposal, besides the circuity of the boundaries.

    •  In fairness... (1+ / 0-)
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      Marcus Graly

      ... it's also good for keeping the process free from political influence. But I agree, the other factors you mention are too high a price for that.

      I wish we could solve this problem using proportional representation. But my favorite PR proposal, PAL representation, still uses districts, so this map would be great for that. (PAL elects a proportional slate and then gives them overlapping multi district territories so everyone gets a rep from a party they like).

      Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

      by homunq on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:46:37 AM PDT

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      •  I'm a big fan of Mixed-Member Proportional (1+ / 0-)
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        You elect a representative for each districts, but use a second ballot with just the party names to determine overall composition.  (Germany and New Zealand both use this system.)  That way you can have districts that represent communities, but without risking skewing the overall results one way or the other.

        •  MMP is good... (1+ / 0-)
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          ...but it means larger districts and 2 different types of winners. PAL representation is a newer system which is Proportional, Accountable, and Local without those downsides, and with a simpler ballot which leaves more power with the voter. Also, since it doesn't require redistricting, it's less of a direct threat to popular incumbents.

          Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

          by homunq on Tue May 07, 2013 at 05:29:07 PM PDT

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    •  Overated... (0+ / 0-)

      First of all, legislation that applies to one applies to all especially in a local community. I never bought the idea that one group has some sort of claim on special representation simply because of race, religion, politics or creed. Either we are all citizens or we are not. Secondly, this method eliminates political decision making by making it a formula intended to force political boundaries into mixed populations, this is the essence of creating a non-partisan district. While you may want all your liberal friends to have a strong voice, the other side will want the exact same thing meaning that nothing is fixed as long as you keep making districts based upon political outcomes favoring this or that faction. The emergence of partisanship dominating all other factors in a district forces candidates to the extremes because they get to pick their voters. I am for a completely objective means something like the one in this website. Its time we got rid of political gerrymandering for good.

      Do facts matter anymore?

      by Sinan on Wed May 08, 2013 at 12:44:28 PM PDT

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      •  Doesn't really solve the problem (0+ / 0-)

        Even districts of this kind are still subject to over concentration of voters in some districts leading to unfair outcomes.  It's just going to be by happenstance, rather than by design.  If you want congress to represent the actual preference of all voters you need to use some sort of proportional method.  Barring that, I'd rather have a neutral commission carefully consider the districts than blindly trust in a mathematical formula, which may have unintended consequences its designers didn't anticipate. (To say nothing of its inability to comply with federal law.)

        Congressmen absolutely respond to the needs of their communities in addition to voting on partisan legislation. In addition to specific legislation, they often introduce amendments to address their community's needs.

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