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Gerrymandering is alive, well and practiced by all!

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posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 10:37 AM
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Yes, we have many traditions in our political system. Gerrymandering is certainly one of them, unfortunately. As anyone who has been through civics should know, Gerrymandering refers to the practice of shaping and building Congressional Representative's districts to pack one kind of voter over another into that area. Likewise, it can be used to dilute the influence of a group from surrounding districts by concentrating them into the one.

Given the fact that the U.S. System of representation functions with 2 Senators per state, but a variable # of Representatives based on shifting population, the stakes are often very high for the direction an area follows.

Great hay is made at times about how this is more the doing of one side than the other for turning an area into absurd mince meat on a map. Sometimes the districts can split down individual streets in how micro-focused it can get about manipulation of statistics for voting influence.

Here is what Louisiana is facing... Whew.. This is quite an example.




Louisiana packed African Americans into a single, racially gerrymandered congressional district that stretches from below New Orleans to above Baton Rouge, voters claim in court.

Maytee Buckley et al., residents of District 2, sued the state in Federal Court.

Louisiana had to redraw its congressional districts in 2011, after its slow population growth from 2000 to 2010 reduced its U.S. House delegation from seven members to six.


Now that's just rude and hard to imagine just how they figured that would work if anyone outside the political world ever bothered to look?


The plaintiffs claim Congressional District 2, which includes parts of New Orleans and western and northern neighborhoods of Baton Rouge, violates redistricting guidelines and does not respect political and geographical boundaries.

The district connects western New Orleans to eastern and northern Baton Rouge, leaving out parts of both cities. It includes parts of 10 parishes and portions of four congressional districts that were drawn in 2001, according to the complaint.
Source

It seems there is much work to be done if we're ever to have a working system again in our nation. Much work indeed. Things like this exist all over the country to lesser and greater extent. So much that is in plain sight, yet overlooked due to just HOW much is actually there anymore.

It's important to know about though. Why we need to be upset and unsatisfied with this lemon of a system is as important as just knowing we should be, IMO. Here is a fine example for the whys of it.




posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 10:51 AM
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When I learnt about this the other month I was shocked. How can you have a working republic with methods like this? It renders voteing almost useless.



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 11:34 AM
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reply to post by crazyewok
 

You're absolutely right my furry friend. It does undermine the very core and nature of the system. We've already lost some very important structural safeguards along the way, such as appointment and not election of those 2 Senators. Rather than a popularity contest with better prizes than the House, as it's become, it was meant to be a more stable but state appointed side of Congress. The idea being, those in the state's doing the appointing were, themselves, individually accountable at a more direct level to who they represented.

Really, a great idea and system...if people cared enough to try and make it work. When they don't? Well.....

Another set of Gerrymandering Examples

What we get when we don't care about what happens is beyond absurd. It's just a bit sick, huh?



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 12:13 PM
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While this can be a problem I don't see this as really widespread when you look at the whole country. My state looks OK though I'm pretty sure there may have been some fudging at the border areas.



Here's a link to check out the map. Had to focus it on one state first but you can easily zoom in / out and check the rest of the country.

US Congressional District Map



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by Bassago
 


That's interesting to see and thanks for sharing the map. It really changes between states that seem fairly logical and straight line in boundaries for districts to the ones that cookie cutter things up very clearly to manipulate voting blocks. Seattle/Tacoma doesn't look too bad there. Not compared to some areas like Southern California.

I hardly needed to have lived there, just driven through trucking, to see how that is broken up. I mean you can almost out right label 'White Affluent', 'Minority Middle Class', 'Gang Infested Ghetto', right on the districts as they wind around, to remove all doubt. Shameful...and of course, not the only one.

Maybe the lines in society wouldn't be as well defined and divisive if they weren't ingrained and built from the ground up?



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 07:46 PM
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crazyewok
When I learnt about this the other month I was shocked. How can you have a working republic with methods like this? It renders voteing almost useless.


No it doesn't. If it were not for gerrymandering city centers would dominate state politics. Gerrymandering, for all it's flaws, does protect the interest of small town, rural, and in many cases suburban middle income families. In the case of New Orleans they put the majority of the black population in one district because they always vote for the same party, thus they gave them a guaranteed district to represent their interest, while not over influencing the entire state from a concentrated population of people who only vote for one party.



posted on Nov, 30 2013 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Oh.. it get's worse than what you have posted.



posted on Nov, 30 2013 @ 04:39 AM
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Rockpuck

crazyewok
When I learnt about this the other month I was shocked. How can you have a working republic with methods like this? It renders voteing almost useless.


No it doesn't. If it were not for gerrymandering city centers would dominate state politics. Gerrymandering, for all it's flaws, does protect the interest of small town, rural, and in many cases suburban middle income families. In the case of New Orleans they put the majority of the black population in one district because they always vote for the same party, thus they gave them a guaranteed district to represent their interest, while not over influencing the entire state from a concentrated population of people who only vote for one party.


They may have good intentions but the end result is that it locks districts into voting for certain parties, guaranteeing each major party a specific portion of the vote, so that at any given time only a few districts are really up for grabs. This also guarantees both major parties will always be the major parties and that no small ones can challenge them.



posted on Nov, 30 2013 @ 09:04 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I couldn't agree more! Gerrymandering definitely corrupts the system and provides us with anything but, fair and/or representative government.

While I realize there is no single "fix-all" solution to our current state of mis-representation, I believe that if we adopted laws mandating that congressional districts have straight borders except when geographical boundaries like rivers, lakes, oceans and borders are utilized, it would go a long way towards fixing the problem. At the very least, we wouldn't have districts that look like jelly-fish.

F&S for the Op.

edit on 30-11-2013 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)





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