Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The Economist:
So the basic system works; but that is no excuse for ignoring areas where it could be reformed. In the House the main outrage is gerrymandering. Tortuously shaped “safe” Republican and Democratic seats mean that the real battles are fought among party activists for their party’s nomination. This leads candidates to pander to extremes, and lessens the chances of bipartisan co-operation. An independent commission, already in existence in some states, would take out much of the sting.
While bipartisanship isn't a major concern of mine, gerrymanding is an affront to democracy and an example of politicians choosing voters rather than the other way around. Iowa, which uses a process that does not incorporate political or election data, has congressional districts which look like this:

This, however, is the exception. The following are a rogue's gallery of the some of the most egregious examples of gerrymandering:

North Carolina Congressional District 12

Illinois Congressional District 4

Illinois Congressional District 17

Arizona Congressional District 2

Maryland Congressional District 3

Pennsylvania Congressional District 12

Tennessee Congressional District 7

Greater Los Angeles

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