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View Diary: Did Gerrymandering Cost Dems the House? A 34-State Look at Alternative Nonpartisan Maps Suggests Yes (161 comments)

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  •  To S. Wolf and Abilguy, I think a better computer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stephen Wolf, Odysseus, Mannie

    algorithm, that recognized and weighted real community centers and boundaries, would still be the better answer. In other words, an algorithm that would recognize the "center" of every neighborhood, or small town, and would place boundaries as far from these centers as it could, to minimize splitting neighborhoods.

    Then a non-partisan or bipartisan commission, as in California,  could make final adjustments if called for. Sounds idealistic, I know, but you have to try.

    •  Sure but that's just it (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wwmiv, elwior, sturunner, James Allen, Skaje

      once you're at that point, you're already introducing a human element into it by having people decide what constitutes a community center or local jurisdictional boundary. At that point, why not just have people draw the lines? It seems to me that there's a reason that no country has computer algorithms, however sophisticated draw the lines even in those that have some form of independent redistricting nationally.

      I'd sure love to see someone come up with that sort of algorithm though as I'd love to be able to use more automation when I map, but at the end of the day the mere act of putting the figurative pen (cursor?) to the paper is going to induce human choice.

      Proportional representation just seems like a much easier method to alleviate partisan biases and that's why I think it's so prevalent in the developed world.

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