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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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  •  Check this methodology out... (0+ / 0-)

    http://rangevoting.org/...

    if you take just a few minutes to read this you will find a very simple, elegant, fair and objective way to make districts.

    Do facts matter anymore?

    by Sinan on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:09:52 AM PDT

    •  Map of California is this system were used. (0+ / 0-)

      Do facts matter anymore?

      by Sinan on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:11:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that's about all the method is good for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jncca

        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-)
          Recommended by:
          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-)
            Recommended by:
            bumiputera

            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-)
              Recommended by:
              bumiputera

              ...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

              [ Parent ]

        •  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

          [ Parent ]

          •  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.

      •  Yeah that is a terrible map. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jncca

        Bakersfield is split in three. Part of Bakersfield is combined with communities on the coast. There's a mountain range between the two that nobody crosses.

        Stockton is split in three, and part of it is combined with Bay Area suburbs that should be separate. Sacramento with Bay Area suburbs as well.

        Part of San Jose with Santa Cruz.

        The water of Bay is crossed multiple times. I've literally never before seen a map that does that before. It's a bad idea.

        Los Angeles is hard to see. But one of the green districts combines rich white parts of western L.A. with South-Central. A terrible idea.

        It crosses mountains again to combine San Bernardino and Riverside; the two should be separate.

        http://mypolitikal.com/

        by Inoljt on Tue May 07, 2013 at 06:15:58 PM PDT

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        •  Why exactly? (0+ / 0-)

          Geography determining politics? Wealth as a criteria? Can't you see this is exactly the same excuse for conservatives and liberals making up districts? Take politics out of this stuff. This system does that very elegantly.

          Do facts matter anymore?

          by Sinan on Wed May 08, 2013 at 12:46:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This argument doesn't make sense (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sapelcovits

            Of course geography determines politics; since when does it not? At no time in political history, fair redistricting or otherwise, was geography not a factor in drawing districts. Districts are inherently geographical: separating the two is oxymoronic.

            I don't see how this type of line-drawing automatically means objective and fair; that's just an assumption (an unsound one at that). It simply replaces one set of criteria with another, even more arbitrary set. Sure, looks good on a piece of paper, but legislators do not represent pieces of paper; they represent people. If you want to look at aesthetically pleasing things, go to an art museum, not into politics.

            Also, it simply lends itself to other types of manipulation. For example, one can conceivably alter the number of districts, further enfranchising certain areas and/or disenfranchising others. The notion that taking away something makes people less manipulative (especially in an area of society defined by such) is utter and dangerous naïveté.

            Lastly, about taking politics out of redistricting. It cannot be overstated that redistricting is in itself a political act. It involves political representation, political boundaries, political careers, political inclusion and exclusion, etc. Trying to take politics out of redistricting is like trying to suck the air out of a room with a vacuum cleaner. Good luck with that.

            23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14.

            by kurykh on Wed May 08, 2013 at 03:18:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

              But what that system does is make the districts conform to a simple mathematical scheme that does not have politics as its core nor does it care about anything but citizenship as a criteria for representation. Saying that even this system could be manipulated by politics is accurate but at the very least, politics would play a significantly smaller role than one taken by subjective means. Geography does not vote nor does it represent a policy goal, it is simply the science of geography. Where people live in terms of geography might dictate their means of survival and perhaps shape their politics but then so does which church you were raised in, which gender you are, which school you went to and so on. I am of the opinion that by doing something like this scheme, we will move towards forming totally objective districts that force people to acknowledge each other and elect people who serve their districts not their politics. I am a liberal and my personal bias would be to make districts as liberal as possible and make conservatives a marginal power. Why should my personal political objectives be the determining factor in something as important as a congressional district? In many ways, this discussion relates to states and federalism as well. I see very little benefit from having states as guides to voting power. It ends up making the minority the key power broker over the majority.

              Do facts matter anymore?

              by Sinan on Wed May 08, 2013 at 05:05:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your mistake is "totally objective districts" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Zack from the SFV, hankmeister

                There is no such thing. Let me repeat: there is no such thing as a totally objective district. The "fairness" of a district is inherently subjective, and we can argue how fair a district is until the cows come home, under any criterion that it is drawn.

                The logic you are presenting is "if there is no human involvement then it is objective and fair." You never addressed how this assumption is valid. I've pointed out how this is patently untrue and have yet to hear a response.

                "I am of the opinion that by doing something like this scheme, we will move towards forming totally objective districts that force people to acknowledge each other and elect people who serve their districts not their politics."
                Random collection of communities leads to attention to every community and intercommunity dialogue? As someone who grew up in an underrepresented low-income community, that is absolutely false. When you have an aggregation of communities, those with power at the moment will assert themselves over other competing voices, and this only serves to stifle disenfranchised and underrepresented voices. The notion that all voices have equal footing and get equal treatment is utterly naive, unrealistic, and dangerous. This is politics, not peace and conflict studies.

                23, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14.

                by kurykh on Wed May 08, 2013 at 05:40:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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