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76  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Arizona on: November 17, 2011, 09:51:46 pm
AZ Supreme Court overturns the removal of Colleen Mathis.

Quote
In a brief order, the justices brushed aside arguments by Lisa Hauser, the governor's attorney, that Brewer's decision was not subject to court review.

More to the point, they said that Brewer's power to oust a commissioner is limited to situations of substantial neglect of duty or gross misconduct. The justices said that nothing the governor alleged that Mathis did rises to that level.

Technically speaking, Thursday's order does not prevent Brewer from trying to fire Mathis again.

But the governor will have to act quickly. The order frees Mathis to resume her duties ó and, presumably, to cast the deciding vote on the five-member panel to adopt new congressional and legislative maps.

Quick!  Sound the alarm!  Activist judges on the loose!
77  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Texas on: November 08, 2011, 11:36:39 pm
To my knowledge, all 435 House districts have a non-Hispanic white person over the age of 25.  Thus, every district in this county is a minority opportunity district.

I'm sick of hearing the Latinos and blacks complain that they need "minority opportunity" districts

So you're saying that the one black guy in Wyoming has an equal opportunity to get elected as one of the hundreds of thousands of black people living in Houston or Dallas?

This country has a long history of racial discrimination and despite electing a black president there are still pockets where it is going strong.  Protecting minority voting rights unfortunately still mandates that minorities be concentrated enough within a district to elect a member of their choosing.
78  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 3 electoral votes for ever on: October 30, 2011, 10:40:20 am
I think any state with oil and gas has growth potential, and Delaware is too close to major metropolitan areas; I picked Vermont, whose greatest growth potential probably lies with retired and/or independently wealthy liberals seeking a small-town lifestyle.

Generally proximity to a major metro area is a great predictor of future growth.  Most of the population is in the north and is part of the Philadelphia metro area. 
79  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 3 electoral votes for ever on: October 29, 2011, 02:15:33 am
You do know that Alaska has nearly a million people living in it, right?

They're still about 300,000 shy of the million mark actually.  At their current growth rate it will still take them another 25-30 years to hit 1 million.  I suppose that still puts them within the 50 year parameter of this poll but I think it may be a bit premature to say that Alaskans number "nearly a million."

North Dakota, Wyoming, and Vermont are the three I think have the greatest chance to remain at 3 EVs for the foreseeable future.  The others all have a somewhat reasonable shot at hitting 4 EVS.

As a historical aside, ND lost its 4th EV after the 1970 census, SD after 1980, and MT after 1990 so it would be kinda interesting to see them rebound.  As for the other states, Vermont had at least 4 EVs up until the early 20th Century and Delaware had 4 EVs once for a single decade after the 1810 census.  Alaska and Wyoming have always had the minimum.

As a second aside on apportionment in general, I think the wide population disparity between our 3 EV states should be sufficient proof that we need more representatives.  I think Congress should strive for a nationwide 1:500,000 representative to resident ratio after each census.  That would give us about 600 members of the House based on the current population.
80  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Ohio Demographic Maps on: October 25, 2011, 11:50:57 pm
Quote
In 2006, the nation was on fire against George Bush and Ohio was even more on fire against Governor Bob Taft, who managed to get his approval rating into the single digits. No Republican would even pretend Taft was a competent governor. Incumbent GOP Senator Mike DeWine was a sitting duck against the very liberal populist Congressman Sherrod Brown.

Brown cleaned up in the Southeast and the north, ensuring himself an easy victory. Unlike in the Republican blowout, this map still shows some strong pockets of GOP support, though it also wasnít nearly as large of a blowout because the Republicans did have a decent candidate and Brown isnít in the same league as Voinovich in terms of political clout. Holmes County, suburban Cincinnati, and the upper Miami Valley remained strongly GOP. These areas only swung about ten points while most of the state swung more than twenty. Another oddity of this map is that even though it was a Democratic blowout, DeWine still won Hamilton County, which is normally swingy.


Wouldn't it be more appropriate to use Strickland's blowout victory over Ken Blackwell as the Democratic highwater mark?  Strickland won a higher percentage of the vote and more counties than Brown did.  

Also, even though Blackwell was a terrible candidate, he was mayor of Cincinnati for a brief period of time which could partially explain the Republican overperformance in Hamilton County in 2006.
81  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Ohio on: October 23, 2011, 09:14:12 pm
I'm generally against the Austria protection maps just because I don't like how they all link South Columbus with the Dayton suburbs.  I'd much rather see his district dismantled completely and have the southern Columbus metro counties become part of an appalachain district.
82  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Utah on: October 23, 2011, 08:46:09 pm
So what's worse, a process like Ohio or Illinois where a map is created and passed without any public commentary, or a situation like this where there's the illusion of openness (draw your own maps and submit them for consideration!) but in the end the legislature ignores the strong public sentiment to keep SLC together in one district and instead cracks the map to eliminate Matheson?

I don't think either one is better because in the end the power is still in the hands of a single political party.  That's not a how a multiparty democracy is supposed to work.  In order to have an unbiased electoral process all parties must have an equal say in creating that process.  For every step of the way that a particular party or group is given complete control, the voters become more and more disenfranchised.

I suppose if forced to pick which one is worse I'd pick the Ohio/Illinois method just because at least the Utah method allows for some degree of public input even if it is largely ignored.  When there is public input there's always the slim chance that a group of conscientious lawmakers will step forward to promote a reasonable and publicly supported option.
83  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Ohio on: October 23, 2011, 12:19:33 am

I think this reaffirms that a map similar to muon's above is what the Democrats are going to demand.  They aren't going to accept any of the urban core cracking that Republicans are trying to pull off.
84  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Ohio on: October 22, 2011, 02:07:40 am
Apparently Republicans are proposing to pick off Democratic votes by stretching OH-3 from Columbus to Dayton, making it 42% black and possibly violating court precedents while wrecking one of the few areas of the map that didn't look like Maryland.

Was that the GOP is attempting to pick off Black Democrat legislators?

I think the accurate statement is that GOP legislators had discussions with the Ohio Black Legislative Caucus about the map. If a compromise would be reached that garnered the votes of both groups, then that total would be large enough to prevent a referendum. Recent reports have the OBLC staying with the Dems, but discussions continue.

I've read similar reports in the Columbus Dispatch.  The current public position of the OLBC seems to be that they would like to get a plan that all Democrats would be satisfied with and would also maximize the opportunity for Ohio to elect a second black representative.

Without drawing these to see how it would work, here's what I view as likely in a compromise plan: Three districts will be drawn entirely within the three largest counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Hamilton.  Summit, Montgomery, and Lucas counties will be made almost if not entirely whole.  (At the least there would be no three way splits of those counties and no splits of their most populous cities.)  The Columbus area will still hold major influence over at least 3 districts but the proposed OH-15 will be made less insane.  The old OH-10 and OH-7 are the eliminated districts.  The OH-6 Ohio River district will mostly remain intact.  In the end, Democrats will hold the advantage in at least 6 districts.
85  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Ohio on: October 17, 2011, 03:33:31 am
Here's a map I did.





Obama/Mcain

OH-1(Chabot): 54.8/44.2
OH-2 (Schmidt): 38.8/59.2
OH-3 (Turner/Austria): 48.8/49.7
OH-4 (Jordan): 37.5/60.7
OH-5 (Latta): 45.4/52.7
OH-6 (Johnson): 47.3/50.5
OH-7 (Gibbs): 42.3/55.6
OH-8 (Boehner): 35.7/63.1
OH-9 (Kaptur): 58.0/40.3
OH-10 (Kucinich): 55.3/43.3
OH-11 (Fudge): 82.4/16.8 47.2 BVAP
OH-12 (Tiberi): 50.5/48.1
OH-13 (Sutton): 56.2/42.4
OH-14 (LaTourette): 52.6/45.5
OH-15 (Stivers) : 60.4/38.0
OH-16 (Renacci/Ryan): 54.6/43.4

2012 House ratings (IMO)
Safe GOP: 2, 4, 5, 7, 8
Lean GOP: 3, 12, 14
Tossup: 1, 6
Lean Dem: 16
Safe Dem: 9, 10, 11, 13, 15

Some of the incumbents don't actually live in the districts I placed them in but they are all very close and could easily move into their new districts without leaving their home counties.  The only exception is Tim Ryan who would be very inconvenienced by this map.  I figured his best bet would be to take on the freshmen Renacci in the slightly more Democratic district even though he actually lives in LaTourette's new district.

The black seat is probably too weak but I'm sure some more tinkering could get it up to 48% VAP which is the threshold the NAACP set for the redistricting competition.
86  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Ohio on: October 16, 2011, 11:42:42 pm
Do court drawn maps typically favor incumbent protection over logical districts?  I feel like the above map still has some less than ideal districts in it that were drawn for the convenience of (mostly Republican) incumbents.  While the above map is certainly improved from the one that was enacted and even the current districts, I'm sure a judge drawn map would be even better than this.
87  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Does Mixed Member Proportional Representation Violate One Man, One Vote? on: October 12, 2011, 01:35:58 am
Thanks for all the great responses guys!

The main Constitutional impediment to adopting MMP for the U.S. House is the requirement that Representatives can only represent a single State.  Hence to implement MMP in the U.S. House for all States without a constitutional amendment would require a massive increase in the size of the House.  MMP is effectively meaningless in States that have only 1 or 2 Representatives, and even in those with just 3, it would be not particularly useful.  I can't see the U.S. going to a 2000 or more member House just to enable MMP to be used in the selection of every State's delegation.


I wondered about this myself.  I feel like MMP isn't effective if your state is electing less than 8 members and its really best to have 10 or more to make it truly effective.  I'm not sure how you could address that problem within the US system.  Its hard to imagine a functional legislative branch with over 1000 members.  At the same time I'm not really sure you're using MMP if your second round of elections is nationwide.  The parties would certainly need to be limited in the number of at-large members they could pick from one state.  I'm not sure what the ideal situation would be.  I do know that there has to be something better than what we currently have which gives a disproportionate amount of power to states with small populations.
88  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Does Mixed Member Proportional Representation Violate One Man, One Vote? on: October 11, 2011, 01:20:36 am
I saw the video below on youtube a couple days ago and was very intrigued by it.  I'm wondering what Constitutional hurdles this method of voting would face in the US.  The one that comes immediately to mind is the one man, one vote principle that ended the practice of at large representation in states with multiple House members.  Does anyone see any other major conflicts with the Constitution?  Although it wouldn't be completely necessary I think we'd also need to move to a unicameral legislative branch for this to work best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT0I-sdoSXU

As a side note, I highly recommend watching this guy's other videos.  They are both informative and humorous.
89  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Kansas on: October 06, 2011, 10:39:32 pm
Well, it makes Stivers' district look a little less ridiculous...

This map is still pretty tame compared to the shredded ribbons streaking across Ohio.
90  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Maryland on: October 01, 2011, 02:49:50 am
I wonder what the racial breakdowns are on these.  Even though it's a gerrymander, the second option looks tame compared to the current district lines.
91  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Utah on: September 28, 2011, 01:33:30 am
The Utah thread is born again!

This map appears to be moving forward:

http://www.redistrictutah.com/maps/congress-sumsion_06-modified-a
92  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Ohio on: September 25, 2011, 02:57:24 am

The GOP mess has passed both houses of the legislature and awaits only a signature from the governor.  Unfortunately muon's map appears to be a mostly wasted effort. Sad
93  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Idaho on: September 25, 2011, 02:53:04 am
According to RRH, this map has been agreed upon by both parties for the two CD's.  Yawn.

Idaho won't be interesting until it gets its third seat next time around and even then it is likely to be relatively boring.
94  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Ohio on: September 23, 2011, 12:18:52 am
Quote
Stivers really wants the banks in downtown Columbus.

That's where he lives dude - right at the base of that spike to the south - where "the banks" are.  Tongue

He lives in just a charming little house actually. I want it!  It is my kind of neighborhood - it's old just like me! 

Hmm, I thought he lives in Upper Arlington.

Nope, I pulled his deed when I did my Columbus chop. Lawyers can do that. We're special. Smiley

Several local news articles have reported that he moved to Upper Arlington recently.  For good measure, I checked his wikipedia page and it lists his residence as UA as well.
95  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Who loses and who wins in 2010 Congressional redistricting compared to 2000? on: September 23, 2011, 12:13:58 am
I would agree that its more difficult to draw a Dem gerrymander in Ohio that would be as good (or bad) as the map that just passed for the GOP in the state.  However, it is possible to make several more competitive seats that would be winnable by moderate Democrats.  I think most Ohio Democrats realize that even within their own ranks they are slightly to the right of the national party.  Given a more balanced map, I think you could see 10-12 Democrats in a 2006/08 style election and perhaps a low of 3-5 in a year like 2010.  I think that's a risk enough Democrats would be willing to take to secure more competition in Ohio but perhaps I'm overestimating them.
96  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 51st state on: September 19, 2011, 10:26:35 pm
South California Tongue

I think a split would be good for California.  IMO it's far too large and unwieldy to be a single political subdivision of a larger nation.
97  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 51st state on: September 19, 2011, 10:25:26 pm
If it ever happens it will be Puerto Rico.  I think we'll see some kind of new status for PR within the next decade or two.  Whether or not it ends up being statehood is still up in the air a bit.

I don't think DC will ever be an actual state.  There may be amendments in the future allowing it more independence and/or representation though.

It should be merged with Maryland.

That makes historic sense but I doubt there will ever be the combined political will within DC, Maryland, and Congress to actually make it happen.  Maryland will never want it back and DC has grown too accustomed to being its own entity.  

I think the most realistic "final scenario" at the federal level would be DC with a voting rep, two Senators, and 3 EVS.  Locally, DC would get out from under the thumb of Congress for most home rule issues while Congress would still maintain major control over security and aesthetics.  I don't think statehood will ever happen unless the portions of the great DC area are also included.
98  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 51st state on: September 19, 2011, 12:44:13 am
If it ever happens it will be Puerto Rico.  I think we'll see some kind of new status for PR within the next decade or two.  Whether or not it ends up being statehood is still up in the air a bit.

I don't think DC will ever be an actual state.  There may be amendments in the future allowing it more independence and/or representation though.
99  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Ohio on: September 13, 2011, 02:11:31 pm

I can't express in words how utterly disgusted I am by this map.
100  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Florida on: September 12, 2011, 11:30:32 pm

This quote right here is particularly disgusting:

"The people of Florida never had the power to do anything with respect to congressional redistricting"

Anyone who honestly believes that the people of the US don't have the right to establish completely reasonable rules regarding the redistricting process doesn't really believe in representative democracy.
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