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Author Topic: Redistricting Commissions and Referenda  (Read 1461 times)
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brittain33
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« on: October 16, 2011, 02:49:41 pm »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

I could get behind referenda in both Ohio and Maryland on their horrible maps. I can't agree with unilateral disarmament but we need some kind of counter-weight to the legislative impulse to do the worst they can get away with. It doesn't matter if it's a single-party gerrymander or a bipartisan protection scheme.
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redcommander
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 04:22:32 pm »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

I could get behind referenda in both Ohio and Maryland on their horrible maps. I can't agree with unilateral disarmament but we need some kind of counter-weight to the legislative impulse to do the worst they can get away with. It doesn't matter if it's a single-party gerrymander or a bipartisan protection scheme.

Maybe a constitutional amendment establishing a national redistricting commission like other countries?
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JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 04:27:34 pm »
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Traditionally, Maryland hasn't been a big referendum state, though the slots referendum a few years ago (though I think that was initiated by the legislature) and an upcoming referendum on the state's recently-passed DREAM act might signal a shift in attitudes.

There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

I could get behind referenda in both Ohio and Maryland on their horrible maps. I can't agree with unilateral disarmament but we need some kind of counter-weight to the legislative impulse to do the worst they can get away with. It doesn't matter if it's a single-party gerrymander or a bipartisan protection scheme.

Maybe a constitutional amendment establishing a national redistricting commission like other countries?

If we're going to do a constitutional amendment to fix the broken mess that is electing members of the House of Representatives, we should just do proportional representation or something. Single-member FPTP just doesn't work on the population scale that the US requires, it's far too easy to gerrymander districts.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 04:29:07 pm by JohnnyLongtorso »Logged
redcommander
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 04:31:59 pm »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

I could get behind referenda in both Ohio and Maryland on their horrible maps. I can't agree with unilateral disarmament but we need some kind of counter-weight to the legislative impulse to do the worst they can get away with. It doesn't matter if it's a single-party gerrymander or a bipartisan protection scheme.

Maybe a constitutional amendment establishing a national redistricting commission like other countries?

If we're going to do a constitutional amendment to fix the broken mess that is electing members of the House of Representatives, we should just do proportional representation or multi-member districts or something. Single-member FPTP just doesn't work on the population scale that the US requires, it's far too easy to gerrymander districts.

I think the last thing the country needs is more crazies in Congress which PP would allow. Can you image all the Libertarians and Green Partiers running loose in the Capital? It may work in some countries, but seeing that primaries nowadays are dominated by batsh*t demagogues, it will just make Congress even more unstable.
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2011, 04:39:25 pm »
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Uh, we already have plenty of people as crazy as the Libertarians or Greens in Congress, look at the Tea Party and people like Sheila Jackson-Lee. Not to mention those fringe parties would probably only win about 2-3% of the vote anyway, and thus might not even make it into Congress depending on the threshold.
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brittain33
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2011, 04:49:29 pm »
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Uh, we already have plenty of people as crazy as the Libertarians or Greens in Congress, look at the Tea Party and people like Sheila Jackson-Lee. Not to mention those fringe parties would probably only win about 2-3% of the vote anyway, and thus might not even make it into Congress depending on the threshold.

Right now, the House functions effectively as a partisan body. The swing vote is a member of the majority party who may represent an atypical district for his party; or there is no swing vote at all because of party discipline and the size of the majority.

I really, really, really don't want a situation where the House is split 216-215 and the balance is held by LaRouchites and Ron Paul as an independent.
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2011, 09:28:14 pm »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

And the Ohio map as well?
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redcommander
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2011, 09:44:23 pm »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

And the Ohio map as well?

That's perfectly fine too, in face while we're at it, every state without a commission should push for one.
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2011, 09:49:13 pm »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

And the Ohio map as well?

That's perfectly fine too, in face while we're at it, every state without a commission should push for one.

Agreed.
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2011, 11:22:01 pm »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

And the Ohio map as well?

That's perfectly fine too, in face while we're at it, every state without a commission should push for one.

Agreed.

Agreed too. Every state should have a nonpartisan commission.
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 12:22:38 am »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

I could get behind referenda in both Ohio and Maryland on their horrible maps. I can't agree with unilateral disarmament but we need some kind of counter-weight to the legislative impulse to do the worst they can get away with. It doesn't matter if it's a single-party gerrymander or a bipartisan protection scheme.

Maybe a constitutional amendment establishing a national redistricting commission like other countries?

Congress has the authority to redistrict or provide for the manner in which it is conducted.  No need for a constitutional amendment.
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2011, 12:25:37 am »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

I could get behind referenda in both Ohio and Maryland on their horrible maps. I can't agree with unilateral disarmament but we need some kind of counter-weight to the legislative impulse to do the worst they can get away with. It doesn't matter if it's a single-party gerrymander or a bipartisan protection scheme.

Maybe a constitutional amendment establishing a national redistricting commission like other countries?

So, Washington insiders can pick their own voters?
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2011, 01:26:03 am »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

I could get behind referenda in both Ohio and Maryland on their horrible maps. I can't agree with unilateral disarmament but we need some kind of counter-weight to the legislative impulse to do the worst they can get away with. It doesn't matter if it's a single-party gerrymander or a bipartisan protection scheme.

Maybe a constitutional amendment establishing a national redistricting commission like other countries?

So, Washington insiders can pick their own voters?

Well, what's your idea, genius?
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redcommander
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2011, 01:53:51 am »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

I could get behind referenda in both Ohio and Maryland on their horrible maps. I can't agree with unilateral disarmament but we need some kind of counter-weight to the legislative impulse to do the worst they can get away with. It doesn't matter if it's a single-party gerrymander or a bipartisan protection scheme.

Maybe a constitutional amendment establishing a national redistricting commission like other countries?

So, Washington insiders can pick their own voters?

Alright... How about voters elect members to the commission through a national primary then? Republicans will choose from a slate of non-politically active Republicans, Democrats from their own slate, and Independents from their own slate. Maybe throw in a joint slate for all the registered third party voters to choose from too. And to prevent the influence of big money and self-funders, require that a majority of the members make less than 250,000 a year.
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krazen1211
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2011, 09:37:23 am »
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Garbage commissions has not worked out well for New Jersey where the commissions keep implementing Democratic gerrymanders.

That said, at least there is a sense of honor in that municipalities are not sliced and diced.
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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2011, 10:20:16 am »
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Garbage commissions has not worked out well for New Jersey where the commissions keep implementing Democratic gerrymanders.

That said, at least there is a sense of honor in that municipalities are not sliced and diced.

So all commissions draw democratic gerrymanders? Or is it that no republican gerrymander= democratic gerrymander to you? I did a democratic gerrymander in Nj and was able to make the 7th a Dem district in the north. The vra screws things up there. In the south all you gotta do is split the Camden area....doesn't work out well for the pubbies.
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2011, 10:24:31 am »
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Garbage commissions has not worked out well for New Jersey where the commissions keep implementing Democratic gerrymanders.

That said, at least there is a sense of honor in that municipalities are not sliced and diced.

NJ is a Democratic gerrymander? Someone is delusional.
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2011, 10:26:27 am »
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New Jersey's commission is not non-partisan, it's got a clear partisan intent.  And it's not like Democrats wouldn't have the most seats even under a completely non-partisan map. Republicans actually get an extra seat out of New Jersey, under a fair map, they wouldn't.
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brittain33
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2011, 10:34:11 am »
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Garbage commissions has not worked out well for New Jersey where the commissions keep implementing Democratic gerrymanders.

That said, at least there is a sense of honor in that municipalities are not sliced and diced.

NJ is a Democratic gerrymander? Someone is delusional.

The last two commission deadlocks in 2011 and 2001 for the legislative maps went to the Dem side. Both sides presented gerrymanders and the tiebreaker chose the Democrats' map each time.

In 2001, both parties agreed to an incumbent protection map for Congress so no tiebreaker was needed. They appear to be headed for a deadlock in 2011.
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Cuivienen
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« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2011, 10:40:03 am »
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Garbage commissions has not worked out well for New Jersey where the commissions keep implementing Democratic gerrymanders.

That said, at least there is a sense of honor in that municipalities are not sliced and diced.

NJ is a Democratic gerrymander? Someone is delusional.

The last two commission deadlocks in 2011 and 2001 for the legislative maps went to the Dem side. Both sides presented gerrymanders and the tiebreaker chose the Democrats' map each time.

In 2001, both parties agreed to an incumbent protection map for Congress so no tiebreaker was needed. They appear to be headed for a deadlock in 2011.

Ah, true. I guess I was too focused on the congressional map.
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« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2011, 11:32:35 am »
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Garbage commissions has not worked out well for New Jersey where the commissions keep implementing Democratic gerrymanders.

That said, at least there is a sense of honor in that municipalities are not sliced and diced.

So all commissions draw democratic gerrymanders? Or is it that no republican gerrymander= democratic gerrymander to you? I did a democratic gerrymander in Nj and was able to make the 7th a Dem district in the north. The vra screws things up there. In the south all you gotta do is split the Camden area....doesn't work out well for the pubbies.

They seem, in practice, to have the advantage for reasons unknown, yes. Indeed, the last New Jersey legislative map engaged in a 3 way split of Jersey City and Newark despite the rules specifically stating that there must be a 2 way split.

I guess as has been stated up above, it was a Democratic gerrymander that they accepted. I have no clue how the legislative maps were, but the congressional map seems fair. And I don't think NJ has the kind of commission I want.
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« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2011, 11:54:57 am »
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I guess as has been stated up above, it was a Democratic gerrymander that they accepted. I have no clue how the legislative maps were, but the congressional map seems fair. And I don't think NJ has the kind of commission I want.

Commissions are many times not quite as they advertise. Iowa style rules requiring geographical boundaries are indeed useful if they are not simply disregarded.

At least with Martin Omalley what you see is what you get.

The current congressional map is fair; it's merely ugly. It is indeed possible that Mr. Farmar will use the basic principle of vengeance and sack one of the Democrats, creating a new unfair map.
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« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2011, 01:21:49 am »
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There needs to be a referendum. I can't think of an uglier gerrymander in recent memory. Even the 2001 districts were much better than this.

I could get behind referenda in both Ohio and Maryland on their horrible maps. I can't agree with unilateral disarmament but we need some kind of counter-weight to the legislative impulse to do the worst they can get away with. It doesn't matter if it's a single-party gerrymander or a bipartisan protection scheme.

Maybe a constitutional amendment establishing a national redistricting commission like other countries?

So, Washington insiders can pick their own voters?

Well, what's your idea, genius?

I've stated my position a number of times.

Again, redistricting is an inherently political process. Notions of "fair" or "objective" redistricting are right there with beliefs in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. That said, there are abuses. As Justice Potter famously said, "I know it when I see it!"

I prefer legislators to draw maps because the electorate will have some say over what biases are reflected in the final map. On the other hand, "non-partisan" and "bi-partisan" systems are neither. They are merely a set of rules. Once the rules are understood, the system can be gamed. New Jersey is little more than a coin-flip gerrymander. Iowa has a ridiculous system that, essentially, shuffles districts every ten years for no reason whatsoever. Arizona, and California were gamed.

My solution involves applying reasonable controls over the process: equal population, single-member districts, a ban on "double-crossovers," respect for county lines, etc. It isn't a pefect solution, nor was California, Arizona, Iowa or New Jersey.
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« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2011, 01:26:33 am »
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Garbage commissions has not worked out well for New Jersey where the commissions keep implementing Democratic gerrymanders.

That said, at least there is a sense of honor in that municipalities are not sliced and diced.

I don't think it has anything to do with honor. Instead, it has everything to do with Constitution that specifies these rules. It wasn't very honorable to split Newark three ways, or for the State Supreme Court to strike down their own Constitution. [At least the Constitution was reasserted in this map based on some other decision in another state?Huh?]
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« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2011, 02:07:24 am »
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Divide the State into atomic districts, 16384 x Number of congressional districts, so each atomic district would have around 40 persons.  Appoint 3 commissioners for each atomic district, chosen by lot from the voter rolls.

Districts would be formed by consolidation of districts on a pairwise basis in rounds.  So in the first round pairs of atomic districts would be merged based on agreement of the commissioners of the districts.  Some of the commissioners would be chosen by lot to represent the merged district.

Repeat for 14 rounds and you have your congressional districts.




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