Redistricting, is it a wise or political thing?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Psychoblues, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    Even informed, involved citizens who may vote regularly and contribute to political candidates may not be aware of the impact of redistricting on politics and government.

    And many state lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — are perfectly satisfied to keep voters in the dark. Redistricting can assure an incumbent's political future or doom him to defeat. Legal questions about this political deck-stacking have become so pronounced that they have reached the Supreme Court.

    Last week, the court heard arguments involving the redistricting effort in Pennsylvania. States are required to redraw districts every 10 years in order to ensure that all voters have equal representation. The Pennsylvania legislature, which is majority Republican, redrew districts with little regard for community boundaries, county lines, interstate highways or rivers. The result: In a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 500,000, the congressional delegation went from 11-10 Republican advantage in 2000 to a 12-7 Republican delegation in 2002. Democratic legislators challenged the new map as being unconstitutional.

    The courts traditionally have given state legislatures wide latitude in carving out new congressional districts. The Supreme Court previously has allowed states to use politics and incumbent protection as criteria in drawing political maps. It has also said, however, that gerrymandering can be unconstitutional if it prohibits a group of voters from participation.

    http://www.tennessean.com/opinion/archives/03/12/44314789.shtml
     
  2. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    Is redistricting in the US done by lawmakers or by an independant body?
     
  3. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    I don't know about other states but texas is done by the state legislature, or tom delay :finger:
     
  4. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    Redistricting is performed by state legislators. In most states, when the legislature can't get the job done, it goes to judges. The term gerrymander comes from Elbridge Gerry a New York politician from the 18th and early 19th century who first rewrote New York's districts as governor to ensure victory for the Democratic-Republicans in 1800.

    Redistricting should be taken out of the political arena. It ends up being a nasty political battle, too often influenced by outsiders (i.e. Tom DeLay) and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

    acludem
     
  5. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    Holy crap! Politicians in the US get to decided voting districts? How the heck is that fair? Talk about a system that allows for political manoeuvering. Here in Canada, redistricting, for all levels of government, is done through Elections Canada which has a non-partisan organization. You hear very little grumbling up North here about the districting. Well unless you count the Senate, which is NOT done by elections Canada and is a complete waste of space if you ask me!
     
  6. nbdysfu
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    nbdysfu Member

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    Redistricting should be taken out of the political arena. It ends up being a nasty political battle, too often influenced by outsiders (i.e. Tom DeLay) and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

    acludem [/B][/QUOTE]

    Redistricting for sheer political maneuvering is bad. But there are times when it can be useful, such as when the districting no longer accurately reflects the composition of the populace. Case in point would be the 'rotten Burroughs' in England, which allowed politicians to claim the vote of a burrough which no longer had people to speak for.
     
  7. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Redistricting takes different forms in different states. In Washington, for example, the actual lines are drawn by a five-member commission. But I agree, it is trash. I live in a part of the county called South Hill. Every precinct in South Hill is in the 25th Leg District - except two. And I live in one of them. So I am in a leg district with a bunch of framers and meth lab owners!!! :)
     
  8. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    My question was about redistricting, is it wise or just political? I think many here are just afraid to address it directly.
     
  9. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    Its Both, to give you an answer.

    Its wise in that you need to keep your congressional representation current with the peoples political views

    Its political because this divided two party system will take advantage of, and abuse, the system to gain an upperhand at the expense of those people.
     
  10. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    It's difficult to keep even a district representative current with their constituencies political views. So, it's political.

    It's common knowledge, isn't it, that in a true Democracy that 51% will always vote to enslave the other 49%. So, democratic gerrymandering is also "wise" for the politicals, am I correct?
     

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