Solution to gerrymandering?

Andrew Sullivan just posted something pretty cool. It’s about a computer program that draws far more logical (looking) districts than the madness that political gerrymandering creates. Just imagine — representatives elected by actual, whole communities instead of tortuously carved out to separate people by race and political proclivities, all in the name of partisanship.

Go to his post at least long enough to look at the two images: One of North Carolina carved up by politicians; the other broken into more-or-less reasonable-looking segments by a machine with no axes to grind.

Neither is perfect, but Mr. Sullivan says he knows which one he prefers. So do I.

21 thoughts on “Solution to gerrymandering?

  1. Agricola

    Brad, As a fan of the Iowa concept, and a believer that our disunited country needs more representation via competitive seats, this is a great link (I long ago removed Andrew from my list of favorites). The big question is how do we get meaningful reform of redistricting? This is, in my opinion, one of the key issues facing our country. Please put your thoughts o this on your site.

  2. Spencer Gantt

    Sure, this is a perfect solution. Nothing new. Nothing that others haven’t thought about or talked about or suggested before. As someone said earlier on this site, “let’s find some solutions”. But how, will or can any solutions be enacted?
    It’s doubtful and probably not even remotely possible to change ANY system. Why? ‘Cause the PRCs have the government totally locked up. The DUMBS will do things their way, and the REPUGS will do things their way for themselves and FOR THEIR PARTY!
    Until the parties and the PRCs are gone, no good ideas such as Mr. Sullivan’s or ours will take place. Get used to it, or “vote the bastards out”. Tain’t likely.

  3. bud

    Now you write about Gerrymandering! Where were you when Tom Delay was running wild and a few brave democrats in Texas were in open revolt against this disgusting practice. Oh well, better late than never. Whatever we do has to apply nationally. A blue state won’t give up the Gerrymander until the GOP does the same.
    Brad, tell someone in the sports department that South Carolina has won 2 national championships (women’s track and equestrian). 106 to 2 sounds better than 106 to 1.

  4. Lee

    Of course it works. It is an implementation of a classic math problem in map colors.
    As stated above, the politicians destroyed this system – the GOP give the black Democrats their own guaranteed seat in exchange for removing Democrats from several other districts and guaranteeing the GOP those seats.
    In the immediate present, we have new electronic voting machines which are have systems architectures that look like a hobbyist designed them, open to fraud and impossible to audit. The contract engineer who resigned from Diebold’s team has demonstrated how easily all the systems may be cheated.

  5. Dave

    Lee, good point and let’s all remember that the GOP didnt cheat or even try to use Diebold systems to cheat. Otherwise, the election outcome would have been different. But there was election fraud, like the ACORN (perfect name for a bunch of leftist nuts) group inventing as many as 35,000 fake registrations in Kansas City. Will anyone go to jail over that? Likely not.

  6. Ready to Hurl

    Dave, so-far in Der Decider’s America, U.S. citizens must be convicted with something called “evidence.” This is not a faith-based item which may be decreed by Der Decider– so far.
    If you have enough “evidence” to convince a jury of rational people then perhaps the American citizens in Kansas City that you slander may be convicted. (Of course, if Der Decider points his finger at a non-citizen then he may be held without charge, explanation or due process until Der Decider deigns to change his mind– or, the detainee dies, which ever comes first.)
    Until then, you can rant but reality-based people will just consider the source and rightly discount your bleatings.

  7. Dave

    RTH – You mean like Roosevelt, who imprisoned hundreds of thousands of people because they had slanty eyes. Not with Bush, who has followed the law all along, briefed the opposition on what has been done, and has protected us without throwing US citizens into jails without cause. Try again.

  8. bud

    Call me Pollyanish but I envision a bright future for America. On November 7 we pulled back from the edge of the abyss and we’re now beginning a long journey back from the dark, corrupt nightmare the neo-cons had led us in to. This discussion of eliminating Gerrymandered congressional distracts provides hope that true democracy can once again flourish in this great nation. Here’s how the optimistic side of “bud” sees the world in 10 years:
    First, Democratic congress finds some positive common ground with the Bush Administration in it’s last two years in power. This includes some modest changes to Social Security that pushes the solvency crisis back a few years, passage of minimum wage legislation and some form of immigration reform.
    Second, unfortunatelly the “thinking” wing of the Democratic party is unable to convince enough people in leadership positions that the only proper course of action in Iraq is an immediate withdrawl. So this quagmire festers unabated for 2 more years. The Bush legacy is sealed by his stubborness on this disaster. But the American people are finally fed up enough to complete the change in our government. Liberals dominate the election process in 2008 and a resurgent John Edwards is elected president by a huge landslide. With a 61-39 margin in the Senate and 280-155 edge in the house the Edwards administration can now push forward with a positive agenda.
    Soon after his inaguration Edwards orders the immediate withdrawl of all American forces in Iraq. Within a year that nation, helped along by a now sympathetic U.N. becomes a coalition of 3 semi-autonomous states. The Shiite state aligns itself with Iran. Despite the outcrys from the defeated neo-cons who remain in congress the newly restructured Iraq serves as a model nation within the region. With the waning threat of an imperialist American removed from the region the radical elements are quickly marginilized and the moderates take control in most nations, including the newly formed peaceful government in Iran.
    Domestically, wages begin to sore under the new, liberal-leaning government. The enormous salary differential between CEOs and workers begins to narrow. Even most people in the upper class recognize this as a positive change in America and a new era of philanthropy begins. In the areas of energy, health care, crime and traffic accidents everything rapidly improves. Indeed the year 2017 opens with a prosperity and satisfaction level thought impossible during the dark days of early 2006. Historians credit the wisdom of voters in 2006 with initiating the many positive changes that have occurred.

  9. bud

    Lee, of course, does not buy my rosy scenerio. What if he’s right? We’d still be better off. We’d divert military resources toward saving lives at home and expanding economic opportunities for millions left out in cold. For starters, we’d save 10s of thousands of American casualties that would otherwise occur in Iraq. That would more than compensate for any increase in terrorist activity. And we can always bomb the Iranians later if they become the terrorist state the neo-cons warn us about.

  10. Lee

    We have already saved thousands of lives at home by destroying the terrorist training camps in Iraq and Afghanistan, capturing hundreds of tons of munitions and WMD, confiscating Libya’s nuclear arsenal, and thwarting 150 hijackings and bombings since Sept 11, 2001.
    Democrats are so quick to trade off their someone else’s lives to “an increase in terrorist activity”. Apparently the 6,000,000 murdered after their surrender in Vietnam is not a big number, compared to the other socialists they supported in from 1925 through the Cold War.

  11. Lee

    Real wages fell steadily under Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, so why should anyone expect an economic miracle from the next socialist they put in office?
    Clinton cut the top tax rates to 11% for the super rich investment bankers who bailed out his 1992 campaign, while his tax increases on middle income workers brought us 3 recessions and a stock market crash which destroyed retirement for millions of Americans.

  12. Spencer Gantt

    Just curious, but why are school boards necessary? And, why are they elected? Why couldn’t schools be run by themselves, i.e., by teachers, administrators and parents of each school?
    You could have district admins for sports & extra curricular crap. Only what is taught is “regulated” by Der Shtat and that should be minimal.
    Also, equal funding by Der Shtat (taxpayer’s money) for each and every school so we can eliminate the “corridor of shame”.

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