Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

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Abscate
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Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Abscate » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:11 am

I’ve been thinking about this for 6 months, saw the light last week,and the NYT published on it recently.

Credit to George Will for writing on this 2 decades ago ( fact check?)

The size of the House of Representatives was last adjusted in 1911, for a population of 100M

The population of the US is now 300M +

Wyoming has 2x more electoral power than CA NY or TX

The simple adjustment that needs to be made is the average House seat should represent the same number of people as the smallest district.

That makes gerrymandering much more difficult and restores electoral college voting to represent popular votes, absent State meddling.

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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by TrollFromDownBelow » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:55 pm

I like the idea, but think to impact the issues gerrymandering causes we will need more than that ....they get very creative with the borders of the districts. For example, Detroit and Pontiac are in the same district even though they don't have adjoining borders, and they are 20 miles apart....they make them connect by including one road (woodward). They are both predominantly democratic - this mutes the impact by placing in one district. That said - think your idea

I like what Michigan passed this last election... an independent committee decides the boundaries.
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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Abscate » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:04 am

You can actually mathematically define gerrymandering by studying the border to area ratio, but an independent commission to determine districts is a good start

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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:14 am

TrollFromDownBelow wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:55 pm
I like the idea, but think to impact the issues gerrymandering causes we will need more than that ....they get very creative with the borders of the districts. For example, Detroit and Pontiac are in the same district even though they don't have adjoining borders, and they are 20 miles apart....they make them connect by including one road (woodward). They are both predominantly democratic - this mutes the impact by placing in one district. That said - think your idea

I like what Michigan passed this last election... an independent committee decides the boundaries.

Gerrymandering can be tamed with independent district drawing commissions, and more states are turning to this solution.

The Electoral College was a good-faith attempt by our Founding Fathers to level the power dynamics between dense urban and sparse rural representation. It still has validity. But we need to adjust the mechanics of how it works. The House of Representatives is an unwieldy mess of bureaucratic fiefdoms and redundant office support systems. If the population of the country has tripled since 1911, I sure would hate to see 1,320 representatives in Congress. I really would hate to see that.

A lovely "correction factor" would be to assign representation based on tax receipts from each district. Then our Wyoming "farmers", aka tax havens, wouldn't have such sway over their congressional representatives, and our urban citizens would gain power through numbers.
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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Abscate » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:47 pm

Better yet, net tax receipts from the States.

Then the 9 blue states and 2 red states that pay for the other 39 won’t have to listen to the squealing anymore.

( this would be a bad idea, I think )

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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by asiab3 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:29 pm

Abscate wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:47 pm
( this would be a bad idea, I think )
But a fun one! I've met a few Trump voters who voted for him for that reason.
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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Abscate » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:15 am

Its a horrible idea because the entire country would be elected by 11 states, 9 of which are blue.

The uneducated conservatives would be horrified to learn that they live on liberal dollars,but thankfully we can spare them that horror by just writing it in newspapers.

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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:17 am

Abscate wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:15 am
Its a horrible idea because the entire country would be elected by 11 states, 9 of which are blue.

The uneducated conservatives would be horrified to learn that they live on liberal dollars,but thankfully we can spare them that horror by just writing it in newspapers.

Countries are not elected by states. Do you see how tortured your sentence is?

Reality. Presidents and leaders are elected by PEOPLE. In every state, there are people who "win" and people who "lose" on election night. What the hell does it matter what state they are in?
What does matter, is when the Will of the People gets thwarted by craftily manipulated machinations.
Why did Republicans win the Congressional majority when they LOST the popular vote by up to 7% on average since the turn of the century? Gerrymandering!
Why did the past two republican presidents LOSE the popular vote, (Trump by the greatest margin in history)?
Why is the Arctic Wildlife Refuge just about to fall to mining interests when SEVENTY PERCENT OF ALL AMERICANS ARE OPPOSED?

And you think this has anything to do with imbalanced state representation?
No. We have corporate oligarchs abusing rural states for greater influence. We have a hideous corporate entity in Alaska who has bought off Lisa Murkowski, who pretends that it is Native American so it gets tax breaks, and it is just about to profit from leases on OUR last unspoiled wildlife refuge.

It is time that all of us Americans get to have a say.
The MAJORITY believes in gun control.
The MAJORITY believes in the sanctity of our national monuments.
The MAJORITY believes in abortion rights

Isn't it time we friggen let the majority BE the majority instead of being held hostage to these greedy little judgmental hypocritical grifters like Zinke and Pruitt and Trump, those who have no-to-negative "mandates"?
Screw the blue state/red state crap.
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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Abscate » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:42 am

I was (over) reacting to the proposal to base vote weights on tax revenues. Only 11 states fund this entire experiment at the Federal level was my point.

The fact is an electoral college elector in WY has the weight of 300k people and one in CA casts the same vote for 700k people. Thats not democratic by a large factor.

I dont understand people saying 'I don't want a House to be a 1000 people" the dyamics of 500 and 1000 in terms of managing a group are the same, arguably anything over the tipping point of 100 doesn't matter.

I would also argue we are MORE diverse society than in 1911 - and that if anything a representative should represent fewer people than they did in 1911, not 3x more

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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:11 am

Abscate wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:42 am
I dont understand people saying 'I don't want a House to be a 1000 people" the dyamics of 500 and 1000 in terms of managing a group are the same, arguably anything over the tipping point of 100 doesn't matter.

I would also argue we are MORE diverse society than in 1911 - and that if anything a representative should represent fewer people than they did in 1911, not 3x more

Good points. Solid points.
But I have a personal affliction, a tic, a vomit reflex at the thought of our Congress being any bigger than it is.
It's weird, but even though having more representatives would allow for better constituent coverage, that is not where we need our voices to count. We need our voices to count in the plenum. I would rather have three times as many constituents behind one competent legislator on the floor of the House.
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Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,812 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,655 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 76,560 miles

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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Abscate » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:47 pm

The cost of government goes up, but the staff and election cost to reach 1/3 the number of people falls. My Congressman has four offices to reach his district for example. If you do this right, that can fall to fewer.

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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Abscate » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:18 am

Just realized another potential benefit here.

With a House of 1000, the potential for an 'American Party' of centrist Dems and Repub to form and force the extremes to come to the center, by virtue of removing them from one or other majority rule, is significantly enhanced.

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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:53 am

Abscate wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:18 am
Just realized another potential benefit here.

With a House of 1000, the potential for an 'American Party' of centrist Dems and Repub to form and force the extremes to come to the center, by virtue of removing them from one or other majority rule, is significantly enhanced.

Are we unable to arrive at consensus/compromise right now because we have "only" 435/100 representatives in Congress? I think the problems we have are structural.


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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,145 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,812 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,655 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 76,560 miles

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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Abscate » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:37 pm

Counterpoint to
Are we unable to arrive at consensus/compromise right now because we have "only" 435/100 representatives in Congress? I think the problems we have are structural.
The small number of reps means everyone is beholden to the Party to get elected.

Maybe smaller districts can make elections winnable without Party Backing - thus allowing people to do whats right, and not follow the deals one has to make with the Devil on the Left or the Right?

Food for thought.

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Re: Fixing gerrymandering, electoral college, rural vs urban divide

Post by Abscate » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:40 pm

More simple, conservative head-exploding points to consider for the new Year

My favourite

No State shall receive more in Federal revenue than it contributes.

The Senate shall confirm all Judicial appointees with a 2/3 supermajority vote.

No Supreme Court Justice shall assume office under the age of ......(65 proposed, negotiable)

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