Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Redistricting Game

My friend and co-worker Andy sent me a link the other day to a very interesting game sponsored by the USC Annenberg Center for Communications: The Redistricting Game. It's a game which allows you to design your own Congressional redistricting plan for the mythical state of Jefferson, either in a typically superpartisan fashion which protects single-party power in districts which have nothing whatsoever to do with demographic and social reality, or in a bipartisan fashion which can work along existing political (city, county, parish - for you, Angelique), or similar lines. Andy also provided a link to a similar site sponsored by the Columbia University Law School - DrawCongress.org.

One of the reasons we have such ridiculous gridlock and hyperpartisan ass clownery in Congress is that both parties have used their power at the state and local levels to "gerrymander" voting districts into bizarre shapes intended to create electorally safe seats and maximize the power of a single party in that district. Here's a classic example of gerrymandering ... Illinois Congressional District 4:

There are those who believe that gerrymandering can be a force for good, as when the government creates federal voting district boundaries that produce a majority of constituents representative of racial minorities. I disagree. I believe that any type of artificial construct designed to maximize the power of any single group - political, racial, or social - is unfair and unjust. In my own opinion, however humble, I think that voting districts should line up with the existing boundaries of organization and governance. Anything else builds in the ability for fraud and the gross distortion of the political system that has led us to our current unfortunate state of gridlock.

Play the game. Then throw the bums out.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

3 comments:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Illinois's Congressional District 4 is obscene? Who are the beneficiaries of this gerrymandering?

I'll have to check out this game. Thank you!

Mike said...

Keeping the elected official in the new district is a bitch.

Big Sky Heidi said...

Ugh! That should not be legal at all. How can that happen in a 2-party state?