Gerrymanderers and the Dark Art of Redistricting


#1

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#2

Gerrymandering, just another unethical pillar in the two party-only first past the pole pantheon.


#3

Does any other country in the world do anything like this?


#4

Well at least it’s clear, they don’t want democracy they want power at any cost.


#5

Not here, eh.


#6

Yes, usually under better cover though.

The new ridings in Canada will strictly benefit the far-right Conservatives & the right-of-center Liberals. The changes are based on legislation pushed through by the Conservatives. The changes are based on population changes but instead of redrawing lines mostly involves splitting existing ridings into several, which means a foregone conclusion at election time.


#7

Can you cite your sources? This is relevant to my interests.

To my (previous) knowledge, constituencies were drawn by Elections Canada subject to objections by anyone who wanted to complain (see the Sudbury split in Ontario). Elections Canada is supposed to be repsonsible only to the legislature of Canada, not the government (but everyone knows how “supposed to be” can end up in reality).


#8

Thanks, you beat me to it. See here:
http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=abo&dir=role&document=index&lang=e

Really, people need to look into how elections and districts are handled in the 'States. Sooo many points in the process that are ripe for corruption. The electoral process really need to be taken out of the hands of politicians and given to officers of Parliament (or parliament-like non-partisan people).

It’s possible that the USA is beyond redemption, I fear.


#9

House districts are not required by the U.S. Constitution. They are the creation of the states. It has been proposed that all Representatives within a state be elected at large using some method of preferential balloting to ensure that as many different political opinions are represented as possible.


#10

Australia (at both national and state jurisdictions) has electoral authorities that do redistributions against defined formula for population growth/change. In almost all jurisdictions all parties accept the results, even where it means some safe seats are redistributed away, and the electoral authorities are considered apolitical.

Mind you, that’s also with preferential voting rather than first past the post, which probably makes it less important in the first place. Preferential voting does have the efect of choosing the least unpopular candidate rather than the most popular, but given plenty of people vote in backwards order (ie, “who do I hate the most?”) it seems to work.

(Edited for spelling)


#11

Funny how gerrymandering always seems to be in favour of the conservative/authoritarian side.

Yet another bit of evidence that right wing = because fuck you, that’s why.


#12

The governments hand was played in the open with a vote to increase the number of seats in the HoC, back in 2011.

EC is an arm’s length agency, but this particular govt is quite skilled at applying pressure to such. EC bureaucrats could not have failed to notice how Statistics Canada was hobbled & other acts of this govt, even if they make a conscious effort to be uninfluenced when faced with decisions they are likely to have those decisions coloured by the knowledge that the current govt can be quite nasty.

Re-drawing lines & leaving the # of HoC members the same would have been less costly than having more Parliamentarians & splitting ridings. But since is was up to Harpers majority govt to have more Parliamentarians, splitting ridings became the simpler solution, albeit one that wholly benefitted the sitting govt.


#13

When you know you can’t win by being honest and ethical…


#14

There’s always voter suppression too! And stacking the courts with conservatives. And … And …


#15

In the UK it’s called The Boundary Commission and whenever they win an election the Conservative party use it for exactly the same reasons as the Republicans in the USA.


#16

I don’t think it’s only the Conservatives that do this, but it’s worth noting that the Lib Dems torpedoed the most recent attempt at boundary changes, due to infighting in the coalition.

Also, historically the Conservatives have needed more votes for each seat they’ve won than Labour has, primarily because of the amount of smaller urban constituencies. It doesn’t seem unreasonable that each constituency should have roughly the same amount of voters in it, although it obviously the Conservatives wanted to revise them because it would have helped them in 2015.

Of course, a fairer electoral system instead of FPTP would help more.


#17

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