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Gerrymandering in Wisconsin

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Walter, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Walter

    Walter Administrator Staff Member

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    How comes that in a state where the Democrats have 50% of the votes the Republicans have 65% of the seats? To gain control of the State Assembly, the authors of a study estimate, Wisconsin Democrats would have to beat Republicans by 8 to 10 points, a margin rarely achieved in statewide elections by either party.

    Now the United States Supreme Court is trying to understand how that happened.

    Gerrymandering today works highly effective, supported by sophisticated software. In a gerrymandered map, you concentrate opposing voters in a few districts where you lose big, and win the rest by modest margins. Software helps to generate thousands of maps to find the right one.

    Detailled study: https://arxiv.org/abs/1709.01596
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/06/opinion/sunday/computers-gerrymandering-wisconsin.html
     
  2. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    A game played by both sides for as long as there have been sides.
     
  3. Walter

    Walter Administrator Staff Member

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    And you don't think that the US election system is flawed?
     
  4. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    Politics are flawed. As power ebbs and flows this evens out. As it's all based on census data which is only collected every ten years the effect is muted.
     
  5. Old_Trapper70

    Old_Trapper70 Well-Known Member

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    False as usual. The Repugnant ones created a computer program that allowed them to manipulate the boundaries of the district so they maintained power, and guaranteed them a win.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/...urge-supreme-court-to-end-gerrymandering.html

    "The Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Republican State Leadership Committee all filed briefs on the other side. They urged the Supreme Court to reject a challenge to State Assembly districts in Wisconsin that, by some measures, gave Republicans outsize political power unjustified by the overall vote.

    Charles Fried, a Harvard law professor who served as United States solicitor general under President Ronald Reagan, and who is among the lawyers representing Republican politicians urging the Supreme Court to reject extreme political gerrymanders, said it was important to take the long view and to act on principle.

    “It’s not a partisan issue,” he said. “We are working for our republic, and not for Republicans.”

    Partisan gerrymandering is almost as old as the nation, and both parties have used it. But in recent years, as Republicans captured state legislatures around the country, they have been the primary beneficiaries. Aided by sophisticated software, they have drawn oddly shaped voting districts to favor their party’s candidates.

    In the 1980s, when Democrats had more political power in state legislatures, they were enthusiastic proponents of partisan gerrymandering, Mr. Simpson, the former Wyoming senator, said."
     
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