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Thread: Redistricting

  1. #1
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Default Redistricting

    I'm quite sure everyone is aware that there is redistricting going on throughout the country to reconfigure the population so people get "equal" representation.

    For some states, like California, the redistricting was placed in the hands of 14 members (5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 DTS) instead of having the California Legislature itself creating the boundaries (after all... California has a lot of democrats for both state and country.) It has actually caused a ruckus as incumbents are all of a sudden either thrown off their current district, or new members have to compete with other members (some within the same party line....) So it is practically causing an uproar as cities and communities want to stay next to each other while others don't want to be represented with one another as the draft came out.

    The major guidelines for the redistricting (some bits aren't listed):
    1) Districts are drawn without regard to political incumbents and partisan considerations.

    2) Districts reflect geographic and common sense boundaries.

    3) The districts balance the needs of different communities of interest across California.
    What do I think about this? I love it. Districts "are" to be drawn by community of interests. This means how the city/counties interacts with neighboring cities/counties and how similar the cities/counties are to one another while also meeting the representation threshold.

    For my district thus far:
    State Senate: Is drawn to encompass the two cities in my area that commutes with one another frequently, with another smaller (college) city to the west (to keep the population for representation.)

    State Assembly: It has broken into something sensible as there are now two separate districts for my city/cities. The 2001 version broke the community into one that tilted VERY republican and one that tilted VERY democratic. This time the other half of the two cities aren't connected to some blob to the East (of what I shall name... the more rural area situated toward the mountains.)

    House of Representatives: Same idea, it encompasses both of the cities together and leaves the other parts that were in the 2001 version to other districts.

    So far, so good.

    News:
    NYTimes
    Mercury News (Silicon Valley)
    Redlands (San Bernardino)
    LA Times
    CBS News

    What has been said:
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Times
    Keep our community intact; don't lump Lancaster and Palmdale in with the Santa Clarita Valley; keep Chinatown together; don't stick Marin and Sonoma counties in with the aliens in San Francisco ("they're worlds apart"); keep La Crescenta whole; stop chopping up Sonoma County ("it's just not fair)"; keep our neighborhood together; we are communities of similar people, ethnicities and interests.

    There were thousands of messages like them, all variations on the same theme: Keep us segregated. But wasn't the reformers' ideal the creation of politically competitive districts where candidates, rather than catering to partisan extremes, had to seek out the happy middle ground? Isn't the great American ideal economic and ethnic assimilation?

  2. #2
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Isn't the great American ideal economic and ethnic assimilation?
    Put alternatively: despite the fact that groups within communities have different political goals, they want the community political preferences between communities to be homogeneous. (eg a bland two party system with little diversity)

    I agree that community (political) borders shouldn't be based on the old methods (carving up the community in arbitrary ways to create safe seats).
    But the borders of the communities should be selected based on the degree of shared interests of that community and geographic borders chosen only if the two correlate. I think the overall political system would be served better to have homogeneity within a local community (it is a bad idea to have too much fighting in local politics!), but diversity between different communities, so a plurality of voices are heard at the larger political scales.

  3. #3
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catbert View Post
    Put alternatively: despite the fact that groups within communities have different political goals, they want the community political preferences between communities to be homogeneous. (eg a bland two party system with little diversity)

    I agree that community (political) borders shouldn't be based on the old methods (carving up the community in arbitrary ways to create safe seats).
    But the borders of the communities should be selected based on the degree of shared interests of that community and geographic borders chosen only if the two correlate. I think the overall political system would be served better to have homogeneity within a local community (it is a bad idea to have too much fighting in local politics!), but diversity between different communities, so a plurality of voices are heard at the larger political scales.
    What is funny is that people believe this system will drive the democrats in the state towards a super-majority (it is already two state senate and two state assembly short of it I believe) and that there will be a possibility for more democrats heading to Congress. Maybe that is a good thing, seeing how just a few people can hold anything hostage.

    But yes, Liberals in S.F. is different enough from liberals from Marin County, Sacramento County, San Gabriel Valley and even Oakland. And the more Northern Conservatives are slightly different from the ones in San Diego and Kings.

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