Monday, November 22, 2021

Multimember Districts

I have not looked at much serious discussion about how to avoid gerrymandering other than "We should stop those other bastards from cheating."  I am sure that this is but one of many out there, but this is the one that hit the ground in NH today and I thought folks might like it. 

How To Make Voting Districts Fair To Voters, Not Parties 

It will be tougher to fix than people think, as people move out of areas where they believe they are not being heard, but want to be, and have been doing this for a while.


Christopher B said...


And in California, 85% (46 members of 53) of the Congressional delegation is Democrats, elected with 66% of the vote.

An alternate way of looking at the data would be to recognize the Democrats have dealt themselves a double-whammy. They appeal, Spinal-Tap-style, largely to very specific demographics that, while comprising a significant fraction of the population, tend to cluster in high population density areas. Without districts that either hug the boundaries of or make strategic encroachments into those areas, there aren't enough Democrats spread around to be competitive in compact contiguous districts ('...meaning districts resemble squares and have straight borders – increased the likelihood that a plan would be biased in favor of Republicans.')

It's also interesting that while they talk about the unpopularity of political parties, they do not address the well-known dichotomy that people generally view their specific Representative favorably despite negative views of Congress or political parties in general. This would seem to cut against the view that more competitive elections are needed.

Christopher B said...

I also observe that they base their argument on fairness to voters but their judgement of fairness is based on the fact that a *Democrat* Presidential candidate got 50% of the vote and that the court-ordered redistricting plan resulted in an increased number of *Democrats* in the Pennsylvania House delegation, and their simulations are apparently judged for fairness entirely on whether a *Democrat* or a *Republican* is more likely to win in the district, with no reference to the popularity of actual representatives with voters.