David Brin/writings/Gerrymandering

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Notes

These are links to David Brin's article on Gerrymandering in the U.S., generally titled "American Democracy ... more (complex and) fragile than we think". Links will be posted as the article parts are posted.

Index

References

Summary

Brin first argues – while stating that these problems are not at the core of his objection to the practice – that gerrymandering:

  • "allows one party in a state to rig elections so that it can grab extra seats, not only in Congress but every legislature in sight, from the State Assembly down to cities and counties."
  • can be viewed as a process that serves as a sort of job security for an informal guild of professional politicians

He then goes on to say (in Part 4):

  • In a gerrymandered district, "even if a contented 60% are guaranteed perpetual victory, that leaves a 40% minority who will never, ever feel that they have a chance for Congressional representation."
  • "Members of the majority party are almost as disenfranchised in a heavily gerrymandered district as the losing minority", as the support of most of those members – the moderates on either side – can generally be counted on. Little to no effort needs to be expended in order to maintain those votes.
  • It is only the extremists (on either side) and those with large concentrations of power (be that wealth or "connectedness") whose influence needs to be taken into account. This has the effect of making elected representatives beholden only to the most passionate or wealthy within their party.

summary to be completed