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2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

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  • #61
    Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

    Originally posted by FlagDUDE08 View Post
    Don't remind me... they're trying to gerrymander the conservative part of Syracuse's district by throwing Ithaca in with us.
    I know the GOP got upset that Oswego didn't get lumped into the new 21st. However, their candidate is doing any favors by making out with his campaign manager and getting boated while intoxicated charges... twice. Of course in some parts of the district, the Republican could murder a person he'd still get votes because they think the Democrat is an agent of Satan.
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    • #62
      Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

      Originally posted by LynahFan View Post
      My computer model would be that all district lines are strictly north-south from the state's northern border to southern. Distribute the lines east-to-west so that each chunk contains the same number of people.

      Who would this benefit? I have no idea - as it should be.

      One of those N-S dimensions has to be E-W, at least if your geometry is Euclidean.

      Edit: never mind, I misread you.

      If the lines were N-S instead, California would have some really interesting slices.

      My model would be a sum of least squares on the size of all districts within the state. I'm sure somebody's designed that algorithm for some sort of network efficiency application.
      Last edited by Kepler; 04-04-2012, 12:47 PM.
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      • #63
        Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

        Originally posted by Kepler View Post
        Yep, there are laws from the 60's mandating minority-majority districts. The problem they were addressing was itself gerrymandering: southern states with say 30% black population would draw their districts so that every district was 30% black. Since the white population was, shall we say, highly color sensitive, no black candidate could be elected under that system.

        The two reasons I can think of to phase out those laws are (1) it's fifty years later and most of us have grown up a bit, and (2) if you did have blind districts you would eliminate the initial abuse the law was designed to address.

        For that matter, since people tend to self-segregate even in the absence of institutionalized racism, you'd probably wind up with "minority majority" districts in a blind system anyway.

        It would be even better if voters just voted for the policies they favored rather than the demographics of the candidate, but alas that seems like too much to ask. It's really interesting that race and ethnicity are such enormous weighting factors in voting patterns while gender doesn't seem to matter at all. I assume it's because genders do not self-segregate, so everybody is aware at any given time that both genders are equally full of crap, while racial and ethnic groups in isolation fear The Other.

        Nice species.

        I think the experience with Texas this year shows racial gerrymandering is alive and well. 90% of Texas' population growth is from Hispancis, yet the good ol' boys in the (GOP controlled) legislature drew 4 new seats for the whiteys. Small wonder they still have to get their maps cleared by the DOJ. While its okay for a party to draw districts to their advantage, there's also something called crossing the line into illegal behavior. Amazing they couldn't find a cluster of conservative Hispanics to draw into a district and call it a day.
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        • #64
          Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

          Originally posted by Rover View Post
          Amazing they couldn't find a cluster of conservative Hispanics to draw into a district and call it a day.
          Not a lot of Cubans in Texas.
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          • #65
            Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

            Originally posted by Kepler View Post
            One of those N-S dimensions has to be E-W, at least if your geometry is Euclidean.

            Edit: never mind, I misread you.

            If the lines were N-S instead, California would have some really interesting slices.

            My model would be a sum of least squares on the size of all districts within the state. I'm sure somebody's designed that algorithm for some sort of network efficiency application.
            I think your sum-of-least-squares approach would have the same "problem" that my Cartesian grid would - there wouldn't be any commonality of interests of people within the district. In my case, the people out in the boondocks who happened to be just north of a downtown metro area would be lumped with them. I suspect that your method (basically making sure that each district contains the same amount of land area AND The same amount of people, if I'm interpreting it correctly?) could result in something similar, where many districts would be made up of huge swaths of rural land with just one long "finger" dipping through the suburbs and into an urban area to pick up its population. If you're willing to make each district represent such a wide array of voter interests, why not just bag the whole concept and have a state-wide election, so that each Congressman just represents the interests of the entire state?
            If you don't change the world today, how can it be any better tomorrow?

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            • #66
              Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

              Originally posted by MountieBoyOz View Post
              I know the GOP got upset that Oswego didn't get lumped into the new 21st. However, their candidate is doing any favors by making out with his campaign manager and getting boated while intoxicated charges... twice. Of course in some parts of the district, the Republican could murder a person he'd still get votes because they think the Democrat is an agent of Satan.
              Eastern Essex County isn't THAT bad! (assuming you're speaking of Bill Owens' district)

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              • #67
                Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

                Originally posted by FlagDUDE08 View Post
                Eastern Essex County isn't THAT bad! (assuming you're speaking of Bill Owens' district)
                I am, and Jefferson (where I live) and St. Lawrence Counties ARE THAT BAD!
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                Well, I'm going to do a farewell tour of upstate New York, hellholes like Plattsburgh. Fred Armisen as Gov. Paterson

                "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes." - The Doctor (Tom Baker)

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                • #68
                  Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

                  Originally posted by LynahFan View Post
                  I think your sum-of-least-squares approach would have the same "problem" that my Cartesian grid would - there wouldn't be any commonality of interests of people within the district. In my case, the people out in the boondocks who happened to be just north of a downtown metro area would be lumped with them. I suspect that your method (basically making sure that each district contains the same amount of land area AND The same amount of people, if I'm interpreting it correctly?) could result in something similar, where many districts would be made up of huge swaths of rural land with just one long "finger" dipping through the suburbs and into an urban area to pick up its population. If you're willing to make each district represent such a wide array of voter interests, why not just bag the whole concept and have a state-wide election, so that each Congressman just represents the interests of the entire state?
                  Still being of rural mind (despite now living in a suburb), I'm in agreement. However, who said that a district had to be completely based upon geography? Why not take metropolitan areas of cities, assign legislators accordingly, and then go back and do the rural areas?

                  As for your last question, we already have that, and it's called the Senate. Although, the Senate was originally designed to represent the state legislature, which would explain why this country no longer has any states' rights.

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                  • #69
                    Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

                    Originally posted by Carter View Post
                    Teehee. Well played. I am sure who ever wins will be having the equivilent of the little death...

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                    • #70
                      Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

                      Originally posted by leswp1 View Post
                      Teehee. Well played. I am sure who ever wins will be having the equivilent of the little death...
                      That's what the song "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight" is about.
                      Twitter: DanMountSports
                      2013-14 DIII T.O.P. NIT Champion

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                      Well, I'm going to do a farewell tour of upstate New York, hellholes like Plattsburgh. Fred Armisen as Gov. Paterson

                      "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes." - The Doctor (Tom Baker)

                      Team I Like NFL: BUF NBA: NYK MLB: SEA NHL: NYR College Hockey: Clarkson (DI) Oswego (D3) Soccer: USA, Man United, Rangers (newco and all), Scotland NCAAF & B: SU

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                      • #71
                        Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

                        Originally posted by LynahFan View Post
                        If you're willing to make each district represent such a wide array of voter interests, why not just bag the whole concept and have a state-wide election, so that each Congressman just represents the interests of the entire state?
                        Tempting. Tempting.

                        I'm not sure how much "locality" even correlates with common interest anymore (maybe we should district by voter age?), but the main advantage of keeping the House is the comic relief of the particular Huckleberries that are regularly elected as Reps but wouldn't stand a chance in a state-wide race.

                        My idea was to define the n "poles" of population (n equals the allocated numbers of Reps) in each state and then circle outward until the district either achieves the max pop or "bumps" into a neighbor, but I can see that this would put rural populations into the same minority situation as blacks had during Jim Crow.

                        Maybe there is a compromise measure where we let the state leg draw the districts but we use the computers to apply anti-gerrymandering formulae to knock out the maps that have districts only connected by an interstate? A map would have to pass some basic topology limits to be legal. That shouldn't even be that hard. Someone would need to argue successfully before the Court that gerrymandering violates the Constitutional guarantee of each state having a "republican form of government."
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                        • #72
                          Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

                          Good points, Kep.

                          Ooh - I have an idea. Haven't thought it through, but it sorta feels correct: all districts must have perimeter-to-area ratio equal to or smaller than the state itself. This is not always exactly mathematically possible, of course (you couldn't build a circular state out of smaller circles), so maybe just a hard limit.

                          Probably too much math - the current system is so much easier to understand!
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                          • #73
                            Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

                            Originally posted by Carter View Post
                            That's not where the title of this thread came from.
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                            • #74
                              Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

                              When I lived in AZ, I was always impressed with the gerrymandering there. I would love to see the gerrymandering in Alaska if, you know, there was any gerry to mander there.

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                              • #75
                                Re: 2012 Elections - Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death....

                                Originally posted by joecct View Post
                                That's not where the title of this thread came from.
                                Sure.
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