Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gerrymandering - Geological Deceit?

The way congressional districts are drawn (link to your district map here [somehow .gov seems to have "lost" that page, so use the Wayback Machine copy]) raises the very serious specter that gerrymandering may thwart the will of the people.

The way districts are drawn can change everything, and even the courts have struggled with how to deal with gerrymandering [it got lost, so Wayback Machine copy].

The reason that gerrymandering is wrong is because it is anti-voter, to the point that even when the voters overwhelmingly favor a particular outcome, they can be thwarted by gerrymandering.

In other words, the geographical design of the districts is such that it thwarts, and is contrary to, the will of the people at large. It is designed to preserve incumbency and thwart the political notion of accountability.

Furthermore, districts are carved out in strange shapes that result in districts passing through many counties, instead of being defined and bounded by one or more counties.

Thus, malfunctioning electronic voting machines in one county may actually mean malfunctioning in several congressional districts even though only one county is involved. Congressional districts can pass through multiple counties, and each of those counties can theoretically and legally have a different way of doing an election. That is, different voting machines and balloting methods.

Multiple lawsuits or election challenges may be required to challenge bad election results. This intimidates fair elections, because only big money can hire an army of lawyers to fight that kind of unfairness.

We have a dictatorial situation any time the will of the people is thwarted by their government. There is no other name for it.

Some dictatorships are less vile than others, but calling a spade a spade is what I am talking about.

We have a dictatorship if the people cannot express their will by their vote, because the other side of that coin is that they are being dictated too, i.e., told who will be elected and when.

If the government allows us to vote but that vote is meaningless, the fact is that it is a dictatorship masking as democracy, because the people cannot change the government to suit their will.

One of the unique aspects of American government is that there is a part of that governmental process which is not intended to change easily, but instead is intended to remain stable or static.

That unchanging aspect of American government is in stark contrast with the part that is intended to change regularly.

It may be easier to distinguish the characteristics by recalling that the regular changes are intended to apply to people in office, but what is not intended to change are the inalienable rights of the people in the US Constitution as amended.

For example, we don't vote on whether or not freedom of speech or religion stay as our law from election to election. We decided that a long time ago and need not revisit those issues.

In fact the "americanness" or lack thereof of an idea, position, policy, or platform can quickly be discerned by asking if that idea, position, or policy tends to keep certain people in government, i.e. incumbent for a long time, or whether instead that idea, position, or policy keeps long held inalienable rights of the people written in the Constitution incumbent and long lasting.

The American way is that the people come first and that politicians come second. This is not an anti-politician sentiment, it is a wisdom of the ages that our forefathers gave us.

They understood that power tends to corrupt politicians because they become immersed in power. Thus, the people must regularly decide how long a politician stays in office by discerning how power has effected that politician.

Some politicians learn how to neutralize the corrupting influence of power and some do not. We vote the latter out and thereby cleanse our government as needed. Regularly.

For instance gerrymandering (designed to perpetuate incumbency) is contrary to the people's inalienable right to vote office holders out of office, and is contrary, therefore, to the American sentiment.

The next post in this series is here.


  1. Hey, this is the kind of stuff I don't believe the "election integrity" people cover. They'd rather have us going down rabbit holes preventing us from authentic election reform, imho.

    The topic of this blogpost happened in Massachusetts with a guy named Tom Finneran.

    I think we can add Mark Crispin Miller to the list of suspects. If you go to his entry called A new piece on Mike Connell–with a caveat, there will be at least one post that has been scrubbed. Now why did he delete the following? If I have things wrong, why not prove it? Why the censorship?

    I have been using a pseudonym of Prepostericity.

    Finally, one of the things that seemed to tick off Larisa was when I came up with two separate sources which claimed Kimberlin as a moving force behind Raw Story. I now see that Brad has been interviewed on one of them.

    So Dredd or anyone else, any ideas? I promise to give you guys a hand if you like on any stories you are working on.

    Can anonymous nobodies make a difference?


  2. socrates (a.k.a. "anonymous"),

    If you want to post as "socrates" instead of "anonymous", use the drop down and select the "Name/URL" item.

    Then put "socrates" as the name, and your website or blog or email (caution on email: remember it can be seen) as the URL.

    I am not going to enforce handle usage. You and other bloggers may use whatever name you wish whenever you wish.

    It is the ideas, not the person, that is paramount. That does not mean bloggers can't keep one name and stick to it and build blogships over time.

    What it does mean is that the bloggers who blog here are the people, and the Dredd Blog is here to serve the people.

    I blog as anonymous sometimes too ... like if I find an article or thought I want to share with others but just want the idea focused on, not who posted it.

    I will make mistakes and everyone else will too. But the blog must be for the bloggers, and we can't let mistakes take that away.

    And it is the policy of this blog to allow all bloggers to post a main post that want to. I will supply the details and how to as soon as I have them a bit more perfected. I am leaning towards and article submission email address at the moment.

    Also, if you noticed, at least one open thread per week (each week is an archive section) for floating subjects that have no subject matter thread at the time.

    Have fun.

  3. One of the about 438 congressional districts goes through 25 counties ... imagine trying to challenge the election in that district.

    It could involve lawsuits in 25 counties under certain circumstances.

  4. Another reason gerrymandering is as dangerous or more dangerous than electronic voting machines, is that the cover-up on machines has to happen over and over again each election. Therefore the risk of getting caught is higher.

    When an election district is gerrymandered once, it lasts at least until the next census. That is ten years.

    One crime, many years of damage.

    Thus gerrymandering is less risky and has less logistical problems to worry about than hacking election machines does.

  5. Thank you. For the record the anonymous above me is not me. I will post this way from now on. I would never post as more than one person at a blog. Only time I have done that is when I have been banned like at DU and felt the need to go back. But now even there I realise the truth is not welcomed and will be deleted.

    People like Jason Leopold have a history of using sock puppets, fake conversations, and I refuse to ever go that route.

    You're correct that it is the ideas that matter, not the person. I think the use of avatars is good in that we all have our own idiosynchrosies- yikes spelling- one of the drawbacks of blogging- it's harmful to one's English skills.

    On the surface, the Bev Harris and BradBlog stuff looked legit. But now it is my opinion that such people might have been deliberately subverting democracy on the internet.

    *** portraying progressives as conspiracy theorists
    *** shifting the focus from what can be proven, such as gerrymandering, lack of voting equipment in Democratic leaning wards, voter rolls getting pruned, etc..

    According to ModMom at DU, Arnebeck was also a former Republican who used to work for the Dole campaign. Hmmm.

    I don't think it is that organic for people to switch parties or ideology like that, e.g. Curtis, Arnebeck, Huffington, Hitchens et al.

    I could see Republicans becoming Libertarian and still voting primarily Republican, or Democrats going Green or Independent and still leaning left. But this emphasis on right wing whistleblowers just no longer washes for me.

    And I do see that voting strictly party line is no good either. Finneran's a Democrat and he was caught with his hand in the gerrymandering cookie jar.

    I'll stifle it and head for the open thread before I go way off topic. Thanks for getting this blog together.Thanks for giving me another outlet by which to hopefully get some hidden stories revealed.

    the people united will never be defeated

  6. The power of gerrymandering is the reason republican Gregg did not accept a cabinet post.