Gerrymandering is the unethical process by which one party which is currently dominant in a state attempts to maintain its dominance by drawing districts for state legislators or Congressmen to favor that party and its candidates. It is the very antithesis of democracy, in which the people are to elect their leaders and representatives; instead, in gerrymandering, the representatives choose what people they want to have voting for them. This allows certain extremist nutcases like Rep. Michelle Bachmann to be elected over and over again without fear of losing their seats to a more moderate opposing candidate.
Illustrated in that Wikipedia entry are some particular examples of gerrymandering, but the most obvious one of all seems to be:
I have come up with an idea on how to identify gerrymandered districts.
Using the circle and the point indicating its center, I propose that any district that touches at least three points 45 degrees apart from each other and also contains the point at the center of the circle may be considered a fairly drawn district. By this test, the 4th Congressional District in Illinois would certainly not qualify. Nor would:
All those districts should be opposed. I would lobby for a bill to be passed by Congress and in every state legislature mandating my standard for all congressional and state legislative districts. I would also ask for the federal courts to intervene. Indeed, I would strongly recommend that only federal courts, not state legislatures, be allowed to draw districts. Otherwise, it is like the fox guarding the hen-house.
- COLUMN – Gerrymandering lies at the root of our political dysfunction (hollandsentinel.com)
- NBC: Time to End Gerrymandering So ‘Ridiculous’ Republicans Stop Getting Elected (newsbusters.org)
- The Difference Between Democratic Congressional Districts And Republican Ones In One Chart (businessinsider.com)
- Why do politicians gerrymander? (economist.com)
- A Visual Demonstration of the Absurdity of Gerrymandering (academeblog.org)