Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Wisconsin judge orders state GOP to redraw gerrymandered legislative districts

A federal court issued a ruling on Friday that the Wisconsin Republican Party is sure to dislike — namely, ordering it to redraw its state legislative districts so they aren’t gerrymandered to Republicans’ advantage.

This was a follow-up to a ruling in November in which a federal court determined that Wisconsin had drawn up its districts so as to give Republicans a constant advantage in state elections, according to The Washington Post on Saturday. The Wisconsin GOP’s actions were part of a larger national process in which Republican congressional leaders redrew nearly half of all congressional districts after the Republicans won 21 state legislatures during the 2010 midterm elections. As a result, even though Democratic state legislative candidates in Wisconsin received more votes than Republicans in the November 2016 elections, they only won 39 of that state’s 99 districts. Republicans are planning to appeal Friday’s decision to the Supreme Court.

This isn’t the first time that a federal court has overturned a state’s egregious gerrymandering. In November another federal court ordered North Carolina to redraw its legislative map and hold special elections this year, noting that it had committed a “racial gerrymander” that effectively disempowered the state’s minority voters, who tend to vote Democratic.

The term “gerrymandering” was coined after former governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, who redrew his state’s district lines in order to benefit the Democratic-Republican Party — and inadvertently created one district that looked like a salamander. Gerry later served as vice president under James Madison, who was the first notable American politician in the new republic to have to campaign in a district rigged against him by gerrymandering (although he wound up winning anyway).

Original Article
Author:  Matthew Rozsa

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