Tuesday, 6 November 2018

The US Mid-terms, Electoral System and Gerrymandering

UPDATE: It was a move in the right direction.
Happily, there were 108 women elected. Two First Nations women, one being openly homosexual. Two females who are of the Muslim faith. This is progress. It is the angry white male Americans I fear. Then, the people who fear those who are different, who live in poverty, or in war-torn countries.

Here it is, Americans are going to the polls today to determine the control of Congress. It's a system, different than Canada. I wanted to understand this topic, as the TV ads are driving us all nuts! Will they stop for a bit?

  1. To manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class.

The US electoral system is complex and is manipulated by those in power. I've been reading about it in The Economist. I was trying to understand this gerrymandering thing is and how it works. We do not have this situation in Canada, since Elections Canada is an independent body, and isn't controlled or manipulated by the politicians on a regular basis. 

Oct 6, 2018 ... Unsurprisingly, political parties have done their best to rig those elections in their own favour, by gerrymandering the borders of legislative ...
It was set up, of course, when more lived in rural areas, than in cities. Rural residents comprised only 36% in 1950, that went down to 25% in 1990. The last info states that 19% of Americans lived in rural areas in 2016. Gerrymandering means that Republicans are setting up electoral boundaries that ensure that angry, white, blue collar, small town, rural voters have as much power as the bulk of the urban, secular, young, diverse, millennial, tech-savvy voters who reside in the cities.

Trudeau, at Council on Foreign Relations panel with Freeland in New York, mentioned that Canada's independent boundary-setting system produces "reasonable-looking electoral districts and not some of the zigzags that you guys have."
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 25, 2018
Michigan in gerrymandered
The bluntest weapons used in gerrymandering 
are known as “packing” and “cracking.” 
They’re used by the majority party in the state legislature, 
which is responsible for creating new district maps every 10 years, 
to ensure they get a larger majority of seats 
than overall vote totals would indicate.

Gerrymandering in Canada ended with the Elections Act. This is a US issue, with politicians farting around with boundaries, depending upon whose party is in power. Elections Canada is an independent agency.

Regarding economics...

What amazes me, is the choices people make in believing what they see and hear in the media.
 🦌 🧸🦝"We don't seek the truth; we seek the evidence that we are right."
Both the Canadian and American media are trying to put out data, which some voters simply ignore. MAGA proponents believe that Trump could influence the economy.
 Obama and Trump's influence were simply a part of the world economic picture from the 2008  economic crisis. 

Interference, illegal, unethical manipulation is undemocratic

BREAKING: A Missouri Judge blocked parts of the state's law requiring voter IDs. They will now allow anyone with another form of ID to vote by signing a sworn statement. Republicans are now furious that everyone will be allowed to vote & are asking for the ruling to be held up.

America's electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over democrats
"Adapting policies to appeal to an ever-shrinking share of the population." 
America’s various disproportional representations are the result of winner-takes-all voting and a two-party system where party allegiance and geography have become surprisingly highly correlated. 

"The Gerry-mander" first appeared in this cartoon-map
in the Boston Gazette, 26 March 1812.
While it is one person – one vote, each district goes to a particular party. Districts are not drawn up according to population. The US Census Bureau estimated that there were about 2.5 million people in the US at its founding in 1776. In 2018, there are 328 million people.  The constitution was written, and the electoral process designed in very different times.

My husband, an avid politico, pointed this one out to me. Senators....
The other issue is that Rhode Island, for example, has two senators, despite its smaller size. New York, nearly 20 times the population, has two senators, as well. It's not a balanced representation., two senators per state.
"This odious arithmetic required the creation of an electoral college for the presidency, since it divorced the power of a state’s votes from the number of people actually casting them."


Anvilcloud said...

It boggles the mind how undemocratic the US is. Elections are interfered with as much as possible, and they actually discourage voting when it suits them.

Olga said...

I am embarrassed and sickened by the current political situation in my country. If we ever did, we are certainly no longer leading the way on democracy.

DUTA said...

I see you take elections quite seriously. I vote to do my "civic duty". I have no expectations as I'm past the age of naivite. I know I'm voting for one form of corruption to get rid of another form of corruption.

Peace Thyme said...

Wonderful post. You can see, when it is in black and white, how rigged and raciest the system of government in the United States is. But, I am afraid that it is about to get even worse (fi that is even possible.)

Christine said...

It's a big day!

Christine said...

It's a big day!

Cloudia said...

Thank you for showing the changes we need to make to reclaim the USA for the good side!

William Kendall said...

The dirty tricks on the part of the GOP have been going on for a long time, but seem particularly pressing now. That item about Dodge City is dismaying, to say the least.

And in the long run, the GOP is ultimately destroying itself. And they don't see it.

Red said...

You wonder how things can be so screwed up and nobody is held responsible. Good post.

Powell River Books said...

Gerrymandering was also used when I was growing up to keep certain schools all white. Each year rather than allowing integration, the boundaries of the high school were changed as families of colour moved. My high school was finally integrated using busing rather than allow it to happen naturally based on where people chose to live. It wasn't well received that way by some students and parents.