[EM] Re: Election redistricting

Anthony Duff anthony_duff at yahoo.com.au
Tue Jan 13 18:14:02 PST 2004

 --- Chris Benham <chrisbenham at bigpond.com> wrote: 
> People might be interested to know that here in the Australian
> state 
> imaginatively called South Australia we have the electoral
> boudaries redrawn after each State election (every four years)  by
> an 
> independent commission which is simply charged with,
> on the basis of previous results and population movements and their
> anticipated effect, trying to make districting  as  "fair" as
> possible for the parties who regularly win seats. In other words, 
> instead of  an institutionalised gerrymander or  an  "automated
> random" process, we have an institutionalised (honestly attempted) 
>  anti-gerrymander.
> It is widely accepted that they do an  in-theory-impossible  job
> very well.
> http://www.seo.sa.gov.au/apps/news/?sectionID=13
> Chris Benham

It's the same story in NSW, Australia, and I think throughout

I might add:  

Some effort goes into 
1. Using natural boundaries, such as shorelines, as electoral
2. Minimising the perimeters of electoral boundaries, though gently. 

This use of "independent" commissions is probably very difficult to
create if you don't have anything like it already.  However, it can
work.  I think that the most important factor is that the various
electoral commissions require their employees to not have any
affiliation with any political party, and that in their work they
must conduct themselves so as to not be seen to have political

In the US (Utah), I was shocked at how openly and unashamedly the
controling republicans gerrymandered the district boundaries.
Is this sort of thing particular to America?


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