[EM] Re: Election redistricting

Ernest Prabhakar drernie at mac.com
Wed Jan 14 14:41:03 PST 2004

Hi all,

On Jan 13, 2004, at 6:13 PM, Anthony Duff wrote:
> 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
> opinions.

For the record, our California governor (Arnold) is proposing something 
along those lines, of having non-partisan judges draw district 
boundaries.   Unfortunately, since judge usually start out with some 
party affiliation before they actually run as judges, its not always 
clear you can get real non-partisanality in a place as polarized as 

> 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?

Well, we invented the word gerrymandering, to our shame.   I fear it is 
one of those structural problems that's hard to change once people 
latch onto it, as the people who need to fix it as the very 
beneficiaries of gerrymandering.    I would be interested in hearing if 
anyone else ever had such problems, and whether they were able to 
change it.

-- Ernie P.

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