[EM] Re: Election redistricting

Ernest Prabhakar drernie at mac.com
Thu Jan 15 10:27:18 PST 2004

Hi Anthony,

On Jan 15, 2004, at 2:37 AM, Anthony Duff wrote:
> I'm wondering why he would want to use judges.  I think it is clearly
> a task for long term bureaucrats.

Alas, here in California 'bureaucrats' is almost as negative a word as 
'politician.' :-)

Relatively few people are aware of how much gerrymandering skews 
politics, though most people know what the word means.    Most of those 
who are aware tend to be beneficiaries of the system, which means 
attempts to fix it will be bitterly contested.   Saying we'll have 
bureaucrats decide districts would be instantly derided in the press by 
those who oppose reform, and the public would tend to accept such 

Judges are considered more wise and impartial, and thus less likely to 
invite derision.  They of course could use whatever experts they want 
to do the actual work, but they'd set the parameters and guidelines, as 
well as own the results.   However, we just went through an ugly series 
of court decisions over the recall in our Appellate courts, which 
somewhat tarnished their standing.

The twin issues of 'efficacy' and 'acceptability' are deeply 
intertwined (at least here) which is why I think the criteria of 
political feasibility is actually the most important, provide there is 
no simple way for incumbents to skew the results in their favor.

-- Ernie P.

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list