[EM] An impractical suggestion for redistricting

Colin Champion colin.champion at routemaster.app
Fri Jun 10 03:52:47 PDT 2022

On 08/06/2022 14:09, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:
I was reading https://arxiv.org/pdf/1901.04628.pdf, which gives an 
approximation to hard capacitated k-means clustering (basically, 
districting with the constraint that each district population should be 
the same)...

In the UK, constituencies are adjusted by a commission. I don't suppose 
it's perfectly fair but in practice the errors it gives rise to are 
tolerably small. There's a bigger problem: constituencies are either 
rural or urban. If rural constituencies favour party A by a small 
majority and urban constituencies favour B by a large majority, then A 
has an in-built advantage. I'm not aware of anything in k-means 
clustering which guards against this.

Kristofer's final comment was "PR is the better choice". I don't favour 
PR but I sympathise with his sentiment: if you're going to judge an 
electoral system by the fairness of where it ultimately puts power, then 
you're unlikely to get anything satisfactory starting from the design 
premise of fairness by constituency, however ingenious your implementation.


More information about the Election-Methods mailing list