Redrawing states to equalize population

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iMikeT, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    California has ~38 mil.

    You would have to add together the populations of the following 13 states to get the same number. WA, OR, ID, ND, SD, UT, NV, AZ, NM, OR, IA, MT and WY.

    This is the reason we have gridlock in Congress.
  3. chown33, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013

    chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    From the linked article:
    Really, those are the only disadvantages? Somebody isn't even thinking this halfway through.

    If you redraw state boundaries now, you'll have to do it again in 10 or 20 years, because the population is shifting, and always has been.

    You also have the problem of who gets to redraw the lines, which brings up gerrymandering. There's enough problems with Congressional redistricting when it happens within a state, so imagine how well that would work at an interstate level.

    So unless there's an ongoing plan to redraw state lines periodically, using either a time trigger (e.g. 20 years) or a population trigger (e.g. net shift over 5%), and using some clearly defined and clearly just procedure, then redrawing to meet current population distribution is completely pointless.

    And that's not even getting into questions of what happens to state laws when some piece of territory moves from one state's jurisdiction to another. That pot you were growing in Mendocino is now illegal in Shiprock. Oops.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."
    -- H. L. Mencken

    Oh, wait, also from the article:
    Whew, that was close, I almost made a fool of myself...
  4. skottichan macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2007
    Columbus, OH
  5. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
  6. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World

    Yep. Firelands.

  7. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2011
    It also brings up problem when you mix areas that are extremly different in to one state.

    Hawai part of the same one as northern California/Oregon ? Just doesn't sound right.

    Would be much more sensible to change the number of senators for each state from lets say 1 to 5 depending on population.

    Around here we have a similar approach for the Bundesrat, 3 to 5 members for every state..... still means that former east Germany has 15 seats (18 if we count in Berlin) while have less people than NRW (5 seats).
  8. APlotdevice, Aug 23, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013

    APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    For better or worse, the Federal government was designed to be unequal; The Senate exists to give states with smaller populations greater clout.

    Anyway, instead of rearranging EVERYTHING, it might be just a tiny bit easier to push for non-partisan redistricting committees in every state. Or eliminate the official electoral districts all-together and use some kind of proportional system to elect Representatives.
  9. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    It's a very interesting art project that illustrates various population densities (it's basically a heat map but prettier.)

    However if you want the actual story behind the states, the History Channel had a great show a while ago called "How The States Got Their Shapes."

    A lot of states are shaped they way they are now because of economics, and how various geographic aspects (mountains, plains, water access) impact those economics.
  10. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Curious if this idea has conservative or liberal roots? With abundant State rights rhetoric, I don't see this happening any time soon. :) I did note the Senate comment and concur. I also find it interesting is that the House seems to be where most of the conservative extremists reside.
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    No, it wouldn't.

    The Connecticut Compromise (as it was called) was meant to give larger states more say in certain matters by having one house of Congress based on population, while giving all states equal say in other matters by having one house of Congress give equal representation. This was done intentionally, and after much debate.

    The intent was for the Representatives to represent the people of a certain district, and the Senators to represent the interests of the state.

    That changed only somewhat with the passage of the 17th amendment in 1913 - originally, Senators were not directly elected by the people; they were chosen by state legislatures. The 17th amendment changed that, and now (and for 100 years), Senators are directly elected by the people of the state. An unfortunate side-effect of that is that the people have since lost sight of the fact that the original intent of the Founding Fathers was for the Senators to represent the interests of the state, and now voters have come to want Senators to represent them directly - almost like "extra" Representatives.

    That kind of thinking has given rise to the type of idea you've proposed, where people think that both Representatives and Senators should be allocated based on population. That was never the intent.
  12. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    I think the only way this could work is if state governments were dissolved entirely and these areas became voting districts. There would be local government and a national government and that's it. That way, when you have to redraw the boundaries due to population shifts there would be no shifting of "state" laws.

    Needless to say, this would never happen. People would be reluctant to give up their historic state identity. It would also make the national government all powerful. Interesting though--good thread.
  13. edk99 macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2009
    Lets not forget liberal extremist too. :rolleyes:
  14. lannister80 macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2009
    There isn't a single liberal extremist anywhere in the House or Senate. Not one. Hell, there are barely any "normal" liberals in the House or Senate.

    Crazy-right, far-right, or center-right are your only choices in America.
  15. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    Which means that today, being left of "center" (which is somewhere between far right and center-right) makes you an extremist.
  16. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    Your only choice is, "bought off by a corporation or special interest group".
  17. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Who is the liberal extremist you are referring to? :p
  18. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    The intent a was to reach a compromise that the states would accept at the time.
  19. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I don't think they ever imagined we'd have a Wyoming with about half a million people and California with 38 million.
  20. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    Oooh... I do like the state lines becoming at the least a bit more wobbly - I'd ask you go for it just on that basis. (Straight lines on maps just never feel right to me. In my opinion whenever any one draws a straight line on a map it leads to trouble...)
  21. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    It's an art project:
    The map began with an algorithm that grouped counties based on proximity, urban area, and commuting patterns. The algorithm was seeded with the fifty largest cities. After that, manual changes took into account compact shapes, equal populations, metro areas divided by state lines, and drainage basins. In certain areas, divisions are based on census tract lines.​

    The idea itself is hardly new. Previous examples: (1981) (1975)

    I've read and enjoyed both books, but for different reasons.

    There's also this, a serious proposal rather than an art project:
  22. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    I like gridlock.

    Without it freedom and liberty would be traded for power grabs and political expediency.
  23. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    If there isn’t at least one state named Bat**it (as in Bat**it crazy) then it isn’t proper representation. :p
  24. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003

    For once we agree but may I suggest North Bat**** and South Bat****?
  25. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Oh we agree loads of times. I just don’t bother posting when you’ve saved me the trouble of making my point.

Share This Page