Redrawing states to equalize population

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

  1. iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    #1
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    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

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    #3
    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
    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hlmencke129796.html


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

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  5. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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  6. localoid macrumors 68020

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    #6
    [​IMG]

    Yep. Firelands.

     
  7. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

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    #7
    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

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    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

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    #9
    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."

    http://www.history.com/shows/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 G5

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    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

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    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

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    #12
    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

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    Lets not forget liberal extremist too. :rolleyes:
     
  14. lannister80 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    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

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    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

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    #16
    Your only choice is, "bought off by a corporation or special interest group".
     
  17. Huntn macrumors G5

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    #17
    Who is the liberal extremist you are referring to? :p
     
  18. miloblithe macrumors 68020

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    #18
    The intent a was to reach a compromise that the states would accept at the time.
     
  19. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #19
    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

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    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

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    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:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nine_Nations_of_North_America (1981)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecotopia (1975)

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


    There's also this, a serious proposal rather than an art project:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact
     
  22. Technarchy macrumors 603

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    #22
    I like gridlock.

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

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    #23
    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

    rdowns

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    #24

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

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

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