What is gerrymandering?
“Gerrymandering: the intentional changing of electoral boundaries for their benefit”
— CGP Grey: “Gerrymandering Explained” (one of the best videos on the subject)
Gerrymandering is one of the dirty tricks that politicians can use to rig elections, creating disproportionate representation.
Barack Obama believes this is such an important issue that he wants to make fighting it a big focus of his post-presidency.
And the Supreme Court is expected to review cases later this year. But it’s unclear how that will go, or even what options are available.
Not so simple
Gerrymandering has long plagued American democracy. The term is named for an 1812 politician, after all.
One common narrative is that it’s more often done by Republicans to disadvantage Democrats, and there’s lots of evidence for that lately, but Democrats do it too.
There’s no inherent reason for only a single party to do it. One group may simply be better at it.
Instead of framing it through a partisan lens, it’s more useful to see the technique as one way established politicians rig the democratic process to make it easier to get reelected, keeping new voices out.
A new solution
At its heart, gerrymandering comes from abusing the intrinsic flaw in trying to group millions of people into a single electoral seat.
Creating imaginary lines for people like that is never going to be easy, and there will always be fights over borders.
Liquid democracy addresses this issue at a more fundamental level.
By replacing winner-take-all elected reps with personal representatives picked by individual citizens, liquid democracy completely eliminates the problem of gerrymandering, in one fell swoop.
We can include every voice, and still have trustworthy representatives.
That’s what a fair political process looks like.
Thanks to Jeff Harr for sharing the CGP Grey 'Gerrymandering Explained' video.