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What is gerrymandering?

“Gerrymandering: the intentional changing of electoral boundaries for their benefit”

CGP Grey: “Gerrymandering Explained”, one of the best 5-min videos on the subject

Gerrymandering is one of the dirty tricks that politicians can use to rig elections, and create disproportionate representation.

Barack Obama has said this is such an important issue that he wants make a big push to challenge it after his 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

The Boston Gazette, March 26, 1812

Gerrymandering has long plagued American democracy. The term is named for an 1812 politician, after all.

One common narrative is that it’s done by Republicans to disadvantage Democrats, and there’s lots of evidence for that lately, but Democrats have been guilty too.

There’s no inherent reason for only a single party to do it. One may simply be better at it.

Instead of framing it through a partisan lens, it’s more useful to see the technique as just one way established politicians rig the democratic process, making it easier to get reelected, and keep 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.

Liquid democracy addresses this issue at a more fundamental level.

By replacing winner-take-all elected representatives with personal representatives picked by individual citizens, liquid democracy can completely eliminate the problem of gerrymandering.

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.

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David Ernst


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