Vanceone -"California just eliminated any hope of Republicans
even getting to be on the ballot, yet Democrats here whine that a district is
not drawn to guarantee them an elected official. At least you have a candidate
on the ballot. "... First of all that isn't true and the
rest of your comment seems to be retaliatory and Petty. I'm sure you could
do better.California certainly has several members of the House of
Representatives who are Republicans in entrenched districts. Unlike some other
states we have much less of the old fashioned selfish idea of people protecting
what they have and not letting others get ahead.That means that the state
has gone from democratic to heavily democratic because the present Republican
party is about nothing except selfishness and protecting interestsWe're not going to get ahead in this country by being mad at other people
for being who they are or for wanting what they want and drawing deep lines in
I cannot understand why the founding fathers created the necessity voting
districts. If it was to more accurately reflect the different factions in the
state, they failed. In todays world the distribution of differing
factions changes daily if not sooner. Todays factions would be people by race,
occupation, religion, war or other. If the voter could specify his voting
faction it would give better representation. If 30% of the state is Latino,
evenly spread across the state, they probably would not be represented. But if
the Latinos were able to vote as a block, they could have 30% of the
representation, given that the representation was elected on a statewide
election and later divided up according to the top factions by percentage. Evolution might even allow Democracy someday.
California just eliminated any hope of Republicans even getting to be on the
ballot, yet Democrats here whine that a district is not drawn to guarantee them
an elected official. At least you have a candidate on the ballot. California Democrats took away the right of people to even vote for a
Republican. Not a peep from any of you. The last California Senate race was
between two Democrats. Democrats are also pushing the idea the
states should give their electoral votes to the popular vote winner, and not the
candidate their state voted for. And they demand that no one ever be allowed to
do anything about Democrat voter fraud in California. It's a blatant
attempt to destroy our country electorally.So pardon me if Utah
doesn't volunteer to give Democrats guaranteed power by drawing up a
district that Misty Snow would win without trying. Why don't you actually
try to persuade people that unlimited abortion, punishment for believing in God
and disagreeing with you leftists, surrendering to Islam, 110% taxes that only
the peons pay, and the rest of your perverted agenda is the right way to go.
And accept your losses gracefully.
"Maps drawn by unelected, unaccountable individuals in the back room are no
better than what we have now. At least now we can vote out the rascals if we
don't like the results."Except the funny thing about this
whole issue is that you can't vote them out if you don't like the
results, because they work the maps so they will be reelected every time.
That's the entire point of this discussion and why it has to go to a
neutral party to draw the boundaries in a more natural way.
this would only happen if God drew the boundaries... but yet again most of the
Republicans in Utah think that they actually are speaking for God here on planet
Earth, so I guess they know what they are doing....
This would be a good idea, but for the fact that "common sense" is not
so common anymore.
Mike Richards writes about how the Reps represent the people..and will always
vote the way the people want..and the senators represent the state and will
always vote together for what is best for the state. Well, maybe in
some far-off fantasy land, this happens. And in that fantasy land:Politicians always tell the truth.People in office actually care
about the welfare of their constituents.Politicians are not
interested in personal gain.Politicians attempt to unite, not
divide, the people and urge the people to support goals which benefit all
people--both in the short and long term.Congressional districts are
set up in a way which reflects the people who live in them. They are not
gerrymandered for ulterior motives.
It is all to easy to read the comments and draw certain conclusions.Most Conservative posters like the system we have in the majority of states,
namely let the dominant political party draw boundaries that enshrine their
political dominance.Most Progressive posters want a system based on
natural boundaries and a system that precludes political interference.I leave it to others to judge why.
Mike Richards - ?I also think that our delegation in the House must vote
on each bill as a bloc. Utah is one State. It is not divided against itself. It
stands as a unit in the Federation of States; therefore, our Representatives are
duty bound to vote together as directed by the will of the majority of Utahns on
all bills."NO, no, no -- never!Senators and Congress
Members take an oath to uphold the US Constitution, not what is popular in the
State.They are charged with getting all the necessary information to vote
properly, to a level that most ordinary citizens cannot go.Legislatures
need consensus, not universal agreement or steamrolling.Your way
would result in the Un-united States of the Tower of BabelAs always,
sticking to one's personal theories of how things should work is a waste of
every one's else's time.
@Mike Richards"The Senators do whatever is best for the STATE.
They do not represent the People. They represent the State. If the are
representing the State, they will always vote together. "I
looked and looked, but can't find this. Can you tell us which article and
Section of the U. S. Constitution or amendments tell us this?
Make a computer model that assigns districts randomly according to population
numbers.BOOM. Done. I don't care if the other team
wins as long as it's done fairly. Right now Salt Lake is carved up like a
pizza and it dilutes a lot of voices that are being taxed but not represented.
Where is the fairness in that?
Voting districts are used by the rich and powerful to help in their wishes to
suppress the vote of the lessor people and prevent the possibility of Democracy.
Democracy is a threat to the business machine that the rich and powerful use
to steal the wealth of the lessor people. The desirable operation of the
business machine depends on the control of the government to set the rules.
SG, I was in the middle of a response when the website informed me that an
error had occurred. It reset and I lost my post (as far as I know).Lincoln told us that a house divided cannot stand. Government is binary.
Every vote is either a "yea" or a "nay". There are
two rules in Congress. Rule one is part of a Congressman's oath.
Everything done in Congress must be Constitutional. Rule two is that a
Representative must represent the PEOPLE of his State. If Representatives are
representing the PEOPLE, they cannot be divided. Government is binary. The
PEOPLE either want a "yea" vote or they want a "nay" vote. As in
everything political, the will of the majority determines the way the
Representatives vote.The Senators do whatever is best for the STATE.
They do not represent the People. They represent the State. If the are
representing the State, they will always vote together. A State divided cannot
Mike,You just succeeded in turning the House into a bigger (i.e.,
more members) version of the Senate. As you have often said in the past
(correctly, in my opinion), the Senate is intended to represent the states,
hence the election of Senators by state legislatures prior to the 17th Amendment
and the direct election of Senators by statewide popular vote now, and the House
of Representatives is intended to represent *the people*, hence the direct
election of Representatives by popular vote since the inception of the United
States.Honestly though, Utah already votes as a bloc, so it
wouldn't make a difference here. But... do you really want California, New
York, Illinois, and Minnesota voting as a bloc? Or states with slim Democratic
majorities, like Oregon, New Mexico, and Washington? Washington state is
actually a great example; they have 10 Representatives - 6 Democratic and 4
Republican. Would you really be okay with at least 40% of a state's
representation being eradicated (particularly if it was Republican
representation)? What would be the point of a minority party's
Representatives from a state even being in Washington D.C.?
To one of the previous posts: I don't want to wait for California not to
gerrymander so we can do that in Utah. I want our state to have the appropriate
representation for the betterment of our state's population. However, I think it would be great by amendment that all districts across our
nation must be within population parameters with contiguous boundaries that
don't divide any zip code or any where possible county lines or designated
city boundaries. It's stupid to have neighborhoods voting for different
people for Congress. This can and should be avoided. Gerrymandering
has created a pox in our government where so little of our Congressional
districts are swing districts. This has led to extreme politicians from both
parties being voted into Congress which in turn has led to less compromise and
effective legislating and hyper-divided government. It really isn't
presidents Trump or Obama that are responsible for divided government but
gerrymandering. This needs to change or our entire Republic will be at risk
within a few decades, if not sooner.
So, who picks this "independent commission" and how do we know that they
really are "independent" and what power is there to reject their map if,
really when, someone decides it is not "fair."Maps drawn by
unelected, unaccountable individuals in the back room are no better than what we
have now. At least now we can vote out the rascals if we don't like the
results.Let's wait for the Democrat controlled states to try
this scheme out, and when we have proof that it works, we can talk about it."Ballot initiaitives" are usually very bad proposals, cleverly
worded and written to achieve one thing, but sold as something entirely
different, with deceptively worded names, and using paid signature gatherers who
will say or do anything to get names signed on their papers.Refuse
to sign, refuse to support!
In an earlier post, I suggested that we each vote for four Representatives.
Since they represent the entire State, not just a district within the State, I
believe that we should all be able to vote for the four Representatives. I also think that our delegation in the House must vote on each bill as
a bloc. Utah is one State. It is not divided against itself. It stands as a unit
in the Federation of States; therefore, our Representatives are duty bound to
vote together as directed by the will of the majority of Utahns on all bills.
We have the technology to have direct democracy were we all vote on the budget,
new laws, and regulations.The internet has replaced the need for
representative government.We should replace the legislature with
direct voting. We just don't need 1 State Senator representing 100,000
people anymore, because we all can fit into a virtual room to makenew laws
and approve budgets.It's time for Google Gov't.
The question would be how a commission would approach the drawing of district
lines. What if the independent commission was formed and they stated they would
draw the districts in a specific way without regard to partisanship: First we
will divide the state in half (populationwise) with a horizontal line across the
width of the state. Then, for those resulting two pieces, each would be divided
with a vertical line into two equal population sides. Voila', four
districts.If such was the stated method, what would the Democrats
do?They would run to their computers to see if this method actually
provided them a winnable district, and if it didn't, they would be
criticizing the method based on one criteria or other.What Democrats
want is for someone to draw them a district that is favorable to them, so it is
not specifically a commission they want, but they see a commission as a way to
get more influence over the process or where the two major parties have equal
Letting an independent, third party create the new districts. From the people I
have known that want the independent commission spooks me. It is not any better
idea than the gerrymandering past. Leave the third party game and stick with
the already mess we have.
The sensible way for our 4 districts would mean (Roughly) Davis County , Salt
Lake County, Utah County. And the fourth the rural areas of Utah. This way they
could actually represent the people who elected them without having conflicts of
interest between their urban and rural constituents.
Two problems with using zip codes:1) The Postal Service would be
against it. They want the freedom to create, split, or consolidate zip codes in
a way that serves THEIR delivery objectives. Sometimes cities have petitioned
to have their cities be all one zip code, but the Postal Service says, "Hey,
we know how you must feel, but the zip codes are ours for purposes of delivering
the mail -- not for purposes of your identity issues." If zip codes were to
be used, suddenly the zip code becomes a political unit subjecting the Postal
Service to extreme pressure to tweak or fashion their zip codes a certain way in
some cases.2) For the most part zip codes are nice areas that are a
good size for building districts, and would limit the ability of redistricters
to pick apart neighborhoods with a computer mouse scalpel. But as I said above,
zip codes are for mail delivery purposes. Sometimes there are unusual zip code
boundaries that are in place because it is easier to route mail along certain
routes that are not necessarily contiguous or compact.
A few weeks ago I saw the new head of the Utah Republican party on channel
13's "3 questions" segment. I found it rather chilling when he said
that one of his goals is to get all Democratic office holders out of office so
we could have a completely conservative state. That would mean no representation
for anyone but Republicans. Perhaps he thinks everyone in Utah who
doesn't think like he does should leave. Then gerrymandering won't
matter, but it may not be long before people who don't have representation
will pull up stakes and move to more hospitable states. That would take away
jobs, businesses and tourists. Is that what we want? Diversity is
one of the things this country was founded on. From the first, groups have tried
to change that so only the "right" (our) people will be with us.
Let's get past this and become a compound in one as it was meant to be.
Gerrymandering won't do that.
If repubs have such brilliant ideas, why must they rely on gerrymandering, Fox
News, and collusion with Russia to win elections?I have a better
idea, rather than cheat, why don't repubs adjust their platform to be
connect with the populace and become more popular with mainstream Americans?
@Vanceone: Take a look at the State Assembly District map for my home county of
Kings, NY (aka the NYC boro of Brooklyn). It's completely nuts.
Meanwhile, the zip code map is nice and contiguous. And the State Assembly is
run by Democrats. I don't approve of these nutty districts. They are so
contorted, it's offensive. Gerrymandering has been around over two
centuries, thanks to Governor Gerry of Massachusetts (parenthetically, a
Republican), but it's time to end it! I'd trust the USPS over either
party.Given the Postal Service's reputation, I can also
guarantee you that it's unlikely to advantage anyone. If anything,
they'd find a way to disadvantage everyone! If you still don't trust
them, then simply make their districting plans subject to Federal judicial
review. Problem solved.
@JoeCapitalist2All states should switch to independent commissions drawing
the maps. Right now the only ones that do are California, Washington, New
Jersey, Hawaii, Arizona, and Idaho so at the moment it's skewed towards
blue states doing it fairly. (Iowa has an independent commission draw the map
and then their legislature votes on it).@conservative scientist"When California takes the lead in not allowing the Democrats to
gerrymander their districts, we should follow their lead."They
have... at least at the Congressional map level (I'm not sure if
there's any differences in which states use independent commissions in
generating state legislature maps compared to the ones I noted use it for the
congressional level above).
@Mike "It seems to me that each voter should be voting for four members of
Congress with the four receiving the most votes becoming our Representatives in
the House. Article I has no provision for subdividing a State into
districts."I could go for this, provided we had runoff primaries
ignoring party labels.
Common sense in Utah means dividing to help Republican buddies get lifetime
position. Unless they bail for Fox news contract.
The problem with Quaker's "zip code solution" is 1) the USPS is a
Democrat run plantation that would disenfranchise Republicans (see their scandal
where they paid postal workers to work on Hillary's campaign); and 2 it
solves little anyway. How many zip codes does Salt Lake have? Provo? Sanpete
county?Democrats whine all the time about gerrymandering (including
several who whine that the US Senate is republican because of gerrymandering.
Snort). Yet not a one of them ever, ever complains about districts drawn to
enforce Democrat victories. Republicans are blamed either way. In Utah,
it's "You've diluted our Democrat voters and we can't
win!" In other states, it's "You've concentrated all the
Democrat voters and we can't compete in the rest of the state outside our
guaranteed urban seats!" I think Wisconsin Democrats literally are arguing
that they should be able to take all their "excess voters" from their
safe seats and apply them to other districts. Democrats should just
come out with their real solution: Make it illegal to vote for anyone other than
a Democrat. That's the law they really want; so why not try to pass it?
Here's a scenario whereby democracy might return to Utah, and it's an
ugly one. Here goes. Our erratic president destroys the economy through
wholesale disruption of the "Chimerica" relationship with China, and/or
brings about a nuclear exchange in the far east which subjects Utah to
significant radiation exposure. This would convince to Utahns to examine their
Republican addiction. Other than something so severe, democracy in
Utah is dead for good, and redistricting will favor Republicans exclusively,
perpetuating the political monopoly.
Mike Richards: "It seems to me that each voter should be voting for four
members of Congress with the four receiving the most votes becoming our
Representatives in the House."What a perfect way to make sure
every single representative for California is a Democrat. Same for every other
state that has a majority of voters that favor one party over another.
"Redraw district boundaries based on common sense, not partisanship."I agree completely. But it won't happen because democracy is
effectively dead in Utah, not to return except for a 1929 style crisis, and the
crisis will have to be that big to "work."
Never ever should we allow unelected, unaccountable, back room dealers to draw
the political districts of our state. Elections have consequences. Liberals have
lost at the ballot box. They have lost in the courts. This is nothing but
another attempt to steal a seat in congress. Shame on the opinion writers for
failing to point this out.
There is always pressure to make it so that some group rules regardless of what
the populace wants. To name a few they limit voting to property holders, to the
favored gender or those who have the right color of skin. They try to set rules
which limit voters to those who can pay a tax or have a certain education. They
do it by gerrymandering or forcing everything to go through caucuses instead of
primaries. These schemes have just one purpose, to ensure that the favored group
retains power regardless of what the citizens want.
Out of 435 Congressional Districts in the U S only about 40 or 50 have close
elections, the rest are districts where the dominant party normally wins by over
60% of the vote. The party controlling the State Legislature draws district
lines for their own benefit. It helps when a bipartisan commission draws the
lines, but still in California, for example, one party still dominates. Part of
the problem with little competition in the general election is U S housing
patterns. We have large areas of the county with people of very similar
backgrounds, who tend to vote for the same political party.
Picture a 3x3 grid like a tictactoe game. Put R’s in the first two
columns and D’s in the third. That basically represents Utah, where there
is a strongly modal geographic distribution of parties. Now you can divide the
grid into three districts by rows, where each district has two R’s and one
D (all identical, but D’s have no representation) or by columns (where
there are two solid R districts and one solid D district. (A third option is:
3R, 2R+1D, 1R+2D)In the previous congressional redistricting, we
were sold the pie slice model, corresponding to the row districts in the model
above. The liberal urban SLC metro area was divvied up amongst the
predominantly conservative rural areas. We were told that each district would
then have an equal voice in Congress, as the editorial notes, since all four
representatives would have to speak for both urban and rural constituents. In
reality, all this did was neutralize the liberal urbanites because they never
had a majority in any district.Better than the pie slice for Utah is
the doughnut hole model, where the urban areas get a district where they have a
representative without divided interests.
This absolutely needs to be done! As a conservative-minded individual I
don't "want" another Democrat in congress. That said, as an
American (which in my mind is far pre-eminent) I do want my state to be
accurately and appropriately represented in Congress. If 1/4 of Utah voters are
democrats then 1/4 of our representatives should be democrats. Simple.
That's the purpose of representation. Gerrymandering is a corrupt
power-grab - not representation.
What dies the Constitution say about electing members of the House?"The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every
second Year by the People of the several States,"It seems to me
that each voter should be voting for four members of Congress with the four
receiving the most votes becoming our Representatives in the House.Article I has no provision for subdividing a State into districts.
@ConservativeScientist: My suggestion below is intended as a national solution.
National problems need national solutions. The Postal Service already has the
most comprehensive and practical mapping and division of the country for
districting for the purposes of delivering mail. Why not for delivering
When California takes the lead in not allowing the Democrats to gerrymander
their districts, we should follow their lead.
I still believe it should be done with census data and software. The goals
should be to base boundaries on population alone, without considering income,
race, gender distribution. As far as possible respect municipal boundaries and
each district must be as contiguous as possible. It can be done.
Just another example of how Americas crooked polititions put their self interest
and party interest before national interests. American politicians are no
longer public servants they have degenerated into private party professionals.
There is big money in politics and less chance of going to jail than working for
a crime syndicate.
Why not let the USPS apportion the districts? After all, aren't they the
ones who have to deliver the mail for all the candidates running for office?
Plus, they already have a perfect, impartial framework to build districts on:
zip codes.Here's my suggestion for a Postal Service run
zip-code-based districting law: No district should contain more than one
partial zip code and should otherwise consist of the most-contiguous block of
complete zip codes necessary to contain the number of people allotted to the
district. Nor should any zip code be split over more than two districts, except
in the case of local government offices.Wouldn't that be fair
and sensible? As an added benefit, political organizations doing mailing would
be able to take advantage of the reduced cost of zip-code saturation rates.
As you all point out, it is true that while the Republicans have been the
culprit of biased district border drawing in Utah, the Democrats have been
equally guilty of the practice in other states.As we go into the
2018 voting cycle, I think it is important that we ensure that those we elect,
regardless of party, support an independent commission taking charge of the
boundary redraw. It's worth noting that the United Utah Party is currently
the only party in Utah with a platform point that explicitly calls for turning
this over to an independent commission.
I have never liked the practice of gerrymandering but it would be silly to
unilaterally disarm. Democrats have used this technique in the states they
control just as effectively as the Republicans have done. To suggest that Utah
should change while leaving all the others in place, is just foolish.
Gerrymandering, voter suppression, and welcoming foreign election tampering is
really all the Republicans are going to have left.
Utah is ranked about 46th among states in voter participation! Utah
Republicans have done everything in their power to divide up, and thus
neutralize, all of the lefties in Salt Lake County, and Park City. It's pretty tough to get people to the voting booths when the out come of
the elections was decided in the republican primaries!
There is really no way to argue against this. Allowing political parties to draw
political boundaries is simply not ethical in any way. It is impossible for them
to do this in an unbiased manner.Utah is better than this. Let an
independent commission draw out districts.
Republicans are quite good at it. Democrats have been sorta' good at it.
So a pox on both.But the insidious practice of political
gerrymandering hinders political maturity in most US states. It is the ultimate
expression of political power to destroy your enemies, and clever enough to
avoid footprints of its proof.Smart states seem to form commissions
with the intent of keeping Congressional districts to distinct natural
boundaries. Therefore, Salt Lake City might have one person in Congress that
represents the wishes of the city. Now there are three which represent a hunk
of the city and in general won't vote as the city might vote. Rather a new
"Jim Crow" law, wherein separate is most definitely not equal.