Farleftside

Farleftside
Location
Dallas, Texas, USA
Birthday
November 06
Bio
My Googlable name is Mike Stanfill. I'm an illustrator, animator, web designer, cartoonist, cranky old geezer and much, much less. If you like my comic, or are easily influenced by people you don't know, then you can find lots more to overstimulate your neocortex at farleftside.com.

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Salon.com
NOVEMBER 14, 2012 9:49AM

That Special Afterglow

Rate: 1 Flag
The post-election afterglow.

Three Is A Tragic Number

flag in flagThere are clearly three different kinds of elections in this country now.

The Electoral, wherein we choose our president.

The Gerrymander, which decides our Congressmen.

The Popular, which determines our Senators.

We all know about the problems/benefits of the Electoral College but what you may not realize is that many voting districts are gerrymandered to the point where the election outcomes for the next eight years are locked in stone.

For example, President Obama took Pennsylvania by five points in the popular vote of 2012, that's a lot, but Democrats only got five of the 18 congressional seats. The same thing happened in Ohio and Virginia. That's because Republicans, who won heavily in the mid-terms, redrew the voting lines and condensed the Democrats into small areas of the state. For example, here's Pennsylvania's congressional districts:

Republicans can count on these results until 2020 when the lines can be redrawn, but as long as they're the majority in the state legislatures that's not going to happen. And since they draw the district lines they're deciding who wins in the future. 

We accept gerrymandering because we like the idea that it protects minority populations, but that just gives unscrupulous politicians the tools they need to make the voting process a joke. I think it's no longer worth the trade-off.

As for Senators, it's harder to gerrymander a whole state into two parts so they're generally chosen by the popular vote. That's why Democrats currently own a 53-45 advantage in the Senate. (Throw in two blue-leaning Independents and it's a 55-45 advantage for the good guys.)

You're probably thinking that there has to a better way to draw congressional lines, and there IS! It's called the Shortest-Splitline Method and here's a video to show you how it works.

  As for the Electoral College, it's becoming moot. The Hispanic population is growing so fast that Texas will soon become a Blue state, and when that happens it's game over for the GOP's White House aspirations for a LONG time to come.

Smile.

=Lefty=

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Comments

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Your cartoon is insightful, and your discussion of gerrymandering informative. I especially like your link to the video of the shortest split line method of redistricting. Let's start with Pennsylvania, which James Carville once described as "Philadelphia at one end, Pittsburgh at the other, Alabama in between."
The cartoon...does this mean that we're f--ked?
Hope not.