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The Real Crisis? Gerrymandering

Essay by   •  October 14, 2013  •  Essay  •  397 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,159 Views

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In "The Real Crisis? Gerrymandering", Daniel Gaynor pursuades the reader to redirect their attention from the government shutdown to gerrymandering, what he believes allowed the shutdown to happen. He starts out by stating that due to the "packing" and "cracking" tendencies involved in gerrymandering, it creates a less democratic election. He goes on to when it all began in 1812 with Elbridge Gerry, the first to use such tactics to insure his place in office. To prove the effects of gerrymandering, Gaynor provides a recent example from Texas. In 2003, the republicans redistricted Texas, and, in the following election, five democrats lost their seats. Showing these voting blocks, Gaynor brings the reader back the government shutdown, and how, due to gerrymandering, the representatives behind this turmoil now have the majority in the districts, meaning more support and the probability that they will be reelected despite the masses' disapproval of the shutdown. He describes a few negatives of the shutdown including a huge lack in public safety from Air National Control and Disease Control. Gaynor continues with a plan of action to change at the state level. The people must show concern to local representatives about the issue of gerrymandering, advocate allowing independents to draw data-driven voting districts, and push for banning gerrymandering. He gives current example from Iowa which has an independent draw the districts for the most fair elections. Overall, Gaynor believes gerrymandering is directly affecting "checks and balances".

I really like the article and believe that Gaynor has the right ideas. I do not know why gerrymandering was not banned when it started in 1812. It really is not democratic, because it allows a majority to not be accounted for. The government shutdown is affecting everyone in the United States, and I do not like the fact that those that put it into affect are likely to still be in office the next couple of years despite the majority's opinion. I feel that Gaynor could have continued for much longer than a paragraph explaining the negative effects of the shutdown. How do government services that were needed now become "unnecessary"? I agree with his entire plan of action and only raise questions as to how this "independent" will be selected. I propose that, at the least, the independent must be from out of state, unbiased, and that his/her districts must be approved as appropriate.

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