Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Gerrymandering. Republicani e democratici si stanno scannando.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-05-08.

Springfield Collegio 001

Collegio Distrettuale di Springfield. L’arte di disegnare i collegi elettorali.


Gerrymandering deriva dal nome dell’inventore, Mr Gerry, e da ‘salamander‘: la salamandra di Gerry.

L’allora Governatore del Massachusetts, Mr Elbridge Gerry nei primi dell’ottocento constatò come gli elettori fossero raggruppato in zone ben definite: quindi ridisegnò i perimetri dei collegi elettorali uninominali in modo tale da assicurare a sé stesso ed al suo partito una vittoria con percentuali bulgare.

Il sistema fu accolto con grandi ovazioni da parte dei politici, che si dettero un gran da fare. I collegi della Scozia e quelli dell’Irlanda del Nord furono a suo tempo gerrymanderingzati con mano pesante, ma, ad esser franchi, anche quelli italiani non scherzano per nulla. Poi, qui da noi servì tutta la abilità del partito democratico italiano per non cogliere l’occasione propizia.

Ma non tutto il male viene per nuocere.

Per promuovere il bene del popolo e la prosperità della nazione, i politici investirono ingentissime somme per fondare una nuova branca della matematica statistica: la teoria dell’ottimizzazione, che solo dopo molto tempo fu applicata alla razionalizzazione dei procedimenti industriali.

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Negli Stati Uniti, caratterizzati da grande mobilità delle persone, i distretti ed i collegi elettorali dovrebbero essere regolarmente rivisti per distribuire in modo abbastanza omogeneo in essi la popolazione. Di norma, ci si basa sui dati censuali della popolazione. Ma ogni volta che ciò accade il gerrymandering colpisce forte e duramente. Di lì contenziosi e voce grossa, talora anche pallottole vaganti. In linea generale il grosso del contenzioso accade negli stati ove una fazione politica abbia il controllo della Corte Suprema dello stato: quei giudici hanno la potestà di mettere la parola fine alla diatriba. Solitamente, fanno i loro appunti, e rimandano tutti ai legislatori: ma quando perdono la pazienza, ridisegnano loro i distretti.

Non ci si stupisca quindi che alla fine tutto approdi alla Corte Suprema degli Stati Uniti, la Scotus. Ed al momento Scotus si sta anche interessando delle modalità con le quali il Census raccoglie i dati. Il clima politico è al calor rovente.

«A panel of federal judges on Thursday ordered Michigan’s Republican-controlled legislature to redraw nearly three dozen state and U.S. congressional districts, ruling that the existing lines illegally dilute the power of Democratic voters»

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«The decision gives lawmakers until Aug. 1 to approve new district maps»

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«If legislators fail to do so, or if the court finds the new district lines are similarly unconstitutional, the judges said they would draw the maps themselves. The redrawn districts would take effect in time for the 2020 elections»

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«The state’s 14 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are also up for election next year, and a majority of them could have new boundaries under the court’s ruling»

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«The decision is likely a boon for Democrats, who in 2018 failed to win a majority of the seats in the state House of Representatives, state Senate or the state’s U.S. congressional delegation despite winning the overall popular vote in all three cases»

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«Partisan gerrymandering is the process by which one party draws legislative districts to weaken the other party’s voters»

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«The lines are typically redrawn once a decade after the U.S. census, and in many states the party in power controls the decision-making»

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«The Supreme Court has historically been reluctant to assert judicial oversight over what has always been a political undertaking»

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«The Supreme Court could choose to put the Michigan ruling on hold until it issues its own decision, which is expected by June»

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Una possibile soluzione potrebbe essere quella di prevedere maggioranze qualificate per approvare una riforma dei collegi e dei distretti. Si potrebbe prospettare che almeno il 75% dei legislatori voti a favore.


Reuters. 2019-05-05. U.S. judges order Michigan to revamp Republican-drawn districts in gerrymandering case

A panel of federal judges on Thursday ordered Michigan’s Republican-controlled legislature to redraw nearly three dozen state and U.S. congressional districts, ruling that the existing lines illegally dilute the power of Democratic voters.

The decision gives lawmakers until Aug. 1 to approve new district maps, which would need to be signed by Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

If legislators fail to do so, or if the court finds the new district lines are similarly unconstitutional, the judges said they would draw the maps themselves. The redrawn districts would take effect in time for the 2020 elections.

The court also ordered Michigan to hold special state Senate elections next year, rather than in 2022 as scheduled, in any gerrymandered districts. The state’s 14 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are also up for election next year, and a majority of them could have new boundaries under the court’s ruling.

The decision is likely a boon for Democrats, who in 2018 failed to win a majority of the seats in the state House of Representatives, state Senate or the state’s U.S. congressional delegation despite winning the overall popular vote in all three cases.

“Today, this court joins the growing chorus of federal courts that have, in recent years, held that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional,” U.S. District Judge Eric Clay, an appointee of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel.

Partisan gerrymandering is the process by which one party draws legislative districts to weaken the other party’s voters. The lines are typically redrawn once a decade after the U.S. census, and in many states the party in power controls the decision-making.

In late March, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether such gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution in a case stemming from the electoral maps in Maryland and North Carolina.

The Supreme Court has historically been reluctant to assert judicial oversight over what has always been a political undertaking.

The judges in the Michigan case said the gerrymandered map “gives Republicans a strong, systematic, and durable structural advantage in Michigan’s elections and decidedly discriminates against Democrats.”

The result is a violation of Democratic voters’ constitutional right under the First Amendment to freely associate, the court said.

“Federal courts must not abdicate their responsibility to protect American voters from this unconstitutional and pernicious practice that undermines our democracy,” the judges wrote.

Republican lawmakers, who intervened in the case, will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said.

“We will prepare to comply with this most recent ruling while we await the outcome of the appeal,” Shirkey said in a statement.

The Supreme Court could choose to put the Michigan ruling on hold until it issues its own decision, which is expected by June.

The lawsuit was filed by a number of Democratic voters and by the League of Women Voters of Michigan.

Michigan was key to U.S. President Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, when he became the first Republican presidential candidate to win the state’s support in nearly 30 years. The state is likely to be a major battleground state next year, when Trump runs for a second term.

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