Gerrymandering and Filibusters


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Gerrymandering and Filibusters

  1. 1. Or, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People!
  2. 2. *Form of redistricting in which electoral districts are manipulated for an advantage for one political party.
  3. 3. *Redistricting by gerrymandering is typically used by a politician in power, or an incumbent.
  4. 4. Elbridge *Gerrymandering is derived from “Gerry” + “salamander” @ Elbridge Gerry was the governor of Massachusetts before becoming Vice President under James Madison. @ A misshapen district was drawn and passed through the Massachusetts legislature in 1812 by the Democratic Republicans. @ The district resembled a salamander.
  5. 5. This cartoon depicting a district in Massachusetts, was printed in 1812. The electoral districts were drawn by Democratic- Republican members of the Massachusetts legislature to favor their incumbent party candidates. Governor Elbridge Gerry signed the redistricting into law (although reluctantly).
  6. 6. *There are two main gerrymandering techniques: packing and cracking. @ Packing concentrates opposition in only one district. @ Cracking “dilutes” the opposition, so it becomes a minority.
  7. 7. If you were to create four evenly spaced Congressional districts, how might you do it?
  8. 8. What about if you wanted to keep the reds & blues even?
  9. 9. How many red voters are in each district? How many blue voters?
  10. 10. Redrawing the districts creates only one “packed” district of 14 blue voters – the rest are “cracked” between the other three districts.
  11. 11. This district was drawn to separate the Hopi and the Navajo tribes, due to historic tensions. In order to comply with redistricting laws, the district had to be contiguous, but avoid including Navajo land.
  12. 12. The unusual “earmuff” shape connects two Hispanic neighborhoods while remaining contiguous by following Interstate 294.
  13. 13. *The use of obstructive tactics by a Senator to prevent voting on a bill. *Translation: “talking a bill to death.”
  14. 14. *The use of obstructive tactics by a Senator to prevent voting on a bill. *Translation: “talking a bill to death.”
  15. 15. *Can anyone stop it? @ YES. That is called cloture. @ A filibuster can be ended with a 60% majority vote.
  16. 16. Average Number of Cloture Motions Filed per Month
  17. 17. *Could I get a real world example? @ Huey Long used filibusters to block bills that he felt favored the rich over the poor. @ He once held the floor for 15 hours… that’s the same as 10 class blocks!
  18. 18. *Fifteen hours sound like a long time?? Strom Thurmond wins the record. @ He filibustered for 24 hours, 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957. @ He was successful in defeating the Civil Rights Act; it did not pass until 1964… using cloture.