Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film
View Poll Results: So what say you on Gerrymandering and Term Limits?
Get rid of Gerrymandering
7
26.92%
Impose Term Limits
1
3.85%
Get rid of Gerrymandering AND Impose Term Limits
15
57.69%
Leave everything the way it is
3
11.54%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Old 10-07-13, 09:58 AM
  #1  
Admin-Thanos
Thread Starter
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 31,522
Gerrymandering and Term Limits

My wife and I were discussing the Tea Party and I brought up the topic of Gerrymandering and how with all these "safe" districts in Congress, the Repubs have more to gain from keeping the government shut down than caving and opening it back up. They face no danger of losing their seat to a Democrat no matter how far to the right they run. Their only danger of losing their seat is to a further right Republican. My wife also suggested imposing term limits, so at least the members of Congress in their last term would have some incentive to vote in a manner they think is right for the country, not necessarily for their party or to please the radical wing of their party (ie the folks who vote in primaries).

I'm curious to hear ideas as to what would replace Gerrymandering if it ever was done away with (not like it's ever going to happen, but I can dream).
VinVega is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:03 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

The problem with banning gerrymandering--how do you define it?

I'm becoming more in favor of term limits.
Tracer Bullet is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:03 AM
  #3  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di SalÚ
Posts: 32,794
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Gerrymandering is not what’s wrong with American politics
wendersfan is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:06 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

If there is one thing we don't need is imposing term limits. I can't think of a worse idea.


I would favor imposing term limits for a certain Senator from Nevada.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:21 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 3,577
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
If there is one thing we don't need is imposing term limits. I can't think of a worse idea.


I would favor imposing term limits for a certain Senator from Nevada.
I don't have much of an opinion one way or the other, but what is the issue with term limits that make it such a bad idea? At face value it seems like a reasonable idea to me.
Nausicaa is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:26 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,465
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by Nausicaa View Post
I don't have much of an opinion one way or the other, but what is the issue with term limits that make it such a bad idea? At face value it seems like a reasonable idea to me.
They take power away from the voters, they deprive us of the good representatives along with the bad, and -- contra Vin's wife's thought that they would encourage "conscience-based" voting by a representative in his last term -- they encourage capture by special interest, since representatives would have an even stronger incentive to line up their "next gig."
JasonF is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:27 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: frass canyon
Posts: 16,249
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

I wouldn't mind exploring the idea of limiting the number of consecutive terms a person can hold.

When the congressional approval rate is 10% and the reelection rate is well over 80%, something needs to be done to get the idiot voters to stop blindly voting for incumbents.
RoyalTea is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:30 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by Nausicaa View Post
I don't have much of an opinion one way or the other, but what is the issue with term limits that make it such a bad idea? At face value it seems like a reasonable idea to me.
It would take a constitutional amendment to impose term limits. I believe that was tried in the not too distant past.

With term limits some of our best legislators in The Congress would not be around any more. I believe the Framers knew what they were doing.

I believe the Junior Senator from Oklahoma once favored term-limits. I believe he changed his mind.

btw: I still favor the selection of U.S. Senators by the way The Framers said it should be.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:31 AM
  #9  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 70,829
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
When the congressional approval rate is 10% and the reelection rate is well over 80%, something needs to be done to get the idiot voters to stop blindly voting for incumbents.
Well, you see, it's the people in the other states who are voting for idiots. My guy does a great job!
Groucho is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:35 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: frass canyon
Posts: 16,249
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
With term limits some of our best legislators in The Congress would not be around any more.
Who are these people?
RoyalTea is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:36 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 3,577
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
They take power away from the voters, they deprive us of the good representatives along with the bad, and -- contra Vin's wife's thought that they would encourage "conscience-based" voting by a representative in his last term -- they encourage capture by special interest, since representatives would have an even stronger incentive to line up their "next gig."
Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
With term limits some of our best legislators in The Congress would not be around any more. I believe the Framers knew what they were doing.
Thanks, those are strong points.
Nausicaa is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:39 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
jfoobar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 37,806
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

My solution would be this:

Every Congressional district is redrawn automatically by way of a computer program and this redrawing occurs using data from each major census. To allow for ample time to gather and compile census data, the redrawn districts would occur effective every election year ending in a "2", which would allow for two years after the census.

Here are the features that the program would have:

1. The program would use a point on the state's boundary as a starting point for the algorithm it uses. The program would use a randomly selected starting point on the state's border each time it was run (every ten years).

2. The computer program would take into account population clusters so as to minimize the chances of a city being split in half by a district line.

3. The program's algorithm would be designed in such a way as to keep the shapes of districts as "round" as possible (i.e., avoid octopus-shaped districts).

So, in effect, every ten years we would have a computer-generated "lottery" of sorts as to where a state's Congressional districts would be for the next decade.

If something like this were implemented, I think the "need" for term limits would be substantially reduced.
jfoobar is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:44 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

I had a government professor at The University of Texas who said that if The Framers could come to life today, that most would say "why in the hell did you pass The 17th Amendment?

I agree!
classicman2 is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 10:55 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,465
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
I had a government professor at The University of Texas who said that if The Framers could come to life today, that most would say "why in the hell did you pass The 17th Amendment?
Because we are a more cohesive nation than we were in 1787, such that the needs of individual states to have their unique interests represented in Congress no longer outweighs the anti-democratic nature of appointed Senators. Now get back in your grave, Mr. Madison!
JasonF is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 11:00 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
Because we are a more cohesive nation than we were in 1787, such that the needs of individual states to have their unique interests represented in Congress no longer outweighs the anti-democratic nature of appointed Senators. Now get back in your grave, Mr. Madison!
You're entitled to your opinion - however flawed it may be.

As for the anti-democratic nature of appointing Senators - don't you believe that state legislatures are elected by the people?

I believe your anti-democratic argument fails miserably. Perhaps you could come up with something better.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 11:18 AM
  #16  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 70,829
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

The Framers were a homogenous group who always agreed on everything!

Coincidentally, all of the framers agreed on my opinion on every issue 100% of the time!
Groucho is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 11:37 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,465
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
The Framers were a homogenous group who always agreed on everything!

Coincidentally, all of the framers agreed on my opinion on every issue 100% of the time!
Were you there? You don't know. None of us knows because none of us was there!

Except classicman, of course.

And yes, classicman, state legislatures are elected, but any time you add a layer between the people and the office holder, you're making it more anti-democratic. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing -- I think California's experience with referenda demonstrates more harm than good, for example -- but I think in the case of Senators, we're better served by direct election.
JasonF is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 11:43 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
stvn1974's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 4,879
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

There is a problem when if a homeless person with nothing is elected to Congress they would leave a millionaire. Term limits and make them work for minimum wage.
stvn1974 is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 11:53 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,465
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

The real problem is the sheer dollars involved in running for office. I don't have a solution, though.
JasonF is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 11:54 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hero
 
jfoobar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 37,806
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Plus there is the issue of whether or not a repeal of the 17th Amendment would actually do any good.

It would probably result in a lowering of the average term length of any one Senator. However, it seems to me that it would also make the going on in the Senate even more intractable than they are now. Senators would be even more beholden to the most extremist voices within their own party than they are now. That's hardly the direction we should be heading.
jfoobar is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 11:59 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hero
 
jfoobar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 37,806
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
The real problem is the sheer dollars involved in running for office. I don't have a solution, though.
Publicly funded elections would be at least a partial solution. You get what the government gives you to fund your campaign and you are prohibited by law from spending another dime. Obviously, only candidates who meet a reasonable threshold of plausible electability would be eligible for funds. But this would also even the playing field somewhat for some third party candidates, which would be a good thing.

Of course:

1. This will never happen.

2. Citizens United makes this a less effective option than it once would have been.
jfoobar is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 12:06 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
wishbone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 20,880
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
The Framers were a homogenous group who always agreed on everything!

Coincidentally, all of the framers agreed on my opinion on every issue 100% of the time!
Which would explain the selection of the delicious tuna club as our national sandwich and scarcity forthwith.
wishbone is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 12:17 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 31,011
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Well, you see, it's the people in the other states who are voting for idiots. My guy does a great job!
Yep. Congress always polls low. Republicans will poll congress poorly because on Nancy Pelosi, Democrats will poll congress poorly because of the Republicans, and independents will poll it poorly because of both parties.

But most voters will continue to re-elect their congressperson.
Josh-da-man is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 12:27 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 31,011
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
My wife and I were discussing the Tea Party and I brought up the topic of Gerrymandering and how with all these "safe" districts in Congress, the Repubs have more to gain from keeping the government shut down than caving and opening it back up. They face no danger of losing their seat to a Democrat no matter how far to the right they run. Their only danger of losing their seat is to a further right Republican.
Gerrymandering doesn't seem to be the problem. It's more geographic. Far right, "Tea Party" politics plays extremely well to certain demographics, particularly rural people.

In the current political climate, there are certain states that I doubt could be gerrymandered to benefit Democrats. A state like Kansas is solidly conservative Republican (and, for my purposes, conveniently, nice and square).



District 4 encompasses the Wichita metro area, District 2 is the KC metro area, District 2 has the liberal-leaning college towns, and District 1 is the sticks. All four are solid Republican seats.
Josh-da-man is offline  
Old 10-07-13, 12:30 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 17,006
Re: Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
I would favor imposing term limits for a certain Senator from Nevada.
What do you have against Dean Heller? It's because he's a Mormon isn't it?
Rockmjd23 is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.