Friday, January 29, 2010

Gerrymandering? Who, us?

You may not recognize the name Elbridge Gerry, but I'll bet you recognize his influence almost 200 years after a Boston newspaper coined a term based on his last name. In 1812, Governor Gerry of Massachusetts signed a law that redistricted his state to benefit his political party. One of the districts gained a slender, winding shape that resembled a salamander, so the term describing the act of shaping a district to gain political advantage references both Gerry and the shape of that infamous district.

Surely after 200 years of social progress and unselfish service by our elected officials, gerrymandering is an antiquated concept. Or maybe not.

I don't know which individuals are responsible for the ridiculous congressional districts in Illinois, but they ought to be ashamed of themselves. At least the Chicago area is untouched by such underhanded tricks, right?

Other than districts 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7, it looks pretty reasonable. District 4 was actually drawn by a federal district court in order to establish a district with an Hispanic majority that satisfied Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. So that means it's legitimate. Or something....


  1. So pleased to see you all back in the land of the blogging☺

    and so that's what gerrymandering is? Whodathunk?

  2. Whoa... so that's what you where talking about on Sunday... I'd say they did just a little bit of modification there....