There’s some chatter this morning about Republican pickups at the State level and how this is a Very Good Thing because we’ve got redistricting for House of Representative seats coming up next year. The assumption seems to be that the Republicans can thus gerrymander the redistricting to make as may seats as possible Safe For Republicans - which would presumably leave the remaining seats Safe For Democrats since herding Republicans into some districts will herd Democrats into others.
Here’s a thought. How about if the Republicans instead do non-political redistricting? One way to do this is to split a State up along logical lines - paying attention to city and county lines, for example. I believe this is what California is going to attempt to do (for State-level districts, not Federal elections) with its Citizens Redistricting Commission. The results will be interesting to watch. I’d consider it a success if the resulting districts don’t have ludicrously lopsided election results.
Another way to do this is mechanically. Start in the upper left (northwest) corner of a State and move south and north until you’ve encompassed enough people. Then move east from there until you’ve got another chunk of people the right size. If you hit the eastern State line, start at the southernmost point and move west and south, mirroring the way you started the whole process.
I’d like to see Republicans lead the way on this. Maybe it would be suicidal but maybe it would indicate that they’re serious about making government more responsive.
UPDATE: I’m behind the curve here. Take a look at “Two Big Losers: Obama and Gerrymandering“ over at Contentions.