The Instigator
Kelark1
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
PugsRule11
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Gerrymandering should be prohibited

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/1/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 335 times Debate No: 83261
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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Kelark1

Pro

First and for most, gerrymandering is manipulating the electoral structure so one group could benefit for doing so.
Essentially, In article ! sec.2 clause 3 the constitution appoints the state legislators are given the power to re draw the districts of its state depanding on the census that is taken every ten years.
Arguments for prohibiting Gerrymandering:
the case Bakke V Carr was the first gerrymandering case to be issued a writ of certiorari as the opinion the court established two things political questions and under the equal protection clause of the fouteen amendment federal courts has the right to hear cases of redistricting. With that in mind, the stare decisis of Bakke V Carr was reaffirmed in reynold V sims and Wesburry V Sander. This leads to my argument that gerrymandering goes against the equal protection clause of the fouteen amendment because it allows for certain constituents to have a valuable vote than the minority constituents. In addition, Gerry mandering allows certain majority groups in the state legeslation to discriminate the minority group by disfranshing their votes in two ways. The first is by packing the minority constituents into their own distric or cracking the minority district by packing small portions of minority constituents with the disriminatory groups.
PugsRule11

Con

A Gerrymander Ban Doesn't Fix the Problem
You claim that a gerrymander is discriminatory. However, let's zoom into to a Congressional race in the state of Massachusetts. All districts in Massachusetts vote overwhelmingly Democratic. This is partially due to the fact that MA is an overwhelmingly liberal state. Any Republican voter in Massachusetts has an essentially worthless vote. Any Democrat in an overwhelmingly conservative district has a worthless vote as well. Mitt Romney won 38% in MA in 2012. This means that roughly 38% of Bay Staters support a conservative over a liberal. 100% of MA districts are held by Democrats. This means that 38% of MA voters are shunned, with or without gerrymandering. What we need is a system that ensures that everyone's vote matters. The current system is not fair. Gerrymandering is not fair. However, banning gerrymandering won't fix the problem of minority representation.

A Gerrymander Ban Is Less Effective Than Other Systems
A gerrymander ban will still leave enormous sections of the US population unrepresented. If in a district, 51% percent of voters choose one party and 49% choose the other, you have half of a district unrepresented. The problem is also with first-past-the-post voting. Furthermore, one can question whether or not a gerrymander ban can be properly implemented. One possible solution that would reduce gerrymandering is a state-wide PR system for the House of Representatives, whereby each state has a certain number of House seats (the same as now) and the representatives are chosen by popular vote to each party, which would effectively eliminate gerrymandering due to the absense of districts. Another system allowing many individual candidates to run in each district would be the single-transferrable vote. Watch the video below to learn about STV
https://www.youtube.com...
An STV system would reduce incentive to gerrymander, allow the same party to field many candidates, and allow minority party representation. While on the surface, a gerrymander ban seems great, it still leaves minority voters and minority parties unrepresented. Intentional Gerrymandering is here due to the larger flaws in our system that should be fixed.
Debate Round No. 1
Kelark1

Pro

A Gerrymandering Ban is more effective than other systems
In particular, as many of us know that there is an election that must be held every two years for members of the house of representatives. In reality, about 95 percent of the delegates that were incumbents in the previous terms are reelected to the same position. The reason behind this stagerring statistic is that gerrymandering allows the creation of safe seats. Safe seat is an elected office position that is predictably won by a specific political party. With that being said, this leads to constituents to have low political efficacy since they would assume that their votes are not going to make a difference since gerrymandering allows their to being one delegate from the same political party representing their district. On that basis, gerrymandering the fundamental institutions of substansive representation since the actions of congressional members will only correlate to the interest of the state legislators as opposed to the intrest of the constituents.
In that perspective, gerrymandering is only allowing for their to be more constituents to not be represented.
In the case Wesburry V Sanders it established the one man one vote principle because Georgia's state legislators were utalizing gerrymandering to back 600,000 people who are considered minorities in one to two district. While creating 6 to seven districts that were composed out of 200, 000 members of the constituents that are considered the majority. Leading to my overall argument, that gerrymandering hinders substansive representation allowing to delegates representing the majority and the minority groups.
PugsRule11

Con

Refutation of my Opponent
I was not stating that gerrymandering is fine. I was pointing out in my previous arguments that the larger problem is our FPTP (first past the post) system, and our current policy could be fixed by alternative means. With or without gerrymandering, people in solidly red or blue states/districts have an almost futile vote (if you are a Republican in a blue district, or vice-versa). The truth is, that while gerrymandering is part of the problem, it is not the whole problem. We can effectively eliminate gerrymandering and solve the whole problem by reforming the whole system-not just a part of it. In fact, a gerrymandering ban would be very hard to enforce, considering that unintentional gerrymandering happens all the time. In fact, it is a huge cause of problems. For example, Democrats tend to be clustered in dense, urban areas and Democratic districts are on average more extreme than Republican ones. This means that the Democratic vote is unevenly spread in areas where Democrats live in urban areas. Gerrymandering itself is a problem, but often times unbiased district drawings can produce skewed results. This is natural in the way we redistrict without a PR or STV system. if we are to solve the problem of unfair representation, a gerrymandering ban will be ineffective, will not solve the whole problem, and is only a small patch on the real problem.

https://owenzidar.wordpress.com...

A Gerrymandering Ban Will Be Difficult to Enforce
In every case of alledged gerrymandering (which I expect the minority party will do every time if it doesn't like the plan), the courts will be forced to ask whether it was an intentional gerrymander, which is hard to prove, or an untentional gerrymander (which might be falsely considered an intentional one). Further, one has to consider whether minority rights are protected (Voting Rights Act), which is a logistical nightmare for the independent commitee method.


The truth is that a gerrymander ban doesn't fix the whole problem, is hard to enforce, and inherently allows other forms of inequality in voting power.
Debate Round No. 2
Kelark1

Pro

Kelark1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Kelark1

Pro

Kelark1 forfeited this round.
PugsRule11

Con

PugsRule11 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Kelark1

Pro

Kelark1 forfeited this round.
PugsRule11

Con

PugsRule11 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Sam7411 1 year ago
Sam7411
Interesting Fact: France is the only country that shares the same "gerrymandering" system as the US
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