Cursed are the map makers

    A strong stomach is required to watch laws and sausages being made, or so Otto von Bismarck is said to have said, more or less.

    To that list I would add the re-drawing of Congressional and legislative boundaries. That happens every ten years following the new census, and in most states it’s a process controlled by the same politicians whose political fortunes will be affected by the decisions.

    Muhlenberg political science prof Chris Borick has an interesting take in Monday’s Inquirer on what might be in store for Pennsylvania Congressional districts. The process is controlled by Republicans, and he notes that the last time they drew lines, they sought to be competitive in more seats. The result was indeed more competitive seats, many of which were won by Democrats in 2008, and in some cases won back by Republicans in 2010.

    If the GOP decides to draw the lines to protect their solid districts, he says, the result will be fewer competitive seats, and a less healthy democracy. Read his piece here.

    We also have this note from the other side of the Delaware River , where Congressional boundaries are drawn by a commission that’s half Democrats, half Republicans, and a chair chosen by the rest.

    The commision has picked John Farmer, former counsel to the 911 Commission to be the neutral chair. May he bring the wisdom of Solomon to his role.

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