Prickling with pretense

I see there are now some draft congressional maps of Oregon floating around. We're about to go from five seats in the House to six, and the gerrymandering games are well under way.

One map I saw would carve the Portland metro area up into four pieces, ladling out all those blue voters across four districts. Eugene would anchor another district. The result would be that the Republicans would not get another seat; they'd be down 5 to 1. 

On the other hand, the Republicans have maps that would give them two seats and a shot at two more. Fat chance that'll ever happen.

Has anybody ever articulated neutral criteria for drawing lines like these? Average population density per district, or something like that? If you could come up with a set of neutral principles, you might be able to let artificial intelligence draft up some maps that follow them. Maybe it's not possible. Is anyone even trying?

In the meantime, we slog on with pure politics. Inelegant. Ugly, even. 

Whatever happens, I hope a real Democrat replaces Schrader the Traitor pretty soon.


  1. I would draw the 6th as a coastal district from Brookings to Astoria. Move the borders of 2nd and 3rd minimally; redraw 1st, 4th and 5th to cover the Willamette and Umpqua Valleys. A sure bet th as t won't be adopted.

    1. Especially since it wholly ignores the eastern 2/3 of the state...or have you conceded that to Idaho?

    2. Eastern Oregon is 2nd district, and I'd leave it as 2nd district. Perhaps some border adjustment might be needed in Jackson County to balance populations, but otherwise, I'd leave the area east of the Cascades in a unified district.
      Some poor sodbuster in Madras doesn't need to be represented by someone elected in Gresham - we have Senators for that.


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