Let’s gerrymander to solve gerrymandering

Jonathan Korte, Staff Writer

What if elections had predetermined outcomes? What if elections are really indeed rigged?

The term “gerrymandering” refers to the way how states congressional district lines are made up. More specifically, gerrymandering happens when a political game is played where districts are split up in an unusual way in order to benefit a political party.

To make a better explanation, think of a pie being split between two people: The pieces don’t need to be of equal sizes. One person has more influence over how to slice the pie and decides that they get ⅗ of the pie and the other gets ⅖.

This happens in the political realm. The party in power of a state can make district lines to favor themselves legally.

However, this game doesn’t come without a challenge.

In 2016, judges deemed that Wisconsin had gerrymandered districts and called for a redraw.

In Michigan, most of the 14 congressional lines look fine; then one looks at Metro Detroit, and it is a jumbled mess. Metro Detroit is split into five separate districts. Farmington Hills is one city caught up in the five-district clutter.

What is unique about Michigan, is that if it was a blue and red chocolate-chip cookie, it would be a red cookie with a few blue chocolate chips.

One of the blue chocolate chips is Farmington, so for all you FHS students voting for local politics, if you vote Republican for Congress, your vote contributes little to this republic as Farmington’s district favors Democrats. Most other districts are typically favored towards Republicans.

A group called Voters Not Politicians has called for the Michigan district lines to be changed bipartisanly. They want two Republicans, two Democrats and two Independants to redraw the districts.

The idea sounds good, but it doesn’t mean that this can actually be done. There are some technicalities that need to be addressed.

The main problem is that there will be political tribalism. If one looks at how Congress acts already, are we expecting bipartisanship? The answer is an obvious no. For example, if one looks at D.C. and President Trump’s cabinet appointments, the votes were held on partisan lines.

So, here is a solution:

To start — using the 2-2-2 format by Voters Not Politicians — two representatives of each party is chosen by a Michigan Supreme Court Judge. The candidates will be vetted to be within the center-left and center-right political ideologies.

Each party makes their own district lines based on the 1993 district lines. They can deviate 15 percent from those lines.

After each line has been drawn, it will be fed to a computer in order to make an amalgamation of all three lines from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Therefore that will take the biases of the parties, compromise on it, and the whole debate about district lines will be over.

So here is what you can do about it: talk to your Member of Congress about this legislation.

Here is the contact information of our State Senator Vincent Gregory. Here is our Governor Rick Snyder.