Pennsylvania, Terry Madonna, Lindsey discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
This is on point Meghna Chalker birdie. We're broadcasting today from the studios of WHYY in Philadelphia, and we're here in Pennsylvania because we wanted to take a close look at the states adventures in redistricting and gerrymandering and what effect it's having on Pennsylvania politics and national politics as well. I'm joined today by Lindsey, Lazar ski. She's a multimedia journals for h. y. y. who's been covering this issue for quite a long time and by Terry Madonna, he's professor of public affairs and director of the center for politics and public affairs at Franklin and Marshall college, and our callers have been so patient here. So let me let me do them some Justice and get them on the line. Here, Jason is calling from fawn grove, Pennsylvania, Jason, you're on the air. Taking my call. I, I'm from eleventh district in Pennsylvania. Just king is running, and I also helped. I also did some volunteer work for George Scott in the tenth district, and I was happy to see that these two districts are now dependent is especially the the district, but. I'd really like to see Pennsylvania move further in this direction, making more fair. And I really wonder, why shouldn't this be more of a mathematical. My procedure rather than a political procedure, you know, starting to starting to top left of the state and sort of mathematically work your way through the population and the counties and g boundaries. And it's a good question Jason. I mean, Lindsey, Lazar ski, even falling this issue for a long time. What do you think? Yeah, I think you've got a great point there and under the Pennsylvania supreme court ruling, you know, they, they kind of borrowed from the state legislature, the state legislative district rules that you know congressional districts need to be compact. They need to be contiguous. They need to split as few counties municipalities as possible, and that partisan consideration cannot supersede those neutral criteria. So I think that you know going forward the ruling does say that there are these neutral criteria that need to be considered before partisan concern. But you know, the quick didn't go so far and say that here's where you. You can, you know, draw the line as far as when drawing districts becomes too partisan. So there's it's vague, but there there are some guidelines that that the legislature can use going forward, but Terry, Madonna to to the point that the caller was making about, you know, are there al-gharib amac ways to get fairness out of out of district maps or politics always going to be a part of this process? I don't think you can. I don't think you can remove politics. Democrats and Republicans will both try to advance themselves actually because of the algorithms and these and these models that they now have. They can be more skillful at it. They're actually can be better at gerrymandering because of the nature of they. They can literally get down to the precinct level you what I just said, not the district or the word level the precinct level and divide and divide up the electorate in a way that benefits one party or the other to set the rules for the algorithm is what I was thinking. We. Computers can do it better. Let's take another call here. Jim is calling from Akron, Ohio, Jim, you're on the air. Thank you for taking my call. I live in northern some account. That's the Akron, Ohio area. And we, of course, have a Republican governor and a Republican congress, and they three years ago they came over and took no the northern some county, which was a democratic area, and we now have a Republican, congressman re Rene see, and it was all gerrymander. That's how they got us and we lost our our democratic congressman. May I may go ahead. Tell you wanna make a point about this elections have consequences, and what happened in two thousand and ten in the tea party election was not just that the. Republicans picked up sixty three house seats or put it another way. The Democrats lost sixty three house seats, but that they took over state legislatures. I think the number now and I may be off is thirty six state legislatures in which the Republicans control the state legislatures. Both houses and you can see what that means in states. Not every state does has it done by law, but when you get all these Republican governors and Republican state lawmakers in state after state after state, that has a huge difference on writing the laws..