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[DRAFT] Drawing a Line

A place to spoil daily issues for those who haven't had them yet, snigger at typos, and discuss ideas for new ones.
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Akkoro
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[DRAFT] Drawing a Line

Postby Akkoro » Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:05 pm

As you may know, US state governments are currently redrawing their voting maps based on the 2020 census. This go-around's shaping up to be a fun one- we already have state governments drawing openly partisan maps in secret meetings, state governments insisting that their new proposed maps are fine because they're just as corrupt as the current maps, state governments being sued for making intentionally discriminatory maps, and conservative organizations suing to try and get state supreme courts to draw new maps for them because they say the current maps aren't aggressive enough. Surprisingly, I couldn't find an existing gerrymandering issue- 524 isn't really about gerrymandering per se.

Drawing a Line

Validity: 524.4, democracy, no proportional representation, high corruption.

Description
This election's results are in, and thanks to aggressive partisan redistricting, your party managed to increase its majority despite only winning a quarter of the vote. While your most fervent loyalists are celebrating, some are concerned by your declining popular support.

Option 1
"Our electoral system's less fair than those scandal allegations coming out about me, which, by the way, never happened," says Paulo T. Ishan, representative from a district shaped like a briefcase with @@A@@ @@CURRENCY@@ sign on it. "And people are catching on. If we don't do anything, the public's going to eventually run us out of office. But if we make the maps more fair, the public's just going to vote us out! The best solution is to pin the blame on an otherwise clean scapegoat who's planning to resign soon anyway for personal reasons, such as myself. Then, you can pledge to repair the damage I allegedly caused while just manipulating things more subtly. Just to be clear: I'm talking about the redistricting, not the scandals, which didn't happen.

Effect: the government insists that @@LEADER@@'s unpopular decisions are caused by interns with mind control powers

Option 2
"Regarding scandals, same here. Never happened. Especially not with someone who looks like that," asserts your Minister of the Interior, while glancing at your secretary. "Regarding redistricting, I think the only way we can come out on top is if we press our advantage while we still have it. Make the maps even more favorable and start cracking down on political opposition. Make it as hard as possible for the opposition to gain seats. Boost police funding and have them break up any protests. At the end of the day, so long as we stay in power, does it really matter how we get there?"

Effect: electoral districts are often shaped like campaign slogans

Option 3
"It definitely matters! More corruption isn't the answer!" exclaims opposition voter @@RANDOMNAME@@, who's only in this meeting because @@HE@@'s friends with your niece. "Politics should have no place in the redistricting process. Redistricting should be led by an independent commission with frequent public hearings to ensure that people's voices are being heard. If an affected citizen has concerns, the commission must address them. Now, I know that changing the entire system might be a bit costly. Fortunately, I have some connections in the banking industry that can give you enough credit to get the job done. Just have your cabinet give me their routing numbers and we'll take it from there."

Effect: voters are assigned to districts based on their favorite sports teams
Last edited by Akkoro on Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Akkoro
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Postby Akkoro » Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:07 pm

Reserved for drafts.

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:09 am

This looks like it's basically gerrymandering?

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Akkoro
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Postby Akkoro » Thu Oct 28, 2021 11:51 am

Trotterdam wrote:This looks like it's basically gerrymandering?

524's premise is that historically unchanged districts no longer reflective of current politics are causing problems (not gerrymandering). Gerrymandering only comes up in option 4; this issue would be a follow-up to that.

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Outer Sparta
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Postby Outer Sparta » Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:53 pm

Akkoro wrote:
Trotterdam wrote:This looks like it's basically gerrymandering?

524's premise is that historically unchanged districts no longer reflective of current politics are causing problems (not gerrymandering). Gerrymandering only comes up in option 4; this issue would be a follow-up to that.

Is your premise essentially based on partisan gerrymandering, which is basically drawing lines on the basis of benefitting a certain political party? I'm not sure if there's already an issue that covers partisan gerrymandering, but it would be a good one if it's not already in the game.
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Akkoro
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Postby Akkoro » Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:57 pm

Outer Sparta wrote:
Akkoro wrote:524's premise is that historically unchanged districts no longer reflective of current politics are causing problems (not gerrymandering). Gerrymandering only comes up in option 4; this issue would be a follow-up to that.

Is your premise essentially based on partisan gerrymandering, which is basically drawing lines on the basis of benefitting a certain political party? I'm not sure if there's already an issue that covers partisan gerrymandering, but it would be a good one if it's not already in the game.

Yeah, that's right. I couldn't find any existing issues on partisan gerrymandering (but I'm clearly not very good at that sort of thing :p ).

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Outer Sparta
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Postby Outer Sparta » Thu Oct 28, 2021 1:00 pm

Akkoro wrote:
Outer Sparta wrote:Is your premise essentially based on partisan gerrymandering, which is basically drawing lines on the basis of benefitting a certain political party? I'm not sure if there's already an issue that covers partisan gerrymandering, but it would be a good one if it's not already in the game.

Yeah, that's right. I couldn't find any existing issues on partisan gerrymandering (but I'm clearly not very good at that sort of thing :p ).

I do agree that 524 deals with redistricting with only one option alluding to gerrymandering. However, given the number of issues that deal with electoral districts, representation, and the like, I am still not sure if there is already an issue based on partisan gerrymandering. The editors have that expertise with knowing what issues are already in the game, but even so, you should continue working on this draft as the idea and premise is good.
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Akkoro
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Postby Akkoro » Thu Oct 28, 2021 1:11 pm

Outer Sparta wrote:
Akkoro wrote:Yeah, that's right. I couldn't find any existing issues on partisan gerrymandering (but I'm clearly not very good at that sort of thing :p ).

I do agree that 524 deals with redistricting with only one option alluding to gerrymandering. However, given the number of issues that deal with electoral districts, representation, and the like, I am still not sure if there is already an issue based on partisan gerrymandering. The editors have that expertise with knowing what issues are already in the game, but even so, you should continue working on this draft as the idea and premise is good.

Thanks! Any comments on the writing itself?

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Outer Sparta
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Postby Outer Sparta » Thu Oct 28, 2021 1:45 pm

Akkoro wrote:
Outer Sparta wrote:I do agree that 524 deals with redistricting with only one option alluding to gerrymandering. However, given the number of issues that deal with electoral districts, representation, and the like, I am still not sure if there is already an issue based on partisan gerrymandering. The editors have that expertise with knowing what issues are already in the game, but even so, you should continue working on this draft as the idea and premise is good.

Thanks! Any comments on the writing itself?

You could have one of the speakers comment on the strange electoral district shapes, like even mentioning that one of them looks like "the mangled feces of a @@ANIMAL@@" or "a snake biting a person on a skateboard."
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Akkoro
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Postby Akkoro » Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:52 pm

Outer Sparta wrote:
Akkoro wrote:Thanks! Any comments on the writing itself?

You could have one of the speakers comment on the strange electoral district shapes, like even mentioning that one of them looks like "the mangled feces of a @@ANIMAL@@" or "a snake biting a person on a skateboard."

Those are good, but I'm concerned about using the same kind of joke too many times. The current draft already has "a district shaped like a briefcase with @@A@@ @@CURRENCY@@ sign on it" and "electoral districts are often shaped like campaign slogans." That said, if others think your examples are funnier (which they probably are, to be honest), I'll gladly use them instead (if that's alright with you).

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Outer Sparta
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Postby Outer Sparta » Thu Oct 28, 2021 3:02 pm

Akkoro wrote:
Outer Sparta wrote:You could have one of the speakers comment on the strange electoral district shapes, like even mentioning that one of them looks like "the mangled feces of a @@ANIMAL@@" or "a snake biting a person on a skateboard."

Those are good, but I'm concerned about using the same kind of joke too many times. The current draft already has "a district shaped like a briefcase with @@A@@ @@CURRENCY@@ sign on it" and "electoral districts are often shaped like campaign slogans." That said, if others think your examples are funnier (which they probably are, to be honest), I'll gladly use them instead (if that's alright with you).

You can definitely use my examples in place of the existing ones if you think they are funnier or better. I just wanted to point out the weird shapes that come out in many partisan gerrymandering cases (which is not always the case, but the more nondescript shapes tend to be the most extreme partisan gerrymanders in any state).
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Thu Oct 28, 2021 6:03 pm

Akkoro wrote:524's premise is that historically unchanged districts no longer reflective of current politics are causing problems (not gerrymandering). Gerrymandering only comes up in option 4; this issue would be a follow-up to that.
524's premise is that district borders make no sense, with answers being:
1. Redraw the borders so they make more sense.
2. Switch to proportional representation so that we don't have this problem.
3. Keep the borders as they are.
4. Redraw the borders so they deliberately still don't make sense, but in a way that benefits us.
If a nation actually chooses option 4, I don't see how "surprise! this is corrupt!" is a meaningful followup. It's just exactly what you thought you would happen when you selected that option actually happening.

Akkoro wrote:However, given the number of issues that deal with electoral districts,
The only other one I can find is #775 option 2, where it really isn't the main point.

There appear to be several issues which mention "voting district"s or "electoral district"s in passing without those really being all that important to the narrative, which makes me wonder how those issues behave if you have proportional representation.

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Akkoro
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Postby Akkoro » Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:26 pm

Trotterdam wrote:
Akkoro wrote:524's premise is that historically unchanged districts no longer reflective of current politics are causing problems (not gerrymandering). Gerrymandering only comes up in option 4; this issue would be a follow-up to that.
524's premise is that district borders make no sense, with answers being:
1. Redraw the borders so they make more sense.
2. Switch to proportional representation so that we don't have this problem.
3. Keep the borders as they are.
4. Redraw the borders so they deliberately still don't make sense, but in a way that benefits us.
If a nation actually chooses option 4, I don't see how "surprise! this is corrupt!" is a meaningful followup. It's just exactly what you thought you would happen when you selected that option actually happening.

The followup is less "surprise! this is corrupt!" and more "surprise! your corrupt decision could spell disaster politically!"

Trotterdam wrote:
Akkoro wrote:However, given the number of issues that deal with electoral districts,
The only other one I can find is #775 option 2, where it really isn't the main point.

Alright. Thanks for trawling through old issues! You really didn't have to do that. :blush:

Trotterdam wrote:There appear to be several issues which mention "voting district"s or "electoral district"s in passing without those really being all that important to the narrative, which makes me wonder how those issues behave if you have proportional representation.

That's interesting. Perhaps "voter in x district" could be construed to mean "voter in x local government constituency" or similar in these cases?

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:50 pm

Akkoro wrote:The followup is less "surprise! this is corrupt!" and more "surprise! your corrupt decision could spell disaster politically!"
So it's more about "the public caught you being corrupt, how do you save face?"? That's not really anything to do with gerrymandering, it can apply to any form of corruption.

Akkoro wrote:That's interesting. Perhaps "voter in x district" could be construed to mean "voter in x local government constituency" or similar in these cases?
#594 explicitly talks about a cabinet member from that district, so the premise as written doesn't make sense under proportional voting. It looks like the editors were aware of the and the issue indeed doesn't get assigned to nations with proportional representation. (Nations with proportional voting could still have local elections for local positions, but it would have to be a position affecting a very small number of people - say, the mayor of a tiny village - for ties to have a serious chance of occurring.)

#578 claims that "our arms industry employs people in every one of your marginal electoral districts", which implies that marginal electoral districts are more politically valuable than non-marginal ones, an absurdity that only manifests in nations with district representation. I think this one could do with an alternate wording for nations with proportional representation, although this isn't the right place to discuss that.

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Akkoro
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Postby Akkoro » Fri Oct 29, 2021 9:42 am

Trotterdam wrote:
Akkoro wrote:The followup is less "surprise! this is corrupt!" and more "surprise! your corrupt decision could spell disaster politically!"
So it's more about "the public caught you being corrupt, how do you save face?"? That's not really anything to do with gerrymandering, it can apply to any form of corruption.

I'm not quite certain what you mean here. The draft as written is a follow-up to corruption through gerrymandering.

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Outer Sparta
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Postby Outer Sparta » Fri Oct 29, 2021 9:47 am

Trotterdam wrote:
Akkoro wrote:The followup is less "surprise! this is corrupt!" and more "surprise! your corrupt decision could spell disaster politically!"
So it's more about "the public caught you being corrupt, how do you save face?"? That's not really anything to do with gerrymandering, it can apply to any form of corruption.

Akkoro wrote:That's interesting. Perhaps "voter in x district" could be construed to mean "voter in x local government constituency" or similar in these cases?
#594 explicitly talks about a cabinet member from that district, so the premise as written doesn't make sense under proportional voting. It looks like the editors were aware of the and the issue indeed doesn't get assigned to nations with proportional representation. (Nations with proportional voting could still have local elections for local positions, but it would have to be a position affecting a very small number of people - say, the mayor of a tiny village - for ties to have a serious chance of occurring.)

#578 claims that "our arms industry employs people in every one of your marginal electoral districts", which implies that marginal electoral districts are more politically valuable than non-marginal ones, an absurdity that only manifests in nations with district representation. I think this one could do with an alternate wording for nations with proportional representation, although this isn't the right place to discuss that.

Those only cover about members in those districts, but I don't think any of them alludes to partisan gerrymandering at all. Even though marginal districts are more valuable, you want as many non-marginal districts that favor your party (even some gerrymandering tactics involve cracking a stronghold of the opposition party, and you also have to take into consideration of how to waste the vote of your opposition).
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Fri Oct 29, 2021 5:41 pm

Akkoro wrote:
Trotterdam wrote:So it's more about "the public caught you being corrupt, how do you save face?"? That's not really anything to do with gerrymandering, it can apply to any form of corruption.
I'm not quite certain what you mean here. The draft as written is a follow-up to corruption through gerrymandering.
The proposed solutions are "pin the blame on a scapegoat" and "boost police funding and have them break up any protests", neither of which inherently has anything to do with gerrymandering. The only option that's really specifically about gerrymandering and wouldn't apply to other forms of corruption is the last one, which says "stop gerrymandering" - but that's reversing the choice that the player explicitly made just one issue ago, which is generally bad design in a chain issue.

For a generic anti-corruption issue, it seems like a shame to limit it to the small fraction of nations that chose one specific issue option, and at the same time I don't feel that gerrymandering is so dramatically more corrupt than all the other corrupt things that NationStates lets you do that it should cause such a huge public relationship disaster to warrant immediately receiving this issue.

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Outer Sparta
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Postby Outer Sparta » Sun Oct 31, 2021 3:34 pm

Trotterdam wrote:
Akkoro wrote:I'm not quite certain what you mean here. The draft as written is a follow-up to corruption through gerrymandering.
The proposed solutions are "pin the blame on a scapegoat" and "boost police funding and have them break up any protests", neither of which inherently has anything to do with gerrymandering. The only option that's really specifically about gerrymandering and wouldn't apply to other forms of corruption is the last one, which says "stop gerrymandering" - but that's reversing the choice that the player explicitly made just one issue ago, which is generally bad design in a chain issue.

For a generic anti-corruption issue, it seems like a shame to limit it to the small fraction of nations that chose one specific issue option, and at the same time I don't feel that gerrymandering is so dramatically more corrupt than all the other corrupt things that NationStates lets you do that it should cause such a huge public relationship disaster to warrant immediately receiving this issue.

I feel like gerrymandering concerns are highly downplayed in terms of corruption. Letting politicians pick their voters (instead of the other way around) is very corrupt and undermines what a democracy is supposed to be. If a state legislature has a 50-50 popular vote split but one party wins 80% of seats, that's basically rigging the entire electoral system and instituting authoritarian democracy.
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