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Virtual Gerrymandering

Assign House (of Commons) Districts Ideologically, not Geographically
  [vote for,

I think that these days, peoples' opinions are reflected in what online community they mentally live in, not what geographical community they physically live in. I think that political representation should reflect this.

To bring back some of the political experience of a "city", I propose "Virtual Geography" in which people can form virtual city- states and have House (of Commons) representation based on membership in those states. In other words, city- dwellers would join "internet forums" and for each census each city-dweller would have to report a single "internet forum" where they reside on the Internet. Then, representative districts would be drawn up or "gerrymandered" in a way that (hopefully) placed like- minded people into districts. Free of geographic constraints, this "gerrymandering" process seems like it would more closely approximate people's actual opinions, since Internet Forums can be grouped into ideologically- similar "virtual representative districts" without the limitations of geography.

This plan would increase the diversity of political discussion, by assigning representatives to speak for people who are a distinct City or State but who are geographically dispersed.

Travel to faraway cities used to take weeks or months. As a result, cities had more of a unique character: accent, dress, customs, and identity. Also, people tended to have more blood relatives living close by. Hundreds of years ago, representation based on geography made sense.

The shift from small agricultural towns to large cities, and the high frequency of movement within cities, means that "cities" these days are often purely economic zones which are more or less the same anywhere in the world, with the same fashions, the same coffee shops, and the same traffic. As a result, the representatives elected by the cities tend to be similar too.

This change to virtual cities would increase the variety of political opinions in the House (of Commons), and each representative would be backed by a virtual city of voters who agree fairly closely with the representative's platform. Instead of a choice between two parties, each voter would have the choice to join one of possibly hundreds of "virtual cities" each with a unique platform. The representatives elected by these cities would still need to vote for one of the two parties, but they could at least speak for their supporters' unique views.

sninctown, Aug 15 2020


       Would this not risk voters' decisions actually influencing the political process ?   

       Are you quite mad ?
8th of 7, Aug 15 2020

       I was thinking in a similar way: instead of "local rep", just have the pool of hopeful politicians (all around the country), and you vote for the one you want in the government, regardless of where they actually live.
This idea requires joining a virtual society; other than this one, I mostly don't want to...
Hmm... a halfbaked politician... probably WKTE.
neutrinos_shadow, Aug 15 2020

       This sounds really familiar.
pertinax, Aug 16 2020

       This idea is not an "open primary" or a "national popular vote", both of which prevent third-party representatives from being elected to office.   

       This idea is to update census boundaries to reflect the reality that what really matters is the location of a person's mind in virtual space, not the location of their body in physical space. In other words, to assign Representatives to each "virtual district". This would encourage democratic debate, as every representative would be backed by a like-minded Internet forum, and every voter would have a representative that actually represented their home and community. I talk to my Internet community every day, and I rarely talk to my neighbors. It's time for census boundaries to reflect this new reality.
sninctown, Aug 16 2020

       Better perhaps to go the other direction, have constituencies defined geographically, so that each 1000km square returned one representative. That would get rid of most of those pesky urban opinions that blight politics.
pocmloc, Aug 16 2020

       How can you blight something that's already a blight in itself ?
8th of 7, Aug 16 2020

       Politics exist wherever there's more than one person. Saying that politics is a blight in itself is like saying that weather is a blight in itself.   

       Yes, we know, that subjectively you don't like people. But it's boring when you pretend that this corresponds to an objective condition. Could you just stop scratching that itch for a bit? It only gets inflamed and then leaves another nasty scar.
pertinax, Aug 16 2020

       If everyone was nice the world would be a better place.
pocmloc, Aug 16 2020

       Bun for at least putting some thought into a better way to handle the ongoing political challenges we all share. Exploration and discussion of alternatives to the way we do things currently is always a nice change from the screeching "Our side is all good and always right about everything 100 percent of the time and their side is all bad and always wrong everything 100 percent of the time." rhetoric.
doctorremulac3, Aug 16 2020


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