Thursday, 9 December 2010

Our Houston Problem

Redistricting is an art and science....if you didn't know.  When folks have been hired to do the statisics and they can show an unusually drawn line around four counties....comprising 2 percent of one county, 44 percent of another, 16 percent of another, and finally 80 percent of the fourth county...can equal a 55 percent vote for the Republicans....or the Democrats....you have to be impressed.

When they can sit and do the same numbers and say that a Latino voter is likely to carry 55 percent of the vote because of the population in the numbers collected....you have to be impressed.

When they can say that a over-60 dimwitted ex-car deal can carry 55 percent of the vote because of the population in the numbers collected....you have to be impressed.

So today, Mayor Annise Parker of Houston had a question thrown at her during a press conference in Houston.

There's this rumor in Houston that some smart guys have the numbers and they are carving up a new district in Houston....which will cater to a heavily gay population in that district....you have to be impressed.

The mayor....who happens to be a lesbian, was a bit disturbed that this question from the press came up, and she said "enough" after just a couple of questions, and then left the room.

I sat and pondered over the numbers.  How would you scientifically gather enough data to say that a gay population exists when carved out of a city?  Could you pick twelve city blocks and feel confident that such a population existed there?  How would you even ask the questions to get a poll that you could trust?  Would you just walk up to the arts district and assume a quarter of the folks who live in that part of town are simply gay?

Some parts of this story don't make alot of sense.  If true, then why don't the bondage guys get together and demand their city council representation?  Why not the drunk rednecks of south Houston asking for special representation?  Why not the Catholic Latinos wanting to get their own representation?  At some point, you really need to back off this concept of special districts.  Life is difficult as it is, and you are simply compounding the problem.

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