The topic of gerrymandering has become a topic of interest in the last year. ‘Gerrymandering’ refers to the process of strategic line-drawing of representative districts within states. It tends to favor the chances of one political party over another – or to favor both major parties at the expense of independents.
Gerrymandering can lead to implicit or explicit corruption in government, in part by insulating influential special interest groups and coalitions from political competition.
Most recently, on October 7, contributor Joshua Alvarez authored an article titled “What the Government Needs to Do to Improve Transparency.” Alvarez cited the origin of the term gerrymandering, dating to Elbridge Gerry, an early US vice president (under James Madison).
Apparently, as governor of Massachusetts, Gerry signed legislation leading to some complicated Massachusetts districts, albeit reluctantly. One writer later talked about how they looked like a ‘salamander,’ leading to the ‘gerrymander’ term.