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Following on from the last piece on the problems of Gerrymandered Districts and America’s  Democratic Deficit I thought I’d share my top ten hits in the Gerrymandered Districts chart.

Now this is by no means every single example of a gerrymandered district, that would take too long and be too depressing for words.  This isn’t a politically scientific top ten either. Its not even a swath of novel districts -some you may know already.  It just my choice of the best and most egregious, the ones that simply offend me the most.   

It’s a game you can play too.  All the districts shown here are from the National Map site.  You can explore on your own.  Maybe you can find ones even worse!  Maybe you would elevate Travis County Texas which I place as “merely” highly commended, but these are mine.

Starting off at ten, lets have North Carolina-12, a classic little racially packed number.

Contrast this with our number nine, by contrast a nice little safe Democrat district at California-23.

Riding in at number eight is Texas-22 . Stretching and spreading certainly … but somehow just not quite exuberant enough.

Next in at seven California-38 is a fine, strong, mature piece of electoral chicanery, with this example of Bi-partisan Incumbent Gerrymander.  Didn’t hurt Grace Napolitano (D) one little bit.  Gave her a crap reputation like, but what the hell she got in.

How?  Well just look at it.  The additional advantages strange shapes give incumbents are the increased costs for the challengers from the simple and mundane of mileage and advertising onwards.  The incumbent, constituency packed,  majority protected, is a cert for the funding and so less concerned with these costs.

Arizona -2.   Yes! An ever popular one this, and always in everyone’s top ten.  A delightful  Native American racial packer this has to be number six.  For me its the umbilical that marks this out as just plain classic.  Beautiful.

And whilst we are at it, here at number five,  still managing to technically remain within the rules is Maryland-2.  I’m sure you will be amused by its pretentions.  To democracy that is.

Getting serious now we meet number four.  Wow! Look how it dribbles out to those tiny little streets and just sticks them all together.  How blatant can you get?  Its just so in your face.  Yes it’s got to be Florida 23!

Top three now and we are really looking for something special here.  And the American Political System is not going to disappoint us with number three.  A big hand please for Illinois-17.

Number Two.  Well what can I say?  Maryland-3.   Majestic.  The true work of a master in collusion, deception, and downright underhanded social engineering.  If only the Soviets had known of him the order of Lenin beckoned .

And now we have it.  Number one not simply for its sheer effrontery and complete chutzpah, but for achieving all its vicious deviousness, with both genius and an eye for art.  Truly beautiful.  The District rendered as Rorschach-test-meets-butterflies.  I give you my favourite District- Illinois 4.

Copyright David Macadam 2011