What is this blog about?

What is this blog about?

I am a political philosopher. My 'political philosophy' is a form of 'liberal egalitarianism.' So in this blog I reflect on various issues in political philosophy and politics (especially Canadian and American politics) from a liberal egalitarian perspective.

If you are curious about what I mean by 'liberal egalitarianism,' my views are strongly influenced by the conception of justice advanced by John Rawls. (So I sometimes refer to myself as a 'Rawlsian,' even though I disagree with Rawls on some matters.)

Astonishingly, I am paid to write and teach moral and political philosophy. I somehow manage to do this despite my akratic nature. Here is my faculty profile.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Is democracy coming to Wisconsin?

Finally, some good news for the sorry state of Wisconsin:
A federal court has ruled Wisconsin’s Republican-drawn legislative map unconstitutional, saying the plan constitutes a partisan gerrymander. 
In a 2-1 decision from a special panel of federal judges, authored by federal Judge Kenneth Ripple, the court agreed with a group of Democratic plaintiffs that the redistricting plan had systematically diluted the voting strength of Democratic voters.
(From Wisconsin's NPR website: "Wisconsin's GOP-Drawn Legislative Districts Unconstitutional." More information available at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.)

Thank Crom!


Key to the decision was this:
The Democrats contend that they have found a way to measure unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders that are designed to give an extreme and durable advantage in elections to one party, a measure that the U.S. Supreme Court has said it was lacking. The measure, called the efficiency gap, shows how cracking (breaking up blocs of Democratic voters) and packing (concentrating Democrats within certain districts) results in wasted votes -- excess votes for one party in safe districts and votes for losing candidates in those safe districts.
(From the Wisconsin State Journal.)

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