|Re: Single Member Districts|
Poster: Runfellow Posted: 2012/8/15 1:20:59
The full abstract from that study:
Scholars continue to debate the degree to which electoral institutions matter for representation. The literature predicts that minorities beneﬁt from districts while women beneﬁt from at-large elections. The mechanisms by which institutions affect the ability of traditionally underrepresented groups to win seats have been understudied. Using an analysis of over 7,000 cities and interviews with city councilors, we ﬁnd that compared to at-large systems, district systems can increase diversity only when underrepresented groups are highly concentrated and compose a substantial portion of the population. In addition,we ﬁnd that the electoral system has a signiﬁcant effect on representation only for African American male and white female councilors; the proportion of African American women and Latina councilors is not affected by the use of either district or at-large systems.
Anything is worth discussing, but pulling a random out-of-context quote to make an indirect point doesn't help. If anything, Denton's four single-member districts plus two at large is a fair compromise. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out that even with districts there are going to be social divides. Everybody knows the differences between district 1 and district 4. At the end of the day, though, the members have to work together to create a better city, not simply focus on a particular area. The city council should not be another legislative congress; that's an invitation for disaster.