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Legislative Districting

Lowenstein, Daniel Hayes (1989) Legislative Districting. Social Science Working Paper, 701. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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America never knew the rotten boroughs that John Locke called "gross absurdities" and condemned as being incompatible with the right of equal representation (Locke, 1812, at 433). Rotten boroughs were towns "of which there remain[ed] not so much as the ruins, where scarce so much housing as a sheepcote, or more inhabitants than a shepherd [were] to be found, [but that sent] as many representatives to the grand assembly of law-makers, as a whole county numerous in people, and powerful in riches" (id., at 432). The United States did inherit from Britain the so-called Westminster system, in which legislators are elected, usually one apiece, from geographically defined districts, with the candidate receiving the most votes declared the winner. Perhaps the system was inevitable in a time with neither full-fledged political parties nor modem devices of transportation and communication. In any event, the system has been permanently embedded in American political thought and practice.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:701
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170905-131623600
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81141
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:05 Sep 2017 22:52
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:39

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