Topics in Political Geography • Political culture • Electoral geography • Gerrymandering • Political iconography
Would you expect to see the equivalent warning in the US?Why not? “SMOKING KILLS”
Political Culture varies from place to place • In Europe individual welfare is placed above the interests of companies and economic growth • In the US companies and economic growth are favored even when it adversely affects individual health, safety and welfare • Americans value “freedom” but tend to overlook ways in which collective choices impinge on individual freedom, leaving people to their own (unequal) resources
map of political cultures in the U.S. • Source: Daniel Elazar • Traditionalistic: • Family-based social order (patriarchal, anti-gov., racial hierarchy) • Individualistic: • Pressure-group politics • Moralistic: • Government as legitimate protector of the public good • Ethnic: • Government as protector of ethnic identity
Political culture region (formal) • Goldwater was a conservative Republican who called for less government, a strong military, and the end of federal welfare programs; he lost to Johnson. • Wallace was a defender of racial segregation and personally stood in the way of Black students who were attempting to attend the University of Alabama
Barry Goldwater quotes • “The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government.” • “A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.” • “You've got to forget about this civilian. Whenever you drop bombs, you're going to hit civilians.” • “I could have ended the war in a month. I could have made North Vietnam look like a mud puddle.”
George Wallace quotes • “I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” • “I've read about foreign policy and studied -- I know the number of continents.”
George Wallace’s 1963 speech at the University of Alabama • The unwelcomed, unwanted, unwarranted and force-induced intrusion upon the campus of the University of Alabama today of the might of the Central Government offers frightful example of the oppression of the rights, privileges and sovereignty of this State by officers of the Federal Government. This intrusion results solely from force, or threat of force, undignified by any reasonable application of the principle of law, reason and justice. It is important that the people of this State and nation understand that this action is in violation of rights reserved to the State by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Alabama. While some few may applaud these acts, millions of Americans will gaze in sorrow upon the situation existing at this great institution of learning. • Only the Congress makes the law of the United States. To this date no statutory authority can be cited to the people of this Country which authorizes the Central Government to ignore the sovereignty of this State in an attempt to subordinate the rights of Alabama and millions of Americans. There has been no legislative action by Congress justifying this intrusion.
George Wallace’s 1963 speech at the University of Alabama • When the Constitution of the United States was enacted, a government was formed upon the premise that people, as individuals are endowed with the rights of life, liberty, and property, and with the right of self-government. The people and their local self-governments formed a Central Government and conferred upon it certain stated and limited powers. All other powers were reserved to the states and to the people. • Strong local government is the foundation of our system and must be continually guarded and maintained. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: • "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
Voting patterns • Voting patterns reveal political culture regions, such as the South • These are a type of formal culture region • Political culture links to attitudes about authority, in general, which in turn ties in to attitudes about gender roles
Education Funding Aside: What is your judgment of the cartographic quality of this thematic map?
The 1956 Presidential Election Rep. Rep. Dem.
The 1960 Presidential Election Rep. Dem. Dem.
The 1964 Presidential Election Dem. Dem. Rep.
The 1968 Presidential Election Rep. Dem. Indep.
The 1972 Presidential Election Rep. Rep. Rep.
The 1976 Presidential Election Rep. Dem. Dem.
The 1980 Presidential Election Rep. Dem. Rep. Rep.
The 1984 Presidential Election Rep. Dem. Rep.
The 1988 Presidential Election Dem. Dem. Rep.
The 1992 Presidential Election Dem. Dem. Rep. Rep.
The 1996 Presidential Election Similar to Goldwater pattern Dem. Dem. Rep.
The 2000 Presidential Election Dem. Dem. Sim. to Goldwater pattern Rep.
2004 presidential election Why was Bush’s lead less clear-cut than it looks here? From: http://www.electoral-vote.com/index.html
Electoral vote cartogram Population determines electoral votes High population density in NE/Midwest and low population density in non-coastal West led to a close race How could this map be more informative? From: http://www.electoral-vote.com/index.html
Is this a chicken that got steam-rollered?? No. Guess again! Cartogram divided by county and colored according to a set of classifications (rather than just red/blue or continuous shading)
What do the parties stand for? It’s not always how it seems!
Clinton Bush Reagan Bush
Strongholds • What appear to be the Democratic and Republican strongholds in the US? • Does scale affect your answer? • What regions have realigned themselves?
Regional Political Culture • The US contains a variety of political cultures • These cultures are formed by a range of different attitudes on racial issues, women’s rights, taxation, authority, etc. • These cultures shape election outcomes, but aside from “strongholds” most states will occasionally break out of their normal pattern in response to a popular presidential candidate • Currently the West Coast, Northeast, and Upper Midwest are at odds with the South and the “Continental West” • The state level of aggregation misses much of the variation in political culture between rural and urban America
Term “gerrymander” was coined in an 1811 political cartoon mocking a Massachusetts districting scheme carried out under Governor Elbridge Gerry Source: Fellman, Getis & Getis Human Geography
gerrymandering • Many people disapprove of gerrymandering in principle • In practice, gerrymanders come from both dominant and oppressed groups • guarantees minority representatives in legislative bodies • simultaneously reduces the influence of minority voters on the selection of non-minority representatives • tests implicit assumptions about communities of interest in democratic politics • in essence, it reveals a tug-of-war between place-based definitions of "community" and ethnic definitions of "community"
gerrymandering • The project in your discussion section will illustrate a few basic ideas • Districting has a MASSIVE impact on the outcome of the democratic process • Whoever draws the jurisdictional boundaries can tilt the balance of power in their favor unless they are greatly outnumbered • Clustered groups are most vulnerable to gerrymandering • Long, thin districts with convoluted (wiggly) borders are a telltale sign of gerrymandering
Politics of Redistricting • Republicans took control of TX state legislature in 2002 (with some illegal funding methods), then in 2003 with the aid of House Majority Leader Tom Delay they redrew the US congressional boundaries according to a plan explicitly designed to strengthen Republicans and weaken Democrats • Democrats tried to stop this by every means possible (including the unconventional tactic of leaving the state en masse) but they failed to stop the redistricting • This redistricting amounted to a gerrymander that helped the GOP retain its nationwide majority in the US House of Representatives • Delay was forced to resign in 2006 for involvement in money laundering and conspiracy • More info on the gerrymander • More info on Delay Tom Delay
Why are the boundaries drawn this way? • Look for clues in the demographics of these areas • Specifically, look in American FactFinder accessible from the US Census website