Gerrymandering is an old American tradition. It started back in 1812 in Massachusettes when legislators sent Governor Gerry a bill that re-drew legisltaive districts to favor one party. A commentator thought the new legislative map looked like a salamander Gerry signed the bill, and it became known as the “Gerrymander”.
Since then, political parties have done this whenever they have had the chance. And the 2010 gerrymandering after the Repulbican electoral victories was perhaps the most blatant ever.
The result — when a district is drawn up to guarantee that it is composed of a marjoirty of one party, politicians no longer need to worry about getting re-elected. And they don’t. As a result, they tend to cater to parochial party interests. They can be “primaried” out (as Tea Party candidates have done to some Republicans) but generally not voted out. This is one of the reasons Repubicans are stuck further right than some of them may want to be —- they are afraid of getting primaried out by nutty activists.
The US Supreme Court has agreed to review a case where gerrymandering was struck down. Wow! That could be a very, very bid deal.