Monday, 26 March 2018

cracking and packing

The term for establishing a political advantage for a partisan group by manipulating the boundary delimitations of electoral precincts known as gerrymandering saw its minting originally on this day in 1812 with a political cartoon by engraver and illustrator Elkanah Tisdale run in the newspaper Boston Gazette.
The caricature of a map of the districts of South Essex of the state of Massachusetts threated by a monster, a legendary salamander of medieval bestiaries—rendering what’s known as a persuasive map—was prompted by Governor Elbridge Gerry’s decision to redraw the area’s balloting zones to tilt favour towards the controlling senatorial party, the Democratic-Republicans. The portmanteau entered common-parlance by 1848 and occasionally other political bosses earn the suffix –mander for forwarding similar agendas. Incidentally, the Federalists, who advocated for a stronger central government, won the election and Gerry and his cronies were unseated though Essex county remained under Democratic-Republican control.