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[翻译]U.S. HISTORY - What Is Gerrymandering, Why Is It Important?

更新时间:2018/12/31 8:28:10 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

“Gerrymander” is an old word for an idea that is still important today in the United States.

“Gerrymander”是一个关于想法的旧词,它对于今天的美国来说仍然非常重要。

The term was first used in 1812 by an artist who made pictures for a newspaper. The artist wanted to call attention to a strangely-shaped voting area in the state of Massachusetts. The area looked like an animal: a salamander, to be exact. It had a strange shape because Massachusetts officials made it that way to help the political party of the state’s governor, Elbridge Gerry. So the newspaper called the area a “Gerry-mander.”

这个术语是由一位为报社拍照的艺术家于1812年最先启用的。这位艺术家想要让人们注意到马萨诸塞州一个奇形怪状的选区,这个选区看上去像是一种动物,确切说像一只蝾螈。马萨诸塞州官员故意弄出这样的奇形怪状来帮助该州州长埃尔布里奇·格里( Elbridge Gerry )所在的政党。所以这家报纸把这个选区称为“格里蝾螈(Gerry-mander)”

Over time, many people exchanged the hard "g" for a soft "g." Today, creating a voting area for the purpose of helping a political party is commonly called “gerrymandering.” The issue remains in the news because politicians have a chance to re-create voting districts every 10 years, after the nation’s population is counted.

随着时间推移,很多人把重音的g改成了轻音的g。如今,为了帮助某政党而划分选区通常被称为“gerrymandering(不公正划分选区,这里的g读轻音)”。这个问题仍然存在于新闻中,因为每10年在国家统计人口之后,政党都有机会重新划分选区。

In most states, officials from the majority party change the boundaries of voting districts after the count is completed. Each area must have about the same number of people. But officials can group similar voters together. Or they can split up groups of like-minded voters to limit their power.

在大多数州,来自多数党的官员在人口统计后改划选区,每个选区的人数必须大致相同。但是官员们可以将同类选民分在一起,或者他们可以将观点类似的选民群体分散以限制他们的权力。

Critics of gerrymandering argue that the way a voting district is mapped strongly influences which party wins a race, especially races for the U.S. Congress. They say the custom is not democratic – it puts the interests of political parties over those of voters.

不公正划分选区的批判者认为,这种划分选区的办法会严重影响到哪个党派获胜,尤其是国会竞选。他们表示,这种习惯是不民主的,它把政党的利益置于选民的利益之上。

Some politicians defend the practice – especially when they are in the majority. They say gerrymandering is legal, part of the political process or not really an important issue. They also say the Constitution gives the power to create voting areas to state lawmakers.

一些政客则为这种做法辩护,尤其是当他们是多数党的时候。他们表示,不公正划分选区是合法的,这是政治过程的一部分,不是什么严重问题。他们还说,宪法把划分选区的权力交给了州议员。

Once again, critics object. They say the courts, including the Supreme Court, could and should step in.

批判者再次表示反对。他们称,包括最高法院在内的各级法院可以介入,而且应当介入。

I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.

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