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NBC晚间新闻附字幕:选区划分不公:政府职能失效的解药
日期:2013-10-15 15:08

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Gerrymandering: the recipe for dysfunctional government?

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选区划分不公:政府职能失效的解药?

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The age-old practice of politicians re-drawing Congressional districts to find friendly voters, or, gerrymandering, has allowed members of the House of Representatives from both sides of the aisle to stay in power regardless of public opinion. NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports.

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政客们通过古老做法重新绘制国会选区寻求友好的选民,或者不公正划分选区,使得两档的众议院成员可以不顾民意仍然掌权qZ0(.rmKXEZ-m,3[g。NBC的Kevin Tibbles报道+0T1]9(4~z#Tk

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We touched on this earlier, this current showdown and this current government shutdown traces its history back to a determined core of GOP house members who are vehemently against Obama Care and were willing to shut down the government because of it. These members happen to be from very conservative districts where they won by big margins, and their jobs are secure more or less. And in both parties, there are congressional districts that are set up by the states to keep the parties in power. But some believe if the system stays this way, our politics will kind of stay this way. I'll report on all of it tonight from NBC's Kevin Tibbles.

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You're willing to bring this country to its knees!

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reporter: Ever wonder how we got here?

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We did not elect a dictator. We elected a president.

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reporter: A good many fingers are pointing at this guy, founding father and Massachusetts governor El Ridge Gary drew this contorted district to ensure his party's victory in 1812. One political cartoonist likened it to a salamander. From that day on the practice of redrawing maps to find friendly voters has been known as Gerrymandering. North Carolina's 12th district looks like spilled coffee. Pennsylvania's 16th is flexing its muscles. And one commentator compared Maryland's third to a broken-winged terodactyl. And then there is this. They call it the earmuffs.

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You may think I'm zipping along an eight-lane highway, when in fact I'm traveling the single thread that links the two halves of the Illinois fourth congressional district.

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The control of the house of representatives would switch from the Democratic party to the Republicans.

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reporter: When Republicans won the majority of state houses in 2010, it ensured they would be redrawing the maps in those States. And lo and behold, it paid off in 2012. Nationwide, Democrats running for congress got 1.1 million more votes, but Republicans sent 33 more members to the house. But it's not just Republicans who draw safe districts. Democrats do it too. In 2012, both Republicans and Democrats had a paltry 15% approval rating, and yet 90% of house members were re-elected. We now created a system where politicians are choosing their voters more than voter are choosing their politicians.

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reporter: Mathmaticians using algorithms have proposed creating electoral maps based on geography and population to eliminate the politics. If we continue to have a system which allows ridiculous folks to be elected, then we're going to have a situation where government actually just literally does not function.

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reporter: And on day 14 of the government shutdown, some may argue that's exactly what's

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happening.

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Kevin Tibbles, NBC News, Illinois.

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重点单词
  • recipen. 食谱,秘诀,药方
  • willingadj. 愿意的,心甘情愿的
  • eliminatev. 除去,剔除; 忽略
  • touchedadj. 受感动的 adj. 精神失常的
  • threadn. 线,细丝,线索,思路,螺纹 vt. 穿线于,穿过,
  • approvaln. 批准,认可,同意,赞同
  • conservativeadj. 保守的,守旧的 n. 保守派(党), 保守的人
  • democraticadj. 民主的,大众的,平等的
  • populationn. 人口 ,(全体)居民,人数
  • cartoonistn. 漫画家