Culture Vultures

John Hall johnhall@evergo.net
Wed, 15 May 2002 16:20:33 -0700


Well, if you hire me to fix it I'd prefer going back to the original 20K
people size districts and keeping winner take all.

Then let those people elect, using proxies and proportional
representation, a house.

You STILL need to get a majority somewhere.

Problems:
1) May make the legislature more efficient.
2) Smaller districts are easier to gerrymander.
3) The politicians would hate it.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: fork-admin@xent.com [mailto:fork-admin@xent.com] On Behalf Of
> Russell Turpin
> Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2002 4:11 PM
> To: fork@xent.com
> Subject: RE: Culture Vultures
> 
> John Hall:
> >Marginalizing marginal opinions far from the center
> >is a feature, not a bug.
> 
> Geographic apportionment doesn't merely marginalize
> opinions far from the center. It completely eliminates
> representation for a large proportion of the populace.
> There are many views held by a large fraction of
> voters that are completely absent in the House of
> "Representatives." And a large fraction of voters,
> perhaps a majority, feel there is no Congressman who
> is near their political stance, i.e., they are NOT
> represented. You may believe this is a feature, but
> if so, let's call it for what it is: a lack of
> representation. Since you are fond of recalling
> early US history, it is also worth pointing out
> that Congressional districts were smaller and
> political factions more geographically correlated
> in this nation's early history, allowing the House
> to be more representative than it is today.
> 
> I do believe checks and balances are important, and I
> would not want to see parliamentary government, where
> a single house elected by proportional representation
> puts together a government by coalition. But even if
> we were to use proportional representation to elect
> our (now mislabeled) representatives, that would not
> transform the US into a parliamentary government. The
> Senate would provide a geographically apportioned
> check in the legislative branch, and the President
> would still be selected by the electoral college.
> 
> 
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