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(The New Republic)   The issue coming out of Liz Cheney's Senate announcement that has the most actual relevance for the United States Government? We are once again given the chance to ponder why the hell Wyoming, a state with 2 esclalators, has 2 Senators at all   (newrepublic.com) divider line 220
    More: Followup, Liz Cheney, Wyoming, United States government, Alec MacGillis, constitutional convention, University of Wyoming  
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1169 clicks; posted to Politics » on 17 Jul 2013 at 5:04 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-17 01:50:15 PM
There's no reason they should have 2 Senators. But that's how our system was designed and we are stuck not only living with this horrible system, but teaching children to revere it. As you'll no doubt see in responses in this thread.
 
2013-07-17 01:54:49 PM
The founding fathers could agree whether representation in congress should be based on population or equal for each state....so they did both.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both notions. Two houses of congress was meant to balance those benefits and drawbacks.

It's not perfect but it (used to) work.
 
2013-07-17 01:56:39 PM
Ah yes, the whole "protecting the minority from the majority" is a great thing when you are in the minority.  However, when you are in the majority - fark that shiat.

Works out just fine.  This country shouldn't be run by CA, TX, FL and NY and I'm from TX.
 
2013-07-17 02:01:43 PM
Umm, just a guess, but I'm gonna say:  because the Constitution says so?
 
2013-07-17 02:02:13 PM

Cyberluddite: Umm, just a guess, but I'm gonna say:  because the Constitution says so?


Thanks, Aristotle.
 
2013-07-17 02:12:14 PM
One of em is for all the cattle
 
2013-07-17 02:13:44 PM
I don't think it's a terrible idea that there should be one house of Congress where each state has the same number of representatives.  But I don't think that Senators should count in determining the number of electoral votes for presidential elections, because that simply gives disproportionate power to hick states to determine who gets to be president.

California has over 38 million people, with 53 House members and 2 Senators, so we get 55 electoral votes.  Which means we get one EV for each 690,000 residents.  Wyoming has 576,000 residents, with 1 House member and 2 Senators, so they get 3 electoral votes, which means they get one EV for each 192,000 residents.  Each person in Wyoming's vote counts for about 3.5 Californians' votes.  If they based the distribution of electoral votes solely on House members, Wyoming would get one vote for each 576,000 residents, and California would get one for each 716,000 residents--still not 100% equal, but a hell of a lot closer.
 
2013-07-17 02:15:27 PM
Escalators, lol.

Gold, Jerry. Gold!!
 
2013-07-17 02:18:04 PM

Cyberluddite: I don't think it's a terrible idea that there should be one house of Congress where each state has the same number of representatives.


Oh, it's a terrible idea alright. Don't let that one off the hook.
 
2013-07-17 02:28:03 PM
Wyoming has a fifth the population of MY farkING BOROUGH.

bradkanus: Ah yes, the whole "protecting the minority from the majority" is a great thing when you are in the minority.  However, when you are in the majority - fark that shiat.

Works out just fine.  This country shouldn't be run by CA, TX, FL and NY and I'm from TX.


Those four states count for almost a third of this country';s entire population. We sure as fark should have a proportionate amount of representation instead of giving each lunatic in marginally more psychotic states the same political pull that thousands upon thousands of us have collectively.
 
2013-07-17 02:30:26 PM
Here's the question I'd have to ask. How low would a state's population have to go before everyone agreed we need to strip them of Senate representation? Like, what if something happened in Wyoming (let's say Yellowstone suffered a volcanic eruption) that reduced the population to 100K. Do they still deserve 2 Senators? How about 10K? 500 people? What's the line here?
 
2013-07-17 02:30:42 PM

Cyberluddite: California has over 38 million people, with 53 House members and 2 Senators, so we get 55 electoral votes. Which means we get one EV for each 690,000 residents. Wyoming has 576,000 residents, with 1 House member and 2 Senators, so they get 3 electoral votes, which means they get one EV for each 192,000 residents. Each person in Wyoming's vote counts for about 3.5 Californians' votes. If they based the distribution of electoral votes solely on House members, Wyoming would get one vote for each 576,000 residents, and California would get one for each 716,000 residents--still not 100% equal, but a hell of a lot closer.


Senators from the unpopulated states should only be given 3/5 of a vote.
 
2013-07-17 02:36:10 PM

DamnYankees: Here's the question I'd have to ask. How low would a state's population have to go before everyone agreed we need to strip them of Senate representation? Like, what if something happened in Wyoming (let's say Yellowstone suffered a volcanic eruption) that reduced the population to 100K. Do they still deserve 2 Senators? How about 10K? 500 people? What's the line here?


Washington, D.C. has more people than Wyoming and it has absolutely no federal representation in either house.
 
2013-07-17 02:36:28 PM

DamnYankees: Cyberluddite: I don't think it's a terrible idea that there should be one house of Congress where each state has the same number of representatives.

Oh, it's a terrible idea alright. Don't let that one off the hook.


I dunno, I currently live in the largest state--with 1.5X the population of State #2 and twice the population of State #3, but I grew up in a state (Nevada) that, while huge geographically, was when I was growing #49 of 50 in population (though it's grown a hell of a lot and is now #35), so I can see both sides.  A state with a tiny population--even one that is massive in geographical size and has abundant resources--is going to get completely run over if everything is done according to population, and that's unfortunate and unfair.  So I don't mind there being one place where they can play on a level playing field, and that's the Senate.  But our current system goes way, way beyond that and give the small states incredibily disproportionate power in other areas as well, including, but not limited to, in electing the President.
 
2013-07-17 02:39:11 PM

Cyberluddite: A state with a tiny population--even one that is massive in geographical size and has abundant resources--is going to get completely run over if everything is done according to population, and that's unfortunate and unfair.


1) This doesn't happen anywhere else, so I don't see any reason to think it would happen in the US. New York City absolutely dominates the population of New York State, but you don't see city folk voting to rape and pillage the northern cities of the state. This is an assertion which I have never seen backed up.

2) Even if it was true, I don't see why its bad. Legislatures are there to represent people, not acreage. If you feel that the majority is running roughshod over your rights, you appeal to the courts, or you try to convince fellow citizens to vote the other way. Rigging democracy to help our provincial interests is the WORST way to fix it.
 
2013-07-17 02:41:16 PM

DamnYankees: Here's the question I'd have to ask. How low would a state's population have to go before everyone agreed we need to strip them of Senate representation? Like, what if something happened in Wyoming (let's say Yellowstone suffered a volcanic eruption) that reduced the population to 100K. Do they still deserve 2 Senators? How about 10K? 500 people? What's the line here?


Why limit those questions to the Senate?  Wyoming has 576,000 people, and has one member of the House of Representatives, Montana also has only one member of the House, but has almost twice the population of Wyoming (and, of course, the District of Columbia has more people than Wyoming, with zero voting members).  Should Wyoming get maybe half a vote in the House?
 
2013-07-17 02:44:27 PM

Cyberluddite: Why limit those questions to the Senate?  Wyoming has 576,000 people, and has one member of the House of Representatives, Montana also has only one member of the House, but has almost twice the population of Wyoming (and, of course, the District of Columbia has more people than Wyoming, with zero voting members).  Should Wyoming get maybe half a vote in the House?


That's also a fair question, and if that ever happened we'd have to address it by either expanding the House or combining two states together (at least, that's how I'd propose fixing it). When the number of people-per-Congressmen gets two out-of-whack, we'll have to address it. There's an argument to be made that its a problem now, since we're already almost at a 2-1 ration between WY and RI. All that being said, this is a problem that's definitionally worse in the Senate, so if we're going to fix this problem that's the place to start.
 
2013-07-17 02:48:15 PM

DamnYankees: 1) This doesn't happen anywhere else, so I don't see any reason to think it would happen in the US. New York City absolutely dominates the population of New York State, but you don't see city folk voting to rape and pillage the northern cities of the state. This is an assertion which I have never seen backed up.


Well, in my former home state of Nevada, it certainly happened.  To cite only one example, virtually nobody in the state wants the rest of the country's nuclear waste (none of which is produced in Nevada, BTW) to be dumped at Yucca Mountain, but Congress--mostly those from big states that produce the waste--said tough shiat and voted to stick it to them anyway.  (It hasn't happened yet, though--the main reason Obama won Nevada in 2008 was that he vowed to kill funding for Yucca Mountain, which was one of the few campaign promises he actually followed through on.)
 
2013-07-17 02:50:20 PM

Cyberluddite: DamnYankees: 1) This doesn't happen anywhere else, so I don't see any reason to think it would happen in the US. New York City absolutely dominates the population of New York State, but you don't see city folk voting to rape and pillage the northern cities of the state. This is an assertion which I have never seen backed up.

Well, in my former home state of Nevada, it certainly happened.  To cite only one example, virtually nobody in the state wants the rest of the country's nuclear waste (none of which is produced in Nevada, BTW) to be dumped at Yucca Mountain, but Congress--mostly those from big states that produce the waste--said tough shiat and voted to stick it to them anyway.  (It hasn't happened yet, though--the main reason Obama won Nevada in 2008 was that he vowed to kill funding for Yucca Mountain, which was one of the few campaign promises he actually followed through on.)


Ok. And? I don't see any reason that the people of Nevada should get to veto the rest of the country on this issue. Whether or not putting the waste in Yucca Mountain is a good idea, I don't have any opinion. But I see no reason that the people of Nevada should have a disproportionate say in the matter. If there's someone who lives in Yucca or nearby who thinks he would suffer some injury by having that law passed, have him bring his case to court. Otherwise, one man one vote.
 
2013-07-17 02:58:37 PM

DamnYankees: Ok. And? I don't see any reason that the people of Nevada should get to veto the rest of the country on this issue. Whether or not putting the waste in Yucca Mountain is a good idea, I don't have any opinion. But I see no reason that the people of Nevada should have a disproportionate say in the matter. If there's someone who lives in Yucca or nearby who thinks he would suffer some injury by having that law passed, have him bring his case to court. Otherwise, one man one vote.


So, let's say you don't own a dog, but everyone in your neighborhood holds a neighborhood vote decides that they should all be allowed to let their dogs shiat in your back yard every day.  You might not like cleaning up their dogshiat, but hey, STFU and accept it, because the majority rules, right?  In Nevada, Yucca Mountain is viewed essentially the same way, except instead of dog shiat, we're talking about dumping something even worse, with a bunch of outsiders saying we don't care if you don't want it, you're getting it, and there's not a goddamn thing you and your measly 4 Congressman can do about it because we voted to dump it there.
 
2013-07-17 03:01:14 PM

Cyberluddite: So, let's say you don't own a dog, but everyone in your neighborhood holds a neighborhood vote decides that they should all be allowed to let their dogs shiat in your back yard every day.  You might not like cleaning up their dogshiat, but hey, STFU and accept it, because the majority rules, right?


I just told you that if someone has a right, they can protest in court. So if people voted to violate my property rights, I could go to court and say that's not permitted.

Also, by the way, this is exactly how the law actually works. Laws about where dogs can crap are decided on a city by city basis, and I don't get to object on the basis that some dogs crapped in front of my house. I don't get a special veto. I get the right to object to any law which violates my rights, but I don't get disproportionate voting power on the basis of owning a lawn.

Cyberluddite: In Nevada, Yucca Mountain is viewed essentially the same way, except instead of dog shiat, we're talking about dumping something even worse, with a bunch of outsiders saying we don't care if you don't want it, you're getting it, and there's not a goddamn thing you and your measly 4 Congressman can do about it because we voted to dump it there.


Yes. And? Again, I'm fine with this. I don't support NIMBYism, either on the local, state or federal level.
 
2013-07-17 03:09:20 PM
What do y'all think the odds are thatg you can get 3/4 of the state legislatures to give up their equal representation in the Senate?  Until you can pass that threshold the old system remains in place.

It was created because the small colonies were not going to join in any union where the big states could steamroll the small states.  The US woulde not exist had the bicameral legislature not been created.
 
2013-07-17 03:13:59 PM

DamnYankees: Cyberluddite: Why limit those questions to the Senate?  Wyoming has 576,000 people, and has one member of the House of Representatives, Montana also has only one member of the House, but has almost twice the population of Wyoming (and, of course, the District of Columbia has more people than Wyoming, with zero voting members).  Should Wyoming get maybe half a vote in the House?

That's also a fair question, and if that ever happened we'd have to address it by either expanding the House or combining two states together (at least, that's how I'd propose fixing it). When the number of people-per-Congressmen gets two out-of-whack, we'll have to address it. There's an argument to be made that its a problem now, since we're already almost at a 2-1 ration between WY and RI. All that being said, this is a problem that's definitionally worse in the Senate, so if we're going to fix this problem that's the place to start.


The number of constituents to Congressman ratio is already out of whack. I'd prefer a ratio of 250,000:1 and expanding the size of the House to accommodate. Costs of running for office would drop-opening up opportunity for closer-to-average citizens to run, representation would level out somewhat and we could get actual coalitions built between varied parties inside the house, preventing the binary Republicans or Democrats in charge system in existence today.

There's no reason why Wyoming voters should get more electoral power than California voters and Wyoming shouldn't have more representation in the House. the 435 member limit needs to end and I would welcome the 1250-person House. It would end up more parliamentary and, frankly, I feel that each constituent would likely be better represented in government.
 
2013-07-17 03:20:27 PM
Anything more equitable would require some sort of federal redistricting and would be gerrymandered to shiat.
 
2013-07-17 03:21:01 PM

DamnYankees: Here's the question I'd have to ask. How low would a state's population have to go before everyone agreed we need to strip them of Senate representation? Like, what if something happened in Wyoming (let's say Yellowstone suffered a volcanic eruption) that reduced the population to 100K. Do they still deserve 2 Senators? How about 10K? 500 people? What's the line here?


Well, a population of 2 would seem to be the lower limit.
 
2013-07-17 03:25:27 PM

DamnYankees: Here's the question I'd have to ask. How low would a state's population have to go before everyone agreed we need to strip them of Senate representation? Like, what if something happened in Wyoming (let's say Yellowstone suffered a volcanic eruption) that reduced the population to 100K. Do they still deserve 2 Senators? How about 10K? 500 people? What's the line here?


Even if there's one person in a state, by the Constitution that the GOP holds holy they still rate 2 Senators.

As it should be.
 
2013-07-17 03:31:58 PM

DjangoStonereaver: Even if there's one person in a state, by the Constitution that the GOP holds holy they still rate 2 Senators.


So, if the state has only one person, does that person hold both Senate seats?  Won't they already by busy with their other job as member of the House of Representatives, along with being the state's Governor, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Comissioner, Supreme Court justice, and dogcatcher?
 
2013-07-17 03:35:50 PM
Subby needs to retake 8th grade civics.
 
2013-07-17 03:36:30 PM

vernonFL: Subby needs to retake 8th grade civics.


You need to realize that we're not in 8th grade anymore.
 
2013-07-17 03:38:36 PM

DamnYankees: we're not in 8th grade anymore


memedepot.com

Really?   :  )
 
2013-07-17 03:39:04 PM

vernonFL: DamnYankees: we're not in 8th grade anymore

[memedepot.com image 413x413]

Really?   :  )


Haha.
 
2013-07-17 04:33:31 PM

Cyberluddite: DjangoStonereaver: Even if there's one person in a state, by the Constitution that the GOP holds holy they still rate 2 Senators.

So, if the state has only one person, does that person hold both Senate seats?  Won't they already by busy with their other job as member of the House of Representatives, along with being the state's Governor, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Comissioner, Supreme Court justice, and dogcatcher?


And therefore is more likely to be a southern state.....

ZING!
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2013-07-17 04:56:45 PM
I'm gonna just leave this here.
 
2013-07-17 05:06:04 PM
Because if we hadn't done it that way, the small states and Southern states would have left the Constitutional Convention and the Constitution never would have been signed, so shut the fark up and get over it.
 
2013-07-17 05:09:11 PM

DamnYankees: New York City absolutely dominates the population of New York State, but you don't see city folk voting to rape and pillage the northern cities of the state. This is an assertion which I have never seen backed up


Really?  Then explain your tax structure to me.  Why is NY so farking expensive, even outside of NYC?
 
2013-07-17 05:10:08 PM
It's almost like there's a reason we set up parliamentary governments in the countries we conquer.
 
2013-07-17 05:10:51 PM
Additionally, the Senate is supposed to be a more deliberative and National governing body, while the interests of the individual State are supposed to be addressed via their Representatives in the House.

But that's been out the window for ages now as well.
 
2013-07-17 05:12:07 PM

Mentat: Because if we hadn't done it that way, the small states and Southern states would have left the Constitutional Convention and the Constitution never would have been signed, so shut the fark up and get over it.


Bingo.  Thanks for playing.  And given the state of things in CA, FL, IL and NY, I'd certainly like to keep it the way it is.
 
2013-07-17 05:13:49 PM
The obvious solution is to take all those underpopulated states and amalgamate them into one giant superstate, and give that state two senators plus whatever representatives they deserve. That will eliminate most of the in balance in congress without having to change the principles of the system.

If your entire state has fewer people in it than a small city, you probably need to merge with someone.
 
2013-07-17 05:14:42 PM

Cyberluddite: I don't think it's a terrible idea that there should be one house of Congress where each state has the same number of representatives.  But I don't think that Senators should count in determining the number of electoral votes for presidential elections, because that simply gives disproportionate power to hick states to determine who gets to be president.

California has over 38 million people, with 53 House members and 2 Senators, so we get 55 electoral votes.  Which means we get one EV for each 690,000 residents.  Wyoming has 576,000 residents, with 1 House member and 2 Senators, so they get 3 electoral votes, which means they get one EV for each 192,000 residents.  Each person in Wyoming's vote counts for about 3.5 Californians' votes.  If they based the distribution of electoral votes solely on House members, Wyoming would get one vote for each 576,000 residents, and California would get one for each 716,000 residents--still not 100% equal, but a hell of a lot closer.


Or California could divide itself into 66 separate states.  That would be fair.
 
2013-07-17 05:15:30 PM

MrEricSir: It's almost like there's a reason we set up parliamentary governments in the countries we conquer.


You mean, like Japan?  Bicameral.  And Germany?  Bundestag and Bundesrat.  That latter one is where the Lander (regional states) of Germany are represented.
 
2013-07-17 05:17:07 PM

r1chard3: Cyberluddite: I don't think it's a terrible idea that there should be one house of Congress where each state has the same number of representatives.  But I don't think that Senators should count in determining the number of electoral votes for presidential elections, because that simply gives disproportionate power to hick states to determine who gets to be president.

California has over 38 million people, with 53 House members and 2 Senators, so we get 55 electoral votes.  Which means we get one EV for each 690,000 residents.  Wyoming has 576,000 residents, with 1 House member and 2 Senators, so they get 3 electoral votes, which means they get one EV for each 192,000 residents.  Each person in Wyoming's vote counts for about 3.5 Californians' votes.  If they based the distribution of electoral votes solely on House members, Wyoming would get one vote for each 576,000 residents, and California would get one for each 716,000 residents--still not 100% equal, but a hell of a lot closer.

Or California could divide itself into 66 separate states.  That would be fair.


Illinois could split in two, California into 5 or 6 states, NY into at least two.  FL, let's saw it off and push it over to Cuba.
 
2013-07-17 05:17:16 PM

bradkanus: Ah yes, the whole "protecting the minority from the majority" is a great thing when you are in the minority.  However, when you are in the majority - fark that shiat.

Works out just fine.  This country shouldn't be run by CA, TX, FL and NY and I'm from TX.


And what exactly is wrong with the notion of the 4 states which make up 1/3 of the total US population receiving that much representation in Congress?
 
2013-07-17 05:18:08 PM

Bloody William: Washington, D.C. has more people than Wyoming and it has absolutely no federal representation in either house.


All well the Republicans get to dictate district politics. Right now they are trying to block the city from funding abortions. Let us keep our own damn tax money and do with it as we please. It's bad enough we have to fund your guys security
 
2013-07-17 05:19:07 PM

thornhill: bradkanus: Ah yes, the whole "protecting the minority from the majority" is a great thing when you are in the minority.  However, when you are in the majority - fark that shiat.

Works out just fine.  This country shouldn't be run by CA, TX, FL and NY and I'm from TX.

And what exactly is wrong with the notion of the 4 states which make up 1/3 of the total US population receiving that much representation in Congress?


The same thing that was wrong with it back in 1783.
 
2013-07-17 05:19:37 PM

thornhill: And what exactly is wrong with the notion of the 4 states which make up 1/3 of the total US population receiving that much representation in Congress?


Because Connecticut didn't like the fact that under the old system, New York could block inland trade routes and Pennsylvania could steal entire towns.
 
2013-07-17 05:20:30 PM
daily.sightline.org
 
2013-07-17 05:20:42 PM

Galloping Galoshes: The same thing that was wrong with it back in 1783.


There was nothing wrong with it in 1783. The only thing 'wrong' with it is that small states didn't want to do it out of self-interest, but that's a parochial, not a philosophical, reason.
 
2013-07-17 05:21:09 PM

zedster: Bloody William: Washington, D.C. has more people than Wyoming and it has absolutely no federal representation in either house.

All well the Republicans get to dictate district politics. Right now they are trying to block the city from funding abortions. Let us keep our own damn tax money and do with it as we please. It's bad enough we have to fund your guys security


And DC's government is so well run.  How many council members are under investigation or have recently resigned?  And how's Mayor Gray doing?  Hell, judges are joking about which one is going to field his corruption trial.
 
2013-07-17 05:21:25 PM

Mentat: Because if we hadn't done it that way, the small states and Southern states would have left the Constitutional Convention and the Constitution never would have been signed, so shut the fark up and get over it.


Exactly. The Articles of Confederation were a travesty, and the Constitution was not only a major upgrade but it also allowed the country to hold together long enough so that when the inevitable civil war took place, the country would be strong enough to survive it without being picked apart by other nations.
 
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