If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(CBS Miami)   FL GOP to judge: So I know you said the districts we drew make a mockery of the democratic process and all, but it's gonna take us... say, two years to redraw them, so we're cool using them until then right?   (miami.cbslocal.com) divider line 135
    More: Unlikely, GOP, tags, Don Gaetz, League of Women Voters, Steve Weatherford, congressional districts, absentee ballots, Common Cause  
•       •       •

3991 clicks; posted to Politics » on 19 Jul 2014 at 3:48 PM (10 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



135 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all
 
2014-07-20 07:02:47 AM

Gway: How else does one explain that, while there is nothing new under the sun, on the other hand time changes everything?


Entropy.
 
2014-07-20 07:18:30 AM

FloridaFarkTag: The Real Fark here is that this GOP redistricting...just ruled unconstitutional by a judge...cost the GOP 2 seats to the Democrats...and allowed NutJob WhackJob Alan Grayson to be re-elected back to the House


Yes, the 2012 map, though two of its districts have appendages which the judge ruled could not be justified, is much less gerrymandered than the 2002-2010 map. So not only did you see more competitive primaries in most districts, the overall balance of seats became slightly more similar to the overall composition of voters. Once these two problem areas are fixed on the current map, both district 10 and district 7 become very competitive, with an advantage to democrats if a popular presidential candidate like Obama is running.
 
2014-07-20 07:25:59 AM
But most people, when they hear "gerrymandering" and "Florida" would immediately point to district 5, which sticks out on the map. Long, skinny, connects black neighborhoods in Jacksonville to black neighborhoods in Orlando, Gainesville, and Sanford. The judge agreed with he defendants that such a district is actually required by the VRA and Florida's redistricting amendments. The reason is that the district existed previously, and reducing its % black population would reduce chances for minority candidates. But the judge found that the legislature actually packed even more black voters in than it had previously. His order is that the district be redrawn as compact as possible while still having the same % black it had in 2010. That minor change is still probably enough to flip 2 seats touching the district.
 
2014-07-20 08:06:58 AM

MFK: Are you farking serious? Is this common knowledge in Florida??


That elections in Florida are fishy? Pretty sure that's been common knowledge across the United States since late-2000.
 
2014-07-20 08:29:05 AM

ox45tallboy: heap: in other words, within any geographical designation, you can arbitrarily place a line and say 'people on this side are different from the ones on the other' - be it a state, a county, or a township.

A couple of hundred years ago it made sense to make the divisions geographical in nature. Nowadays, especially considering mass communication and easy travel, it's kind of silly. There are far better criteria from which to determine who should represent you than whether or not that person normally resides within a day's travel by horse.

Do away with the districting lines altogether and gerrymandering will cease to exist.


Just select people to go serve in congress randomly among registered voters and be done with it. Italian city starts did it and it solved a lot of problems.

No election machines, lobbyists and special interest groups can't buy off a candidate by contributing to the campaign.

They would need to pass a citizenship test before serving or a new name is picked.

Everybody makes what they made the previous two years with a basement at the current salary for congress and a max at half a million a year, so people will be less inclined to refuse. Maybe have them automatically serve two terms, just to have some continuity.

Just make it like jury duty, get the elections out of it. Politicians are corrupted by elections and election efforts in this country. Take it out ID the equation.
 
2014-07-20 09:25:16 AM

ox45tallboy: With this system, you would likely wind up with less than 5% of the population who did not vote for their Representative. Compare that to the current situation when it is normal for 45% or more people in a district to be represented by someone they did not vote for and you'll see the advantages.


It's not a terrible idea. Certainly not significantly more terrible than the current system. The real problem is that while you get representative voting, you may not get representative petitioning. What voters does a rep listen to when the mail (electronic and snail) flows in? Which voters does a rep seriously think about the questions they asked after a town hall event? Doesn't this just lead to tyranny of the majority? So do we publicize who voted for who so the rep knows who to listen to? That has its own repercussions, such as voter intimidation. And so on.

It's not a terrible idea, though. But a better idea is a levelled playing field, an algorithmic distribution of area, perhaps with weighting to attempt to not mix rural and city areas.
 
2014-07-20 09:37:33 AM

Ishidan: We can follow each of them individually, and call it The Running Man.


Gives a whole new meaning to "...survived the election to run for the White House..."
 
2014-07-20 09:45:45 AM
Why couldn't they just use the previous lawful map (instead of the current unlawful map) until they come up with a new map?
 
2014-07-20 10:03:37 AM

Aldon: Why couldn't they just use the previous lawful map (instead of the current unlawful map) until they come up with a new map?


The price you pay for a chaotic alignment.
 
MFK
2014-07-20 10:26:34 AM

ox45tallboy: heap: in other words, within any geographical designation, you can arbitrarily place a line and say 'people on this side are different from the ones on the other' - be it a state, a county, or a township.

A couple of hundred years ago it made sense to make the divisions geographical in nature. Nowadays, especially considering mass communication and easy travel, it's kind of silly. There are far better criteria from which to determine who should represent you than whether or not that person normally resides within a day's travel by horse.

Do away with the districting lines altogether and gerrymandering will cease to exist.


That would work in smaller states but in states like Texas and California it is ridiculous to expect one person to cover a land mass of that size.

Districts are supposed to be based on population and geography. Take all political data out of the districting process and problem is solved
 
2014-07-20 10:28:43 AM

MFK: Take all political data out of the districting process and problem is solved


You'll notice that everyone likes this idea except the politicians.

So, it'll never happen.
 
2014-07-20 11:02:02 AM

ox45tallboy: GentDirkly: I like the cut of you jib, but I do think there is an idea l number for it. Something more than 5, but probably less than 10. 27 is not that number. The first time that the system was used, a handful of people would be so popular statewide that they may have 10x as many votes as the 27th place candidate, who would equally get a seat. These very popular candidates would have to find ways to focus their efforts and spread their popularity to others that agree with them. It would be messy. Finally, you're giving the voter a very long ballot with over 50 names on it and asking them to choose one. It may be difficult for voters to find the candidate they want. It may be difficult for them to feel secure in their decision. This is the reason your grocer stocks 3 brands of pasta, not 20.

The grocer only stocks three brands because he has limited shelf space. The ballots can be as big as necessary; people will be more likely to know ahead of time who they're voting for once they get used to it. But if you feel it's a valid issue, split some of the bigger states like Florida, Texas, New York, and California into districts with 10 or so Representatives.

I currently reside in TN, where there are 9 representatives. In 2012, Mitt Romney got 59% of the vote to Barack Obama's 39%. You would think that an accurate representation of the population would be 3 Dem, 6 Republican, or 4 Dem, 5 Republican. Instead there are 2 Democrats and 7 Republicans, and it's not even gerrymandered that badly. 9 Representatives would be optimal in my opinion; the ballot would likely have about 20-25 names of people who could get enough signatures.

I think what you brought up about very popular Representatives getting huge numbers of votes is actually a good thing, not a bad thing. People will feel confident that that person will win again and instead vote for someone like them in order to get double the representation. Large organizations that currently wield tremendous political power will have to decide if they wish to run two candidates instead of one, and risk neither being elected as people look to a candidate that better represents their individual interests rather than the aggregate political goals of the organization.

The other upside is that political parties will have less control over the political process. Coalitions must form in order to accomplish major legislation or even elect a Speaker. The Tea Party can split off from the Republican Party, which will make both far happier, yet marginalized. Dems can remain a centrist party, while the real liberals can branch off and form their own organization. Swing voters will still be more likely to swing towards the tallest guy or the one with the biggest billboard, but the real politically active people will be less likely to "settle" for someone. Voter participation will likely increase because it will take so few votes to put the 9th-place candidate into office - and that person will know they barely skimmed by and they will be far more likely to respond to the people that elected them.


After 3 or 4 choices further variety fosters discontent. Read that study in Intro to Material Culture a few years ago. There's a significant number of people who actually are depressed over too many choices. More than 3 or 4 induce mental paralysis and an inability to make a decision.
 
2014-07-20 11:51:08 AM

Relatively Obscure: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

Well, let's just contact our legislators to get those laws requiring it passed.  Easy peasy.


Correct.  It will never happen.  A judge will have to order it.
 
2014-07-20 11:59:24 AM

starsrift: It's not a terrible idea. Certainly not significantly more terrible than the current system. The real problem is that while you get representative voting, you may not get representative petitioning. What voters does a rep listen to when the mail (electronic and snail) flows in? Which voters does a rep seriously think about the questions they asked after a town hall event? Doesn't this just lead to tyranny of the majority? So do we publicize who voted for who so the rep knows who to listen to? That has its own repercussions, such as voter intimidation. And so on.


Absolutely not. Exactly the opposite in fact - you'll likely only need 2-3% of the population to elect a Representative.

As far as who the Rep has to listen to, I would say he's got to listen to anyone from his state that is an eligible voter. The added bonus is that people are far more likely to contact the candidate they voted for instead of one they don't like, which is the way it works nowadays. The candidate runs on a particular issue, or to say he or she is representing a particular group of people (for example, the unions). The people he marketed himself to become his constituents. This doesn't mean he wouldn't want even more support the next election, but he's definitely going to try to represent the people the people whose vote he asked for. People who voted for someone else will likely be contacting the rep they voted for, since less than 5% of the voters will have a rep they didn't vote for.
 
2014-07-20 12:05:32 PM

rga184: They would need to pass a citizenship test before serving or a new name is picked.


Easiest way to get out of this = purposely fail the test.

The one piece of logic that you missed is that the people who campaign for public office want to be in public office. If you volunteer (draft) someone to do something they don't want to do, they will do as little of it as possible.  The only reason it works for the military is due to the severe consequences of non-compliance.

I would not want to be a politician. It's not running for office that might corrupt a person, it's the system that exists, with lobbyists, corporations as people, religious nutjobs, wall street banks and other big money and big power groups who will do whatever they can to influence those politicians to vote for or write legislation which favors them. No matter how well-scrubbed and squeaky clean you are when dropped in a sewer you will, after a time, stink.

And before you say it, term limits won't help either. Anyone who is elected knowing that they will be tossed after one or two terms will do their damndest to clean up and make a tidy bed for themselves from the help they would give various groups during that time.
Need a cushy board of directors job on wall street after you're done? Check! Just vote "no" on this banking regulation bill.
Want to make sure the water rights are set for that farmland you have back in your home state? Check! Just vote yes on this water apportionment bill.

Of course some of the highest profile offices like president of the united states don't have to do this... they can make enough money with book deals, memoirs and speeches (and a decent retirement package) that their futures are secure no matter what. But your local state congressperson doesn't have that kind of clout or influence, and certainly won't have it after they leave office.

Constituents? Fark'em. I'm getting mine.
 
2014-07-20 12:11:49 PM

MFK: That would work in smaller states but in states like Texas and California it is ridiculous to expect one person to cover a land mass of that size.

Districts are supposed to be based on population and geography. Take all political data out of the districting process and problem is solved


Why?

In this day and age of cell phones, email, automobiles, and jets, why does geographical representation make more sense than representation by occupation, trade, or career? Why not marital status? Why not religious belief? Why not intelligence? Why not income level? Why not sexual preference? Does a guy living in Galveston likely have more in common with someone living in San Antonio or someone living in Myrtle Beach, SC? Does a person living in Austin have more in common with someone from Laredo or someone from Denver, CO?

I know they're "supposed to be" based on geography, but that was a couple of hundred years ago when basing representation on geography made sense. With all communication taking days, it made elections and communication with one's constituents possible. It was a constraint of level of technology that is simply no longer applicable. We've progressed a lot since then.

But as I said earlier, if you really think it's necessary, you can chop the bigger states into districts of about 10 reps each.
 
2014-07-20 12:18:17 PM

BolloxReader: After 3 or 4 choices further variety fosters discontent. Read that study in Intro to Material Culture a few years ago. There's a significant number of people who actually are depressed over too many choices. More than 3 or 4 induce mental paralysis and an inability to make a decision.


The only people that this would affect are those who walk into the polling place not knowing who they're going to vote for. And to me, that's yet another bonus. You haven't bothered doing the research, so therefore you should feel uncomfortable when you're voting. Not that I think anyone should be disenfranchised, but they should understand who they're voting for instead of the "D" or "R".

People that have made up their mind already might have a little more trouble finding the name they want, but as I said before, India solves this problem by allowing each candidate to choose a "symbol" - a little cartoonish icon of an ordinary object (say, a shovel or a star or a wheel) which appears next to their name on the ballot. In this manner, voters are less confused by candidates with similar names.
 
2014-07-20 12:22:54 PM

GodsTumor: officeday: mrshowrules: Gerrymandering takes a long time.  A fair redistricting takes no time at all.  You could fairly redistrict a State in about an hour using the shortest split linealgorithm.

Democrats would fight that tooth and nail. Gerrymandering is not isolated to Repubs, it occurs whenever and wherever there is a lack of a serious opposing party. Believe me, as a repub in MD, the Dems have been pulling this shiat for decades....But since this is FARK, I'm sure you're fine with that....

Yeah ..cry me a river.  The last congressional race  Democratic votes exceed Republican votes by more than half a million.
And yet the GOP has a huge advantage 234 to 201.  Sounds fair to me?


When we take into count black votes are worth only 3/5 or a real vote, that half a million disappears.
 
2014-07-20 12:26:16 PM

MFK: That would work in smaller states but in states like Texas and California it is ridiculous to expect one person to cover a land mass of that size.


Oh, by the way, one person covers even more land mass than either of those states in Alaska.

Yes, our largest state has only one Representative.
 
2014-07-20 02:45:21 PM

Aldon: Why couldn't they just use the previous lawful map (instead of the current unlawful map) until they come up with a new map?


1) previous map had 25 districts, not 27.
2) the law changed when Florida voters passed a redistricting amendment. The process used in 2001 to make the previous map was openly partisan, as was legal at the time.
 
2014-07-20 07:28:00 PM
Another thing to consider about comparing ox_tallboy's idea to the status quo is the consideration of children, non-voters, non-citizens, etc. Districts are drawn to be equal in population according to the census - so the three groups I mentioned really are represented even though they did not vote. If you live in an area with a lot of children or non-citizens, your vote counts more. Most people in our political establishment consider this a feature, not a defect. That goes away with most other possible voting systems.
 
2014-07-20 08:19:00 PM

GentDirkly: Another thing to consider about comparing ox_tallboy's idea to the status quo is the consideration of children, non-voters, non-citizens, etc. Districts are drawn to be equal in population according to the census - so the three groups I mentioned really are represented even though they did not vote. If you live in an area with a lot of children or non-citizens, your vote counts more. Most people in our political establishment consider this a feature, not a defect. That goes away with most other possible voting systems.


While there are plenty of places that this does occur more so than others (think areas of New York or Miami that have huge immigrant noncitizen populations), pretty much every region or district has children. None of these people would get the vote under this system - I'm not suggesting any changes to voter eligibility. The number of nonvoting citizens being represented would be the same, only they would be spread out to the entire state rather than concentrated in certain districts.

Once again, the beauty is that people would be able to organize themselves according to their own preference for representation or political agenda. A group of people making up only 4% of the voters has a pretty good chance of electing their own rep, the same as a different group making up 20% of the voters. Does this mean that the vote of those in the former group counts 5 times as much as those in the latter, since it only takes 1/5 of the number of voters to elect someone? Or does this mean that the voters in the second group should consider splitting their votes somehow to elect 2 or 3 reps instead?

Of course this gives minority groups of all sorts (racial, political, religious, sexual identity, etc.) more political power than they currently have. That's the idea.It also gives those with the most mainstream political agenda practically guaranteed representation, just not overly so. They still need to pay attention to the voters in their district.

But the absolute best part is that only about 5% or so of voters in total will be represented by someone they didn't vote for, whose politica agenda they don't like. 95% of voters will send their chosen candidate to Congress, which is far better than the ~50% of the current Congress (Republicans got 500,000 fewer votes than Democrats, yet control Congress 234 to 201). .
 
2014-07-20 09:15:10 PM

ox45tallboy: GentDirkly: Another thing to consider about comparing ox_tallboy's idea to the status quo is the consideration of children, non-voters, non-citizens, etc. Districts are drawn to be equal in population according to the census - so the three groups I mentioned really are represented even though they did not vote. If you live in an area with a lot of children or non-citizens, your vote counts more. Most people in our political establishment consider this a feature, not a defect. That goes away with most other possible voting systems.

While there are plenty of places that this does occur more so than others (think areas of New York or Miami that have huge immigrant noncitizen populations), pretty much every region or district has children. None of these people would get the vote under this system - I'm not suggesting any changes to voter eligibility. The number of nonvoting citizens being represented would be the same, only they would be spread out to the entire state rather than concentrated in certain districts.

Once again, the beauty is that people would be able to organize themselves according to their own preference for representation or political agenda. A group of people making up only 4% of the voters has a pretty good chance of electing their own rep, the same as a different group making up 20% of the voters. Does this mean that the vote of those in the former group counts 5 times as much as those in the latter, since it only takes 1/5 of the number of voters to elect someone? Or does this mean that the voters in the second group should consider splitting their votes somehow to elect 2 or 3 reps instead?

Of course this gives minority groups of all sorts (racial, political, religious, sexual identity, etc.) more political power than they currently have. That's the idea.It also gives those with the most mainstream political agenda practically guaranteed representation, just not overly so. They still need to pay attention to the voters in their district.

But ...


I like it. I'll sign on, you signed on to my gun control proposal iirc......
 
2014-07-20 09:18:38 PM

Doc Daneeka: The gerrymandering is a travesty, yes, but this is what they get for sending a GOP majority to the statehouse in the first place.  What did they think was going to happen?

Maybe next time Florida voters will have more sense.


Need I remind you which state has its own Fark tag?
 
2014-07-20 09:26:56 PM

mod_reright: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.


How so?

10000 voters is 10000 voters. It's not complicated.
 
2014-07-20 09:30:29 PM

Flab: mod_reright: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.

How so?

10000 voters is 10000 voters. It's not complicated.


I think what he's referring to is gerrymandering that is necessary to provide representation of minorities. If the districts aren't drawn so that minorities are the majority in at least one, they're not likely to be represented. Districting for reasons other than geography has been around since long before Gerrymander started doing it; he just saw the potential and popularized the idea of marginalizing those he didn't agree with.
 
2014-07-20 10:23:27 PM

ox45tallboy: Flab: mod_reright: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.

How so?

10000 voters is 10000 voters. It's not complicated.

I think what he's referring to is gerrymandering that is necessary to provide representation of minorities. If the districts aren't drawn so that minorities are the majority in at least one, they're not likely to be represented. Districting for reasons other than geography has been around since long before Gerrymander started doing it; he just saw the potential and popularized the idea of marginalizing those he didn't agree with.


I don't get this argument. Are you saying that a minority person will not even run for office unless she knows her district in made up of a majority of "her people", or that people will prefer voting across party lines rather than for the minority candidate ?

Doesn't the fact that two of the redneckest states have governors of Indian descent fly in the face of that argument ?
 
2014-07-20 10:38:31 PM

Flab: I don't get this argument. Are you saying that a minority person will not even run for office unless she knows her district in made up of a majority of "her people", or that people will prefer voting across party lines rather than for the minority candidate ?


Nope, I'm saying that in a town of 30% black people, 40% non racist whites, and 30% racist whites, you won't get 3 black people on a 10-seat city council. You might get one if enough black people happen to live near enough to each other, but it's not guaranteed. This isn't a ideal world we live in, and so SCOTUS said that some creative districting is okay, and sometimes necessary to see that minorities were not underrepresented.

Flab: Doesn't the fact that two of the redneckest states have governors of Indian descent fly in the face of that argument ?


No.
 
2014-07-20 11:03:54 PM

ox45tallboy: Flab: I don't get this argument. Are you saying that a minority person will not even run for office unless she knows her district in made up of a majority of "her people", or that people will prefer voting across party lines rather than for the minority candidate ?

Nope, I'm saying that in a town of 30% black people, 40% non racist whites, and 30% racist whites, you won't get 3 black people on a 10-seat city council. You might get one if enough black people happen to live near enough to each other, but it's not guaranteed. This isn't a ideal world we live in, and so SCOTUS said that some creative districting is okay, and sometimes necessary to see that minorities were not underrepresented.


Pretty much.  To expand on it a bit, if you are a white guy living on a farm in Iowa, and districts are laid out in a neat grid, you can safely assume that your elected representative will be someone from your community who shares many of your interests.  If you are a minority living in a big city, it is likely that your community -- due to the vagaries of history, economics, city planning, bigotry and the real estate market -- will be laid out in some geometrically complicated island (or archipelago, even).  Historically in America, laying down a grid of districts will probably split your community into half a dozen different districts.  This might be notionally unbiased, but the practical effect is to tell the members of that community "no, you may not elect your community  leaders to represent you, no, your vote will never really count, and yes, the person who is elected to represent you will likely be actively hostile toward your interests."  This creates marginalized underclasses of people who are denied access to government representation, which is bad for them, bad for society, and awful for democracy.

Maybe things have improved enough in recent history that we can place less emphasis on these considerations, so sure, run your algorithms and see what they produce.  But it is still prudent to look at the outcome and ask, "is this going to fark anyone over?" and make reasonable adjustments.
 
2014-07-20 11:13:05 PM

mod_reright: Pretty much.  To expand on it a bit, if you are a white guy living on a farm in Iowa, and districts are laid out in a neat grid, you can safely assume that your elected representative will be someone from your community who shares many of your interests.  If you are a minority living in a big city, it is likely that your community -- due to the vagaries of history, economics, city planning, bigotry and the real estate market -- will be laid out in some geometrically complicated island (or archipelago, even).  Historically in America, laying down a grid of districts will probably split your community into half a dozen different districts.  This might be notionally unbiased, but the practical effect is to tell the members of that community "no, you may not elect your community  leaders to represent you, no, your vote will never really count, and yes, the person who is elected to represent you will likely be actively hostile toward your interests."  This creates marginalized underclasses of people who are denied access to government representation, which is bad for them, bad for society, and awful for democracy.

Maybe things have improved enough in recent history that we can place less emphasis on these considerations, so sure, run your algorithms and see what they produce.  But it is still prudent to look at the outcome and ask, "is this going to fark anyone over?" and make reasonable adjustments.


Which is why I like the idea of electing all reps at large, so that any community or group of people with shared interests has the ability to elect their own representative regardless of geographical proximity.
 
2014-07-20 11:19:19 PM
ox45tallboy:
Which is why I like the idea of electing all reps at large, so that any community or group of people with shared interests has the ability to elect their own representative regardless of geographical proximity.

It's a clever idea.  Might be hard to implement statewide here in CA, but some variation of it might work very well.  I'll subscribe to your newsletter and sign your petition ;-).

Meanwhile, if we're stuck with the district model, CA has actually made some very good progress toward minimizing gerrymandering without completely ignoring the practical concerns of the electorate.  Leaving it up to the party in charge of the the government at that moment is the height of insanity.
 
2014-07-20 11:32:28 PM

ox45tallboy: Flab: mod_reright: lilbjorn: There's a computer program now that can draw them in a few seconds, once the data is entered.  And it will be unbiased.  This should be required for all states.

No, it shouldn't.  It should be part of the process, maybe, but there should also be human input.  Such a system can disenfranchise groups of people.  There are non-gerrymandering reasons for redistricting.

How so?

10000 voters is 10000 voters. It's not complicated.

I think what he's referring to is gerrymandering that is necessary to provide representation of minorities. If the districts aren't drawn so that minorities are the majority in at least one, they're not likely to be represented. Districting for reasons other than geography has been around since long before Gerrymander started doing it; he just saw the potential and popularized the idea of marginalizing those he didn't agree with.


That wouldn't be as much of an issue if districts were the size they're supposed to be.  One Congressman in the House for every 20,000 citizens.  Changed by Congress in 1911/1912, which lead to the individual citizen being meaningless to our elected "representatives" and going back to the Constitutionally mandated apportionment would provide plenty of chances for minority groups to select their own representatives to represent them.

I also think it would break the stranglehold of the two parties - in a 20,000 citizen district, you realistically only need to talk about 6,000 people into voting for you to win, which is actually possible.  And with a constituency of only 20,000, a Congressman could, theoretically at least, get to know his constituents so he can represent them, or even ~gasp~ by chosen by his own community to represent them.

Yes, this would massively inflate the size of the House, but I don't think it would render it unworkable.  I think we'd see a diversification of political parties, which would then require coalition building to get things done, which I actually think would increase the rate of things getting done.

/With a multi-party system, no one group is large enough to halt everything by being the party of No
//No party could field candidates who campaigned on how little they accomplished
///It would have to be about how much they could get done towards their goals
 
2014-07-20 11:42:56 PM

Jorn the Younger: I also think it would break the stranglehold of the two parties - in a 20,000 citizen district, you realistically only need to talk about 6,000 people into voting for you to win, which is actually possible.  And with a constituency of only 20,000, a Congressman could, theoretically at least, get to know his constituents so he can represent them, or even ~gasp~ by chosen by his own community to represent them.


I sympathize with this, but how workable is a Congress consisting of 320,000,000/20,000 = 16,000 Representatives? Who decides who gets to address the Congress? How long does each person get to speak? Who gets to raise an objection, and how many procedural votes are necessary? Who gets to introduce legislation, and what are the procedures for amending it prior to voting?

We're pretty much at the limit of the size of our Congress, and considering Puerto Rico and possibly Guam might be looking at statehood in the foreseeable future, it's only going to get bigger as it is without lowering the number of people represented by each Rep.
 
2014-07-20 11:57:06 PM

ox45tallboy: Jorn the Younger: I also think it would break the stranglehold of the two parties - in a 20,000 citizen district, you realistically only need to talk about 6,000 people into voting for you to win, which is actually possible.  And with a constituency of only 20,000, a Congressman could, theoretically at least, get to know his constituents so he can represent them, or even ~gasp~ by chosen by his own community to represent them.

I sympathize with this, but how workable is a Congress consisting of 320,000,000/20,000 = 16,000 Representatives? Who decides who gets to address the Congress? How long does each person get to speak? Who gets to raise an objection, and how many procedural votes are necessary? Who gets to introduce legislation, and what are the procedures for amending it prior to voting?

We're pretty much at the limit of the size of our Congress, and considering Puerto Rico and possibly Guam might be looking at statehood in the foreseeable future, it's only going to get bigger as it is without lowering the number of people represented by each Rep.


I concede there would be a fair amount that would need to be worked out for this to be implemented, and it would probably be easiest to go on a sliding scale of a large number of years, but I really do think we'd be better off in a system in which it was actually possible for a Representative to represent their constituents.  As it is, our "representatives" represent their donors.

In the meantime, I'd be willing to accept some form of plurality/instant runoff voting and publicly funded elections
 
2014-07-21 12:46:46 AM

Jorn the Younger: I concede there would be a fair amount that would need to be worked out for this to be implemented, and it would probably be easiest to go on a sliding scale of a large number of years, but I really do think we'd be better off in a system in which it was actually possible for a Representative to represent their constituents.  As it is, our "representatives" represent their donors.

In the meantime, I'd be willing to accept some form of plurality/instant runoff voting and publicly funded elections


The other downside I see is that just as with today's system, nearly half of the voters would be represented by someone they voted against.

Your argument does support the conjecture that the United States may have become too large and too diverse to be able to centrally governed effectively. It may be best to move backwards towards more autonomous states, which would mean that one would more likely know one's Representative that passes the laws that most directly affect oneself.
 
Displayed 35 of 135 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report