Sunday, December 26, 2010

Comment on The Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby:
A House poorly divided

A House poorly divided - The Boston Globe

Jeff Jacoby covers one fourth of the reason to expand the size of the House of Representatives. In addition to the disparate size of constituencies the 435 seat cap creates there are other issues.

1. More districts allows each district to be centered on an identifiable compact community. This will reduce the possibility of gerrymandering.

2. That will increase the accountability of the politician to the people he is according to his job title representing and ensure that groups currently disenfranchised are offered representation.

3. The cost of running in dispersed districts with between 200,000 and over half a million voters excludes candidates and makes the elected Members dependent on the Lobbyists, party organizations, or increasingly upon 501 organizations to fund their campaigns and provide media support.

My suggestion is that we introduce two changes. First we should more than double the size of the House to 1,000 Representatives. Second we should implement what was intended at the time that the XIVth Amendment was adopted, before the recent phenomenon of illegal immigration became prominent. The apportionment of Representatives following the Census should be in accordance with the number of citizens eligible to vote.

If these two changes were adopted then each district would contain approximately 100,000 eligible voters. That would mean that anyone who could command the loyalty of 50,000 of their fellow citizens could become a Representative. That number of 50,000 is significant, almost golden. It is the upper bound at which it is possible to have actual contact and a sense of identification between the citizen and those acting on their behalf. That was the size of a population that Aristotle considered the ideal voting body for a Greek polis.

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