Reform 5: Direct representation clause

Here’s an idea for improving the popular representation in Congress.

Proposal:

The House of Representatives shall consist of 400 members.  Each member shall stand for election every two years.  Representatives shall be selected in the following way:  Each Party filing for the House of Representatives shall submit a slate of 400 electors listed by priority.  The number of electors selected in order of priority from each Party for seats in the House shall be proportional to the popular vote for that party.

Rationale:

I’ve heard people propose ratifying the first constitutional amendment proposal in order to increase their “representation” in Congress.  The first proposed amendment would fix congressional districts at one congressmen for each 30,000 people.  That would be a House of Representatives of over 10,000 members.  If Congress has to meet in a football stadium, you are not getting represented.  Few representatives would even get opportunities to speak.  The chamber would be completely dominated by a handful of “congressional leaders”, kind of like the current seniority system.  Ultimately, such a useless body would simply contribute to the growth of an Imperial Executive.

The current House elected by district may only represent a little over half the population.  I haven’t had a representative in Congress for most of my adult life.  Proportional representation says any group that makes up 1/4 % of the voting public gets a representative, or about 150,000 people on big election days.  Of course the slate of candidates would be affected by the term limits.

Proportional representation is the best way to break the stranglehold the Binopoly on power held by the two big parties.  There were more than enough votes for third parties to get substantial representation under the district system but it never happens because the votes are spread all over the country.  Proportional representation fixes that.

As a secondary effect, proportional representation makes it harder for the corrupting practice of “bringing home the bacon” to work because for the most part, individual  representatives would not have a home district to send bacon to.  Now a big area, like New York City could create a local part (call it the NYC Party) whose whole purpose is to steal for the City.  They could conceivably get enough votes to hold a number of seats in the house (one seat for each 150,000 votes).  But they would have to influence all the other representatives, many without clearly defined constituent areas, to steal from their own constituents to give to New York.  Politics would ensue, but that’s what legislating is all about.

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