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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:36 PM

Sometimes, when I lay alone at night, I think we should get rid of the House of Representatives.

Because of districts, especially gerrymandered districts, we're left with so many members who are extremists - like Bachmann and the now voted out West. These are people who would never win a statewide race and make up a huge amount of the obstruction we're seeing in Washington. Hell, in the 90s, they actually voted to impeach President Clinton.

Yeah, sure, it'll never happen ... and probably shouldn't ... but I see the House as less a governing body and more a loony bin. The senate isn't much better, but because it forces candidates to run statewide, you're less likely to elect a nut - as we've seen in Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, Connecticut and other states over the years. Oh sure, there will always be reactionist assholes - but not nearly at the House-level.

I don't know. Spit balling unrealistic ideas here. Pay me no attention.

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Reply Sometimes, when I lay alone at night, I think we should get rid of the House of Representatives. (Original post)
Drunken Irishman Dec 2012 OP
GentryDixon Dec 2012 #1
CTyankee Dec 2012 #15
RKP5637 Dec 2012 #2
tarheelsunc Dec 2012 #3
atreides1 Dec 2012 #4
zipplewrath Dec 2012 #5
lastlib Dec 2012 #6
DrToast Dec 2012 #7
libdem4life Dec 2012 #8
Jeff In Milwaukee Dec 2012 #9
former9thward Dec 2012 #10
Jeff In Milwaukee Dec 2012 #11
former9thward Dec 2012 #12
Jeff In Milwaukee Dec 2012 #13
former9thward Dec 2012 #17
joshcryer Dec 2012 #14
treestar Dec 2012 #16

Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:40 PM

1. Utah is a very good example

of the gerrymandering you speak of. They thought they had Matheson, but fell short, so now they want to rewrite the rules again. A Dem or Ind stands no chance in this state.

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Response to GentryDixon (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:04 AM

15. Utah aside, don't we have to target red states where we have a chance of changing the maikeup

of the state legislature empowered to gerrymander and getting some re-districting accomplished? It seems to me that we focus on what is doable and where our chances are better.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:44 PM

2. Because the house is rigged and gamed! It no longer represents we the people, but rather

we the manipulated.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:45 PM

3. Or maybe we should hold a generic congressional election in each state.

Instead of voting for one representative, you vote for a party to represent you in the House and the proportion determines how many from each party go. I suppose this may not work because the member selection would be pretty arbitrary.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:45 PM

4. Sometimes

I think that re-districting should be done by the Federal government, my reasoning is based on the fact that re-districting is done based on the Census which is conducted by the federal government and based on federal law.

By allowing state legislatures to do it, allows for a corruption of the process...a process that gave us West and keeps giving us Bachmann and other bat shit crazies!



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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:47 PM

5. give with one hand, take with the other

The system also creates the opportunity for people like Grayson, Kucinich, et. al. to get onto the public stage. Probably a worthy trade.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:58 PM

6. Sometimes, alone at night, I think we should abolish mid-term elections..

Let House members serve four years, and maybe instead of being in perpetual camapign mode, they can spend just one or two years actually working for the people (or, these days, the corporations) they supposedly represent. Senators could serve eight years.

My unrealistic idea......

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:58 PM

7. I'd rather get rid of the Senate

True there are issues with gerrymandering, but at least population determines the number of seats.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:18 PM

8. I'd like to add the Electoral College to the list.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:33 PM

9. Voting Rights Act

Use it to redraw districts that have been drawn for the sole purpose of disenfranchising voters.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:48 PM

10. The VRA is part of the problem.

The VRA demands creation of mandatory minority districts means Democrats are forced together in urban based districts. That allows Republicans to be more spread out. So you get Democratic districts with 90% Democrats and Republican districts with 55-60% Republicans. This means the VRA has disenfranchised Democratic voters.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:12 PM

11. It's not quite that simple...

You can't pack districts with high minority content when they could be spread between two districts with a reasonable chance of winning an election.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:19 PM

12. Really not sure what you are saying.

Last edited Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:14 AM - Edit history (1)

The VRA places minority representation above party representation. Which is why the Republicans happily vote to renew it. The VRA takes reliable Democratic voters (minorities) and compacts them into districts of more than 70% minority. This means Democrats who could be spread around are compacted together.

So just to make the math simple let's say we have 180 Democrats and 120 Republicans or 300 total. We are going to make 3 districts of 100 each. What happens is you get one Democratic district of 90D-10R and two Republican districts of 55R-45D. That is simplistic but it is what happens on a much larger scale.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:54 PM

13. As I understand it....

Using the three districts scenario.

You can't spread out the minority votes among the three districts for the purpose of disenfranchising voters in all three. At the same time, you can't create a "reservation" where all the minorities have been jammed into a single to AVOID having more than one competitive district.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:14 AM

17. You can't purposely create a reservation but that is what happens in practice.

Because of the urban areas minorities tend to live close together and in denser populations than non-minorities. Since the VRA requires minority districts be super-minority districts (70% or more) it becomes very difficult to spread out minority populations into other districts.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:56 AM

14. Apportionment is the problem. It was supposed to resemble a true representitive Democracy.

As it stands now it's really skewed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_congressional_apportionment

We need 5000 congresspeople.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:23 AM

16. Maybe they could be elected at large

Here in Delaware, we have one at large, because we don't have enough people for one district.

States could elect all of theirs at large. Though the large states - it would be hard in California to have to vote for 43 Representatives.

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