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Thu Jun 18, 2020, 03:08 PM

Increase the size of the House!!

I don't know why this idea hasn't gained more traction.

The size of the average US House district is now well over 700,000 people. In some of the states that only have 1 member of Congress, the size of that 1 district is well over a million people. That is WAY too many people for 1 Representative.

The size of the House hasn't been changed in over 100 years. It was routinely increased after every census - including 1910, when the size of the House was set at 435 members. After the 1920 census, the size was not increased, because there were a lot of Representatives who saw that large cities were full of immigrants, and they didn't want them to have more representation (sound familiar)?

We now have the same number of Reps that we did in 1911, before New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii were states. The US population is now three times what it was then. Plus, women couldn't vote at that time, and neither could most African-American men. After the 2020 census, some states will lose Representatives, even though their populations increased. It's absolutely insane.

Plus, the number of electors is based on the number of Congressional districts. California is woefully under-represented in the Electoral College. California's population is almost 80 times that of Wyoming, but they only have 53 times as many representatives.

The Senate is already undemocratic. The House needs to make up for that!

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Increase the size of the House!! (Original post)
moose65 Jun 18 OP
tinrobot Jun 18 #1
lagomorph777 Jun 18 #2
moose65 Jun 20 #16
Warpy Jun 18 #3
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 18 #4
Bev54 Jun 18 #5
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 18 #7
RicROC Jun 18 #13
Bev54 Jun 18 #15
SharonClark Jun 18 #6
crickets Jun 18 #9
moose65 Jun 18 #10
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 18 #12
Warpy Jun 18 #11
Wounded Bear Jun 18 #8
RicROC Jun 18 #14
moose65 Jun 20 #17
RicROC Jun 20 #18

Response to moose65 (Original post)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 03:13 PM

1. I agree 1000%, plus it is the easiest fix we can implement,

We can do it with a simple act of Congress.

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Response to moose65 (Original post)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 03:14 PM

2. Reduce the influence of the Senate! Also, outlaw Gerrymandering!

That would be far more productive. The Senate was created to empower rural (slave) states over populous states so that slavery could be preserved. It is in direct opposition to equal rights under the law (i.e. you have disproportionately lower influence if your state is populous).

Outlawing Gerrymandering would make the House far more representative of the state's population.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 01:34 PM

16. Well, that's true, but....

Already in these comments we are losing the focus! Enlarging the House has historical precedent and is easy to understand. It could also be explained as potentially helping both sides - conservatives in Massachusetts, for example, donít have a voice right now. Of course, we know that it would overwhelmingly help Democrats, but we donít have to brag about that 😃

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Response to moose65 (Original post)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 03:25 PM

3. Redistribute the EC, while you're at it

It's a stupid, antidemocratic anachronism that has been disastrous the three times it has overruled the wishes of the American people. Reapportioning it would end that, as depopulated states in the interior would have far less clout. I say that as a person from a low population state. It is insane to have a state with about 2,000,000 people has 5 electors, while CA, with a population 20 times that, has 55 electors, a factor of only 11. Clearly, this is utterly insane and open to horrific manipulation, which we saw both in 2000 and in 2016.

Getting rid of this dinosaur might prove problematic, constitutional amendments are very hard to get passed. Pulling its teeth would do about the same thing and the country would be better for it.

Instead of being a barrier to electing populist disasters, it has facilitated them.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 03:37 PM

4. Eliminate the Electoral College entirely.

Under the current system, most people's votes simply don't count, especially if your preferred political party is in the minority in your state.

If we actually elected the President by popular vote, they'd have to campaign in more of the country. Or at least send good surrogates.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 03:46 PM

5. I agree, the electoral college is out of date

time for it to go. I would rather see the senate increased with relation to population more so than the house. If the senate was a true representative of the population, the dems would likely rule.

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Response to Bev54 (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 04:16 PM

7. The whole point of the Senate is to have

a separate body not influenced by population.

Not sure making number of senators population dependent is such a good idea.

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Response to Bev54 (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 09:15 PM

13. the Senate is now obsolete, too

Get rid of the electoral College and while they are at it, get rid of the Senate.
Voter Representation should rely on population and not on land mass.

I do think that states should be represented by 'someone' who is elected by the entire state, as opposed from just a district.
Maybe combine the Senate with the House?

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Response to RicROC (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 10:07 PM

15. I do believe the senate should also be on population

and it is only Moscow Mitch that has made it redundant. If it worked properly with the house, it has its place, just not the way it is working now.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 04:15 PM

6. Yes, please!

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 04:32 PM

9. Agreed! The EC should go. nt

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 05:02 PM

10. You're "what abouting" my post, though 😃

My post was about increasing the size of the House. Thatís it!

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Response to moose65 (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 05:19 PM

12. I was responding to the third post here.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 05:03 PM

11. Sure, just wave a magic wand and it shall be done

The problem is that a lot of low population states would yowl about that and it would be a very tough sell both in Congress and to the states to get it repealed.

Reapportioning it wouldn't take an amendment. It would be a much easier process.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 04:19 PM

8. Expanding the number of House seats would automatically do that...

Right now this is the core form of gerrymandering in place, that didproportionate representation of small, largely rural states.

Bumping the House by 50 seats would cure a lot of that.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 09:35 PM

14. increase the # of seats depending on population

1) Right now the # of Representatives is fixed. I suggest we 'uncouple' it from a fixed #. That after the census, every 10 years, the formulation of the House of Rep is changed based on a formula of population and not try to fit population into 435 seats or a fixed # of seats. It's' possible that the House could be increased to 600 members.

2) One positive result is that the # of people in each district is decreased, therefore, each Rep (or as I call it , MC Member of Congress) should be able to have more intimate and closer contact with his constituents.

3) and now for something completely different.....instead of gerrymandering, draw political districts based on school districts/combination of school districts.
Voters would have a much better idea what their voter districts look like.
For large population centers, draw districts based on the look of the high school draw area.

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Response to RicROC (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 01:45 PM

17. I guess the next question would be:

How many seats should the House have? The population has tripled since the last increase, but I donít know how well the idea of 1,300 Representatives would go over!

At the very least, the most egregious things need to be fixed:

DC needs a full-fledged voting member of the House. It should be treated just like a state in redistricting.

No state should lose representatives unless the population has decreased since the previous census.

There should be a formula for automatically increasing the House size after every census.

The number of Reps for NM, AZ, AK and HI should be added to the total, at least, since they werenít states the last time the size was increased. Letís see: Alaska has 1, Hawaii has 2, New Mexico has 3, and Arizona has 9. Along with 1 for DC, thatís 16 more seats at minimum. I think we need more to account for population growth. Hereís a random number: 90 more seats, for a total of 525.

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Response to moose65 (Reply #17)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:51 PM

18. good points!

You have good, thoughtfull ideas. I like the idea about those states who were admitted to the Union after the # of seats were fixed.

For a radical idea, combine the Senate and the House, take the # of seats per state, but save two of those seats for Senators who are elected by the entire state. can still call them Senators but each vote is equal to anyone else. Their term is longer.

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