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Rojo
01-13-2005, 04:44 PM
I've been for this for a long time.

Boston Globe (http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/01/13/a_bigger_more_democratic_congress/)

A bigger, more democratic Congress
By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | January 13, 2005

IRAQIS GO to the polls on Jan. 30 to choose the first truly democratic government in their nation's history. If all goes well, the election will result in a new National Assembly of 275 members, drawn from different political parties roughly in proportion to the share of the vote each party receives.

The distance Iraq has come in less than two years is remarkable. In January 2003, all political power in the country was concentrated in the hands of a single sadistic dictator. He represented, and answered to, no one but himself. Today, 7,200 candidates are campaigning for the privilege of holding office in a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people. If that isn't progress, nothing is.

It is thanks to the United States, of course, that Iraq is about to join the ranks of the planet's democracies. Ironically, the moment the new National Assembly is seated, Iraq will surpass the US Congress in one key measure of democratic legitimacy: the ratio of elected lawmakers to citizens.

Divide Iraq's 25 million people by the number of members in the new parliament (275), and the result is one legislator for every 91,000 people. That will make Iraq's government almost exactly as representative as Great Britain's -- each member of the House of Commons also represents, on average, about 91,000 citizens. Other democracies are comparable. The ratio for Italy's Chamber of Deputies is 1 to 92,000. For the French National Assembly, 1 to 104,000. For Canada's House of Commons, 1 to 105,000. For Germany's Bundestag, 1 to 136,000.

But in the US House of Representatives, each lawmaker represents, on average, a staggering 674,000 citizens. That makes the "people's house" in Washington one of the least democratic bodies of its kind in the world. No wonder so many Americans feel alienated from Congress. The vastness of their constituencies has turned too many representatives into distant careerists, political moguls with bloated staffs and bloated egos who are more closely attuned to their campaign war chests than to the lives of the people they are supposed to represent.

Term limits would help reconnect members of Congress with their districts, as would an end to blatantly partisan gerrymandering. But there is an even better way to make Congress more democratic: Make it bigger.

Preposterous? It shouldn't be. When the Framers drafted the Constitution, they fully expected that as the American population grew, so would the House of Representatives. "I take for granted," James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 55, "that the number of representatives will be augmented from time to time in the manner provided by the Constitution." He was writing to rebut charges that the proposed House was too small to be democratic and would turn into an oligarchy. He repeated the point in Federalist Nos. 56 and 58, noting that the purpose of the decennial census was to facilitate the growth of the House.

And growth there was. From 65 seats in 1789, the House grew to 105 after the 1790 Census tallied 3.9 million Americans -- putting the ratio of representatives to citizens at 1 to 37,000. After the 1800 Census, the House was enlarged to 142, then to 186 after the 1810 Census, 213 after the 1820 Census, and so on for more than a century. The increase in House members always lagged behind the increase in population, so the number of citizens per member of Congress steadily rose.

Still, it was 1860 before the ratio went over 1 for every 100,000, and not until 1910, when the House expanded to 435 members, that it surpassed 1 for every 200,000. But in the years since, the number of House seats has remained fixed at 435, while the population has more than tripled. The result is today's swollen congressional districts, each of which now contains more people than most states did when the Constitution was ratified.

Enlarging the House to around 1,300 members -- triple its current size -- would doubtless take some getting used to. But the benefits would more than outweigh any inconvenience.

Among them: Congress would be enriched by a great infusion of new blood and new ideas. Congressional staffs could be sharply reduced. Smaller districts would promote greater political intimacy -- elections would be more likely to turn on personal campaigning and local ties instead of costly mass-media advertising. No longer would states have to lose seats in Congress even though their population had grown, and with fewer votes needed to get elected, the House would be more likely to reflect the nation's social and political diversity.

As the number of people grow, the "people's house" should grow. On this as on so much else, the Framers had it right.

jmcclain19
01-13-2005, 05:04 PM
Jacoby has always been an interesting outside the box kind of guy, and this is my favorite idea of his yet.

Although I wouldn't go so far as tripling it, doubling or even a 66% increase would go a long way.

KronoRed
01-13-2005, 05:10 PM
It needs to be larger, if they need to build a bigger building then get it done.

Redsfaithful
01-13-2005, 05:26 PM
It should happen. Probably won't, but it should.

RedsBaron
01-13-2005, 05:38 PM
I have really thought about the proposal, but my initial reaction is that a House made up of 1300 members might lead to more gridlock. However gridlocks has its virtues.

Unassisted
01-13-2005, 05:40 PM
Enlarge it? Nahhh, reduce it, and give the money to support enlarging state and local government representation. It makes me crazy that the city council districts here have 150,000 people in them.

Rojo
01-13-2005, 06:27 PM
"The cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy" -- Andrew Jackson

MuEconRedLeg
01-13-2005, 06:32 PM
who are more closely attuned to their campaign war chests than to the lives of the people they are supposed to represent.

Hardly, a 98% incumbency rate gives more than enough job security. After six years they donít even have to run, as long as the pork is coming in. This is the lynchpin of his argument and in my mind speaks more to rhetoric than to actual observation, unless he intended to say SenateÖ then there might be a case.

Increased size = increased scope


Enlarge it? Nahhh, reduce it, and give the money to support enlarging state and local government representation. It makes me crazy that the city council districts here have 150,000 people in them.

Exactly, national stuff is far sexier but local stuff is far more important in everyday life.

But, if Congress is increased should it be done while the Repubs control Washington?

pedro
01-13-2005, 06:37 PM
That's an interesting article.

MuEconRedLeg
01-13-2005, 06:38 PM
"The cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy" -- Andrew Jackson

Fifty-one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic.
- Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

jmcclain19
01-13-2005, 06:39 PM
I've always been a fan of Term Limits, and polls show that America typically is as well, except when it comes to their own congressman.

It's another amusing figure, that most people are against pork, as long as it doesn't take away money from their district.

Smaller districts, combined with states having independent panels who do the districts, not the gerrymandered politicized way its done now in most states (Hello California and Texas), would go a long way towards curbing some problems.

Rojo
01-13-2005, 06:52 PM
Smaller districts would probably mean some more third party reps and that's can't be bad thing.

jmcclain19
01-13-2005, 07:02 PM
Smaller districts would probably mean some more third party reps and that's can't be bad thing.

Amen to that. Which is probably the chief reason that, outside a direct public referendum, it'll never happen.

MuEconRedLeg
01-13-2005, 07:28 PM
Smaller districts would probably mean some more third party reps and that's can't be bad thing.

It would also create more fighting over resources, or the need for more resources (i.e. taxing).

REDREAD
01-13-2005, 08:22 PM
IMO, we already have enough politicians. Most of them are completely useless.
Double the size of congress, and you'll have double the corruption and double the waste.

If nothing else, it's a good chunk of change to put another 200 of them on the payroll and pay for all their perks.

It would lead to small feifdoms, but no improvement.

Heck, if anything, they should reduce the size of congress, IMO.

If you want more independents.. that's not going to happen without some big changes to the system, and the two parties in power aren't going to let that happen.

Redsfaithful
01-13-2005, 08:46 PM
If you want more independents.. that's not going to happen without some big changes to the system

Doubling the size of Congress isn't a big change?

Phoenix
01-13-2005, 09:41 PM
No thanks. Let's worry about fixing Social Security.

Redsfaithful
01-13-2005, 10:24 PM
No thanks, social security is in pretty good shape.

MuEconRedLeg
01-14-2005, 06:47 AM
No thanks, social security is in pretty good shape

I cannot beleive they are actually getting people to beleive that.

Redsfaithful
01-14-2005, 07:39 AM
I cannot beleive they are actually getting people to beleive that.

Who's they?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2304-2005Jan11.html?sub=AR


In fact, Social Security is on a sounder footing now than it has been for most of its 70-year history. Without altering any of its particulars, its trustees say, it can pay full benefits straight through 2042. Over the next 75 years its shortfall will amount to just 0.7 percent of national income, according to the trustees, or 0.4 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That still amounts to a real chunk of change, but it pales alongside the 75-year cost of Bush's Medicare drug benefit, which is more than twice its size, or Bush's tax cuts if permanently extended, which would be nearly four times its size.

In short, Social Security is not facing a financial crisis at all. It is facing a need for some distinctly sub-cataclysmic adjustments over the next few decades that would increase its revenue and diminish its benefits.

And England tried privatization too, back when nutty Margeret Thatcher was in power. How'd that work out?

http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=8997


Britainís experiment with substituting private savings accounts for a portion of state benefits has been a failure. A shorthand explanation for what has gone wrong is that the costs and risks of running private investment accounts outweigh the value of the returns they are likely to earn. On average, fees and charges can reduce pension lump sums by up to 30 percent on retirement. The nationís savings industry, which sells those private accounts, has already acknowledged this. Which brings us to irony No. 2: Just as the United States prepares to funnel untold billions to its private sector for the management of private accounts, back in 2002, many U.K. insurance companies, mindful of tough new rules against giving bad advice, began to write to their customers urging them to consider abandoning their private savings and returning to the state pension system -- something hundreds of thousands of Britons have done already.

If you work in the finance industry I can see how Bush's plan would appeal to you. Otherwise it's a pretty raw deal.

Ravenlord
01-14-2005, 07:44 AM
No thanks, social security is in pretty good shape.
tell that to my grandparents and they just might try to shoot you.

RedFanAlways1966
01-14-2005, 07:54 AM
If it works, then don't mess with it. It works IMO... so leave it be.

MuEconRedLeg
01-14-2005, 07:54 AM
Who's they?

The large number of Lefties that are pushing a conservative arguement on SS in all types of media outlets.



In fact, Social Security is on a sounder footing now than it has been for most of its 70-year history. Without altering any of its particulars, its trustees say, it can pay full benefits straight through 2042. Over the next 75 years its shortfall will amount to just 0.7 percent of national income, according to the trustees, or 0.4 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That still amounts to a real chunk of change, but it pales alongside the 75-year cost of Bush's Medicare drug benefit, which is more than twice its size, or Bush's tax cuts if permanently extended, which would be nearly four times its size.

Yes, SS will not have to make a move on its own. But, what they do not tell you is that the obligation lies in the trust fund which is made up of bond obligations of the general revenue. SS might not have to tax more, but considering we are in a deficit now where will the general revenue money come from?




If you work in the finance industry I can see how Bush's plan would appeal to you. Otherwise it's a pretty raw deal.

The President's Plan might be a bad idea. Yet, to say there is not a problem is misleading and could be costly. I would love to hear oppinions other that "its fine", but nobody is offering them.

Ravenlord
01-14-2005, 08:25 AM
here's my idea on SS...the basic system works the same way, but you can control up to 2/5 of it in a privatized way. this way, there is a larger next egg, and SS can do what it's original purpose be; a supplemental income. not the primary one.

REDREAD
01-14-2005, 10:15 AM
Doubling the size of Congress isn't a big change?

The independents would have the same disadvantages that they do today. The Repubs and Democrats put up all the road blocks to keep them off the ballots, they get only a fraction of the money and TV time that the Repubs and Democrats get, etc.

Doubling congress might bring in 2-3 more independents, but not a whole lot.

We have too many useless people in government. Doubling the size of congress would just create more government waste.

REDREAD
01-14-2005, 10:19 AM
A shorthand explanation for what has gone wrong is that the costs and risks of running private investment accounts outweigh the value of the returns they are likely to earn. On average, fees and charges can reduce pension lump sums by up to 30 percent on retirement.

Then it sounds like the government really screwed up by chosing the managers of these accounts.. A 30% fee?

The privatation I would like would be to have a portion (or all) of your SS go into a huge index fund.. Like the S+P 500, but bigger. Like maybe the top 3000 coorporations in the world. They could also maybe mix some bonds in.. But the key is that it would be UNMANAGED, just like an index fund, so you don't have managers constantly turning it over to generate exorbitant fees. You could have the fund run entirely by computers.

WebScorpion
01-15-2005, 12:36 AM
Hey, I got a spam the other day for Congress enlargement...it seemed quite affordable and sounded like they could get it done pretty quickly. Let me see... where'd I put that... OOPS!! I'm sorry, that wasn't Congress enlargement... http://instagiber.net/smiliesdotcom/contrib/tweetz/scared.gif

Phoenix
01-15-2005, 06:10 PM
No thanks, social security is in pretty good shape.

"Social Security is in pretty good shape". I don't ever recall anyone saying that or writing that before. Wow.

Redsfaithful
01-15-2005, 06:43 PM
"Social Security is in pretty good shape". I don't ever recall anyone saying that or writing that before. Wow.

The Washington Post said that in the article I quoted. So that makes twice in one thread!

Phoenix
01-15-2005, 07:03 PM
So you and some guy at the Washington Post think Social Security is in good shape. Anyone else on this forum think it's in good shape?

Reds4Life
01-15-2005, 07:18 PM
I'd prefer the option of putting some of the money in private accounts. It makes sense, why limit returns? The average return with Social Security is 2%, which in many cases isn't even enough to keep up with the inflation rate. Even if you go with something risk free, like government bonds, the return rate is historically double that, around 4% at least.

The Presidents plan seems to be VERY popular with younger workers (early 20's to mid 30's). Almost everyone I know in that age range loves the idea and is pulling for it to happen. Even people in their 40's and 50's I know like the idea. Sadly many seniors believe the mantra that Bush is trying to take your Social Security check away, which is 100% false. The program is totally optional, if you like the current system you can stay in it. For those who want some options however, I think it's a great idea.

pedro
01-15-2005, 07:55 PM
So you and some guy at the Washington Post think Social Security is in good shape. Anyone else on this forum think it's in good shape?

I certainly don't think calling a system that is projected to be fully funded for the next 37 years "in crisis" is very accurate.

LawFive
01-16-2005, 01:36 AM
Double or Triple Congress? Crazy. Each member already gets close to a $1 million budget each year for staff, travel, office needs, etc. Where does that money come from? Us. The 435 members we have now have a hard enough time getting anything done. Multiply that times two or three, and every congressional day would be like trying to drive from Downtown Cincy up I-75 at 5:00 pm. For the non-locals, thats oftentimes a 90 minute drive to go 20 miles.

MuEconRedLeg
01-16-2005, 09:02 AM
I certainly don't think calling a system that is projected to be fully funded for the next 37 years "in crisis" is very accurate.

But, the point the opposition to reform will not address is the fact that it is not "fully funded" on its own. It is funded as long as the trust fund is funded. But, the problem is the trust fund is full of bonds that are obligations of the general revenue (i.e. all the money for Congress to divvy out).

This means as we move forward with Social Security we young workers will have to pay SS through a payroll tax and then through our income taxes. This starts at about 2017 and I have seen estimates that it will eventually take 1/3 of our incomes just to pay Social Security without paying for everything else. To me that is a crisis!

We can sit around today a say it is not a problem, because we do not like President Bush, but when I am about 35 I am going to be wondering where in the heck my money is going!

Redsfaithful
01-18-2005, 11:10 AM
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/


Interesting Data:

Top ten highest concentrations of Social Security beneficiaries as a percentage of a state's population ...

West Virginia 22.4%
Maine 20.1%
Arkansas 19.9%
Florida 19.6%
Pennsylvania 19.3%
Alabama 19.3%
Kentucky 18.7%
Iowa 18.5%
Mississippi 18.5%
Missouri 18.1%

Worst demographic for President Bush on Social Security, by age ...

In the new Washington Post/ABC poll, President Bush has a 38% approval rating on Social Security and a 55% disapproval. 7% have no opinion.

Which is his worst age bracket? 18-30 year olds. They give him 33% approval/60% disapproval.

Rojo
01-18-2005, 12:58 PM
Anyone else on this forum think it's in good shape?

Count me in. Also the Congressional Budget Office and the Social Security Trustees.

Rojo
01-18-2005, 01:02 PM
Doubling congress might bring in 2-3 more independents, but not a whole lot.

With all due respect, if Congress expanded to a 1-100,000 ratio, San Francisco alone (pop. 800K) would add 2-3 independents.

Its sad to me to see how far we've wandered away from the ideals of the founding fathers.

MuEconRedLeg
01-18-2005, 06:08 PM
Count me in. Also the Congressional Budget Office and the Social Security Trustees.

Deficit expanding transfer payments.


With all due respect, if Congress expanded to a 1-100,000 ratio, San Francisco alone (pop. 800K) would add 2-3 independents.

Which would be diluted by the 15 Democrats and 3 Republicans WV sends.


ts sad to me to see how far we've wandered away from the ideals of the founding fathers.

Exactly, income tax, payroll tax, astronomical government spending, and expanding government have to go.

pedro
01-18-2005, 06:21 PM
But, the point the opposition to reform will not address is the fact that it is not "fully funded" on its own. It is funded as long as the trust fund is funded. But, the problem is the trust fund is full of bonds that are obligations of the general revenue (i.e. all the money for Congress to divvy out).

This means as we move forward with Social Security we young workers will have to pay SS through a payroll tax and then through our income taxes. This starts at about 2017 and I have seen estimates that it will eventually take 1/3 of our incomes just to pay Social Security without paying for everything else. To me that is a crisis!

We can sit around today a say it is not a problem, because we do not like President Bush, but when I am about 35 I am going to be wondering where in the heck my money is going!

Can you elaborate on the way the trust fund is funded? I'm just trying to fully understand what you are saying. thanks.

Rojo
01-18-2005, 07:11 PM
Which would be diluted by the 15 Democrats and 3 Republicans WV sends.

There are 435 members in the House and 100 in the Senate. Now which has more blacks? latinos? independents? Which represents the far ends of the spectrum better?

Its real simple -- the smaller the districts, the greater the diversity.

TC81190
01-18-2005, 07:56 PM
Heh heh heh...this thread title has the word 'enlarge' in it.

paintmered
01-18-2005, 08:01 PM
Heh heh heh...this thread title has the word 'enlarge' in it.


gO rEDZ!! :dflynn: :dflynn:

TC81190
01-18-2005, 08:10 PM
Merely kidding good fellow. :MandJ:

Phoenix
01-18-2005, 11:25 PM
Count me in. Also the Congressional Budget Office and the Social Security Trustees.

You would think differently if you understood the demographics of this aging country.

REDREAD
01-19-2005, 10:59 AM
With all due respect, if Congress expanded to a 1-100,000 ratio, San Francisco alone (pop. 800K) would add 2-3 independents.

Its sad to me to see how far we've wandered away from the ideals of the founding fathers.

I don't doubt that, I was assuming that expansion wouldn't be so extreme that SF got 8 reps on its own..

If you expanded to a 1-100k ratio, that means we'd have roughly 3000 representatives, right ? (Based on the US population of approximately 300 million.)

Man, that is WAY too many congressmen, at least IMO :)

Rojo
01-19-2005, 12:55 PM
You would think differently if you understood the demographics of this aging country.

I do understand and I don't think differently. We took care of the "boomer" problem back in the 80s. The small shortfalls will amount to one-half of one percent of GDP. The best way to prepare for that is to reduce the nation's debt.

MuEconRedLeg
01-19-2005, 05:40 PM
ts real simple -- the smaller the districts, the greater the diversity.

But, nothing has been brought forward to sufficiently support that claim. Sure, if Congress was expanded the number of minorities and independents would expand, but those numbers would be diluted by expansion of the parties. Any change would be marginal at best.

The only way to create diversity would be to create specific districts that would send minorities and independents. I am as disgruntled with Washington as anybody, but that is just way to panoptic. It is also the real point behind the facade of enlarging Congress and is simply a tool to leverage a specific interest.

Sometimes...things really donít change.

Rojo
01-19-2005, 05:48 PM
I don't get the "dilution" argument. Right now the two major parties have a near total lock on Congress. Doesn't adding more seats, and thus more independent/third party voices, "dilute" the Republicrat's power?


It is also the real point behind the facade of enlarging Congress and is simply a tool to leverage a specific interest.

To which "specific interest" are you refering?

MuEconRedLeg
01-19-2005, 07:50 PM
I don't get the "dilution" argument. Right now the two major parties have a near total lock on Congress. Doesn't adding more seats, and thus more independent/third party voices, "dilute" the Republicrat's power?

No, the size will change, but the percantages will not. 1 in 100 is no different than 10 in 1,000. Heck, I may even be understating my own case.



To which "specific interest" are you refering?

The flavor of the day that wants something from the taxpayers.

http://www.mises.org/images3/taxation2.jpg

Redsfaithful
01-19-2005, 07:58 PM
1 in 100 is no different than 10 in 1,000.

In voting power? Maybe not. But it's not all about votes.

Rojo
01-19-2005, 09:00 PM
No, the size will change, but the percantages will not.

They most assuredly would change. Back to my hometown. Under the current system, San Francisco gets one Rep who's always a Democrat. If we got 7 reps, we'd probably send 2 Greens, 4 Democrats and 1 Republican or Libertarian. That's a Democrat-to-Green ratio of two to one. As it stands now, the ratio is one to sombrero.

Sure a lot of new seats would be sucked up by the Republicrats, but a lot of them wouldn't, and that's a step forward in my book.

MuEconRedLeg
01-19-2005, 09:29 PM
They most assuredly would change. Back to my hometown. Under the current system, San Francisco gets one Rep who's always a Democrat. If we got 7 reps, we'd probably send 2 Greens, 4 Democrats and 1 Republican or Libertarian. That's a Democrat-to-Green ratio of two to one. As it stands now, the ratio is one to sombrero.

And, as I said earlier West Virginia would send a passel of Democrats. Even if the percentages changed, and that is a big if, you are playing in some seriously small margins. Would 1,000/15 be any better than 100/1.... not really.

In fact, you may even empower the two big parties. So, San Fran gets a couple of Greenies. Then the Greenies cannot get enough leverage to get pork, the Democrats spend money to show them as ineffective, and you are back to square one.

Or, the 'beltway effect' sets in and your Greenies realize they have to play the game to get enough goodies to send back to Cali and they lose that cool outsider luster they once had.

I cannot see any logical reason as to why an expansion would make any noticeable difference. Unless, you specifically target districts to enhance one side or the other, and that is far more bad than good.

Free trips to the Bahamas for allÖdonít worry we will issue bonds to pay for it.

Rojo
01-20-2005, 12:32 PM
So now your take is that, while there would be some change, its not enough and it will be co-opted by beltway insiderness anyhow. But its still improvement and you've not shown me one reason why that change, incremental it might be, is a bad thing.

MuEconRedLeg
01-20-2005, 05:31 PM
So now your take is that, while there would be some change, its not enough and it will be co-opted by beltway insiderness anyhow.

I qualified my redirect to counter your toying with margins. No, need to blow hot air.


But its still improvement and you've not shown me one reason why that change, incremental it might be, is a bad thing.

No it is not an improvement any way you slice it. I have shown that it would be either A. ineffective or B. power brokerage.

Any who, the burden of proof is not on me. I have provided sensible reasons as to why this would not be a good thing, to which you cannot rebut other than simply restating it is an improvement.

Rojo
01-20-2005, 05:44 PM
I have provided sensible reasons as to why this would not be a good thing

No, you've thrown a lot of vague notions at the wall to see which ones stick. So far, none has.

And I've been pretty clear as to why smaller districts means more political diversity.

MuEconRedLeg
01-21-2005, 07:19 AM
No, you've thrown a lot of vague notions at the wall to see which ones stick. So far, none has.

You throw out a theory with little more than hope to support it. I counter with a logical reason it would be ineffective (size dilution), a reality of outsiders in Washington (the beltway effect), and the probable downside of the theory in practice (extensive gerrymandering), and I am being vague? :rolleyes:

Redsfaithful
01-21-2005, 07:54 AM
You throw out a theory with little more than hope to support it. I counter with a logical reason it would be ineffective (size dilution), a reality of outsiders in Washington (the beltway effect), and the probable downside of the theory in practice (extensive gerrymandering), and I am being vague? :rolleyes:

And you do all that while ignoring the fact that a larger lawmaking group has usually helped to create much stronger third parties in other countries.

The point of this isn't to stengthen a party to the point that it's as big as the Democrats and Republicans. The point is to give a voice to parties that currently have none.

Would one seat in the House be better than none? Which is greater:

0/435
1/870

Which is more representative, a House with a member for every 100,000 or a House with a member for every 25,000 or 10,000?

I think you're reflexively against this because you think it's going to create more government spending, but I think it would be pretty good for the country.

MuEconRedLeg
01-21-2005, 05:31 PM
And you do all that while ignoring the fact that a larger lawmaking group has usually helped to create much stronger third parties in other countries.

Show me a country where the third parties have done little more than become tokens of centrism and I will concede the dillution point.


The point of this isn't to stengthen a party to the point that it's as big as the Democrats and Republicans. The point is to give a voice to parties that currently have none.

The point of the Iraq war was not to occupy a country and dispose of a dictator it was to find WMD's.

We all have wonderful ideal and goals but often times they do not work out. This is particuarly true in government.


Would one seat in the House be better than none? Which is greater:

0/435
1/870

1/434

I see you point and yes the percentages may change. But, you cannot account for the idealism dulling effect of the belt way or the guarenteed gerrymanding.


I think you're reflexively against this because you think it's going to create more government spending, but I think it would be pretty good for the country.

How is it not going to create more government spending? It will cost alot. Also, more districts and more reps mean that many more districts to please with pork and that many more special interests to protect.

I react because those who want change need to figure out it is not going to happen in Washington it can only happen in the states. And, no amount of restructuring of Washington will mean a thing if the States cannot live without federal monies.