Congressional Apportionment: Should there be more representatives?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Ivon Denosovich, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Ivon Denosovich

    Ivon Denosovich
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    We've had several threads on civics lately, and all of this has left thinking about the idea of increasing the membership of Congress. Would more Congressmen = more representation? Or would it be more like, more Congressmen = more threats to liberty, corruption, annoying advertisements, etc?

    I was fascinated to learn in Wikipedia's entry on Congressional Apportionment that the House once had 437 members but was eventually shrunk to 435.

    Times were when a House member represented 33,000 people (1790). Today there are nearly 700,000 per House member. Are we still represented as individually as previous generations? Or are we as individuals becoming lost in a sea of the voting masses? Would increasing the number of Representatives (and subsequently shrinking the base of his/her constituents) provide more diversity in politics, or just leave us with more of the same ole same ole?

    What says ye? How many people (roughly) should a member of the House represent? And would this preferred number change your mind on the amount of Representatives we now have?
     
    #1 Ivon Denosovich, Apr 15, 2010
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  2. Salty

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    Yes, most defenitely!

    How about 750 reps @ 300 million residents, that would be about 400 thousand per rep.
     
  3. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    The number has been set by law since 1911. That 437 was only to give representation to Alaska and Hawaii until the 1960 census when a proper reapportionment could take place. It lasted only about a year.

    To keep the same ratio as 1789 would require more than 9,000 members in the House.

    435 is plenty of representation in the modern era with modern transport and communication. If we changed it would just be more politicians in Washington.
     
    #3 NaasPreacher (C4K), Apr 15, 2010
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  4. Ivon Denosovich

    Ivon Denosovich
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    That is truly a frightening thought! :eek: But what about one member per 500,000, which would be 600 representatives with the Senate staying the same? Or perhaps pushing 435 up to 500 as a nice even number (with some sorta institutional rules for ties), which would come out to one Congressman per 600,000... would either of those scenarios be objectionable?

    You may be onto something here, what with innovation and all.
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Saying that, I did read once about a proposal that would take the population of the least populace state and and make that the standard for Congressional districts. That might be interesting. At the 2000 census figures that would give us 569 members in the House.
     
  6. rbell

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    435 of these morons has just about sunk our country. Can't imagine what 9K would do to us. :eek:
     
  7. Salty

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    Actually by having more ( 500 -700 total) there would be greater accountability by the reps
     
  8. Robert Snow

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    It would no doubt mean more gridlock, which many would see as a good thing.
     
  9. Jerome

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    James Madison, Federalist Paper 55:

    "Sixty or seventy men may be more properly trusted with a given degree of power than six or seven. But it does not follow that six or seven hundred would be proportionably a better depositary. And if we carry on the supposition to six or seven thousand, the whole reasoning ought to be reversed. The truth is, that in all cases a certain number at least seems to be necessary to secure the benefits of free consultation and discussion, and to guard against too easy a combination for improper purposes; as, on the other hand, the number ought at most to be kept within a certain limit, in order to avoid the confusion and intemperance of a multitude."

    "At the expiration of twenty-five years, according to the computed rate of increase, the number of representatives will amount to two hundred, and of fifty years, to four hundred. This is a number which, I presume, will put an end to all fears arising from the smallness of the body."
     
  10. billwald

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    The more representatives, the more expensive for our owners to buy them all.
     
  11. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Excellent research. Thank you. I had totally forgotten that quote so went and bougth the Federalist Papers :)
     
  12. billwald

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    Then also read the anti-federalist papers. Which view has been accurate over the last 200 years?
     

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