Congressional Representation

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by grannys01, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. grannys01
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    grannys01 Guest

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    This is not my idea but one I heard on the radio a few weeks ago, NPR I think. The question: why can't we have more representatives in congress, (not senators) since congressional districts are set by population?

    The congress, by law, set the limit on congressional representatives at 435 in 1911 when the population was 91 million. Here it is 2000 with a population of 281 million and we still have 435 representatives.

    In 1910 one congressman represented about 209,000 people
    In 2000 one congressman represented about 646,000 people
    In my city we have one city councilman representing about 8,600
    people.

    My point? So many being represented by so few at the national level we the people are left with hardly a voice.

    What prompted me to broach this subject for the boards comments/discussion is that our city council wanted to increase speeding fines in residential areas 2000%, from $25 minimum to $500 minimum. Telephone calls, letter writing and local news editorials quickly forced a change of heart on the council and the fines will change but be a lot more reasonable. $50 minimum to a
    $200 Maximum.

    We, as voters, tell our congressmen our views (in various ways) but response is 1. ignored, 2. distorted beyond recognition, 3. special interests win out, 4. poor bills that are struck down by the courts.

    My arguement - with more congressmen representing fewer people our voices may be heard better.

    Thank you,

    Granny
     
  2. jon_forward
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    jon_forward Active Member

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    welcome to the board granny001!!!! .....you have an interesting idea.....is it possible? I doubt it as they would not let go of their power easily...nor the money given them for their service[lack of]....but a grassroots thing might work...
     
  3. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    ...A good idea, but as jon said, it would be difficult to pry power from the deathgrip of our current batch of Congressional reps. It would have to come from the grassroots.

    Take care!
     
  4. eric
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    Welcome to the board Grannys01 ! :)
     
  5. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Not to mention the costs involved. Let's say we doubled the number of representatives. Now you need to add that many more salaries, plus staffers, per diem, etc. Then you'd have to expand the chamber itself. Then you'd have the costs of 870 elections every two years, versus the 435 today. Just being practical, but the money involved would be incredible.
     
  6. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    not to mention the fact that its currenly near impossible to get the 435 members to work things out agreeably, it would be doubly so for twice that number.
     
  7. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    I say make them be like they use to be.... a secondary job and not your main one. Either stop paying them, or pay them much, much less. They all say they are doing it "for the country" but then they hold their hands out for money.

    As for the meetings in the house.... I mean, tradition is fine, but this is the 21st century. Why do they even have to meet? Hell, let them stay in their districts and vote on bills from afar. Gentlemen, we have the technology to do it! deeeeedeeedeeeeedeeeeee! (I forget how the tune to the Bionic Man goes....)

    Just a pipe dream anyway.......
     
  8. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    Sorry granny, but this ideas sucks. More politicians is not the answer to any problem worth solving.
     
  9. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    More jobs for liberals to suck at the public trough. Exactly.

    This is an idea sorely lacking in any actual intellectual merit.
     
  10. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    rt...

    You're right politician suck, but you are being as nearsighted as I have seen you charging others of in other threads....

    Actually, the idea makes a lot of sense. Instead of a few (435) having all the power, 870 will. That would make the representation of the country more diverse in it's thinking.

    Think about it, right now you have 435 guys making all the decisions for 290 million people. As she pointed out, that is one man per 666,666.666 people (wow, that is scary! lol). That is not fair representation. That puts all the power in the hands of a few.

    If it were doubled, and the elections were held every four instead of two years, and they were paid NADA, then maybe we would finally start receiving some decent representation.

    Do you realize that out of the 435 Congressional Members, just over 36% come from just five states? Hell, 54% come from just 10 states. Now, I know you are going to say that of course, as those states have the most population. You are right. They also have the biggest number of illegal immigrants that are affecting OUR politics.

    That is what was so important about the 2000 elections. Like the results or not, the electoral college prevented, for all intents and purposes, just four states (Texas, Florida, California and New York) from deciding who would represent the entire USA.

    It is scary when you think about it. The most populous states have huge illegal immigration issues, yet they hold all the power.

    If that is what you like then fine. However, I must agree, something needs to be done as us Americans are losing control of our country to a few, powerful politicians.
     

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