One rep per 50,000 AND Proportional Representation

Discussions that don't belong elsewhere in the forum, but hopefully are still somewhat relevant to TTO.
Forum rules
As elsewhere in the TTO forum, no harangues, scurrilities, chicanery or mongering is permitted. However, repartees and irreverence is tolerated as long as they are not fatuous. Those who fail to abide by these rules may be subject to objurgation.  

One rep per 50,000 AND Proportional Representation

Postby Epicurus » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:02 am

The single member district is inherently unfair unless you believe the absurdity that a liberal Democrat can truly "represent" a conservative Republican and vice versa. Single member (aka winner-take-all) elections often award 100% of the representation to a narrow majority, as little as a 50.1% majority, or even to the winner of a minority of the votes where there are three or more candidates in an election and the plurality candidate wins. The people who vote for the losing candidate or candidates are left with no one to represent their views.

Here's the problem: there is no way to draw a single member district (and let's face it, most districts in the U.S. are gerrymandered) which does not leave some people without a voice in government. Real democracy is having a representative who represents your views. That's why most democracies which have emerged since ours have some form of proportional representation.

The single member district often leaves up to 49.9% of people without representation in government. Is that fair? What happened to "no taxation without representation?" And it's probably the biggest single reason a lot people don't vote: they live in a district which is almost certain to elect someone from the other party. So why should they care about voting?

To put it most succinctly, should your representative be determined more by your street address than by what you believe?

Like-minded voters in a geographical area should be able to elect candidates in proportion to their share of the vote. For example, in a five-seat district, like-minded voters with 20% of the votes should win one out of five seats and like-minded voters with 51% of the vote should win three of five seats. This voting method is perfectly constitutional and requires only that a federal law requiring single member districts be repealed.

In addition, ranked choice voting virtually insures that you will be represented by someone who YOU ACTUALLY VOTED FOR, unlike our present system where you can be "represented" by someone you didn't vote for and would never vote for. Voters simply rank candidates in order of preference, putting a 1" by their first choice a "2" by their second choice and so on. Voters can rank as few or as many candidates as they wish. More candidates with more varied views will be encouraged to run under this system.

Here's how we get there from where we are now in a six minute video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS62N5b5L7Y

Of course combined with the increase in the number of congresspeople as advocated on this site, which I fully agree with, the multi-seat districts will be much smaller than the examples given in the video.
Last edited by Epicurus on Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:20 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Epicurus    
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:48 pm
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: One rep per 50,000 AND Proportional Representation

Postby Paul » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:25 pm

There are many issues with fair vote that are actually in opposition to the concept of representation.

The first is direct accountability. Since there are several individuals elected in a district, none of them are truly accountable. They can just point fingers all day long. When one representative is responsible for all votes, their is clear accountability.

The second major conflict is that it places power in parties instead of people. Again, completely counter to the concept of representation.

The issue with getting the district size right is more based on the interest level of the office, among other factors. For example, most geographic areas with 30.000 people will have relatively homogenous views on national issues. However, on state issues this size would be much too huge. Probably 3,000 people per state lower house district would be more reasonable, and on a municipal level something like 300 people.

The general issue of never having a representative that represents 100% of a voter's opinions actually leads more to question the concept of representative democracy vs. pure democracy, anarchy, etc.
User avatar
Paul    
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Morgan Hill, CA
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: One rep per 50,000 AND Proportional Representation

Postby Epicurus » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:16 pm

"Since there are several individuals elected in a district, none of them are truly accountable. They can just point fingers all day long."

People elected in a multi-seat district are just as accountable for the votes each casts as someone elected in a single member district. They don't cast their votes anonymously as a group.

"it [fair voting] places power in parties instead of people."

To the contrary, it allows minority views to have representation in the government--people who aren't acceptable to the two major parties: non-interventionist conservatives, fiscally conservative social liberals, etc. If anything, party affiliation would become less important.

"most geographic areas with 30.000 people will have relatively homogenous views on national issues."

An assumption on your part. I suspect empirical evidence would show that people residing on one city block don't agree on national issues. Nonetheless, the key word is "relatively." Even if someone wins with 80% of the vote, why should the other 20% of the voters be denied a voice in government?

I can't decipher your last comment.
Epicurus    
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:48 pm
Stance: Pro-Enlargement

Re: One rep per 50,000 AND Proportional Representation

Postby Epicurus » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:58 pm

Paul wrote:"most geographic areas with 30.000 people will have relatively homogenous views on national issues."


I doubt you can find relatively homogenous views on national issues within one city block anywhere in the country, anthropogenic climate change and whether or not we should be fighting Middle East wars, to name two.

If your congressperson was diametrically opposed to almost everything you believe in, I don't see how you can conclude that you have representation, regardless of how many constituents he or she has.
Epicurus    
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:48 pm
Stance: Pro-Enlargement


Return to Whatever...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron