Discuss how we can hasten progress towards enlarging representation. There are two primary components to this: 1) educating others in order to gain the necessary public support; and, 2) ensuring implementation via a constitutional amendment or other legal means.
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This forum is only for discussion related to achieving the vision of a much larger House. All other discussion will be moved or deleted. No incivility or partisan advocacy allowed.
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Paul
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by Paul »

Jeff, the two strategies are nearly exactly the ones that I was going to suggest. The 'how and where we get support' and the 'how to actually do the legal stuff'.

One of the things I really want to contribute to and help with is to make increasing representation relevant. To demonstrate and open up discussion on how so many of the challenges we face today are largely brought on by the lack of representation which results in a plutocracy that answers and responds to special interests. There needs to be open discussion on this important aspect of TTO because if people do not understand the relevance of the discussion, then they're probably not going to care about actively supporting it.

I really don't think forums are places for bibliographies. It's intended to be more casual, open discussion on specific topics where anyone from anywhere can post and engage. Formal arguments and positions are for blogs and wikis.

And how about a "Why is THIS solution a better solution than..." category. I want to call special attention to this because there so many 'solutions' floating around right now that are really just fixes to problems created by the lack of representation. Aspirin for the brain tumor, so to speak.
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JEQuidam
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by JEQuidam »

Paul wrote:One of the things I really want to contribute to and help with is to make increasing representation relevant. To demonstrate and open up discussion on how so many of the challenges we face today are largely brought on by the lack of representation which results in a plutocracy that answers and responds to special interests. There needs to be open discussion on this important aspect of TTO because if people do not understand the relevance of the discussion, then they're probably not going to care about actively supporting it.
Paul, I really like that, but how do you make that point (i.e., "make increasing representation relevant")?

If you're going to use "real world" examples, then it would behoove you to emphasize that you are not trying to make a partisan or political argument (e.g., anti-war), but instead you're illustrating the disconnect. Otherwise, people are distracted by the illustration you are using.

Other than using such examples (popular preferences vs. Congressional decisions) how else do you make that point?

One way to make this point it to get people thinking about accessibility to their Representative in a smaller district (50,000 people) vs. a 700,000-person district.

And how do we get this message out to people?

TTO needs someone who can produce credible, if not professional-looking, YouTube videos.
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Paul
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by Paul »

What do you think about the "Why is THIS solution a better solution than..." category idea?
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JEQuidam
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by JEQuidam »

Paul wrote:What do you think about the "Why is THIS solution a better solution than..." category idea?
Actually, I'm too tired to think about it now. Need to crash. What would the name of that forum be?
seax
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by seax »

Hello Mr. Quidam...and everyone else...

Mr. Quidam and I have met on line before thru science a gogo. I agree completely with the redistricting of congress and other changes that need to be made in our government. It is my feeling we have one big mess in this country now...an understatement actually more like an invasion by a foreign power.

I have ridden for 6 hours today and am extremely tired. I recieved the e-mail...registered...and thought I would type this quick note to wish you the best on the forum and look forward to posting here. I can't hardly hold my eyes open but I will be back tomorrow to see what everyone is talking about and see what I can learn. By the way did you know the Supreme Court is leaning toward doing away with the 'Voters Rights Act'?

best regards,
seax 8-)
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JEQuidam
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by JEQuidam »

seax wrote: By the way did you know the Supreme Court is leaning toward doing away with the 'Voters Rights Act'?
Thank you Seax, for joining in.

Do you have an links which would elaborate on SCOTUS and the VRA?
seax
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by seax »

Here is the link to the story.


best regards,
seax 8-)

http://www.abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/SCOTUS ... 946&page=1
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JEQuidam
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by JEQuidam »

seax wrote: By the way did you know the Supreme Court is leaning toward doing away with the 'Voters Rights Act'?
I don't know enough about this to have an informed opinion, but it doesn't seem like doing away with the VRA, in modern times, would have any practical consequence.
seax
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by seax »

JEQuidam wrote:
seax wrote: By the way did you know the Supreme Court is leaning toward doing away with the 'Voters Rights Act'?
I don't know enough about this to have an informed opinion, but it doesn't seem like doing away with the VRA, in modern times, would have any practical consequence.


Hello Mr. Quidam,


In some areas it wouldn't. I believe only about six states are affected by the VRA...North Carolina is one of them of which I live. We have counties in this state that have 'special' districts cut out for minorities...depending on the degree or severity of the ruling by the Federal Court Judge you cannot change the way in which you elect your commissioners..the dominate party in our case the Democrat Party runs each district...you can't vote a bad minority candidate out because it is unfortunate but the minorities in these districts don't care. They are the only ones that can vote the commissioner out sinse your vote counts only in your district. We have 7 districts...2 minority districts...you can vote 'only' in the district you reside in. Can you imagine the Federal Government telling you that you must have special districts for a certain group of people to win? Is that democracy? It is nothing more than 'mob rule' and strong arming by a Federal Government that has gone out of hand.

In the areas affected it has turned the election process into affirmative action and made bad government....worse. With the problems we are going to have with ACORN we need to do away with 'specialized' districts for special groups to win in.

best regards,
seax 8-)
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JEQuidam
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by JEQuidam »

So it primarily affects non-federal elections. The NRA seems like a cure that has long outlived the disease, and which now produces harmful side effects (by creating a special privileged classes).

With respect to federal elections, if the congressional districts were small enough (e.g., 50,000) we would have true diversity of representatives. It is nearly impossible to gerrymander districts of that size. Imagine how diverse the Congress would be, which is probably why Alcee Hastings has proposed enlarging the federal House (links on this page)
TheTrucker
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by TheTrucker »

The real point is that districts of 50k would provide more minority representatives and a higher percentage of minority representatives. There is really no reason whatsoever to not draw the district boundaries with an open source computer program that draws them the same way in every state in the union based solely on population. The issues addressed at the national level are not local issues and are supposed to be color blind. The people living on one side of a river have the same national concerns as the people on the other side of the river or the other side of the county line. The issues are social security, federal taxation, war, and the like. The federal congress (especially the House) should not be concerned about the Washington State Ferry system or the new Stadium in Seattle or the new bridge or, or, or. Gerrymandering may be a a useful tool in state politics, but it serves no purpose other than party power and incumbency in regard to the national legislature.

But the intrusion of the feds into state politics is based on the constitutional mandate to provide a "republican form of government" within the states. Perhaps it will be necessary to reduce the LEGISLATIVE district sizes in order to provide that.
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JEQuidam
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by JEQuidam »

TheTrucker wrote:The real point is that districts of 50k would provide more minority representatives and a higher percentage of minority representatives.
Exactly right. This is the path to true diversity in representation.
TheTrucker wrote:The issues addressed at the national level are not local issues and are supposed to be color blind.
Let's say: The issues addressed at the national level are not supposed to be local issues... but, as you know, the federal government intrudes locally in so many ways.
TheTrucker
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by TheTrucker »

I think this intrusion into local matters by the US government may indeed present a local partisanship. People who want to destroy old growth forests and are prevented from doing so because the land and the trees are actually owned by the entire united states population will undoubtedly seek to rectify this situation by electing a representative that will fight for their right to steal other people's property. Meanwhile, we have the environazis on the left who want to steal the current landowner's property in order to protect a spotted salamander. But the reality is that neither of these groups can wield enough power through a single representative or even a group of representatives to accomplish anything at the national level that is not supported by the general population of the nation.

Most of the really bad "environmental" policies are perpetrated in the Senate where the special interests can buy power much more effectively. The interests in California who wish to log the big trees in the national forest (I pick CA only because it is the most populous state and because it has big trees) will attempt to buy a Senator in Wyoming. It does not matter what state the Senator supposedly represents and, as a matter of fact there is less downside to a Wyoming senator in chopping down California trees than there would be for a Senator from California. More importantly, if the majority of the American people do not want the trees to be logged from the NATIONAL FOREST that happens to be in California, it might be possible to win such battles in the Senate by buying the Senators of less populated and distant states. That is so because the people (small contributers) have a lot less campaign clout in underpopulated states like Wyoming. It is also much easier for multinational corporations to buy senatorial clout in US government by doing it in underpopulated states because the aggregate campaign contributions from the people are smaller. Small state senators are a really good buy.

An enlarged House of representatives makes the House a very poor investment for the special interests and the individual House members have little clout regarding geographic issues. The amount of influence of any given representative on national policies concerning trees and forests is probably minimal when compared to the US Senate. Therefore, I would conclude that there is no need whatsoever in gerrymandering congressional districts to create blocks of special interests concerning local issues REGARDLESS of whether the US government is messing around in local stuff. You may as well hurl insults at the ocean. It is entirely possible to control the amount of national forests and such as an economic issue or to control the power of the federal government as a whole concerning such policies. It is not possible to control local boundaries and policies through representatives in the House.
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JEQuidam
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by JEQuidam »

TheTrucker wrote:An enlarged House of representatives makes the House a very poor investment for the special interests and the individual House members have little clout regarding geographic issues. The amount of influence of any given representative on national policies concerning trees and forests is probably minimal when compared to the US Senate. Therefore, I would conclude that there is no need whatsoever in gerrymandering congressional districts to create blocks of special interests concerning local issues REGARDLESS of whether the US government is messing around in local stuff.
Furthermore, I argue that 50,000-person districts essentially makes gerrymandering meaningless. After all, when the districts are that small, how much can be gerrymandered? You may be able to push the odd house down on the corner (the one painted green with the plastic flamingos in the yard) into the next district, but they will nonetheless enjoy the same quality of representation!

With respect to the Senate, I believe that the 17th amendment should be repealed (but that is outside the scope of TTO). Repealing the 17th would take the money out of the Senatorial races and put the Senate back under the control of the state legislatures rather than the special interests.
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Re: Let's build a forum!

Post by TheTrucker »

JEQuidam wrote: With respect to the Senate, I believe that the 17th amendment should be repealed (but that is outside the scope of TTO). Repealing the 17th would take the money out of the Senatorial races and put the Senate back under the control of the state legislatures rather than the special interests.
Madison got it right in the "Virginia Plan" where the Senate was proportional but smaller and the members were "nominated" by the state legislatures and voted into office by the House membership. (The paragraph describing the plan as found at the above URL is contradicted by the plan itself as regards the "election" of the Senators). The similarity of the internal workings of the current House of Representatives with that Virginia Plan is worthy of note. indirect election has its good and bad points. We do not vote directly for the actual legislators in the House as it is right now. That ended in the 1800's. The committees of the House are the true legislators and they are appointed by the parties and confirmed by the membership (indirectly elected). That internal organization will not change and cannot be changed unless the membership of the house is reduced below 200 and made even less representative (large districts are controlled by media advertising and money). At present and in any future increase of the membership, the house is/will be composed of a legislative assembly and a representative assembly where the representative assembly can influence the legislative assembly and reject any legislation like "Telco Immunity" that "we the people" find unacceptable. The problem we have is that the representative assembly is not representative enough and numerous enough to PREVENT bad legislation created in the legislative assembly of the HOUSE, OR IN THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF THE SENATE. The current top down party and senatorial control is what is destroying this nation. When the current incumbents wail "We wouldn't be able to get anything done", in response to suggestions of expanding the membership of the House, I would suggest that the people examine this "WE" very closely. The legislation "we the people" have been getting out of this stunted and non representative government is not the legislation "we the people want". The "WE" that will be getting less done is the current incumbency that is financed by the special interests. And an expansion of the true representative body will dramatically reduce special interest legislation and improve the quality of somewhat less legislation and of the quality of the laws.

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