IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 20th December 2020, 04:26 PM   #1
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Time for modifying apportionment

As it presently stands Americans who live in urban United States are grossly under represented in the United States Congress.

I propose a new method for apportionment. This would be non-starter if the Republicans hold on to the Senate.

Each State would be entitled to as many representatives divided by the population of the least populous state. Each district must be of relative size in population, they must be contiguous. Bodies of water are to be ignored.
I'd also like to add language that would put an end to gerrymandering. A new representative would be granted as soon as the population increased the size of the least populous state. Presently that is Wyoming, population 578,759.

This would result in Congress growing from 435 representatives to 545 House members.
These states would gain the following number of House members.
California 15 ,Texas 14, Florida 10, New York 6, North Carolina 5

Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania would each gain 4 seats.

Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, Washington, Arizona would each gain 3 House seats

Massachusetts, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, Maryland, Wisconsin, Colorado, Louisiana, Oregon would each gain 2 seats.


Minnesota, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Utah, Iowa, Nevada, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kansas, Idaho would all gain 1 seat.

New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, North and South Dakota, Delaware, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming would see no change in representation, Rhode Island which would lose 1 Congressperson.


Thoughts on changing apportionment?
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.

Last edited by acbytesla; 20th December 2020 at 05:44 PM.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 05:44 PM   #2
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 29,399
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Thoughts on changing apportionment?
Sounds great, now pass the joint!
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 05:57 PM   #3
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Sounds great, now pass the joint!
I'm not smoking anything.

Congress has changed the method of apportionment twice before. The last time in the 1920s. The problem is the citizens of heavily populated states are extra-screwed. Even more than they were during the great compromise in 1789.

It's probably a fantasy because it is a bit of a longshot winning both Senate races. It is highly unlikely that we will be able to get rid of the EC given there is no way the GOP will agree given they have won the Presidency 3 times because of it and that it takes ratification by 2/3rds of the State Houses.

But this is possible if the Dems ever hold both houses and the Presidency. I'd do this as well as making Puerto Rico a State as well as DC.

It's a power grab, but so what? It's also fair.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 06:07 PM   #4
Mumbles
Philosopher
 
Mumbles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,432
It's a good idea - one of several long overdue adjustments, really.

(and frankly, if the GOP would get over their damn raging anger at people who doin't looklike them, sleep with who they want, and so forth, I think the US would in general be far better off - it'll be vastly better for them in particular to adjust than to become increasingly hostile to democracy in general)
Mumbles is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 06:33 PM   #5
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
It's a good idea - one of several long overdue adjustments, really.

(and frankly, if the GOP would get over their damn raging anger at people who doin't looklike them, sleep with who they want, and so forth, I think the US would in general be far better off - it'll be vastly better for them in particular to adjust than to become increasingly hostile to democracy in general)
The GOP would pitch a fit. It's not a gimmick either. it is totally defensible. I don't see how SCOTUS could say it's not Constitutional. It is in fact much closer to the intent of the founder's than the Reapportionment Act of 1929 which is how we set Congressional Districts today.

My guess is reapportionment alone would help the Democrats greatly. If we assumed that all the Blue State Districts went Democratic and all the Red States went Republican 59 seats would go to Democrats and 52 Seats would go to Republican. My guess it would tilt even heavier to the Democrats because it would spread the voters out more.

Finally, if you made DC and Puerto Rico a state we're talking about a minimum of 3 probably 4 Democratic Senators and 5 or 6 Democratic Congressmen on top of that.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 06:35 PM   #6
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 30,721
Okay. And?

The problem is how do we get people who have an unfair amount of power to volunteer to give it up?
__________________
Yahtzee: "You're doing that thing again where when asked a question you just discuss the philosophy of the question instead of answering the bloody question."
Gabriel: "Well yeah, you see..."
Yahtzee: "No. When you are asked a Yes or No question the first word out of your mouth needs to be Yes or No. Only after that have you earned the right to elaborate."
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 06:37 PM   #7
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 59,523
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay. And?

The problem is how do we get people who have an unfair amount of power to volunteer to give it up?

Oooooh, I know! Appeal to their good nature and sense of justice!


*disclaimer: I am not responsible for medical claims resulting from anyone dying of laughter or injuring themselves by falling down while laughing too hard*
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 06:38 PM   #8
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 30,721
Also, let us remember that Democrats lost seats in the (more) fair and proportional House of Representatives this go around.

Read the room before we play this hand.
__________________
Yahtzee: "You're doing that thing again where when asked a question you just discuss the philosophy of the question instead of answering the bloody question."
Gabriel: "Well yeah, you see..."
Yahtzee: "No. When you are asked a Yes or No question the first word out of your mouth needs to be Yes or No. Only after that have you earned the right to elaborate."
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 06:41 PM   #9
Delvo
Дэлво Δελϝο דֶלְבֹֿ देल्वो
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North Tonawanda, NY
Posts: 9,306
The basic idea of the smallest population getting 1 and all others adjusting up quasi-proportionally from there is already how it works in the House Of Representatives, and that House's size can be adjusted fairly easily and has been before. I wouldn't hesitate to support a bill to do those two things, if that side of the building is big enough to accommodate them all (and another bill for the expansion if it isn't).

Gerrymandering killers have been suggested before as well, and I favor one that uses a geometric algorithm to divide areas into equal-population sized pieces without even pretending to follow natural borders between communities, because an algorithm is not subject to human behavior like even a supposedly "non-partisan" commission is. This, also, could be done legislatively, and there have been & are bills & campaigns pushing for such a plan already, but it needs to be at the state level because that's who runs elections, and Federal bills even touching the subject in any way have a history of getting shot down by the Supreme Court even before we got the current version of the Supreme Court.

So the thing that's really new in this proposal is the idea of having all Federal legislators included in the same plan, which means either ending the Senate or redefining it in a way that makes some states share a single Senator while others have more than two. Each of those is un-Constitutional and would require an amendment.
Delvo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 06:44 PM   #10
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay. And?

The problem is how do we get people who have an unfair amount of power to volunteer to give it up?
If and this is a big if. You don't really need to. The only state that loses a representative is Rhode Island and you could give them say a ten year exemption. The States that wouldn't gain a seat are almost all Republican Midwest States who I am sure will oppose this.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 06:48 PM   #11
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 20,258
If your proposals are good enough, you don't have to worry about gerrymandering.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 06:51 PM   #12
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
The basic idea of the smallest population getting 1 and all others adjusting up quasi-proportionally from there is already how it works in the House Of Representatives, and that House's size can be adjusted fairly easily and has been before. I wouldn't hesitate to support a bill to do those two things, if that side of the building is big enough to accommodate them all (and another bill for the expansion if it isn't).

Gerrymandering killers have been suggested before as well, and I favor one that uses a geometric algorithm to divide areas into equal-population sized pieces without even pretending to follow natural borders between communities, because an algorithm is not subject to human behavior like even a supposedly "non-partisan" commission is. This, also, could be done legislatively, and there have been & are bills & campaigns pushing for such a plan already, but it needs to be at the state level because that's who runs elections, and Federal bills even touching the subject in any way have a history of getting shot down by the Supreme Court even before we got the current version of the Supreme Court.

So the thing that's really new in this proposal is the idea of having all Federal legislators included in the same plan, which means either ending the Senate or redefining it in a way that makes some states share a single Senator while others have more than two. Each of those is un-Constitutional and would require an amendment.
I'm all in favor of ending the Senate or cutting representation in half. But that is 5 times the longshot this is.

The problem with today's appointment is that the Senate is capped at 435 and each state gets an automatic seat. The capping screws citizens in large population states.

Reapportionment can be made law by simple majorities in the House and Senate and signed by POTUS.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 06:53 PM   #13
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 17,018
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Time for modifying apportionment
Why is now the time and not some other point in history?

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'd also like to add language that would put an end to gerrymandering.
That's extremely vague and something that is completely in the hands of the states. You would have to change the constitution to impose any anti-gerrymandering measures.

Assuming that a fairer representation of the parties in congress is your aim, MMP would go a lot farther than a mere change of seat numbers would.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 06:59 PM   #14
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 30,721
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Why is now the time and not some other point in history?
Because things have to happen at some point in linear time. That's how time works.

Why pass the 13th Amendment on January 31, 1865 and not some other point in history?
__________________
Yahtzee: "You're doing that thing again where when asked a question you just discuss the philosophy of the question instead of answering the bloody question."
Gabriel: "Well yeah, you see..."
Yahtzee: "No. When you are asked a Yes or No question the first word out of your mouth needs to be Yes or No. Only after that have you earned the right to elaborate."
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 07:02 PM   #15
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 29,399
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
That's extremely vague and something that is completely in the hands of the states. You would have to change the constitution to impose any anti-gerrymandering measures.
Wouldn't, "No gerrymandering, please!" be sufficient?
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 07:03 PM   #16
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Why is now the time and not some other point in history?


That's extremely vague and something that is completely in the hands of the states. You would have to change the constitution to impose any anti-gerrymandering measures.

Assuming that a fairer representation of the parties in congress is your aim, MMP would go a lot farther than a mere change of seat numbers would.
It's now if the Democrats take the Senate. If they don't, it's DOA.

It is up to the States. But that is because of the wording of the 1929 Reapportionment Act.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.

Last edited by acbytesla; 20th December 2020 at 07:06 PM.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 07:07 PM   #17
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Wouldn't, "No gerrymandering, please!" be sufficient?
I think it has to be more specific.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 07:11 PM   #18
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 30,721
Oh and here so none of the Right Wing Trolls have to do it...

"bUt iT's a RePubLIC!"

"Come back here. Why won't you have a civil discussion with me about why some people should get more representation than other people? Arf! Arf *Balances Ball on Nose*"
__________________
Yahtzee: "You're doing that thing again where when asked a question you just discuss the philosophy of the question instead of answering the bloody question."
Gabriel: "Well yeah, you see..."
Yahtzee: "No. When you are asked a Yes or No question the first word out of your mouth needs to be Yes or No. Only after that have you earned the right to elaborate."
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 07:14 PM   #19
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 29,399
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I think it has to be more specific.
Probably. I think an independent body such as the Boundary Commission is the best bet.
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 07:16 PM   #20
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 30,721
Split Line Algorithm. Pure math. Anyone with basic census data and a calculator can verify it. You can't get it wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUS9uvYyn3A
__________________
Yahtzee: "You're doing that thing again where when asked a question you just discuss the philosophy of the question instead of answering the bloody question."
Gabriel: "Well yeah, you see..."
Yahtzee: "No. When you are asked a Yes or No question the first word out of your mouth needs to be Yes or No. Only after that have you earned the right to elaborate."
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 07:20 PM   #21
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Oh and here so none of the Right Wing Trolls have to do it...

"bUt iT's a RePubLIC!"

"Come back here. Why won't you have a civil discussion with me about why some people should get more representation than other people? Arf! Arf *Balances Ball on Nose*"
.

True dat.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 07:26 PM   #22
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Split Line Algorithm. Pure math. Anyone with basic census data and a calculator can verify it. You can't get it wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUS9uvYyn3A
That works. Although I'd argue he failed to draw the shortest line with his final example.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 07:30 PM   #23
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 29,399
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Split Line Algorithm. Pure math. Anyone with basic census data and a calculator can verify it. You can't get it wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUS9uvYyn3A
Interesting....but...

I think one of the legit reasons why some districts look weird is that the geography means it makes sense for them to be divided a certain way.

One district is in charge of the drains and roads on one side of the river, and another district on the other side of the river, etc... or on an island for example.

Maybe it works as an "if all else is equal situation" prior, and that it district-splitting has to be justified if you depart from the shortest-split-line method.
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 08:33 PM   #24
Babbylonian
Penultimate Amazing
 
Babbylonian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 13,505
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Interesting....but...

I think one of the legit reasons why some districts look weird is that the geography means it makes sense for them to be divided a certain way.

One district is in charge of the drains and roads on one side of the river, and another district on the other side of the river, etc... or on an island for example.

Maybe it works as an "if all else is equal situation" prior, and that it district-splitting has to be justified if you depart from the shortest-split-line method.
You are just plain wrong, like epically wrong. Congressional districts are drawn, fundamentally, based on population. However each state draws the lines, those districts don't have anything to do with roads, drains, or rivers except in the sense that such things affect where people live. In my home city of Portland, OR, for example, one could live in any of 3 congressional districts; most live in the third while others live in the first or fifth.

The reason districts look "weird" is that drawing the lines will always result in irregular shapes because populations tend to clump together. The reason many districts look downright bizarre is because of gerrymandering.

Last edited by Babbylonian; 20th December 2020 at 08:35 PM.
Babbylonian is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 08:56 PM   #25
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
You are just plain wrong, like epically wrong. Congressional districts are drawn, fundamentally, based on population. However each state draws the lines, those districts don't have anything to do with roads, drains, or rivers except in the sense that such things affect where people live. In my home city of Portland, OR, for example, one could live in any of 3 congressional districts; most live in the third while others live in the first or fifth.

The reason districts look "weird" is that drawing the lines will always result in irregular shapes because populations tend to clump together. The reason many districts look downright bizarre is because of gerrymandering.
In all fairness to angrysoba, there was a time when geographical considerations may have played a role in drawing some districts. For example, in Washington State the dividing line of a few districts was in fact the Cascade mountains.

I agree geographical that today in most states, it plays little or no role. In fact, it is hard to find any examples where it does.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 09:48 PM   #26
Delvo
Дэлво Δελϝο דֶלְבֹֿ देल्वो
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North Tonawanda, NY
Posts: 9,306
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You don't really need to. The only state that loses a representative is Rhode Island and you could give them say a ten year exemption. The States that wouldn't gain a seat are almost all Republican Midwest States who I am sure will oppose this.
You only had one state lose a seat, but you had a bunch more lose representation. If you gain a few seats but the chamber overall gets much bigger, your slightly larger number of seats can still end up a smaller fraction of the total. The states that this would happen to would figure this out immediately and wouldn't be fooled by a "but you get more seats now" distraction. They would also figure out immediately that the states this would be happening to were all red.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm all in favor of ending the Senate or cutting representation in half. But that is 5 times the longshot this is.
No it's part of what you're proposing. It's built in. There's no way your proposal can happen without it.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The problem with today's appointment is that the Senate is capped at 435 and each state gets an automatic seat.
That's the House Of Representatives. The Senate is Constitutionally defined as having two per state. Thus the total minimum number of representatives in Congress is three. Wyoming gets one in the HOR and two in the Senate. If you want to reduce Wyoming to one representative of some kind, it needs to lose two, whether by elimination or some kind of sharing scheme. And at least one of those must be a Senator, which means redefining what makes the Senate the Senate. (And if the other one to be dropped is the HOR one instead, that's another separate Constitutional redefinition.)

It seems as if you might have originally intended only to talk about the HOR but called it "Congress" instead.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The capping screws citizens in large population states.
The HOR cap does some of that. The existence of the Senate in its 2-per-state form adds to it. To get some states down to only 1 representative in Congress and have the other states' representatives represent about the same numbers of people, the HOR cap and the basic definition of the Senate would both need to be changed.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Wouldn't, "No gerrymandering, please!" be sufficient?
Redrawing the district maps is required after every census, to account for shifts in population densities. The redrawing is supposed to be done in a way that allegedly preserves a sense of community within & throughout each district, with the people in each district being more like each other than like those in other districts in some way, so the person whom a district elects can be said to more truly represent those people. So it's fair for some shapes to look a bit odd, if for some the people in neighborhoods A and C are more similar to each other than either of them is to the people in neighborhood B. But, when the natural unevenness that can be expected to result from that gets extreme enough to become gerrymandering is subjective, which makes it subject to manipulation with arguments on both sides claiming that they need to be drawn this way or that way to supposedly reflect whatever community identity somebody wants to claim there is. And the problem can't be avoided by just not doing it at all. It has to be done somehow.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
One district is in charge of the drains and roads on one side of the river, and another district on the other side of the river, etc... or on an island for example.
Those would matter if we were talking about drawing boundaries between local governments. But we aren't. We're talking about drawing boundaries between districts that vote on whom they will send to the Federal government.
Delvo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th December 2020, 09:59 PM   #27
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 29,399
Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
You are just plain wrong, like epically wrong. Congressional districts are drawn, fundamentally, based on population. However each state draws the lines, those districts don't have anything to do with roads, drains, or rivers except in the sense that such things affect where people live. In my home city of Portland, OR, for example, one could live in any of 3 congressional districts; most live in the third while others live in the first or fifth.

The reason districts look "weird" is that drawing the lines will always result in irregular shapes because populations tend to clump together. The reason many districts look downright bizarre is because of gerrymandering.
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
In all fairness to angrysoba, there was a time when geographical considerations may have played a role in drawing some districts. For example, in Washington State the dividing line of a few districts was in fact the Cascade mountains.

I agree geographical that today in most states, it plays little or no role. In fact, it is hard to find any examples where it does.
Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Redrawing the district maps is required after every census, to account for shifts in population densities. The redrawing is supposed to be done in a way that allegedly preserves a sense of community within & throughout each district, with the people in each district being more like each other than like those in other districts in some way, so the person whom a district elects can be said to more truly represent those people. So it's fair for some shapes to look a bit odd, if for some the people in neighborhoods A and C are more similar to each other than either of them is to the people in neighborhood B. But, when the natural unevenness that can be expected to result from that gets extreme enough to become gerrymandering is subjective, which makes it subject to manipulation with arguments on both sides claiming that they need to be drawn this way or that way to supposedly reflect whatever community identity somebody wants to claim there is. And the problem can't be avoided by just not doing it at all. It has to be done somehow.

Those would matter if we were talking about drawing boundaries between local governments. But we aren't. We're talking about drawing boundaries between districts that vote on whom they will send to the Federal government.
Yeah, well I suppose some kind of independent body is needed. I know, I know, how do you keep it independent?

Maybe they can ask 538 to do it....

Link
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 05:57 AM   #28
slyjoe
Master Poster
 
slyjoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Near Harmonica Virgins, AZ
Posts: 2,567
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Yeah, well I suppose some kind of independent body is needed. I know, I know, how do you keep it independent?

Maybe they can ask 538 to do it....

Link
Arizona had an Independent Redistricting Commission put into its Constitution. It was by ballot referendum IIRC. Two Ds, two Rs, and an independent.
__________________
"You have done nothing to demonstrate an understanding of scientific methodology or modern skepticism, both of which are, by necessity, driven by the facts and evidence, not by preconceptions, and both of which are strengthened by, and rely upon, change." - Arkan Wolfshade
slyjoe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 11:14 AM   #29
Random
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 3,220
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Interesting....but...

I think one of the legit reasons why some districts look weird is that the geography means it makes sense for them to be divided a certain way.

One district is in charge of the drains and roads on one side of the river, and another district on the other side of the river, etc... or on an island for example.

Maybe it works as an "if all else is equal situation" prior, and that it district-splitting has to be justified if you depart from the shortest-split-line method.
You could do a modified shortest splitline algorithm. Make a map of your state with all streets, city and county lines, and geographic landmarks such as mountains and rivers factored in as equally weighted lines. Then do a shortest splitline algorithm where you use shortest path along the lines rather than a direct straight line. Might be more computationally awkward, but nothing that modern computers could not handle.
__________________
"...Am I actually watching Big Bird argue with the Egyptian God of the Dead? Is PBS sending some kind of weird religious message here?"
Random is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 11:24 AM   #30
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 26,394
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
As it presently stands Americans who live in urban United States are grossly under represented in the United States Congress.

I propose a new method for apportionment. This would be non-starter if the Republicans hold on to the Senate.

Each State would be entitled to as many representatives divided by the population of the least populous state. Each district must be of relative size in population, they must be contiguous. Bodies of water are to be ignored.
I'd also like to add language that would put an end to gerrymandering. A new representative would be granted as soon as the population increased the size of the least populous state. Presently that is Wyoming, population 578,759.

This would result in Congress growing from 435 representatives to 545 House members.
These states would gain the following number of House members.
California 15 ,Texas 14, Florida 10, New York 6, North Carolina 5

Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania would each gain 4 seats.

Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, Washington, Arizona would each gain 3 House seats

Massachusetts, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, Maryland, Wisconsin, Colorado, Louisiana, Oregon would each gain 2 seats.


Minnesota, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Utah, Iowa, Nevada, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kansas, Idaho would all gain 1 seat.

New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, North and South Dakota, Delaware, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming would see no change in representation, Rhode Island which would lose 1 Congressperson.


Thoughts on changing apportionment?
The change in apportionment sounds fine, but it can only work if states can simultaneously be compelled to redistrict by a federal law - which they can't.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 11:35 AM   #31
Sherman Bay
Master Poster
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,331
You're gonna need a bigger room.
Sherman Bay is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 11:39 AM   #32
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
Trebuchet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Posts: 31,067
I'd prefer to merge some of the less populated states, at least for Congressional representation. MontWyoDak would still be only about the 30th largest, if I remember correctly.
Ain't gonna happen, of course.
__________________
Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
Trebuchet is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 11:48 AM   #33
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 49,693
Most of what the citizens of the most populous states want to do is theirs to do by virtue of their being citizens of a sovereign state government. Apportionment at the federal level is more about preserving the autonomy of states from each other and from the federal government, regardless of how many citizens they have. New Yorkers don't need more portions in the federal government to run New York state. They already have plenty of autonomy and sovereignty to do that. And if they don't, they can almost certainly find bipartisan support for more state autonomy and sovereignty, without needing to touch apportionment at all. The only reason to shift apportionment in favor of the more populous states is so that those states can have more say in how the less-populous states conduct their business. Which is just not how the US was conceived or designed. It's a union of sovereign governments, not a single sovereign entity divided into administrative regions.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 12:02 PM   #34
Delvo
Дэлво Δελϝο דֶלְבֹֿ देल्वो
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North Tonawanda, NY
Posts: 9,306
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The only reason to shift apportionment in favor of the more populous states is so that those states can have more say in how the less-populous states conduct their business.
In other words, the only reason not to do so is to preserve the low-population states' ability to keep having more say in how the more-populous ones conduct theirs.
Delvo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 12:02 PM   #35
Beelzebuddy
Philosopher
 
Beelzebuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8,077
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Thoughts on changing apportionment?
1 representative per 250k people would bring the ratios roughly back to where they were the last time apportionment was revisited. It would make over a thousand total representatives and neuter the supremacy of the Electoral College. A state's EC votes = Senate + House seats. Take the names off the chairs, anyone in town can sit in session and the rest can vote on Zoom.

Democrats would need to attach it to a critical bill, and then hold the government hostage until it passes. The entire GOP will fight it tooth and nail, because at this point it is the only way they can ever hold the Presidency. The odds of them going "oh, the House has the right to arrange its own affairs so we're cool with it" is nil.

Last edited by Beelzebuddy; 21st December 2020 at 12:05 PM.
Beelzebuddy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 01:57 PM   #36
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
1 representative per 250k people would bring the ratios roughly back to where they were the last time apportionment was revisited. It would make over a thousand total representatives and neuter the supremacy of the Electoral College. A state's EC votes = Senate + House seats. Take the names off the chairs, anyone in town can sit in session and the rest can vote on Zoom.

Democrats would need to attach it to a critical bill, and then hold the government hostage until it passes. The entire GOP will fight it tooth and nail, because at this point it is the only way they can ever hold the Presidency. The odds of them going "oh, the House has the right to arrange its own affairs so we're cool with it" is nil.
That would more than triple the size of the House. 1,324 seats to be precise and maybe more depending on the final census count. It certainly would make a more democratic institution. Something needs to be done. The way apportionment is done today is very unfair
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 02:06 PM   #37
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
The change in apportionment sounds fine, but it can only work if states can simultaneously be compelled to redistrict by a federal law - which they can't.
Why not? The law you're referring to is the 1929 reappointment Act. It was passed the way any bill is. And if actual redistricting is limited Constitutionally to every ten years, the extra House seats could be at large Representatives voted by State majorities until the next redistricting.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 02:11 PM   #38
Cain
Straussian
 
Cain's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14,280
Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
So the thing that's really new in this proposal is the idea of having all Federal legislators included in the same plan, which means either ending the Senate or redefining it in a way that makes some states share a single Senator while others have more than two. Each of those is un-Constitutional and would require an amendment.

As I note in all of these threads (without any success), "equal suffrage" in the Senate cannot be changed even with a Constitutional amendment. Even if a super-majority of Senators and states said, "Yeah, this is crazy," it can't be changed. Article V requires unanimous consent if you want to either change Senate apportionment or end the slave trade before 1808.

House expansion is long over-due. People need to talk about it more, so it can someday become a reality. Harry Truman talked about universal health-care, and now that's only 30 or 40 years away.
__________________
April 13th, 2018:
Ranb: I can't think of anything useful you contributed to a thread in the last few years.
Cain is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 02:29 PM   #39
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Most of what the citizens of the most populous states want to do is theirs to do by virtue of their being citizens of a sovereign state government. Apportionment at the federal level is more about preserving the autonomy of states from each other and from the federal government, regardless of how many citizens they have. New Yorkers don't need more portions in the federal government to run New York state. They already have plenty of autonomy and sovereignty to do that. And if they don't, they can almost certainly find bipartisan support for more state autonomy and sovereignty, without needing to touch apportionment at all. The only reason to shift apportionment in favor of the more populous states is so that those states can have more say in how the less-populous states conduct their business. Which is just not how the US was conceived or designed. It's a union of sovereign governments, not a single sovereign entity divided into administrative regions.
Except it hasn't worked that way since the founding. The States haven't been sovereign since 1789 which put banking, commerce and currency in the hands of the Federal government. America is wealthy because of the central government. It gave us credit. It's wealthy because the central government and not states that regulate commerce. Hamilton's ideas made this country the industrial power that it is.

The Constitution originally created a system where there was one Congressperson for every 30,000 people. Now it's a mean average of more than 1 per 700,000 and as long as that is capped representation is going to decrease.

This is about fair representation in Congress and in the Electoral College. It's about urban voices being heard more than they are.

What's wrong with that?
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st December 2020, 03:01 PM   #40
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28,323
Originally Posted by Cain View Post
As I note in all of these threads (without any success), "equal suffrage" in the Senate cannot be changed even with a Constitutional amendment. Even if a super-majority of Senators and states said, "Yeah, this is crazy," it can't be changed. Article V requires unanimous consent if you want to either change Senate apportionment or end the slave trade before 1808.

House expansion is long over-due. People need to talk about it more, so it can someday become a reality. Harry Truman talked about universal health-care, and now that's only 30 or 40 years away.
You could cut the Senate in half though. You could also change/limit its authority. It's also arguable that you could abolish the Senate in a two step process. First by amending the equal suffrage shield. Then by abolishing the Senate. But I get it's difficult if not almost impossible.

Reapportionment can be done without a change in the Constitution. Reapportionment could be done with simple pluralities in the US Senate and the House with a favorable POTUS. Still hard and unlikely unless the Senate falls into Democratic hands.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:46 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.