Bloc the Vote II: Geographic representation makes no sense

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Vikram Bath

Vikram Bath is the pseudonym of a former business school professor living in the United States with his wife, daughter, and dog. (Dog pictured.) His current interests include amateur philosophy of science, business, and economics. Tweet at him at @vikrambath1.

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65 Responses

  1. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    My question here is the same as when I read about California and Colorado succession movements or read Will’s new state proposals:

    Why is it assumed that grouping people together in the most homogenous manner possible a good thing?

    It seems like part of what makes greatness happen in this country is the need for people of different backgrounds, beliefs, and viewpoint to craft solutions together for a common good.Report

    • Why is it assumed that grouping people together in the most homogenous manner possible a good thing?

      It might not be. It does, however, make democracy in practice look more like democracy as it is described. A representative can only give the people what they want if the people he represents are relatively uniform in what they want.

      Regarding the greatness of diversity stuff, you can still have that. People could still live within diverse cities and different sorts of people could work for the same sorts of companies. The proposal would only be relevant to elections.Report

      • Avatar Lyle says:

        Or you can use the proportional representation method, as in Germany, where 50% of the Bundestag is directly elected and 50% is divived up by the vote by party in the whole country, (if a party gets more than 5% of the vote). I believe a number of other countries on the continent also use this method, but it does have its own drawbacks.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      I think that’s part of the problem, but it goes deeper. Maybe I just can’t get my head around this article, but it seems to confuse representation with impersonation. I can be represented adequately by someone who doesn’t look like me, doesn’t have my experiences, doesn’t even necessarily think like me. This idea that I can’t is far more alien to human experience than tentacles.Report

    • Avatar Dan Miller says:

      The people themselves don’t come together; instead, their representatives come together and hash out a compromise among competing interest blocs. Just as the people don’t make policy directly, instead delegating the task to their representatives, they also don’t have to craft compromises or create solutions that are acceptable to all. That’s the reps’ job.Report

    • Avatar Squeelookle says:

      “It seems like part of what makes greatness happen in this country is the need for people of different backgrounds, beliefs, and viewpoint to craft solutions together for a common good.”

      But only if you can convince the majority of the members of each background or persuasion to work together, compromise, and craft solutions with their neighbors of differing opinion in a way that is able to pass every side’s swallow test. One side may dislike one thing but be able to say they got something fair in trade, or each side may say they wish they’d gotten more but they met in the middle. And sometimes enough people will form a supermajority followed 20 years later by Republicans who insist that you can take their Medicare over their cold, dead, ancient corpses.

      There’s a meme going round on Facebook. It says that arguing with the Tea Party is like playing chess with a pigeon. Why? Because no matter what you say or do the pigeon is going to knock the pieces over, crap all over the board, and strut around like it won.

      That makes me chuckle every time I see it, because it’s 100% right. You can’t have a functioning government when you have a significant group of people who insist that compromise is a holy sin worthy of excommunication.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco says:

        That makes me chuckle every time I see it, because it’s 100% right. You can’t have a functioning government when you have a significant group of people who insist that compromise is a holy sin worthy of excommunication.

        You cannot have much of a conversation with people who cannot manage much other than caricature. When you’re ready, we can talk.Report

    • Avatar Mo says:

      See, I like Vikram’s proposal precisely because it embraces that diversity. With representatives representing diverse areas, you get a median candidate for the area and a legislature that is made up of 100 medians. With more interest based candidates, you get median candidates for interests and a legislature of 100 interests.Report

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    There are, of course, reasons for geographical representation, and they have to do with the fact that stuff has to get done in a physical place.Report

    • See item 2. Things that happen within a physical space would be regulated by regional governments that are responsible for that space. New York would still have its own government that regulates what happens in New York, and New Yorkers would vote for that government and non-New-Yorkers would not.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Yeah, but even that’s not enough. The reason why Wyoming, which has like 5 people, gets a seat at the national table, and not just a seat at its own table, is that stuff that gets done at a national level affects people in Wyoming. And people who vote similar to the 5 Wyomingians (Wyomingites? Wyomes?) on 100 issues may vote differently on the 2 that affect Wyoming the most, because those people aren’t situated in such a way that their interests on those 2 issues are dramatically different from the 5 residents of Wyoming.

        Geographical representation may be imperfect, but as long as people have to live somewhere, they’re going to need local representation at every level of government that affects stuff that happens where they live.

        Now, you could probably do a combination of local vs. at-large representation, like a lot of cities do, but those do not have a good history. In fact, if you want to look at what divorcing representation from geography does, look at how at-large representation has played into the perpetuation of certain patterns of under-representation for minority groups.Report

      • Geographical representation may be imperfect, but as long as people have to live somewhere, they’re going to need local representation at every level of government that affects stuff that happens where they live.

        That’s accounted for by item #1. If Wyoming residents care about getting their seat in the national government, they can form a group/party to represent them.

        Now, you could probably do a combination of local vs. at-large representation, like a lot of cities do, but those do not have a good history.

        I am not at all familiar with such attempts. Links from anyone?Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Here’s the Wikipedia article on at-large representation which includes a list of states that currently elect or formerly elected congressional representatives at large:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-large

        Austin, where I live now, previously elected regional and at-large city council representation. It is now all at large. This has not been good for certain neighborhoods.

        As for forming blocs, I’d have to think a bit more about the dynamics, but at first glance it certainly looks like you’re going to end up with an even more geographically segregated representative body than we currently have, because local issues always end up being more important, so that all of the political discourse will end up happening there. The only people who will really lose out are those who live in areas with populations too small to produce a viable bloc at the national level.Report

      • Thanks. From searching around the term, it does seem that the perception is that district-based voting is more likely to result in minority representation than at-large votes. (I do find it a little perverse to use the defacto segregation of housing to draw “minority” districts, but I guess that’s one way to accomplish it.)Report

      • Chris, it’s worth noting that while Austin has at-large districts, they still have a series of individual races, which is different from what Vikram (with whom I respectfully disagree with on this issue) is talking about. If you had at-large elections but based the representatives on various bloc votes, it is almost certain that if they felt a need to vote in a bloc, there’d be solid minority representation.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Will, that makes sense, and I suppose the dynamics of the situation would result in them feeling they needed to vote in a bloc. This is unfortunate, because it would result in fewer choices for minority groups. That is, they’d have to either agree on a person or not get anyone.Report

      • That is, they’d have to either agree on a person or not get anyone.

        There are ways around that, too. You’d be voting for the bloc rather than the candidate. A certain number of votes for the bloc would get you one seat. More votes would get you a second seat. Who would fill those seats would be agreed on before hand. So Ernest Smith would be the #1 candidate, the one who is likely to get a seat. But then Sandra Jones would be the #2 candidate, and if they got enough votes, she too would get a seat.

        A potential shortcoming here is if a Sandra Jones had broader support from outside the community. Those people wouldn’t vote for the bloc because they don’t like Ernest Smith or #3 James Michaels. This would reward people with passionate-but-narrow support over those with broader support (who could, presumably, make it into higher office and potentially have an even greater positive impact on the community).

        There may be ways to deal with that, too. It’s been a while since I took my Constitutional Design and Theory class.Report

      • Avatar Mo says:

        Chris,

        Perhaps you solve it by having the Senate represent localities and the House represent affinity groups (or vice versa).Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Where by “stuff” we also mean communication.
      And voting, when we’re talking caucuses.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      I don’t think thats really the case. The reason we vote geographically has more to do with federalism than the fact that people need to live somewhere. Geographic representation is a way to get federalism to work rather. Without it, America would operate more as a unitary state. In other countries that represent people proportionally, money still manges to get to thea areas that need it.Report

      • I disagree. How many non-miniscule nations don’t have districts, ridings, etc? It’s pretty universal, I think. Yeah, many have multi-member districts, but they’re still districts. What’s the largest nation that doesn’t bother with districts?Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        Yeah, even countries with pretty much straight up list-PR systems like Austria have “directly elected” seats within the Nationalrat, or Albania which has 12 multi-member districts. Heck, even LUXEMBOURG of all places has 4 “constituencies” to divide their legislature up into multiple regions.Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        What’s funny is that even Lichtenstein with a population of about 33,000 and only 20,000 registered voters has a 2 district composition of its national legislature of 25 members represented from Unterland (10) and Oberland (15).

        Evidently there’s sufficient geographic differences between those areas to require some sort of separation in a geographic sense.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        What do those Unterlanders down there know about anything that happens up here?!Report

      • Avatar Art Deco says:

        What’s the largest nation that doesn’t bother with districts?

        Israel, I think.

        At least one of the elections held in Iraq in the last nine years made use of national list PR. IIRC, the Weimar constitution provided for national list-pr.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Elites are already increasingly national and transnational. This proposal would accelerate that trend, making the world a worse place (in a way I can’t quite define but feel in my gut)

    If anything, this sort of reminds me of that period in European history between the mid 18th century and the end of WW1, where all the ruling royal families were just cousins of each other, and various levels of consideration, from a great deal to not even lip service, were given to the political preferences of local populations.Report

    • If we are actually talking about a democracy, the anti-elites could vote as well.

      I do think that you are more likely to see more nationally-minded people in a national body who owe their seat to people all around the country. Such people are less likely to be beholden to a particular local population, but that ordinarily refers to getting funding earmarked for a particular state. I’m not sure that’s desirable behavior in the first place.Report

  4. NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

    Why use an alien hypothetical when you could’ve just gone with the various proportional representation systems around the world?

    I mean the system you’re proposing is basically a straight list-PR system which is found in a rather large number of countries with various effects. One of them of course is extremely unstable parliamentary systems where governments rise and fall like IPOs of wildly overrated IT companies.

    My question is a little different from what the others are asking, but, why does it have to be one way or another? Regionally based multi-winner districts could work really well in a country as large and diverse as the US, and it would naturally increase the total number of people working in the federal legislature. That in itself is a pretty good thing (TM)

    In fact, a better system would probably be giving each state 10 at large STV-PR Senators, and every state a population based multi-member congressional districts of say 3 members per 100,000 people. I realize this would mean talking about 9500 person Congress, but I’m not sure that would be such a terrible thing in the grand scheme of democratic representation.Report

    • >extremely unstable parliamentary systems

      Keep in mind that the judgment criterion I offer is only whether the body reflects the advertised ideals of democracy, not whether the resulting government is stable. Yes, a system that allows for only two parties will ensure that the body is controlled by one or the other. If stability were the main criterion, it would probably make sense to get rid of bicameralism as well.

      Actually, it might be even more stable to just have an executive.

      Parliamentary systems are certainly embarrassing in certain ways. It is very easy to look to Europe and shake ones head that there are actually white nationalists serving in their legislatures, but if they exist within the population, they ought to be represented if we only consider democratic ideals.

      Regionally based multi-winner districts could work really well in a country as large and diverse as the US, and it would naturally increase the total number of people working in the federal legislature.

      Yes, that might be an option.

      Another might be to replace one of the legislative bodies with a non-geographical one while retaining the other.Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        I’m not really talking about “stability” in the sense of “low turnover” but rather stability as in “governable”. No one who looks at Italy would say with any confidence that it’s list-PR system is making it a governable country. No one who looks at Israel and sees the disproportionate influence wielded by tiny minority blocs in coalition parties would call this good for governance.

        Democracy is merely a means to the end of liberal (in the very broad sense) governance, not an end in itself. When we start prioritizing the form of the legislature and composition of its membership over its ability to ensure the rights of its citizens you end up with terrible systems of government that simply don’t function.Report

      • Nob is absolutely right here. It’s a point I’ve made many times in defense of a two-party or two-coalition system. Truly multi-party systems are unstable (and there is often a lack of transparency about what kind of government you are voting for (at least in the US system, you know that you are voting in support of Boehner for the speakership or Pelosi, the Democratic coalition or the Republican one).Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        Democracy is merely a means to the end of liberal (in the very broad sense) governance, not an end in itself.

        Democracy had better be something of an end in itself, even if a compromisable one if we don’t want it to be jettisoned over the long term, unless we think there is some game-theoretical reason for governance process to settle on democracy (which moots the question), or we conclude that people really want it more than good governance (which would satisfy the better-be-an-end-in-itself imperative). I.e., no one thinks it’s the only end-value we’re after, but at the same time, I think people are actually willing to give up a bit in terms of optimum governance in order to have some democracy. If you told people that they could have the decisions out of government that are by some measure ‘best’ somewhat more often (or a bit better much more often), and that they could get their personal priority preferences satisfied about the same number of times as under democracy, but they had to give over power to make those decisions to an unelected council of governors whose composition they had no influence over (or, say, a computer), I think most people in most democracies would opt to give up that improvement in governance to retain democracy, even if the democracy they reside in considerably flawed. Maybe you differ with that, but 1) even f so, I think it’s far from clear that we can say that for general purposes democracy is merely an instrument to secure good liberal governance. It matters whether people actually think this: if they don’t, then in fact, for better or worse, democracy is an end in itself in designing political systems, even if not a totalizing one, and 2) if you’d choose not to give up democracy in toto in exchange for a 100% guarantee of better though not much better governance outcomes in perpetuity, then you do view democracy as an end in itself, even if only one among many, in the design of political systems.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        If you told people that they could have the decisions out of government that are by some measure ‘best’ somewhat more often (or a bit better much more often), and that they could get their personal priority preferences satisfied about the same number of times as under democracy, but they had to give over power to make those decisions to an unelected council of governors whose composition they had no influence over (or, say, a computer), I think most people in most democracies would opt to give up that improvement in governance to retain democracy, even if the democracy they reside in considerably flawed.

        This is somewhat what the city of Annapolis plans to do now that an icky Republican has been elected mayor.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        Because the members of the city council are unelected? This is just power politics in a democracy, pursuing somewhat undemocratic (and fairly illegitimate) means in this case. But the opinions of representatives in a democracy about democracy itself are far less important than those of the people. Do you really think that most of the people of Annapolis would like not just to have the mayor’s office be stripped of some of its powers, but to have their very right to vote for councilmembers and mayor be stripped entirely if it could mean there would always only be Democratic councils and mayors? That’s the question that’s on point about whether people value democracy as an end in itself to some extent – not the reactions of incumbent representatives to having to deal with an opposing executive for the first time in decades.

        It’s a good catch, though, and serves to demonstrate that commitment to democracy is in large measure instrumental and based on convenience for most everyone. But that was always granted. We know that everyone would give up significant degrees of democracy in exchange for leaps and bounds of improved governance – that’s the tradeoff democracies around the world enact in an ongoing way daily. The question was whether democracy is valued (either factually or rightly) intrinsically at all, as one of various competing ends for the design of political systems, for the majority of people. I contend that it is, both factually and rightly.Report

  5. Avatar Roger says:

    My first thought was that you were arguing against subsidiarity and I was planning to disagree and argue for the value of choice and competition at the local level, where practical.

    Then I realized you were making a broader claim for a new new coalition of political factions. I think this is a real interesting idea, but I am still on the fence. Isn’t this something which would lead inherently toward extremism? Isn’t this just taking the concept of Gerrymandering and making it national in scope and multiplying it by ten?

    After all, the benefits of subsidiarity are local laws which are shared in common among people who regularly interact. A local law allows everyone to play by the same rules in the same place. And playing by the same set of rules is pragmatically valuable.

    As I read this you are not suggesting each faction have their own rules, just a shared voice. In addition, there is nothing today which prohibits ten or twenty parties, except that it is not dynamically stable.

    So, I am still skeptical, but willing to be convinced.

    Bravo on the ingenuity though. I think just asking the question leads to insight.Report

    • Avatar Will H. says:

      It sounded to me more like he was talking about Alberta (minus the tentacles, AFAIK).
      They have quite a few regional parties there, and have historically; none of which (to my knowledge) has lasted more than 40 years (or thereabouts).Report

  6. Avatar Roger says:

    And didn’t Classical Athens have a four party non geographic bloc system?Report

    • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

      Athens had a direct democratic system. Their main form of legislature was just flat out direct representation by citizens, which had pretty strict definitions including needing to be a descendant of Athenian parents on both sides of the family and of course, being male. This meant that functionally about 10-15% of the population ever really only had voting rights at all and I guess served as “representatives” in that sense.Report

    • Avatar Roger says:

      A ha!

      My memory deceives me. The initial four tribes of Athens were basically clans. As a part of the Athenian democracy they replaced the clan based tribes with ten geographically identified tribes.

      http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/riseofdemocracy/a/aa121900a.htm

      The council of 500 was made up of fifty members from each tribe.

      Thus the geographic tribal concept does seem to be partially a response to the problems of clans, which most early states struggle with.Report

  7. Am I correct that your thesis, roughly outlined, is that the current system may function in a relatively stable way but is inconsistent with our historical rhetoric about democracy, and thus should be changed to be more in line with the latter despite the implications for the former?Report

    • Yes. But I would note both Chris’s response about how effective at-large systems are practically speaking and Nob’s pointing out that democratic ideals might not actually be all that important anyway.

      Regarding Chris’s point, I’ve yet to see anyone explain *why* at-large systems don’t work though. (Perhaps its that there are minority districts in which no one is connected or rich enough to run a campaign, and no one from there would win unless someone draws a district that forces there to be a winner from that location. If that is the reason, then maybe the problem isn’t the at-large system but that people need to be rich and connected to run a campaign.)Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        The difference between Nob and me is that, with the exception of local issues regarding at-large representation (and by local, I mean just in Austin), I haven’t ever thought about this stuff before. So, my comments were me thinking out loud. I would have to do even more thinking/actual research to determine the mechanisms through which at-large representation can create problems for minority neighborhoods. It sounds like Will might be the one to talk to about that, though.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Put differently, pay a lot more attention to Nob. And Will.Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        In Austin I have to admit I was more in favor of a mixed system than the 10-1 plan, which struck me as being pushed extensively by developers.Report

      • Baby permitting, I will be writing a post on this within the next… some period of time.

        I just can’t find a way to say much of anything without trying to say everything. My main teaser would be this:

        The operational question actually has less to do with how many representatives there are in any given district and a lot more to do with how many consistent political factions result as a consequence of it. Or rather, it’s the former’s relationship with the latter that is extremely important. The results of which are actually reasonably predictable (the answer is not “However many factions people feel fit to form” because people will keep dividing until they need to stop to win elections). The reason that this matters is that the biggest tradeoff is between a two-faction system with predictable results and rigid structure, or a multi-faction system that is fluid but unpredictable (both from a governing perspective – see Italy – and from a voter’s perspective “what will voting for the Offshore Fisherman Party mean for abortion rights?”)Report

      • Avatar Art Deco says:

        I’ve yet to see anyone explain *why* at-large systems don’t work though.

        You need to specify the end toward which they should be working.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I’m good with a mixed system. Sometimes, particularly in geographically and ethnically diverse cities like Austin (and in particular, cities as segregated as Austin), you need someone who represents the city as a whole to mediate some of the regional conflicts.Report

  8. The issues that capture public attention rarely are centered around geography. Obamacare, Food Stamps, and defense are national policy. There isn’t an Idahoan position on the merits of these issues.

    This is an over-simplification.

    First, even most national policies have local considerations. The decision to have 2,500 tanks may be a national policy; where to put the maneuver area for those tanks to practice is local. The US Army would dearly love to use eminent domain to acquire several thousand square miles of private land in Colorado so that they can ruin it by running large scale tank exercises and live-round gunnery practice. 49 states are in favor of letting them do so; one is rather violently opposed to the notion, and has been fighting it for a decade. There is certainly a Colorado position on that aspect of defense policy. Current statute says that the federal government has to build a repository for long-lived nuclear waste; there are 50 states that don’t want it in their state.

    Second, there’s clearly a geographical component in the response to national policies. All you have to do is look at a map of the states that have embraced the PPACA’s Medicaid expansion or whose Congressional delegations supported expansion of SNAP benefits. If you carved off a country made up of the 11 Old Confederacy states, and put the PPACA up for a vote there, it would fail miserably.

    I think you can make a convincing case that most of the areas of national policy that “capture public attention” do so because there are strong regional differences about what the policy should be, or whether it should even be a national policy.Report

  9. Avatar Patrick says:

    I’m kinda with Nob on this one.

    I understand the critique that Vikram is offering, and it has merit, but it seems like quintupling the size of the House might solve that problem sufficiently and really the only drawback is we need to make the House chambers bigger.

    It would also make the battles over redistricting much less significant.

    The Senate is overpowered for its current role, I’d argue, but that’s a problem that needs to be tackled separately.Report

    • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

      Make the senate bigger and make it party-list PR.

      I imagine you’d see a much different chamber if it was made up of say 300 people with each state being allocated 4-6 senators on the basis of some proportionality and elected on either a STV system or a list-PR.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        I have a problem with the structure of the Senate as it stands, myself.

        I understand the desire to have a body less susceptible to populism, but we’re in a space here were a relatively small number of people elect a relatively small number of Senators who have a relatively large amount of structural veto power, through one of the many procedural bits of nonsense that enable that sort of thing in the Senate rules.

        That’s just weird.

        Getting rid of the supermajority rule would be one option. Keeping the supermajority rule but changing the Senate to a slightly proportional system would be another (3 senators from the top 10 most populous states, 1 senator from each of the 10 least populous states, 2 senators from everywhere else, something like that). You could go back to governor-appointed senators potentially in that case, provided the appointments were staggered appropriately.

        Spitballing, here.Report

  10. Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

    Great post and comments. This is an issue I’ve been letting roll around in my head lately, because our district-based representation in the U.S.–which I’ve traditionally been a strong supporter of–has really gotten screwynthrough partisan gerrymandering, and I’ve shifted towards being more supportive of a PR system. But as both the post and the comments reflect, there is a real value in each of those that gets lost if we shift wholly to the other. And both values cannot be maximized simultaneously. So a compromise system is needed, probably, and there are probably some unknown n possibilities of compromise systems, of which only a few have ever been tested. (The U.S., imo, is not enough of a compromise system, needing some addition of PR to balance things out.)Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      It is not difficult to draft a practice manual which reduces discretion to a minimum. You can also delegate any discretionary delineation you need to local panels of officials elected at large (e.g. judges). However, you need to abandon the standard of strictly equipopulous districts. Which is to say that you have to overturn a set of court decisions.

      Wherever you turn, it’s lawyers lousing everything up.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      I think Hungary has a hybrid system whereby members of parliament are elected in constituencies and then supplementary seats are awarded in such a way as the sum of seats each caucus has in parliament reflects the sum of ballots received nationwide.Report

  11. Avatar Art Deco says:

    I take it the author has no interest in the constituent service function of representatives.

    Nor is he considering the element of how people are recruited into and retained in political life. Constituency representatives in countries like ours which seldom parachute in carpetbaggers have local ties and to some extent manifest the bourgeois social type of their area. That is worth retaining.

    Consider a problem Israel has had in the past (and still in some parties): legislatures made up of people slated by national party barons.

    First-past-the-post in at-large constituencies is about the worst way to elect a legislative body. You end up with next-to-no representation of minority viewpoints. (It is the method used to elect that august body, the Detroit City Council).

    We need to replace discretionary delineation of districts and replace first past the post with ordinal balloting.Report

  12. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    Geographic representation makes no sense

    I wouldn’t say it makes NO sense. I am VERY low on the political totem pole, but I like knowing that if I have a federal problem, my representative is a phone call away. The same on the state level with my senator and assemblymen.

    Currently NJ has 6 blue and 6 red representatives. If they were elected on a state-wide basis, I wouldn’t have one to call my own. Therefore, none of them are going to be especially responsive to my needs.Report

  13. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    For true representative democracy, why not scrap elections altogether? Just give each person one vote in the legislature, and let him choose a representative to assign it to. To keep things to a manageable size, require all representatives to have a minimum number of constituents to be allowed to serve in the legislature. For the US, it might be 100,000, giving a maximum legislature of 2,500 or so, though it would be smaller in practice since some representatives would have more than the minimum.

    I think that this would be a complete train wreck in terms of quality of governance, precisely because it would be much more responsive to the irrational demands of voters.Report

  14. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Re: Mapping out attitudes

    This article & map is all kinds of interesting.

    For the sake of this discussion, try to ignore the genesis of this map being the topic of gun control.Report

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