Constitutional Crisis: Week 3


James Hanley

James Hanley is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Looks like I’ll be losing my prediction for a unicameral legislature. The differences in population between the component states, and the experience of the 1783 Framers, does lend itself nicely to a Connecticut compromise.Report

  2. Avatar Guy says:

    “Representation in the House was set at 3 representatives per state up to 300,000 population, and 1 per each additional 100,000.”

    No shift in the proportion at large population? I’m not sure I see how that’s following the lines of the Connecticut compromise. Are they planning to deal with the issue in designing the upper house? On the other hand, I may just be misremembering the scales. If 300k is fairly large, this is a pretty good compromise (on that note, would you mind linking to the infopacket on these posts?).Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Guy says:

      Conn compromise was 2 chambers, 1 equal rep, 1 proportional, right? And that’s essentially what they did here. I’m not quite following your first sentence/question, so that may not answer you.

      The state briefs and the map are linked in this post,Report

      • Avatar Guy in reply to James Hanley says:

        Thanks, I had lost track of those. Looking over the numbers, it does seem like representative s were apportioned decently, though there are a lot of them (146). It’s also worth noting that the top two states (Huron and Allegheny) each have more representation than the bottom 7 put together, but the same is, of course, also true of their population. The question was based on my failing to remember what 100,000 people looked like in proportion to the population of a typical state.Report

      • Avatar Guy in reply to James Hanley says:

        Were I a small state, I might have tried to shoot for 3 up to 300k, 1 per 100k up to 1 million, then 1 every 500k thereafter.Report

      • Guy, seems to me you shoot for that in the event of a unacameral legislature. With a bicameral, you are either pushing your luck or wasting leverage on upper house negotiations.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

        I’m not positive they’re done dealing with that issue, although they seemed to think they were.

        I was also hoping one of the small states would flat out lie about their population, since that was proprietary information unless they decided to share it. They all opted to be honest, though, which was probably a good choice since–unrealistically–they have a piece of paper that specifies their population, and it would look suspicious if they refused to prove their population to other delegates. It’s probably a bit early in the game to get a reputation for dishonesty.Report

      • If they’d asked you to forge the population on their document, the same way that they might in a realworld scenario, would you have been willing to do so?Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:


        I’m not sure, but I doubt it. Mostly, I think it would be hard to do, because I’d have to reprint the document, and if the delegates are demanding to see a person’s state brief right then and there, that’d be hard to do surreptitiously. I also worry about the students seeing me as taking sides or rigging the game. At least this first time around, I want to play the role of trustworthy consultant.

        I don’t think it necessarily would be wrong, though.Report

      • Avatar Guy in reply to James Hanley says:

        @will-truman Sure, if the two houses are equally powerful. But there seems to be some movement among the delegates for a weak upper house, so power in the lower house strikes me as more important. (unless I’m misunderstanding things and the houses are in fact equally powerful)Report

  3. Avatar Alan Scott says:

    I’m a little bit sad, but not really surprised, to see it work out that way. Since so much of the population disparity is for temporary zombie-related reasons, I’d have liked to see the non-proportionality in the seanad have some kind of sunset clause.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I’m still holding out for a split. Come on! You want to engage in commerce with people 500 miles away. You don’t want them voting on your rainwater retention rights!Report

  5. Avatar Murali says:

    I’m suspicious that the form of government they end up choosing is still something very much like the united state’s one. Why didn’t they go for a simpler unicameral parliamentary system?Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Murali says:

      A. I gave them sufficient differences in population to make a unicameral legislature a difficult sell.

      B. Some state briefs insist upon a preference for unicameralism, others insist on bicameralism.

      In other words, my setup gives a push in that direction.

      C. It’s hard to take folks out of their culture. But probably A and B mostly.Report

  6. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    Does @will-truman know you borrowed so liberally from his map?Report