Saturday, June 20, 2009

What to replace the US Senate with: a representative US Senate.


What to replace the US Senate with: a representative US Senate.

First raise the number of representatives to 500 (representing 600,000 people each, to be apportioned across state lines if necessary; no state need have less than one, lowest population, Wyoming, 621,254).

Then (you guessed what was coming), have 100 senators represent 5 contiguous representative districts. California (pop. 36 million) could share 12 US senators with Hawaii (pop. 600,000) under this arrangement.

No other country in the world has such screwy undemocratic representation as found in the number one legislature body of the United States. 18% of our citizens supply 50% of the US Senate vote.

On top of which no new progressive directions can be taken without an undemocratic 60% of the vote. 10% of our citizens can supply enough votes block any legislation. (This reactionary setup reminds of why California cannot raise taxes to pay for expenditures that have not risen beyond inflation over the years – the only kind of setup the Republican disease can thrive in anymore.)

Worst – so I thought -- of all to alter the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the US Senate: making it practicably impossible. I contemplated the most populous states (e.g., Texas) seceding from union with the least populous (e.g., Alaska) – temporarily – just long enough to get rid of the old US Senate and replace it with something more practical (until this week I could not think of what that might be).

“When in the course of human events…” Then the full states can re-adopt the empty “territories.” Under this scenario Obama can play the part of Jefferson Davis. I don’t think the national guard of Alaska is going to suppress the “rebellion” in Texas. J

Just today I learned there is another path to amendment (and junking the US Senate). Two-thirds of state legislatures can convene a Constitutional convention to propose an amendment which then must be ratified by three-quarters of the state legislatures. Worth a try.

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