Thursday, January 13, 2005
Linked in the title above is an interesting article from the Boston Globe, which I first encountered in this post from Daily Kos. Most democratically elected legislative bodies (including the one to be elected in Iraq under our auspices) have a ratio of about 100,000 citizens to every representative. But in the US, the ratio is more like 675,000/1. Jeff Jacoby proposes (following the wisdom of our founding fathers) making the House of Representatives larger, and therefore more representative. The benefits of smaller constituencies include closer connection between citizens and representatives; elections more local and thus easier for less-funded candidates to compete in; mix of representatives more like social mix of America. A possible downside that Jacoby doesn't mention is that smaller districts might be easier to gerrymander, but it could work the other way too. Sounds like great idea to me, though I won't hold my breath. More discussion of the idea, and some counter proposals, can be found in the Daily Kos post.