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In another thread:
fightcitymayor wrote:
But there is still no way to write a quantifiable law against it [gerrymandering]. You can do studies in hindsight about populations that have been roped into ridiculous districts, but the way the law is written lawmakers have the right to do that. It remains to be seen how you write a law to just make it go away.

What are the parameters?
What are the penalties for violating them?
Where does the data originate from?
Who watches the watchers?

p.s.
To be clear, gerrymandering is an ongoing cancer, but I haven't seen a reliably quantifiable method yet for establishing rules around shalls and shall-nots regarding the process.

Actually, it is pretty simple to write a law as soon as you accept the idea that districts should have more than 1 Rep. And the voters cast 1 vote per seat from their district. With fractional votes possible. So, if 3 seats/district then a Party might run just 2 people for them and tell their voters to vote 1.5 for each.

I have suggested it 3 times now and not one person replied to my point.
It is the big difference between 3.167 to 1 and 1.04 to 1 that makes gerrymandering not effective when there are 4 to 6 Reps. per district.
See below for where these 2 ratios come from.

I would have thought that gamers have trained their minds so that they can see past the complication to the simplicity hidden within.

Where is it in the Constitution that each House District must have one Rep.? It isn't, but it is in the Constitution that Congress can tell the states how to do the election for the House.

There are 435 Reps. and 50 states that is an average of 435/50 = 8.7 per state. If there are 4 states with just 1 Rep. then it leaves 431/46 = 9.28 Reps/state.

So, there could be 3 Reps./district on average easily. However, 3/dist. will almost always result in a 2-1 split. With 5/dist. there are more choices: 3-2, 4-1, and 2-2-1, for example. This lets a 3rd party get a seat with 20% of the voters, by them voting 5 votes for 1 candidate. Obviously, the 3 candidates who got the most votes are the 3 new Reps. from that district. So, 4 to 6 is best, I think.

Parties can still try to gerrymander but it is much harder to make the other party's votes not count at all. For example, if there are 3/dist. and the weaker party votes 3 votes for 1 candidate, then [if there are a total of 100 voters]; with 26% of the voters their guy gets 26 3x (votes that each uses for the 1 guy) = 78 votes. The stronger party must run 3 candidates per district to win all 3 seats, so if they have the other 74% of the voters then each of their guys gets 74 votes. Therefore, the weaker party guy wins 1 seat for sure because he got 78 votes and the other 3 guys got 74 each. [In practice, the party's biggest wigs would vote 2 for 1, 1 for the 2nd and 0 for the 3rd, so that the 3rd guy would not win if the weaker party somehow got enough to win 1 seat.]
. . So, in this example the stronger party had almost a 3-1 advantage and still got just 2 of the 3 seats.
. . If the weaker party has 24% of the voters then its guy gets 72 votes and the 3 stronger party guys get 76 votes each. So, in this case with a 3.167-1 advantage the stronger party gets all 3 seats.
. . Compare this with the normal 1 Rep. /dist. situation. Here all it takes is a 1.04-1 advantage in each of 3 smaller districts to get all 3 Reps. And make the weaker party's votes not count at all.
. . It is this big difference between 3.01-1 vs 1.04-1 that makes gerrymandering not effective.

It seems to me that this system has 4 advantages for the American people.
1] Gerrymandering is not very effective. It can be done but it will give a party many fewer additional seats in the House.
2] Especially with 5 Reps/district, it makes it pretty easy for a 3rd party to get some seats in the House.
3] Most people will feel like they personally have a Rep. in the House who speaks for them.
4] Most people in every district will have at least 1 Rep from their party to contact to ask for help with a Gov. office refusing to help them.

Why is it that not 1 person has commented before when I have suggested this idea the 3 times before? It seems like such a good idea to me. Why is it not a good idea?

 
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
I would guess most people see it as a bigger change than (e.g.) anti-gerrymandering legislation or instant runoff voting or electoral college reform and would rather push for those. Don't let this become your bitcoin.
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
sbszine wrote:
I would guess most people see it as a bigger change than (e.g.) anti-gerrymandering legislation or instant runoff voting or electoral college reform and would rather push for those. Don't let this become your bitcoin.

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Finally a reply.

OK, Fair enough.

FCM, wrote,
Quote:
But there is still no way to write a quantifiable law against it [gerrymandering]. You can do studies in hindsight about populations that have been roped into ridiculous districts, but the way the law is written lawmakers have the right to do that. It remains to be seen how you write a law to just make it go away.

What are the parameters?
What are the penalties for violating them?
Where does the data originate from?
Who watches the watchers?

p.s.
To be clear, gerrymandering is an ongoing cancer, but I haven't seen a reliably quantifiable method yet for establishing rules around shalls and shall-nots regarding the process.

So, he at least sees that anti-gerrymandering laws are going to be complex.
This (my) idea doesn't address EC reform at all.
Instant runoff can be added to my idea later, but I think I can see it getting complex.

Starting where we are right now, none of the above has a snowball's chance in Hell of ever being passed. So, pushing for any of them now is a waste of time.

First, there has to be a major shakeup in Washington. By the time this shakeup has occurred you-all's perception of how to achieve the goals assumed above may change. So, all I ask is you-all remember my idea.
 
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
We have anti-gerrymandering laws here. A lot of countries have them. California has them. It's pretty straightforward.
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
Steve1501 wrote:
There are 435 Reps. and 50 states that is an average of 435/50 = 8.7 per state. If there are 4 states with just 1 Rep. then it leaves 431/46 = 9.28 Reps/state.

So, there could be 3 Reps./district on average easily. However, 3/dist. will almost always result in a 2-1 split. With 5/dist. there are more choices: 3-2, 4-1, and 2-2-1, for example. This lets a 3rd party get a seat with 20% of the voters, by them voting 5 votes for 1 candidate. Obviously, the 3 candidates who got the most votes are the 3 new Reps. from that district.

The Representatives per state have to be distributed based on population. You can't just average the number of reps and assign them to states. California has to have 53 reps unless Congress changes the number from 435.
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
This act broke our system of government and gave small population states too much power over the rest of the country in the house of representatives and in the presidential election.

http://history.house.gov/Historical-Highlights/1901-1950/The...

Quote:
On this date, the House passed the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929, fixing the number of Representatives at 435. The U.S. Constitution called for at least one Representative per state and that no more than one for every 30,000 persons. Thus, the size of a state’s House delegation depended on its population. But the founders were vague as to how large future Congresses should be and what method to use to reapportion the House after each federal census. These questions vexed Congress for much of its history as U.S. territories expanded and the population grew. Usually, the House reapportioned itself in a manner that increased, or at least preserved, the representation of most states. Gradually, however, the method for calculating apportionment caused smaller rural states to lose representation to larger urbanized states. A battle erupted between rural and urban factions, causing the House (for the only time in its history) to fail to reapportion itself following the 1920 Census. Signed into law on June 18, 1929, the Permanent Apportionment Act capped House Membership at the level established after the 1910 Census and created a procedure for automatically reapportioning House seats after every decennial census.


---

On your idea steve, it's not bad- but it's very different than what we have now. It might even require a constitutional amendment. I don't think it is likely to ever occur.
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
maxo-texas wrote:
On your idea steve, it's not bad- but it's very different than what we have now. It might even require a constitutional amendment. I don't think it is likely to ever occur.

I'm pretty sure that no amendment is necessary.
I'm also pretty sure that a simple act of Congress would let the Congress force all the states to use the same system. Then each state could draw the lines using their system or a system mandated by Congress.

This act would need to define what happens when a state has 1-5 Reps. [prob. 1 district for the whole state].
And what happens when the state has 6 to 9 Reps. [prob. 2 or 3 "equal"
districts].
And what happens when a state has more and more up to the 50-55 that Calif. has.

This could be done with a list of just 55 cases. Not a big deal.

The problem with it occurring is that the Reps.in Congress would have to find the courage to do what is good for the nation and trust in their personal above average abilities to see to it that they came out alright in the end.

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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
damiangerous wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
There are 435 Reps. and 50 states that is an average of 435/50 = 8.7 per state. If there are 4 states with just 1 Rep. then it leaves 431/46 = 9.28 Reps/state.

So, there could be 3 Reps./district on average easily. However, 3/dist. will almost always result in a 2-1 split. With 5/dist. there are more choices: 3-2, 4-1, and 2-2-1, for example. This lets a 3rd party get a seat with 20% of the voters, by them voting 5 votes for 1 candidate. Obviously, the 3 candidates who got the most votes are the 3 new Reps. from that district.

The Representatives per state have to be distributed based on population. You can't just average the number of reps and assign them to states. California has to have 53 reps unless Congress changes the number from 435.

I failed to explain it clearly.
No state would get more or less Reps. as a result of this proposal.

What changes is the number of districts there are in each state.
. . The simple case to see is for the state to divide the number of Reps. by 3 and round down to get the # of districts. Then divide the # of Reps by the # of districts to get the # of Reps./district. Then each district gets a number of Reps. equal that # [rounded down] or that # +1 if there was any fraction.
. . So for example, if a state has the population that gives it 17 Reps. we divide 17 by 3 to get 5.67 [round down to 5]. Now divide 17 by 5 to get 3 districts. Then we divide 17 by 3 to get 5.67, so each district gets 5 or (5+1=) 6 Reps. This becomes 5+6+6 =17. This is just an example and not necessarily a good way to do it.
. . For 17 I would rather see the split being 5+3+3+3+3 =17. But that is just me. Maybe an even number of Reps./district is a good idea and I just don't see it. Then 17 =4+4+4+5 might be better.

In this last case there would be 4 districts in the state with 3 of them having 4 Reps. and 1 of them having 5.

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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
sbszine wrote:
Don't let this become your bitcoin.


WHAT'S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?!
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
Steve1501 wrote:
Starting where we are right now, none of the above has a snowball's chance in Hell of ever being passed. So, pushing for any of them now is a waste of time.


So is this. No comments doesn't mean no agreement, it means no engagement. People aren't engaging with this idea for two reasons: first, there are more familiar (and therefore politically feasible) ways to accomplish the same goal which are also doomed in our current political system with its inability to pass sensible legislation which undermines the power of the parties. Second, "why can't anyone see how right I am?" is the mating call of the fringe obsessive.

It's a fine idea. But there's a reason I don't go off about how great approval voting is every time someone brings up instant runoff.
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
maxo-texas wrote:
This act broke our system of government and gave small population states too much power over the rest of the country in the house of representatives and in the presidential election.

http://history.house.gov/Historical-Highlights/1901-1950/The...

Quote:
On this date, the House passed the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929, fixing the number of Representatives at 435. The U.S. Constitution called for at least one Representative per state and that no more than one for every 30,000 persons. Thus, the size of a state’s House delegation depended on its population. But the founders were vague as to how large future Congresses should be and what method to use to reapportion the House after each federal census. These questions vexed Congress for much of its history as U.S. territories expanded and the population grew. Usually, the House reapportioned itself in a manner that increased, or at least preserved, the representation of most states. Gradually, however, the method for calculating apportionment caused smaller rural states to lose representation to larger urbanized states. A battle erupted between rural and urban factions, causing the House (for the only time in its history) to fail to reapportion itself following the 1920 Census. Signed into law on June 18, 1929, the Permanent Apportionment Act capped House Membership at the level established after the 1910 Census and created a procedure for automatically reapportioning House seats after every decennial census.


---

On your idea steve, it's not bad- but it's very different than what we have now. It might even require a constitutional amendment. I don't think it is likely to ever occur.



Id did not break the government. Much like the electorial college, it assures the entier country that they have equal representation in all matters.

If California, NY, and Florida combined could rule the country simply by their sheer number of representatives, there wouldnt be a union of states anymore.

A state is a state, and California, Alaska, Hawaii, and Massachusetts should and do have all equal representation in the federal government.

We dont govern by population count.
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
sao123 wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
This act broke our system of government and gave small population states too much power over the rest of the country in the house of representatives and in the presidential election.

http://history.house.gov/Historical-Highlights/1901-1950/The...

Quote:
On this date, the House passed the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929, fixing the number of Representatives at 435. The U.S. Constitution called for at least one Representative per state and that no more than one for every 30,000 persons. Thus, the size of a state’s House delegation depended on its population. But the founders were vague as to how large future Congresses should be and what method to use to reapportion the House after each federal census. These questions vexed Congress for much of its history as U.S. territories expanded and the population grew. Usually, the House reapportioned itself in a manner that increased, or at least preserved, the representation of most states. Gradually, however, the method for calculating apportionment caused smaller rural states to lose representation to larger urbanized states. A battle erupted between rural and urban factions, causing the House (for the only time in its history) to fail to reapportion itself following the 1920 Census. Signed into law on June 18, 1929, the Permanent Apportionment Act capped House Membership at the level established after the 1910 Census and created a procedure for automatically reapportioning House seats after every decennial census.


---

On your idea steve, it's not bad- but it's very different than what we have now. It might even require a constitutional amendment. I don't think it is likely to ever occur.



Id did not break the government. Much like the electorial college, it assures the entier country that they have equal representation in all matters.

If California, NY, and Florida combined could rule the country simply by their sheer number of representatives, there wouldnt be a union of states anymore.

A state is a state, and California, Alaska, Hawaii, and Massachusetts should and do have all equal representation in the federal government.

We dont govern by population count.


It changed the balance between individuals and states which the framers designed. The usual defense of the electoral college is an appeal to the wisdom of the framers. The system they designed gave a representative for each 10,000 individuals, which means that, as the population grows, states naturally diminish in power relative to individuals. What they created was a way to shift emphasis from states to people gradually. The 1929 act broke that.

You can say it didn't break the country, but it destroyed a piece of the system our framers wanted in a way which has given us two of our last three Presidents. Even if you don't agree that they're two of our worst, who've done real and lasting damage to our unity, prosperity, and power, you simply can't plausibly argue that the change is minor.

Even apart from the electoral concerns, a shift to more people per representative concentrates power and reduces access to our politicians. It also leaves us with less governance per person, and more of the business of governing done by unelected staff or lobbyists rather than anyone accountable to the people.
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
Steve1501 wrote:
It seems to me that this system has 4 advantages for the American people.
1] Gerrymandering is not very effective. It can be done but it will give a party many fewer additional seats in the House.
2] Especially with 5 Reps/district, it makes it pretty easy for a 3rd party to get some seats in the House.
3] Most people will feel like they personally have a Rep. in the House who speaks for them.
4] Most people in every district will have at least 1 Rep from their party to contact to ask for help with a Gov. office refusing to help them.

Why is it that not 1 person has commented before when I have suggested this idea the 3 times before? It seems like such a good idea to me. Why is it not a good idea?



Why is it a good idea. In what specific practical ways would the country be better. #1-#2 above aren't what I mean by specific/practical... they are theoretical. #3 - most local reps are very popular. #4 - that's not the job of a congressman.

The big issue is whether more/less people per representative makes a meaningful difference in the quality of government. Luckily, we have 50 different states to look at to answer. Each rep in California represents almost 500k people. In New Hampshire, it's around 3,000 per. Is New Hampshire an awesome example of governance? Heck no. It's one of the most effed up political bodies you can image. Here's a list of people per state legislature... I defy anyone to find a pattern that relates quality of legislature to the ratio of people to legislator: https://ballotpedia.org/Population_represented_by_state_legi...
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
Steve1501 wrote:
damiangerous wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
There are 435 Reps. and 50 states that is an average of 435/50 = 8.7 per state. If there are 4 states with just 1 Rep. then it leaves 431/46 = 9.28 Reps/state.

So, there could be 3 Reps./district on average easily. However, 3/dist. will almost always result in a 2-1 split. With 5/dist. there are more choices: 3-2, 4-1, and 2-2-1, for example. This lets a 3rd party get a seat with 20% of the voters, by them voting 5 votes for 1 candidate. Obviously, the 3 candidates who got the most votes are the 3 new Reps. from that district.

The Representatives per state have to be distributed based on population. You can't just average the number of reps and assign them to states. California has to have 53 reps unless Congress changes the number from 435.

I failed to explain it clearly.
No state would get more or less Reps. as a result of this proposal.

What changes is the number of districts there are in each state.
. . The simple case to see is for the state to divide the number of Reps. by 3 and round down to get the # of districts. Then divide the # of Reps by the # of districts to get the # of Reps./district. Then each district gets a number of Reps. equal that # [rounded down] or that # +1 if there was any fraction.
. . So for example, if a state has the population that gives it 17 Reps. we divide 17 by 3 to get 5.67 [round down to 5]. Now divide 17 by 5 to get 3 districts. Then we divide 17 by 3 to get 5.67, so each district gets 5 or (5+1=) 6 Reps. This becomes 5+6+6 =17. This is just an example and not necessarily a good way to do it.
. . For 17 I would rather see the split being 5+3+3+3+3 =17. But that is just me. Maybe an even number of Reps./district is a good idea and I just don't see it. Then 17 =4+4+4+5 might be better.

In this last case there would be 4 districts in the state with 3 of them having 4 Reps. and 1 of them having 5.

Okay, so what you actually want to change is the voting? That would possibly violate the "one person, one vote" doctrine and definitely the 14th Amendment. You can't give some members of the population more than 1 vote for a single office. You can have something like IRV because it transfers the vote to another candidate, you can't just give people different numbers of votes.
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
rinelk wrote:
It changed the balance between individuals and states which the framers designed. The usual defense of the electoral college is an appeal to the wisdom of the framers. The system they designed gave a representative for each 10,000 individuals, which means that, as the population grows, states naturally diminish in power relative to individuals. What they created was a way to shift emphasis from states to people gradually. The 1929 act broke that.


I don't think that's a fair assessment of the situation. The number was a compromise between opposing factions and also based on the population of the time and 18th century conceptions of future population size. The original "First Amendment," never ratified, was an expansion on the topic, allowing the House to grow up to 200 members before it was put into the hands on Congress. Neither faction mentioned gradually transferring the balance from states to people. Such a thing doesn't really have a precedent, the Constitution was about the apportioning of Federal and State powers not States and people.

The anti-Federalists were primarily concerned that the House would not be large enough to avoid concentrating power in the hands of an elite few who were no longer connected with the large population they represent (as history shows us, not an unreasonable fear). The population was low enough at the time that Washington's suggesting the original number be decreased from 40,000 to 30,000 was significant.

The Federalists, such as Madison, did not support an ever growing number of Representatives. They agreed that you needed 'enough' Reps but not so many things became unwieldy.

Madison covers it from his perspective quite well in Federalist Papers 55. Some relevant quotes follow:

Quote:
Sixty or seventy men may be more properly trusted with a given degree of power than six or seven. But it does not follow that six or seven hundred would be proportionably a better depositary. And if we carry on the supposition to six or seven thousand, the whole reasoning ought to be reversed. The truth is, that in all cases a certain number at least seems to be necessary to secure the benefits of free consultation and discussion, and to guard against too easy a combination for improper purposes; as, on the other hand, the number ought at most to be kept within a certain limit, in order to avoid the confusion and intemperance of a multitude. In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever character composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason. Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.


He actually ends up suggesting that right around 400 would be a good eventual number to settle on.

Quote:
The number of which this branch of the legislature is to consist, at the outset of the government, will be sixtyfive. Within three years a census is to be taken, when the number may be augmented to one for every thirty thousand inhabitants; and within every successive period of ten years the census is to be renewed, and augmentations may continue to be made under the above limitation. It will not be thought an extravagant conjecture that the first census will, at the rate of one for every thirty thousand, raise the number of representatives to at least one hundred. Estimating the negroes in the proportion of three fifths, it can scarcely be doubted that the population of the United States will by that time, if it does not already, amount to three millions. At the expiration of twenty-five years, according to the computed rate of increase, the number of representatives will amount to two hundred, and of fifty years, to four hundred. This is a number which, I presume, will put an end to all fears arising from the smallness of the body.


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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
damiangerous wrote:
rinelk wrote:
It changed the balance between individuals and states which the framers designed. The usual defense of the electoral college is an appeal to the wisdom of the framers. The system they designed gave a representative for each 10,000 individuals, which means that, as the population grows, states naturally diminish in power relative to individuals. What they created was a way to shift emphasis from states to people gradually. The 1929 act broke that.


I don't think that's a fair assessment of the situation. The number was a compromise between opposing factions and also based on the population of the time and 18th century conceptions of future population size. The original "First Amendment," never ratified, was an expansion on the topic, allowing the House to grow up to 200 members before it was put into the hands on Congress. Neither faction mentioned gradually transferring the balance from states to people. Such a thing doesn't really have a precedent, the Constitution was about the apportioning of Federal and State powers not States and people.

The anti-Federalists were primarily concerned that the House would not be large enough to avoid concentrating power in the hands of an elite few who were no longer connected with the large population they represent (as history shows us, not an unreasonable fear). The population was low enough at the time that Washington's suggesting the original number be decreased from 40,000 to 30,000 was significant.

The Federalists, such as Madison, did not support an ever growing number of Representatives. They agreed that you needed 'enough' Reps but not so many things became unwieldy.

Madison covers it from his perspective quite well in Federalist Papers 55. Some relevant quotes follow:

Quote:
Sixty or seventy men may be more properly trusted with a given degree of power than six or seven. But it does not follow that six or seven hundred would be proportionably a better depositary. And if we carry on the supposition to six or seven thousand, the whole reasoning ought to be reversed. The truth is, that in all cases a certain number at least seems to be necessary to secure the benefits of free consultation and discussion, and to guard against too easy a combination for improper purposes; as, on the other hand, the number ought at most to be kept within a certain limit, in order to avoid the confusion and intemperance of a multitude. In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever character composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason. Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.


He actually ends up suggesting that right around 400 would be a good eventual number to settle on.

Quote:
The number of which this branch of the legislature is to consist, at the outset of the government, will be sixtyfive. Within three years a census is to be taken, when the number may be augmented to one for every thirty thousand inhabitants; and within every successive period of ten years the census is to be renewed, and augmentations may continue to be made under the above limitation. It will not be thought an extravagant conjecture that the first census will, at the rate of one for every thirty thousand, raise the number of representatives to at least one hundred. Estimating the negroes in the proportion of three fifths, it can scarcely be doubted that the population of the United States will by that time, if it does not already, amount to three millions. At the expiration of twenty-five years, according to the computed rate of increase, the number of representatives will amount to two hundred, and of fifty years, to four hundred. This is a number which, I presume, will put an end to all fears arising from the smallness of the body.




Washington wanted 1 representative per 30,000 citizens.
Congress waned 1 representative per 60,000 citizens.

For the government we set up in Iraq, there is 1 representative per 100,000 citizens.

People in wyoming get 1 representative per 580,000 citizens.
People in california get 1 representative per 735,000 citizens.

Here's a larger list of somewhat older data.
https://www.thegreenpapers.com/Census10/FedRep.phtml

Delaware was particularly badly represented (1 per 900,000 citizens). It's not a conservative vs liberal issue (texas is red, new york is purple and california is blue) and it's not entirely a small vs big state issue. There are some modest size states with terrible representation.

Because the number of representatives also controls electors who decide the presidency, citizens of california also have less (5/7ths) representation in deciding who is president.

A minority of the country is gaining control of all three branches of government. That's tyranny. That's broken. That's anti-democratic.

A democracy where a minority of the voters control the entire government, isn't really a democracy any more.

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Matthew Schoell
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
sao123 wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
This act broke our system of government and gave small population states too much power over the rest of the country in the house of representatives and in the presidential election.

http://history.house.gov/Historical-Highlights/1901-1950/The...

Quote:
On this date, the House passed the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929, fixing the number of Representatives at 435. The U.S. Constitution called for at least one Representative per state and that no more than one for every 30,000 persons. Thus, the size of a state’s House delegation depended on its population. But the founders were vague as to how large future Congresses should be and what method to use to reapportion the House after each federal census. These questions vexed Congress for much of its history as U.S. territories expanded and the population grew. Usually, the House reapportioned itself in a manner that increased, or at least preserved, the representation of most states. Gradually, however, the method for calculating apportionment caused smaller rural states to lose representation to larger urbanized states. A battle erupted between rural and urban factions, causing the House (for the only time in its history) to fail to reapportion itself following the 1920 Census. Signed into law on June 18, 1929, the Permanent Apportionment Act capped House Membership at the level established after the 1910 Census and created a procedure for automatically reapportioning House seats after every decennial census.


---

On your idea steve, it's not bad- but it's very different than what we have now. It might even require a constitutional amendment. I don't think it is likely to ever occur.



Id did not break the government. Much like the electorial college, it assures the entier country that they have equal representation in all matters.

If California, NY, and Florida combined could rule the country simply by their sheer number of representatives, there wouldnt be a union of states anymore.

A state is a state, and California, Alaska, Hawaii, and Massachusetts should and do have all equal representation in the federal government.

We dont govern by population count.


What do you mean? We govern in lots of ways. Congressionally, we both do and do not govern by population count. The House should be population based and thereby prevent low population states from exerting too much sway. The Senate should not be population based and thereby prevent a NY-Cali-Flordia-Texas coalition from exerting too much power.

This is basic civics stuff.
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
We need a rule in RSP that nobody gets to accuse the US of being in tyranny, loss of free speech, etc. until after they've spent at least a week in someplace like Burma or Chad.
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
EMBison wrote:
We need a rule in RSP that nobody gets to accuse the US of being in tyranny, loss of free speech, etc. until after they've spent at least a week in someplace like Burma or Chad.


We are *always* less than a decade away from being a burma or chad. It takes continuous effort to maintain our democratic form of government. Over the last 9 years, I've seen massive damage done to our democratic institutions.

And a large set of our citizens is celebrating and defending that damage. it's disturbing.

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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
maxo-texas wrote:
We are *always* less than a decade away from being a burma or chad. It takes continuous effort to maintain our democratic form of government. Over the last 9 years, I've seen massive damage done to our democratic institutions.


Will all due respect, have you been to Chad? We are so far away from that it's incomprehensible we could be there in decade.

I have a hard time seeing any "massive damage" to our democratic institutions... or much damage at all really. Some things have been taken away, others have replaced them.

But even if we have slipped, we ain't Chad, and we ain't becoming Chad anytime soon.
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
EMBison wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
We are *always* less than a decade away from being a burma or chad. It takes continuous effort to maintain our democratic form of government. Over the last 9 years, I've seen massive damage done to our democratic institutions.


Will all due respect, have you been to Chad? We are so far away from that it's incomprehensible we could be there in decade.

I have a hard time seeing any "massive damage" to our democratic institutions... or much damage at all really. Some things have been taken away, others have replaced them.

But even if we have slipped, we ain't Chad, and we ain't becoming Chad anytime soon.


The founding fathers were not living in chad either and they considered it tyranny worth dying to oppose.

I dont think choosing the most extreme usage of a word, especially a word intimately tied to the foundation of the nation around the idea of representarion, invalidates other usage.

And i do think taking away hard won rights without representation is tyranny.

 
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
damiangerous wrote:
rinelk wrote:
It changed the balance between individuals and states which the framers designed. The usual defense of the electoral college is an appeal to the wisdom of the framers. The system they designed gave a representative for each 10,000 individuals, which means that, as the population grows, states naturally diminish in power relative to individuals. What they created was a way to shift emphasis from states to people gradually. The 1929 act broke that.


I don't think that's a fair assessment of the situation. The number was a compromise between opposing factions and also based on the population of the time and 18th century conceptions of future population size. The original "First Amendment," never ratified, was an expansion on the topic, allowing the House to grow up to 200 members before it was put intuo the hands on Congress. Neither faction mentioned gradually transferring the balance from states to people. Such a thing doesn't really have a precedent, the Constitution was about the apportioning of Federal and State powers not States and people.

The anti-Federalists were primarily concerned that the House would not be large enough to avoid concentrating power in the hands of an elite few who were no longer connected with the large population they represent (as history shows us, not an unreasonable fear). The population was low enough at the time that Washington's suggesting the original number be decreased from 40,000 to 30,000 was significant.

The Federalists, such as Madison, did not support an ever growing number of Representatives. They agreed that you needed 'enough' Reps but not so many things became unwieldy.

Madison covers it from his perspective quite well in Federalist Papers 55. Some relevant quotes follow:

Quote:
Sixty or seventy men may be more properly trusted with a given degree of power than six or seven. But it does not follow that six or seven hundred would be proportionably a better depositary. And if we carry on the supposition to six or seven thousand, the whole reasoning ought to be reversed. The truth is, that in all cases a certain number at least seems to be necessary to secure the benefits of free consultation and discussion, and to guard against too easy a combination for improper purposes; as, on the other hand, the number ought at most to be kept within a certain limit, in order to avoid the confusion and intemperance of a multitude. In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever character composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason. Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.


He actually ends up suggesting that right around 400 would be a good eventual number to settle on.

Quote:
The number of which this branch of the legislature is to consist, at the outset of the government, will be sixtyfive. Within three years a census is to be taken, when the number may be augmented to one for every thirty thousand inhabitants; and within every successive period of ten years the census is to be renewed, and augmentations may continue to be made under the above limitation. It will not be thought an extravagant conjecture that the first census will, at the rate of one for every thirty thousand, raise the number of representatives to at least one hundred. Estimating the negroes in the proportion of three fifths, it can scarcely be doubted that the population of the United States will by that time, if it does not already, amount to three millions. At the expiration of twenty-five years, according to the computed rate of increase, the number of representatives will amount to two hundred, and of fifty years, to four hundred. This is a number which, I presume, will put an end to all fears arising from the smallness of the body.




I will grant that Madison didn't particularly care for the result I've described. But it's the system they came up with as a group, and the very failure of an amendment intended to prevent further growth of the number of representatives suggests that the founding generation, as a whole, did not want or intend one, doesn't it?
 
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
damiangerous wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
I failed to explain it clearly.
No state would get more or less Reps. as a result of this proposal.

What changes is the number of districts there are in each state.
. . The simple case to see is for the state to divide the number of Reps. by 3 and round down to get the # of districts. Then divide the # of Reps by the # of districts to get the # of Reps./district. Then each district gets a number of Reps. equal that # [rounded down] or that # +1 if there was any fraction.
. . So for example, if a state has the population that gives it 17 Reps. we divide 17 by 3 to get 5.67 [round down to 5]. Now divide 17 by 5 to get 3 districts. Then we divide 17 by 3 to get 5.67, so each district gets 5 or (5+1=) 6 Reps. This becomes 5+6+6 =17. This is just an example and not necessarily a good way to do it.
. . For 17 I would rather see the split being 5+3+3+3+3 =17. But that is just me. Maybe an even number of Reps./district is a good idea and I just don't see it. Then 17 =4+4+4+5 might be better.

In this last case there would be 4 districts in the state with 3 of them having 4 Reps. and 1 of them having 5.

Okay, so what you actually want to change is the voting? That would possibly violate the "one person, one vote" doctrine and definitely the 14th Amendment. You can't give some members of the population more than 1 vote for a single office. You can have something like IRV because it transfers the vote to another candidate, you can't just give people different numbers of votes.

No you are wrong.
A quote from the Wikipedia article on the Constitution of Illinois.
Quote:
Before the Cutback Amendment [see below] to the state constitution was passed in 1980, Illinois' lower house had several unique features:
The state was divided into 59 "legislative districts", but each district elected three representatives, yielding a House of 177 members, again, from just 59 districts.
Elections were conducted using cumulative voting; each individual voter was given three votes to cast for House seats, and they could distribute them to three candidates (one vote each), one candidate (receiving three votes—this was called a "bullet vote") or two candidates (each receiving 1½ votes).
Though not constitutionally mandated, the two parties had an informal agreement that they would only run two candidates per district. Thus, in most districts, only four candidates were running for three seats, guaranteeing not only that there would be a single loser, but that each party would have significant representation—a minimum of one-third of the seats—in the House.

The Cutback Amendment was proposed to abolish this system. Since its passage, representatives have been elected from 118 single-member constituencies formed by dividing the 59 Senate districts in half.

Since the adoption of the Cutback Amendment, there have been proposals by some major political figures in Illinois to bring back multi-member districts. A task force led by former governor Jim Edgar and former federal judge Abner Mikva issued a report in 2001 calling for the revival of cumulative voting,[4] in part because it appears that such a system increases the representation of racial minorities in elected office.[5] The Chicago Tribune editorialized in 1995 that the multi-member districts elected with cumulative voting produced better legislators.[6] Others have argued that the now-abandoned system provided for greater "stability" in the lower house.[7]

As you can see Illinois had such a system from 1970 until 1980. Then apparently it was cut back to reduce the size of the House to a more manageable size. Since then there are some experts who want to bring it back for various reasons. Maybe they should have cut back the number of districts from 59 to 41 instead of doubling the districts with 1 Rep. each.

I contend that if it is OK under the US Constitution for Ill. to do this then it is OK for the US House of Reps. to be elected in this way.

The system gives each voter 3 votes to vote for 3 offices, so this is still 1 vote per office. Personally I think it would be easier for the voters to understand if they had 2 votes per office and could use them 1 by 1 in any way to vote for the 3, 4 or 5 Reps that I'm suggesting including all 6 (8 or 10) for 1 guy. This eliminates the fractional votes.

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Steve
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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
Friends and folks, don't worry this will not be another bitcoin thing with me.

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Re: Why can't gamers [of all people] see the advantages of 3 or 5 Reps. per House District?
Please let me try again to explain the arithmetic. I use 5 reps per district because it works better. I'm not proposing to add or subtract any reps from any state, just change the size of the districts.

With 5 reps/dist these are the cut-offs for the different ratios of reps per party. Here 4-1 means 4 from party A and 1 from party B.

83.4-16.6 => 5-0, so to get a 5-0 ratio one needs to gerrymander so that one's party had at least 83.4% of the vote.

66.7-33.3 => 4-1, so to get a 4-1 ratio one needs to gerrymander so that one's party had between 66.7 and 83.3 of the vote.

50.1-49.9 => 3-2, so to get a 3-2 ratio one needs to gerrymander so that one's party had between 50.1 and 66.6% of the vote.

OTOH, when gerrymandering one also wants to let the opponents win some but waste a lot of votes.
Generally, I think one can't do better than 1-4 [where they get 4 to one's 1 rep]. Here you need to give them 83.3 % of the vote, but if they only get as much as 66.6 then the result is a 2-3 ratio. So, 0.833 -0.666 = 0.167 [not counting the need for a cushion]. So, they waste 16.7% of the total vote.

With 5 reps/dist the most that you can be made to waste is 16% or so of the total vote.
With 1 reps/dist the most that you can be made to waste is 48% or so of the total vote.
In both cases these numbers would be reduced by the need to provide some cushion.

Looked at another way [with 5 reps/dist and just 2 parties voting] a span from 51 to 66% of the vote gives you a 3-2 ratio. And, 3-2 gives you 60% of the reps [3 out of 5].

Looked at that same way [with 5 reps/dist and just 2 parties voting] a span from 67 to 83% of the vote gives you a 4-1 ratio. And, 4-1 gives you 80% of the reps [4 out of 5].

Compare this to a 1 rep/dist race, here a span of from 10 to 49% of the vote gives you 0 out of 1. And from 51 to 90% gives you 1 out of 1.
In these 2 cases the ratio is actually outside the range of [reasonable] percentages.
In the 2 cases above those cases with 5 reps/dist the ratio is always inside the range of percentages and in fact is at most 13 percentage points away from the percentage of reps that you got.

Now, compare this to what you expect is the best you'll see with laws outlawing gerrymandering. As long as there are still 1 rep/dist individual districts can never come close to the result you get with a 5 rep/dist system.
. . So, lets look at the average of many districts, do you think that they will do better than being within 13 percentage points of the over all vote? And 13 %-age pts was the worst case not an average case.

 
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