Constitutionally Appropriate Representation

If there was to have been a haven for the landed nobility and the wealthy merchants of the nation then perhaps the Senate was to serve this purpose (Ketcham). Our House of Representatives, however, is defined in the United States Constitution to be composed of Representatives elected in uniform districts of as few as thirty thousand people. In "Federalist 10" (one of the most respected articles ever written concerning representation in our "republican form of government"), much attention is given to this district size dynamic. Smaller constituency sizes provide a proper mechanism for the two way flow of information necessary to protect the society from the aristocratic and autocratic encroachments of big government. In smaller districts it is necessary for representatives to keep their constituents properly informed with the unvarnished truth and to comport themselves in keeping with the views and opinions of such duly informed constituents. For those who would not do so are rather quickly challenged and replaced by more honest and capable individuals. This is so because it is possible for candidates to present themselves to their communities without millions of dollars in campaign funds. Locally known and respected candidates simply cannot be shouted down and silenced.

Whether by design or malfeasance our Congress, in 1921, denied the people of the United States their rights to adequate representation when they unconstitutionally failed to reapportion the House of Representatives claiming that the census data was wrong. Then in 1929 they solidified the control of two major political parties by excusing themselves from any further annoyance via the Reapportionment Act of 1929 which effectively limited the membership in the House of Representatives to 435. Since that time the voting population within an average representative district has grown to well over four hundred thousand. The most debilitating effect of this growth has been the huge advantage granted to one way mass media marketing and campaigning and therefore, the huge advantage shared by those who can fund such marketing.

Due to increasing constituency size, it has become impossible for most individuals of good character with a true desire to act in the best interest of their neighbors to present themselves to those who would choose them. It has become impossible to challenge the entrenched power of the two major parties in electoral districts because these districts embrace so many people as to absolutely require the use of mass media in presenting ones self and ones insights for consideration in local elections. The population of our typical representative districts rivals the population of some of the smaller nations of the world. It is impossible to debate real issues that concern us because mass media simply drowns out all real debate. We are left with choreographed presentations in which the drummed up issues are presented and discussed in such a way as to satisfy the campaign contributors and, at the same time, allow some microscopic differentiation of candidates. Funding aside, it is simply not possible to "know the sentiment" of four hundred thousand people in such a way as to properly legislate or to accept or reject pending legislation on behalf of ones constituents. Within smaller constituencies ranging in size up to as much as forty or even sixty thousand it is entirely possible to present ones self to the voters in local forums and to know the sentiments of the voters on a more direct basis, omitting the marketing and coloring of one way mass media. Decreasing the geographic area and number of individuals encompassed by each district results in political discourse and debate that cannot be averted as it is in larger constituencies. Voters have greater opportunity to interact with and elect House members more focused on the prosperity of the people themselves as opposed those who are more sympathetic to the preeminence of aristocratic power.

The Proper Representation of The People

The immediate wail and challenge of the diehard neo conservative, hoping to preserve his aristocratic privilege is one of: "Constitutionally Appropriate Representation would create a democratic Mob of more than X thousand people in the House. They could not even be seated in the current House chamber". And if it was the intent of Constitutionally Appropriate Representation to represent the lobby and the special interests that inhabit the hallways and proximate areas to the current House chamber then these protectors of the status quo might even have a point. But then, that isn't really appropriate. It only seems approptiate because we have been conditioned over the last 100 years to see it that way. The members of the House are not supposed to represent the lobby; those people in the House are suppose to be representing US. And in recognition of the fact that technology can be a friend as well as a foe there would be scant reason for the new representatives to be hanging around in the House chamber, or even inside the Beltway. For a better grasp of what is to come please click on Extended Representation. This may be a very suitable moniker for the proposed increase in represntation.

If one measures the amount of democracy as the amount of participative opportunity for the people in their government we find that the United States ranks dead last by a considerable margin among the current first world nations. Not only do the other nations accept the idea that multiple parties are more democratic, but the number of people represented by each member of the directly elected legislative chamber is significantly smaller than in the United States. Based upon population and government structure statistics from the CIA Factbook a rough estimate of the number of individuals represented by each member of what would be similar to our House of Representatives is as follows:

Number of Voters Per Representative (Constituency Size):