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Tue Dec 25, 2018, 11:01 AM

California is in danger of losing a House seat after adding 2.3 million people

https://qz.com/1506891/california-is-in-danger-of-losing-a-house-seat/

From 2010 to 2018, the state of California added about 2.3 million people according to new estimates released by the US Census. Its population, already the largest in the US, to close to 39.6 million. And California’s population increase of 6.2% has been greater than the 6.0% increase across the country.

Yet, due to the US’s complicated rules for giving states representation in Congress, California might soon lose one of its seats in the House of Representatives. Losing that seat would also mean the loss of a vote in the Electoral College, which determines the winner of presidential elections.



Since 1913, the number of representatives in the lower chamber of Congress has been capped at 435. While each state has two members in the higher chamber of the Senate, the number of its representatives to the House is determined by the size of a state’s population—though each state is automatically given one representative. (Populous California has 53 representatives, for example, and Alaska just one.)

Every 10 years, after the US government conducts its comprehensive census, the House’s representatives are reapportioned by state. For most, this doesn’t lead to a change. For those that grew much faster or slower than the country as a whole, it can mean gaining or losing power. Fast-growing Texas gained four seats after the 2010 Census as its population exploded. New York lost two seats. On average, after the 2010 Census, a House member represented about 700,000 people.

snip


The number of seats in the House needs to be dramatically increased and more fairly distributed. That is a major fix for the both the Electoral College and the inequity of legislative power in the House itself.

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Reply California is in danger of losing a House seat after adding 2.3 million people (Original post)
Celerity Dec 2018 OP
bitterross Dec 2018 #1
Celerity Dec 2018 #3
Major Nikon Dec 2018 #2
Celerity Dec 2018 #8
Major Nikon Dec 2018 #10
Celerity Dec 2018 #11
Major Nikon Dec 2018 #13
Celerity Dec 2018 #15
Celerity Dec 2018 #14
Bucky Dec 2018 #18
Celerity Dec 2018 #21
Bucky Dec 2018 #22
Celerity Dec 2018 #23
clementine613 Dec 2018 #29
Celerity Dec 2018 #30
eppur_se_muova Dec 2018 #4
bitterross Dec 2018 #6
Wounded Bear Dec 2018 #7
dansolo Dec 2018 #12
ProudLib72 Dec 2018 #28
eppur_se_muova Dec 2018 #33
Celerity Dec 2018 #9
ProudLib72 Dec 2018 #27
DFW Dec 2018 #5
clementine613 Dec 2018 #16
Freddie Dec 2018 #17
Bucky Dec 2018 #20
Bucky Dec 2018 #19
Celerity Dec 2018 #24
Bucky Dec 2018 #34
Totally Tunsie Dec 2018 #25
Celerity Dec 2018 #26
Totally Tunsie Dec 2018 #31
Celerity Dec 2018 #32
MichMan Dec 2018 #35
roamer65 Dec 2018 #36

Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 11:25 AM

1. Don't count on the repugs to want changes

 

They benefit from the fact that 1 person in bum-fuck WY has 3 or 4 times the voting power of a person in CA. There's a reason they're trying to game the census with questions that will drop population in blue states. They KNOW the only way they can continue to win is to game the system with voter suppression and use the built-in bias of the system that favors rural states.

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Response to bitterross (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 11:40 AM

3. The next time we control both the House and the Senate, as well as

the Presidency, we need to pass an Act of Congress expanding the size of the House. The Democratic members of the smaller states need to understand that this is the only way to bring back fairness in the Electoral College as well as voting power in the House itself, and to quash the Republicans from further gaming the system.

Here are some articles on this. It has to happen or it will only get worse. Any Democratic member who argues it dilutes their own power is putting selfish desires over country and party IMHO.

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/4/17417452/congress-representation-ratio-district-size-chart-graph

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/09/opinion/expanded-house-representatives-size.html

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/05/31/u-s-population-keeps-growing-but-house-of-representatives-is-same-size-as-in-taft-era/

http://time.com/5423623/house-representatives-number-seats/


https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/november-december-2018/to-fix-congress-make-it-bigger-much-bigger/


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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 11:32 AM

2. Here's another factoid

The electoral college count for each state is based on the number of members of congress.

Wyoming gets 3 votes and had 563,767 people in the 2010 census or basically one vote for president for every 187,922.

California gets 55 votes and had 37,254,503 people in the 2010 census or basically one vote for president for every 677,354.

This means that if you live in Wyoming, your vote for president counts for 3.6 times more than a vote in California.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 12:06 PM

8. Yes, and one of the ways to gauge the size of the increase in the number of House members is called

The Wyoming Rule.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming_Rule

The Wyoming Rule is a proposal to increase the size of the United States House of Representatives so that the standard representative-to-population ratio would be that of the smallest entitled unit, which is currently Wyoming. Under Article I of the U.S. Constitution, each U.S. state is guaranteed at least one representative. If the disparity between the population of the most and least populous states continues to grow, the disproportionality of the House will continue to increase unless the House (whose size has been fixed at 435 since 1913) is expanded.

The Wyoming Rule is not a large enough increase in my opinion. I think it needs to go to at least 1000 (ending in an odd number of course so there can be no ties).

If we had the same amount of House members as the UK House of Commons does, when adjusted for population, our House would have over 3,200 members. Compared to the German Bundestag, we would have over 2,800. If compared to Denmark and Norway, we would have over 10,000 House members, and compared to Sweden, over 12,000.

In terms of pure size (as some might say 1001 (1101 counting the Senate) is unwieldy (to which I say tosh) the UK Parliament right now has a total of 1,443 members, China has 2,980 members.

The only nation in the entire world with a worse member to population ratio than the US is India, and only them, China, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are even close to us. All the rest of the nations have at least half or less the number of people represented per member.

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Response to Celerity (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 12:15 PM

10. We also need to do away with the Senate

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 12:23 PM

11. I have no answer on how to fix the Senate (I asssume you are joking

about its dissolution).

By the mid 2030's or so, 30%, give or take, of the population will control 70% of the seats, and that 30% will be far older, whiter, less educated, and more fundie religious (hello Rethug) on average than the other 70% of the country who only will control 30 seats.

It is almost unfixable, a true multi-century ticking constitutional time bomb left over from the founding fathers. Increasing the House size to well over 1000 does fix the EC to a great degree at least, and no constitutional amendment needed at all.

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Response to Celerity (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 12:29 PM

13. I'm just saying if you want to make congress truly representative, you must deep six the Senate

The net effect of adding more members in the House will reduce the power of any one representative. It also increases the power of those in the Senate, or at least makes lobbying them even more efficient than it is now.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 12:38 PM

15. you still need both chambers to pass laws, and the Senate doesn't change in size, so that stays the

same. Also, with more seats in the House, it will make it harder for lobbyists, as they will have to hire double, triple the number of people to influence. Also, as this House member increase obviously impacts (in a negative way) the RW members the most, it decreases their sponsors power (NRA, etc).

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 12:33 PM

14. Actually I do have a fix for the Senate. It is ultra radical and hard to do though.

Millions of liberals systematically move to and tilt all the smallest Red states permanently from Red to Blue. An overarching plan on how many need to move to (and were from) each <Red state could be drawn up, and Democratic-supporting billionaires could collectively help fund it, especially by providing new jobs and infrastructure in the states that take in the new masses.

Like I said, it is radical as hell, and so hard to do, but it would work. The main thing is how to make sure it is liberals moving there, and not just more RW scum, as it is against the law to discriminate based off political/religious views.

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Response to Celerity (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 01:28 PM

18. I don't think your right about US Parliament

It's been at 650 members for decades.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 01:46 PM

21. UK Parliament, including House of Lords. 650 is House of Commons only

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Response to Celerity (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 01:57 PM

22. Ah. Of course the Lords don't really work like a senate

It's largely ceremonial and it's attendance rates are barely above 10%

And certainly they don't represent people at all. I think it's mostly life peers now, non hereditary distinguished citizens whose concern is more the nation than the government.

All told, I don't think the British ever have more than four hundred people weighing in on any legislation, which is about the same number as we have.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 02:09 PM

23. They still do have some legislative power

Here is a good synopsis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Lords#Legislative_functions

There are only 92 hereditary peers, you are correct, due to the House of Lords Act in 1999.

The point was about the size (not so much the actual power) of a legislative body, in case some would object that 1100, 1200 (counting the US Senate) in total was too unwieldy overall to maintain.

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Response to Celerity (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 03:37 PM

29. Just to clarify....

... there are well more than 92 hereditary peers, but only 92 get to sit in the House of Lords.

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Response to clementine613 (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 03:39 PM

30. yes, so sorry to not be more clear!! I should have said 92 IN THE HOUSE

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 11:44 AM

4. Why cap the total, and adjust the ratio ? Could easily fix the ratio at say, 1 Rep:1,000,000 voters

Right now, could use 100,000 without much change. Of course, round up the number of Reps so everybody gets one.

Adjustments to match Census data would be easier that way, I would think.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 11:57 AM

6. You make a great suggestion.

 

Your concept is perfect. We should move to something along those lines. We just won't be able to do it with the GOP in control. They know that allowing the majority to actually win will put them out of power.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 12:02 PM

7. Because of the smaller states...

using that formula means that two smaller states might have to share 2-3 districts. Unworkable. As long as every state is guaranteed at least one seat, and it is in the Constitution, you can't use a purely ratiometric model. Even the original Constitutional number was tweaked a bit by that.

The actual number of reps probably should be increased, and it should also be re-addressed periodically, like say every 50 years or so. In the past, the people who wrote the statute didn't account for the rapidity of growth in the 20th Century and the vast migrations of people to more popular states.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 12:28 PM

12. Just ensure every state gets at least one house seat

Give all of the states below a certain threshold one representative, and then evenly divide the number of remaining seats by their population totals.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 03:34 PM

28. Well, WB, I'm not sure it has to be exact

But it is so disproportionate now that it's entirely unfair. Increasing the number of seats is one solution, but do we really want to have 1,000 reps? That, to me, is more unworkable than redistributing as closely as possible to equal representation. We could just periodically reassess the number of constituents per district. Or we could have a combination of the two solutions by increasing the number of constituents and adding just a few more seats.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 06:31 PM

33. I did say round up ...

so even states with fewer than a million population (all seven of them) would get a Rep.

The smaller the state, the worse the rounding error, but that's the way it is now, and hard to avoid.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 12:09 PM

9. One per million is the opposite direction. That would reduce House size to only 330 or so.

One per 300,000 would be great, and yes make it increase as the population goes up each decennial census.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 03:25 PM

27. Agreed!

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 11:45 AM

5. IF this happens

I hope Pelosi can use her influence to make sure the vote goes to Massachusetts.
After all, Ryan would have given it to Mississippi or Idaho if he could.

(I realize it is probably out of either of their hands)

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Response to DFW (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 12:54 PM

16. It's done via a mathematical formula.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 01:17 PM

17. The size of Congress

Was limited *specifically* to reduce the influence of big cities, which at the time were teeming with recent immigrants. Most of those immigrants were from countries where drinking was a part of the culture - Italy, Ireland, Eastern Europe. The cap on Congress was a way to help insure the passage of Prohibition. Time to end it. Set at, say, one Congressperson per 400000 citizens and revisit every 10 years. Also smaller districts would be harder to gerrymander.

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Response to Freddie (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 01:39 PM

20. I'm not sure about your timeline

The 435 member maximum was established in the 1920s. Prohibition was already in force at that time, having been ratified in 1919.

During the Constitutional Convention debates oh, there was consideration about the proper size for Congress. They wanted a deliberative body that was big enough to represent the diversity of regions in the Republic, but small enough that they could still conduct meetings without turning into a stampede. Note the Hamilton quote below.

And by stampede, I think they meant some of the irrespobsible bull shit that our Republican Congress has been churning out since 2011.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 01:33 PM

19. Alexander Hamilton: "Even 1000 Socrates would still be a mob"

I don't think you want that many voting Representatives in the house. I feel there was some wisdom in capping the number. I mean, Britain gets by with 650 members, but they don't expect every member to show up for every session. I don't think their meeting chamber even holds more than 500 seats.

I could see moving the cap up to 400 or 450, maybe. But honestly, the real problem is gerrymandering. Congress will work better if there were more members living in fear of losing their seats.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 02:18 PM

24. I could see moving the cap up to 400 or 450

Its at 435 now.

Do you mean increasing it by 400 or 450?

That would be a start.

It isn't just gerrymandering either, there is a serious imbalance in the Electoral College that massively favours the Republicans. That can only be addressed by increasing the size of the House via an Act of Congress. The only other ways almost always involve solutions that will require a Constitutional Amendment (for example doing away with the entire EC itself), and thus will not occur.

Gerrymandering will also be much harder with more districts to map out.

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Response to Celerity (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 10:29 PM

34. Yeah, I got the numbers wrong. I mean increasing by a 100 or so

But in the 1920s they went with the 435 cap. The size of the lower chamber can impair the ability to make deals and get to know enough colleagues to hammer out compromises and contain pork barrel legislation. They're losing the battle for responsible lawmaking now with the 435 member limit--increasing the headcount will only lead to more partisanship--or that mob mentality that Hamilton (and other Framers of the Constitution) worried about.

Gerrymandering will not be harder with more districts. It'll be easier. The much smaller state legislative districts are much more easily gerrymandered than Congressional districts with their 750,000 resident targets. It's in the state lege's that gerrymandering is the greater problem. The lines that get drawn (and the laws they pass) get far less scrutiny than Congress does.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 03:19 PM

25. Rhode Island is also facing the same fate, pitting our two solid Dem Reps,

David Cicillini and James Langevin, against each other.

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Response to Totally Tunsie (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 03:23 PM

26. Oh wow, you are going to lose a seat?!

FFS. I hope your state doesn't get shafted!

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Response to Celerity (Reply #26)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 04:18 PM

31. It's highly likely, with Arizona benefitting from our loss.

When you have only 2 Reps to begin with, losing one is huge. We will become the eighth state to have only 1 Rep in the House.

https://www.wpri.com/politics/ri-will-lose-a-us-house-seat-to-arizona-after-2020-study-finds/1668551164

Arizona is set to snag one of Rhode Island's two U.S. House seats after the 2020 Census, leaving Rhode Island with just one representative in the chamber for the first time since George Washington was president, according to an analysis of newly released population data.

In fact, a bill is being proposed to lure out-of-staters to move to RI before the 2020 census to meet population requirements for retaining the second seat.

https://www.providencejournal.com/news/20181220/with-ri-on-brink-of-losing-house-seat-legislator-plans-to-revisit-paying-people-to-move-here

As originally proposed by Tobon, people currently living in any state in the country would be eligible for the [$10,000] tax credit as long as they bring a family of at least three and have a household income that exceeds $100,000 per year. More specifically, Tobon said, he hoped to take advantage of middle-class professionals being priced out of Greater Boston by soaring housing costs.

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Response to Totally Tunsie (Reply #31)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 04:57 PM

32. If we were not moving back to London, Providence is deffo

an East coast city I have always liked. I hope that bill works! I feel terrible your state. You deserve better! Roger Williams is probably spinning is his grave. A truly good man in his time.

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Response to Totally Tunsie (Reply #31)

Tue Dec 25, 2018, 10:38 PM

35. So, lower income out of staters are undesireable, higher income only



"As originally proposed by Tobon, people currently living in any state in the country would be eligible for the [$10,000] tax credit as long as they bring a family of at least three and have a household income that exceeds $100,000 per year. More specifically, Tobon said, he hoped to take advantage of middle-class professionals being priced out of Greater Boston by soaring housing costs. "


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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2018, 01:17 AM

36. NY, NJ and New England should become provinces of Canada.

They would get much better representation by converting to the riding system of Canadian parliamentary democracy. They would become the majority blocs in the Canadian parliament.

Same goes for states like MN and MI, but to a lesser extent. MI would be similar to Ontario.

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