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Mon Sep 21, 2020, 10:25 AM

Hate the Electoral College? Then add Hundreds of seats to the House.




Interesting idea. Click on that tweet for more analysis on this.

I am up for anything that lessens the small "D" undemocratic nature of the electoral college.

One man, one vote baby!

21 replies, 923 views

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Reply Hate the Electoral College? Then add Hundreds of seats to the House. (Original post)
bluewater Sep 21 OP
FM123 Sep 21 #1
Statistical Sep 21 #2
bluewater Sep 21 #4
AleksS Sep 21 #3
roamer65 Sep 21 #5
BComplex Sep 21 #6
bluewater Sep 21 #7
Celerity Sep 21 #14
maxsolomon Sep 21 #16
Celerity Sep 21 #18
greymattermom Sep 21 #8
Wednesdays Sep 21 #9
moose65 Sep 21 #10
Captain Stern Sep 21 #11
BComplex Sep 21 #21
Celerity Sep 21 #12
dsc Sep 21 #13
bluewater Sep 21 #15
Celerity Sep 21 #19
dsc Sep 21 #20
califootman Sep 21 #17

Response to bluewater (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 10:30 AM

1. This is an interesting idea - I read about a similar topic a few months ago in the Atlantic

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 10:30 AM

2. Wyoming Rule would be a start and provide a justifiable rationale to regularly expand

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Response to Statistical (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 10:32 AM

4. That sounds incredibly reasonable!

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 10:30 AM

3. Someone else pointed out a simple way

to reapportion and keep things fair would be to use the population of the least populous state as a baseline for one representative. Then every state gets representatives based on their comparison to that number.

For example:

If Wyoming is the least populated state, then that number = 1 representative. If a state is double Wyoming’s population it gets 2. If it’s 10x the population, then it gets 10.

That way everyone’s vote is equal, districts are smaller, there’s no advantage in congress to being less populated, and the electoral college advantage is minimized too.


Edit: See post 2! Thanks!

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 10:40 AM

5. Districts should have no more than 250,000 people.

We need smaller districts so the reps can focus more on local issues.

The House of Reps should be more like a House of Commons from a parliamentary system

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 10:44 AM

6. That still doesn't address the problem in the senate, which we are experiencing right now

Each state has 2 senators, regardless of population. That gives places like Wyoming way more strength than the population would indicate.

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Response to BComplex (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 10:57 AM

7. True. But expanding the House would not take a Constitutional amendment.

Fixing the Senate will.

But, hey, we got to start somewhere. Any incremental change towards one man one vote is to be welcomed, right?

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Response to bluewater (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:33 AM

14. add DC and Puerto Rico as States, and split California in 2, that will add 6 new Democratic Senators

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Response to Celerity (Reply #14)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:43 AM

16. we were discussing this last night, too.

the pacific territories, taken together, have more people than Wyoming.

Guam, Am. Samoa, Micronesia. That's a State.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #16)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:50 AM

18. +1000

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:02 AM

8. How about this?

The state with the smallest population gets 1 seat and all other states get proportional representation. This is determined by the census and congressional districts are remapped every 10 years. If Wyoming has 500K people and gets 1 seat, California would get 80 seats for its 40M people.

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Response to greymattermom (Reply #8)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:05 AM

9. See post #2. nt

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:17 AM

10. Yes yes yes!!

I still can't figure out why this never gets more traction. The size of the House was routinely increased after the census every 10 years, up to and including 1910, when it was increased to the current 435. After the 1920 census, the size was not increased, and then a law was passed in 1929 that permanently set the size at 435. Guess which party controlled both houses and the Presidency in the 1920s?? Yep, you guessed it!

One of the reasons given at that time was that cities were filling up with (European) immigrants, and more House seats from those populous areas would dilute the political power of "real Americans." Gee, doesn't that sound familiar??

But think about that - after the 1910 census, the population of the US was one-third of what it is now. New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii weren't states then. Women had not won the universal right to vote at that time, and most African Americans and Native Americans were disenfranchised as well.

The size definitely needs to be increased to at least account for those new states, and to also grant DC a full-fledged voting member of the House. And the BIG thing, though - the size of the House determines the number of electoral votes that we have in the Presidential election.

If Dems retake both Houses and do away with the filibuster, this could be done. It's completely Constitutional, as far as I can see.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:20 AM

11. Surprisingly, that wouldn't help as much as one would think.

A while back, I checked into how making those sorts of changes would have affected the last election. I was surprised by the results.

Here's a copy/paste from the post where I talked about it last time:




As we all know, donald trump 'won' the last election in the electoral college 306 to 232 (I gave the 7 faithless votes to the winner of the states in which they were cast in.) That's 56.9% of the electoral vote.

We also know that Clinton won the popular vote by two percentage points.

As things stand, there are a total of 538 electoral votes cast. This number comes from the fact that every state is allocated the amount of electoral votes equivalent to the sum of its Representatives and Senators. The District of Columbia receives the same amount of electoral votes as the smallest state (3).

Every state is represented equally in the Senate, with two Senators each. The number of Representatives each state receives is supposed to be proportional to their relative populations, but it's really not, because the total number of House members is capped at 435, and since the state with the lowest population has to receive at least one rep, the number of reps that the larger states get tends to be depressed.

For example:

In the last census (2010) Wyoming had a population of 563,767, and they received one Representative. California had a population of 37,252,895, and received 53 Representatives.

However if we were to say that every 563,767 citizens should be represented by one member in the House, then California should receive 66 ( 37,252,895/563,767) Representatives...not 53.

So, I got curious how the House would look if we didn't cap it at 435, and we assigned Representatives to every group of 563,767 people. I also wanted to see how the last election would have looked if it had been conducted with this system.

With this system, the new House would have 548 members instead of 435. The new electoral college would have 650 electors (548 + 102). And trump would have won the election 369 to 281. His percentage of electoral votes would have essentially remained unchanged. This surprised me.

I then decided to see what would happen in the last election if we hadn't assigned electoral votes based on the total of Representatives and Senators, but assigned them based only on the number of Representatives. This would reduce the amount of electoral votes to 436 (538 - 102). trump still would have won 246-190..again almost the same percentage. Again, I found this surprising.

Then I tried redoing the election with the increased number of Representatives and getting rid of electoral votes for Senators. This put the electoral college at 548. trump would have still won 309-239, and still not gotten a significantly smaller percentage of the total. I actually found this sort of stunning.

I thought for sure that Clinton would have won the last election using the final method, and I would have bet that she would have won it with at least one of the other two.

In any case, I don't think this really proves anything or disproves anything. I just found it interesting.

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Response to Captain Stern (Reply #11)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 01:18 PM

21. Getting rid of the electoral college looks like the only way to deal with this.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:20 AM

12. I have been saying this since I joined DU. Take it to 1,501 or so. If the US House had the same

ratio of people to reps that we do here in our Riksdag (the Swedish parliament), the US House would have over 11,500 members.

Also, add DC and Puerto Rico as states, and split California into SoCal and NoCal. That would give us 6 new Democratic Senators (5 at worst if somehow PR sent a Rethug to the Senate, which is doubtful). That fixes the Senate for now, as by 2030-2035 or so, 70% of the Senate seats will be controlled by only 30% of the populace, and that 30% is far older, whiter, more reactionary, more fundie 'Christian', less-educated, racist, sexist, and anti-LGBTQ than the 70%.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:31 AM

13. With the exception of India

we have far and away the largest number of constituents per representative in any representative democracy. To take some examples. The UK has 650 seats with about 67 million people. That is just a bit over 100,000 per seat. Germany has a minimum of 598 seats, current 709 for a population of 83 million. That is between 133,000 per seat and 120,000 per seat. Italy 630 members for a population of 60 million which is less than 100k per seat. In contrast we have 435 members for a population of 328 million which is around 700k people per seat. While the help with the EC college matters there are a bunch of great reasons to expand the House in order to have a more representative house.

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Response to dsc (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:35 AM

15. +1000

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Response to dsc (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:55 AM

19. We have around one MP per every 29,000 people here in Sweden. (349 in the Riksdag, 10.1m population)

Btw, the US population is now over 331 million.



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Response to Celerity (Reply #19)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 01:00 PM

20. To be fair Sweden is pretty small

so I don't know that we could go to 30,000 people per rep. That would be over a thousand people in Congress which is a lot.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2020, 11:46 AM

17. It would not help significantly.

The "all the big states are blue" theory just doesn't hold water.

Top 10 most populous states:

California - Blue 55
Texas - Red 38
Florida -Red 29
New York -Blue 29
Illinois -Blue 20
Pennsylvania -Purple 20
Ohio -Red 18
Georgia -Red 16
North Carolina -Purple 16
Michigan -Purple 15

Blue EC votes - 104
Red EC votes - 101
Purple EC votes - 51

So increasing the number of Representatives will not have a significant swing of EC votes and turn an election. A slightly better option would be to split the state's EC votes in proportion to their vote. Most populous blue states are far more blue than populous red states are red. But that is controlled by the states and the mostly red state legislatures in those red states are not going to agree to that.

What will? Winning purple states in elections, and gradually turning the purple states blue and the red states purple.

And we still need to keep working to eradicate the Electoral College as it is a violation of the principle of one person, one vote.

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