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  1. #1

    Should the US uncap the House of Reps?

    Simple question really stemming from the rural conversation--

    From my view the House being capped just makes it a bigger Senate which benefits smaller populations over larger ones.

    Uncapping the House in my view brings more balance back into the government (shocker; Just like the founders intended) so that the Senate will be at odds with the House, but the EC added seats would bring more voice to urban populations which are severely capped in the federal government by having one branch of the legislature directly opposed to them (The Senate) while having the part of government that's supposed to represent the population growth of the US being suddenly capped hands more power to rural communities in the US.

  2. #2
    The U.S. Constitution called for at least one Representative per state and that no more than one for every 30,000 persons.

    Do the math.

  3. #3
    Uncapping the seats is a bit much, going with the “Wyoming Option” address the proportionality of it but doesn’t really address representation which is skewed mostly due to other reasons.

    Banning gerrymandering and voter disengagement would fix it greatly and was in the HR1 bill presented earlier but Manchin blocked it with the Republicans going as far as I believe they not only voted against it but I think they filibustered it as well.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowferal View Post
    The U.S. Constitution called for at least one Representative per state and that no more than one for every 30,000 persons.

    Do the math.
    What do you think no more than one per 30k means? It doesn't mean you need one per 30k. Not sure what math you think we're supposed to do. 11k reps would be unwieldy.

    Yes, absolutely uncap or at least raise the cap. That some pops get less than 1rep/million is insane. If nothing else it would make it more difficult for corps to get influence over enough reps to swing votes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rudol Von Stroheim View Post
    I do not need to play the role of "holier than thou". I'm above that..

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ripster42 View Post
    What do you think no more than one per 30k means? It doesn't mean you need one per 30k. Not sure what math you think we're supposed to do. 11k reps would be unwieldy.
    That was the law. Then it was capped. Because thousands would indeed be too much.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowferal View Post
    That was the law. Then it was capped. Because thousands would indeed be too much.
    Again, not more than 1/30k means you can't have more than 1/30k. Not that you can't have 1/10m if you want.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rudol Von Stroheim View Post
    I do not need to play the role of "holier than thou". I'm above that..

  7. #7
    If it was 1/30k, there'd be nearly 11k reps. And most of them would be from NYC, Chicago, L.A., and other big population centers. The House would never not be blue.

    Not to mention, if you think Congress moves slow now, imagine being the whip for a congressional majority of at least 5500, to get legislation passed.

    Now, maybe you say: hey, do it by the population of the smallest state, with that population being set at 1 rep.

    Right now, that's Wyoming at 581k people. That would make the House 567 members, and NY, CA would have 33 and 68 respectively, making up almost 18% of the House just with those two states, and you'd have a ton of states with just one rep. That'd be more proportional, but again, it'd still mean the House would never be red.

    Frankly, I'm fine with that, because that's precisely what the House is supposed to be, a legislative body based on the population of people.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miffinat0r View Post
    Simple question really stemming from the rural conversation--

    From my view the House being capped just makes it a bigger Senate which benefits smaller populations over larger ones.

    Uncapping the House in my view brings more balance back into the government (shocker; Just like the founders intended) so that the Senate will be at odds with the House, but the EC added seats would bring more voice to urban populations which are severely capped in the federal government by having one branch of the legislature directly opposed to them (The Senate) while having the part of government that's supposed to represent the population growth of the US being suddenly capped hands more power to rural communities in the US.
    They absolutely should, for the reasons you lay out.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by eschatological View Post
    If it was 1/30k, there'd be nearly 11k reps. And most of them would be from NYC, Chicago, L.A., and other big population centers. The House would never not be blue.

    Not to mention, if you think Congress moves slow now, imagine being the whip for a congressional majority of at least 5500, to get legislation passed.

    Now, maybe you say: hey, do it by the population of the smallest state, with that population being set at 1 rep.

    Right now, that's Wyoming at 581k people. That would make the House 567 members, and NY, CA would have 33 and 68 respectively, making up almost 18% of the House just with those two states, and you'd have a ton of states with just one rep. That'd be more proportional, but again, it'd still mean the House would never be red.

    Frankly, I'm fine with that, because that's precisely what the House is supposed to be, a legislative body based on the population of people.
    Someone on this forum and I had a conversation about the math you're mentioning above, and how it actually wouldn't work out as dramatically as you're suggesting. While the House would more than likely be almost permanently blue, it would still be relatively close.

    For instance, you're mentioning CA and NY, but there are deep pockets of Red in those areas, so that 18% of the House wouldn't be 100% Blue, if that makes sense.

    I still think we should do it, however. But of course the GQP will never allow it.

  9. #9
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Yall want FL to have more influence?

    Resident Cosplay Progressive

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by eschatological View Post
    If it was 1/30k, there'd be nearly 11k reps. And most of them would be from NYC, Chicago, L.A., and other big population centers. The House would never not be blue.

    Not to mention, if you think Congress moves slow now, imagine being the whip for a congressional majority of at least 5500, to get legislation passed.

    Now, maybe you say: hey, do it by the population of the smallest state, with that population being set at 1 rep.

    Right now, that's Wyoming at 581k people. That would make the House 567 members, and NY, CA would have 33 and 68 respectively, making up almost 18% of the House just with those two states, and you'd have a ton of states with just one rep. That'd be more proportional, but again, it'd still mean the House would never be red.

    Frankly, I'm fine with that, because that's precisely what the House is supposed to be, a legislative body based on the population of people.
    Not entirely sure on that, the math was largely done and the overall representation in congress per state party was would be a small overall. At least according to a few on here who sourced their stuff back when I brought it up.

    BUT.... increasing the numbers like that could very well make it harder to gerrymander even if they refuse to outright outlaw gerrymandering.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by eschatological View Post
    If it was 1/30k, there'd be nearly 11k reps. And most of them would be from NYC, Chicago, L.A., and other big population centers. The House would never not be blue.

    Not to mention, if you think Congress moves slow now, imagine being the whip for a congressional majority of at least 5500, to get legislation passed.

    Now, maybe you say: hey, do it by the population of the smallest state, with that population being set at 1 rep.

    Right now, that's Wyoming at 581k people. That would make the House 567 members, and NY, CA would have 33 and 68 respectively, making up almost 18% of the House just with those two states, and you'd have a ton of states with just one rep. That'd be more proportional, but again, it'd still mean the House would never be red.

    Frankly, I'm fine with that, because that's precisely what the House is supposed to be, a legislative body based on the population of people.
    Not considering the plausibility of it getting passed, the House shouldn't ever be red unless the GOP adopts a platform that appeals to the majority of people.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    Yall want FL to have more influence?
    If you outlawed gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement and made it were felons were still allowed to vote, Florida might not be as bad. I remember reading that something like 10%+ of its black male population wasn't allowed to vote until the referendum allowing felons to vote at which point they have been bending over backwards to keep them from voting anyways.

    They make up around 47% of its prison population while being only about 17% of its state population.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschatological View Post
    If it was 1/30k, there'd be nearly 11k reps. And most of them would be from NYC, Chicago, L.A., and other big population centers. The House would never not be blue.

    Not to mention, if you think Congress moves slow now, imagine being the whip for a congressional majority of at least 5500, to get legislation passed.

    Now, maybe you say: hey, do it by the population of the smallest state, with that population being set at 1 rep.

    Right now, that's Wyoming at 581k people. That would make the House 567 members, and NY, CA would have 33 and 68 respectively, making up almost 18% of the House just with those two states, and you'd have a ton of states with just one rep. That'd be more proportional, but again, it'd still mean the House would never be red.

    Frankly, I'm fine with that, because that's precisely what the House is supposed to be, a legislative body based on the population of people.
    The current distribution is about 1/600k. So adjusting that to 1/540k would make jack all of difference. Everyone's fine with adding more representatives when it doesn't fundamentally change anything.

    Beyond that, the idea that "Whoever is the lowest state" should determine the representation numbers is silly. It means that one state in the Union, regardless of it's population, will only ever have ONE rep. Which is absolutely absurd as soon as you start hitting populations in the millions. Fairness has nothing to do with it, the reality is that one representative can't adequately represent that many people. They can't do it now, so an ever growing target isn't going to improve the situation.

    Also, if the House is entirely one color or another because the majority population votes that way (regardless of if they're in the city or not) is EXACTLY THE POINT OF THE HOUSE. The Senate provides equal representation to each state. The House is designed to represent the population at large, the House doesn't care where your population lives, and it shouldn't.

    ---
    IMO: the number of Representatives should be roughly tripled, but the number of votes should only be doubled. There's a primary Representative from each state, the winner of the election. The two runner-ups are assigned to a Jr position, each with 1/2 of a vote. This prevents the primary representative from completely disenfranchising the remainder of the population, as the other two can vote again and essentially nullify the Primary's vote.

    Representation would be at about ~200k per Rep, which isn't great, but it's certainly more manageable than ~600k.
    Human progress isn't measured by industry. It's measured by the value you place on a life.

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  14. #14
    Well, look at it on a NY basis. If the number is 581k based on Wyoming's population, then, by the 2018 numbers (which I'm using because it's the first thing I could find with good breakdowns), you'd have roughly 34 reps from NY. 14-15 would be from NYC, and maybeeeeeee one of those would be red on Staten Island.

    But then you look at the population of LI, that'd go mostly blue. Westchester would go mostly blue. But then you'd have situations like WNY, where I live. Buffalo, a blue city in a sea of red districts, would have one rep for most of the western part of the state, because Buffalo is 280k people, it's county has 920k people in it which is...almost 2 reps, and the county is overwhelmingly blue. To get to the two rep thresholds you look at the counties around it: Niagara (210k, purple), Cattaragus (78k, red), Chataqua (127k, probably 70/30 red). You'd get to the two rep threshold with Erie+Niagara, and both would be easily blue. Then, you need to bundle the other two, Wyoming County (40k, red), Orleans (40k, red), Gennessee (57k), Alleghany (47k, red), and then you're presented with an interesting choice. Monroe county, with the city of Rochester, has 742k people. With the 389k from the other contiguous counties stretching between Buffalo and Rochester, that's another two reps.....but at best it's a 50/50 split for the two seats. If you dilute the Monroe county vote which is overwhelmingly blue, both seats could be feasibly blue.

    Right now those two cities and the areas between are represented by two congresspeople. One who basically has Erie county (Buffalo) and is a Dem, and one who has alll the small counties and is a Republican. With more reps, you actually have large towns have more of an influence on the district voting. Right now, Rochester, with 742k county population, is drowned out by the mega-district that has surrounded and consumed it. With more reps, Rochester would probably have its own rep, while also lending population to another district to make it more purple because the rural counties can't get to that 581k threshold easily.

    It's an interesting question and would depend on how the maps are drawn, of course. But if you "draw" them every 581k people, geographically, population centers are going to overwhelm the surrounding rural areas, which is why gerrymandering exists in the first place.

  15. #15
    @Sunseeker

    One change I wouldn't mind seeing would be a change so that they weight of each vote isn't 1 but is instead based on the number of voters in their district that actually voted for them. And then have the votes based on that.

    If you gerrymandered and packed all Democrats or Republicans into a single district, then that candidates vote will be worth a LOT, if you prison gerrymander a candidate into office his vote won't be worth crap.

    Or flat out double the number of representatives in each district where there is a max of 1 person from each party that a single district can vote for while each of them will be worth the number of votes that received in their elections. Would blow up gerrymandering at the core while making it in the interests of the candidates to get all the voters they can even if they have it safe because each vote they have in their election is more power for their vote in the chambers and the guy they ran against will also be there beside him and his vote will be weighted based on HIS support in your district as well.

    Example of that second idea:

    If a district had 3 candidates run and the Democrat got 34,000 votes while the Republican got 35,000 votes, and an Independent got 5,000 votes, than the D and R both go to congress where the Democrats votes are worth 34,000 votes while the Republicans was worth 35,000 which destroys gerrymandering.

    Now, lets say that the Democrat got 34,000 votes while the Republican got 10,000 votes and the Independent got 25,000 votes, than it would be the Democrat and the Independent that got sent to capital hill.
    Last edited by Fugus; 2022-07-15 at 01:22 AM.
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  16. #16
    Oh no! Republicans would be forced to actually have decent policy positions rather than just culture wars and scary buzzwords in order to win the house.

    Imagine decent candidates instead of the current pile of rotting garbage in congress.

  17. #17
    Legendary! Logwyn's Avatar
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    Should just go with the Cube root rule: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cube_root_rule

    Would raise the house to 693 bringing up to that number roughly. ~475,840 per representative. Then

  18. #18
    Gerrymandering mostly exists because first past the post style systems reward it. If you switch to some other style of voting which is more proportional then the worst abuses of gerrymandering should go away by themselves, which is always going to be a more reliable outcome than hoping people behave properly.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Trifle View Post
    Gerrymandering mostly exists because first past the post style systems reward it. If you switch to some other style of voting which is more proportional then the worst abuses of gerrymandering should go away by themselves, which is always going to be a more reliable outcome than hoping people behave properly.
    This is why I feel the lower house should have a PR system where each state gets x amount of representatives voted in a PR system that removes any chance of Gerrymandering. This would mean Wyoming gets more than 1 representative, but at the same time, every state would have a number of representatives that match Wyoming representatives per person.

    Another benefit of this is in a PR system you're not stuck with a binary choice.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trifle View Post
    Gerrymandering mostly exists because first past the post style systems reward it. If you switch to some other style of voting which is more proportional then the worst abuses of gerrymandering should go away by themselves, which is always going to be a more reliable outcome than hoping people behave properly.
    But...to switch voting styles requires people to behave properly. The GQP will never agree to:

    Any voting system beside first-past-the-post.
    Removing the EC.
    Expanding the House.
    Increasing voting methods.
    A national voting holiday.

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