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#26218 - 05/26/08 01:31 PM A “People’s House” or an oligarchy?
J E Quidam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Dunwoody, Georgia, U.S.
Many people do not realize that our total number of congressional districts (and therefore our total number of Representatives in the U.S. House) has been limited to 435 ever since 1913 (except for a four-year period when it was temporarily increased to 437).

In 1929, this number (435) was made permanent by an act of Congress. During the debates preceding that act, Missouri Representative Ralph Lozier stated:
I am unalterably opposed to limiting the membership of the House to the arbitrary number of 435. Why 435? Why not 400? Why not 300? Why not 250, 450, 535, or 600? Why is this number 435 sacred? What merit is there in having a membership of 435 that we would not have if the membership were 335 or 535? There is no sanctity in the number 435 ... There is absolutely no reason, philosophy, or common sense in arbitrarily fixing the membership of the House at 435 or at any other number.

The challenge posed by Representative Lozier in 1928 is still valid: is 435 a sacrosanct number or should it be subject to debate?

Many of those who framed and ratified the Constitution & Bill of Rights expected that the population of congressional districts would never exceed 50,000. Today their average size is 700,000; by 2100 their average size will be 1.3 million. As a result, it is no longer possible for federal Representatives to faithfully and honorably represent the diverse interests of their constituents. This could be the root cause of why our government has become “broken” and, in any case, violates the principle “That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed” (from the Declaration of Independence).

Related to this matter is the fact that the very first amendment proposed in our Bill of Rights was never ratified. As proposed by the House, “Article the first” was intended to ensure that the district size never exceeded 50,000 people. While this amendment was in the Joint Committee, a subtle error was somehow introduced into it that rendered it inexecutable. It is not known when this error was eventually detected, but the amendment was ultimately ratified by all but one state. This very interesting and important story can be found at: TownHall.com (for red people), or at DailyKos (for blue people). Both articles are identical and contain links to supporting information.
_________________________
It was supposed to be our House.
http://www.Thirty-Thousand.org

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#26222 - 05/26/08 02:53 PM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: J E Quidam]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hello J E Quidam,

Welcome to the site.

I read your post, and interestingly enough me and a group of people now in the county I live in have hired an attorney to make our county commissioners redistrict. You know the law applies from city council districts to Senatorial districts. You must by consitutional law after each census look at the numbers in the district and their can't be over a 10% deviance.

We were suied in 1991 by a group based on the "voters rights act of 1965". That is a statute that basically says if you don't have any minorities elected they can sue and the court will create a minority district. So we went from 5 commissioner districts to 7. Of the 7 (2) are minority districts up to this last election this year the minorities voted out their candidate and elected a white man.

The districts in our county were never laid out right. The district I live in has 2500 more people than the adjacent district. Percentage wise that translates to about 24% more people, which is in clear violation of "one person one vote" federal law.

They were suppose to redistrict after the 2000 cencus, but did not. They like the districts the way they are now. We have one commissioner that has been in office for 36 years. The machine controls the county. They have now agreed to redistrict we are presently fussing over the map we provided them for free, but now they have appropriated $50,000.00 to get another map drawn and pay for the redistricting, our attorney is watching them and they are warned they could wind up in Federal court, they have till December 31st to have an approved map and reasonable date in 2009 for it to come in effect.

I'm sorry I realize I got a little off the topic of your post but, I understand what you are saying and maybe you need to look at he population in your congressional district. You go by population -not registered voters. You could have at any time in a district 1000 or 2000 unregistered voters and all they have to do is register. So population is what the law says.

I will be glad to answer any questions I can for you because I have been through it.

best regards,
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



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#26248 - 05/27/08 02:30 PM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: odin1]
J E Quidam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Dunwoody, Georgia, U.S.
Originally Posted By: odin1
I understand what you are saying and maybe you need to look at he population in your congressional district.
I provide a lot of data on that point (see the list of reports at: http://www.thirty-thousand.org/pages/analyses.htm ).

Many people do not realize that the federal House is the only representative body in the country which disregards the one-person-one-vote requirement that all districts be equally sized. The districts in some states are nearly twice the size of those in other states.


Edited by J E Quidam (05/27/08 06:15 PM)
_________________________
It was supposed to be our House.
http://www.Thirty-Thousand.org

Top
#26249 - 05/27/08 03:38 PM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: J E Quidam]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I tried to open the link you sent but it wouldn't open, it said file not found.

I will look it up myself, and if I talk to our attorney today I will ask him, I was informed it applied to all districts. Thank you for the information. I will contact you back probably tonight.

best regards,
odin1

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#26257 - 05/27/08 06:18 PM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: Anonymous]
J E Quidam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Dunwoody, Georgia, U.S.
Try again. I fixed the link.

Also, see the list of articles by a variety of authors:
http://www.thirty-thousand.org/pages/Why_435.htm (No ads or pop-ups.)
(scroll to the bottom of the page).

Thirty-Thousand.org is a non-partisan and non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
_________________________
It was supposed to be our House.
http://www.Thirty-Thousand.org

Top
#26260 - 05/27/08 06:55 PM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: J E Quidam]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Thanks,

I will check it out.

best regards,
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



Top
#26279 - 05/28/08 04:46 PM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: odin1]
J E Quidam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Dunwoody, Georgia, U.S.
If anyone is interested in learning more about this subject, here is a list of articles written by a variety of authors:
http://www.thirty-thousand.org/pages/Why_435.htm
(Scroll to bottom of page.)

The TTO home page provides an overview explaining why decreasing the size our congressional districts (and thereby increasing the size of the House) would be profoundly beneficial for the republic. Please read the 15 Questions and Answers listed here:
http://www.thirty-thousand.org/ (No ads or pop-ups.)
_________________________
It was supposed to be our House.
http://www.Thirty-Thousand.org

Top
#26287 - 05/29/08 02:57 AM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: J E Quidam]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hello J E Quidam,

I have read some of the link you sent. I want to bring up one thing for your opinion.

Concerning cost of representation. Don't you think in this age of computers and internet that our representatives could as easily govern in most cases out of their district rather than living in Washington? The cost is astounding, not including what they make per year. Don't you think that would save the taxpayers a lot of money?

What say you?

best regards,
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



Top
#26332 - 05/31/08 01:33 AM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: odin1]
J E Quidam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Dunwoody, Georgia, U.S.
Originally Posted By: odin1
Don't you think in this age of computers and internet that our representatives could as easily govern in most cases out of their district rather than living in Washington?

Don't you think that would save the taxpayers a lot of money?
You are absolutely correct! Most people have difficulty recognizing that possibility, mainly because we are stuck in an archaic paradigm.

The Constitution was drafted decades before the invention of fancy technology (like trains or telegraphs). At that time, there was only one way for the men to collaborate: they had to assemble in person.

I encourage anyone who is interested in this subject to read the 15 Questions & Answers on the Thirty-Thousand.org home page at
http://www.Thirty-Thousand.org (No ads, pop-ups or cookies.)

Thirty-Thousand.org is a non-partisan and non-profit 501(c)(3)organization.
_________________________
It was supposed to be our House.
http://www.Thirty-Thousand.org

Top
#26334 - 05/31/08 02:37 AM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: J E Quidam]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
And you know Mr. Quidam they didn't stay then but a few weeks. These guys had to go back to their respective districts and live with the laws they passed and meet the people that voted for them walking down the street. The only time you see these folks now is election time.

I am upset at both political parties.

best regards,
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



Top
#26340 - 05/31/08 11:52 AM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: odin1]
J E Quidam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Dunwoody, Georgia, U.S.
Originally Posted By: odin1
And you know Mr. Quidam they didn't stay then but a few weeks. These guys had to go back to their respective districts and live with the laws they passed and meet the people that voted for them walking down the street.
Right! And with today's technology we could return to keeping the Rep at home most of the time (where we can keep an eye on him/her).

Originally Posted By: odin1
The only time you see these folks now is election time.
But only in television ads (for most people).

Originally Posted By: odin1
I am upset at both political parties.
It should be apparent to most people that there is widespread dissatisfaction with both parties from their respective intended constituencies. The two-party duopoly that controls politcal power is clearly not in our nation's best interest. The two-party system relies on a having the general public so politically polarized that reasonable dialogue on most issues is nearly impossible. One way they do this is by perpetuating a myth of an opposing political boogeyman so alarming as to scare their uninformed base into their own political camp. As a result, the Democrat's best friend is "David Duke" and the Republican's best friend is "Cynthia McKinney." These two losers (or substitute your own examples) would not exist in the public consciousness if they weren't useful tools for fostering polarization.
_________________________
It was supposed to be our House.
http://www.Thirty-Thousand.org

Top
#26343 - 05/31/08 01:10 PM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: J E Quidam]
Anonymous
Unregistered


You are absolutely right,

you need a little friction to get things moving. I have fought the powers that be in our county here for 8 years now. If it were not so bad, it would be funny. And like you say, it is the people that suffer and have to pay for the suffering in the form of unfair taxes. Hell, we have taxation without representation now!

Don't you agree?

best regards,
odin1


Top
#26344 - 05/31/08 08:24 PM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: Anonymous]
J E Quidam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Dunwoody, Georgia, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Anonymous
Hell, we have taxation without representation now!
I agree with the sentiment but, to be accurate, I would have to say we have taxation without the Constitutionally-required level of representation, so it is more the form of representation without the actual substance of it.
_________________________
It was supposed to be our House.
http://www.Thirty-Thousand.org

Top
#26345 - 05/31/08 09:43 PM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: J E Quidam]
odin1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Sometimes I believe we would be better off without political parties. Both parties have driven theirselves away from their purpose, they are self serving now. In the past few years it has gotten worse. It is more of a struggle to maintain power that a struggle to serve the people that put them in office. That interferes with the oath they all take when they take office. In the end we lose.

best regards,
odin1
_________________________
People will forgive you for anything -but being right !
odin1



Top
#26379 - 06/03/08 11:47 AM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: odin1]
J E Quidam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Dunwoody, Georgia, U.S.
Originally Posted By: odin1
Sometimes I believe we would be better off without political parties. Both parties have driven theirselves away from their purpose, they are self serving now. In the past few years it has gotten worse. It is more of a struggle to maintain power that a struggle to serve the people that put them in office. That interferes with the oath they all take when they take office. In the end we lose.
I agree 100%.

I argue in the Thirty-Thousand.org web pamphlet that reducing the maximum district size to 50,000 (and therefore increasing the number of districts to 6,000) will finally end the two-party duopoly. The problem is that in supersized districts of 700,000+ a candidate needs the finanical and/or "brand" support of either party. The two-party duopoly did not exist until around the 1860s. Prior to that, there were a variety of political parties and, better yet, many Reps were independents.
_________________________
It was supposed to be our House.
http://www.Thirty-Thousand.org

Top
#26386 - 06/03/08 08:36 PM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: J E Quidam]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello Mr. Quidam,

Many districts are also setup for the controlling party also. In many cases it is hard to replace someone. We have this problem here in commissioner districts. We recently had some house districts changed here where I live. the contoling party looks out for their buddies. The same thing holds true for congressional districts or senate.

What we need is another revolution! Things are really messed up.

best regards,
odin1


Top
#26392 - 06/04/08 12:57 PM Re: A “People’s House” or an oligarchy? [Re: Anonymous]
J E Quidam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Dunwoody, Georgia, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Anonymous
What we need is another revolution! Things are really messed up.
That revolution can be achieved Constitutionally by increasing the number of congressional districts from 435 to 6,000. 300,000,000 Americans can not be properly represented by only 435 people. In addition, the federal House is in eggregious violation of one-person-one-vote as the districts in some states are nearly twice the size of those in other states.
_________________________
It was supposed to be our House.
http://www.Thirty-Thousand.org

Top



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