Proposal for the Senate

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On the bus this morning on my way to work, an interesting idea was proposed by the person sitting to my right. She argued that the Senate was no longer fair and equitable and doesn’t truly represent the voice of the public. Granted, back in the day when all these rules and laws called the Constitution was being written, the division of the House & Senate and representation made sense, there weren’t states like Ohio (population of 11,485,910) and Alaska (686,293). So, she was arguing for a House like division of the Senate, obviously not in the same ratio, but something along the lines that represents the population differences and more equitably aligns power so that Senators from North Dakota (641,841) and Senators from Texas (24,326,974) don’t hold the same sway. Basically, the argument is that Senators from say, Wyoming (532,668) could derail important legislation like health care or economic reform because their vote is just as important as the votes from California’s (36,756,666) Senators.

Does the Senate fairly represent the populace of the US? What do you think should be done? Maybe the new census can help resolve this issue.

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5 responses to “Proposal for the Senate

  1. I think the biggest problem is that policies in our government are outdated. The fact that incumbents hold so much power in the Senate and can site there for 50 years is simply outrageous. Then when it DOES come to a vote, some people feel they have no option but to vote for the incumbent or “the other party”, whose views they probably disagree with more than their current senator. Regardless of this issue, the biggest problem is the two party system. It is so non reflective of the vast spectrum of views among the populace that true representation simply does not exist.

  2. Interesting post about the Senate. I voted for keeping two, but changing percentage of their weight in voting. I’m not sure what the answer is and I don’t think the census is going to answer the question. Is there any way to truly represent the American public at this point with so much money from special interests poisoning the political process? That’s the biggest issue in my mind. Way too much pandering to lobby groups for voting. And to me, no amount of re-jiggering of any political representation in the Senate is going to change that.

    Dan-you bring up a good point about party numbers. But given the vast amount of diverse opinions in this country, coupled with general apathy of the average American citizen in the political process, would more parties really help our representation, or would it just spread votes out even thinner? Say my party wins 17 percent of the vote, but that’s still bigger, because all the other parties have less than that. But 17 percent is way less of a representation than 40 plus percent plus, which it might be under a 2 party system. Not sure what the answer is, just throwing that idea out there.

  3. Wow, that girl sitting next to you on the bus sure was insightful!…now my rant… The republicans are evil creeps. They are REALLY working for the big insurance companies while they manipulate their public and pretend to represent their constituents’ interests when it comes to health care…It is unfair that these party members have almost equal power in the senate when, proportionally, way more than half of the population would like to see reform. I call for more proportional representation in the senate!

  4. As much as they didn’t have the average person’s interest truly at heart, the writers of the Constitution had great foresight in creating the two branches of Congress, with membership in one based solely on a state’s population and membership on the other based on equal repsresentation for all states. As corny and clicheish as it sounds, this is what checks and balance is about – one house doesn’t have undue influence if it takes both houses to pass legislation.

  5. obvioulsy this will never change, No one iwll give up power willingly, so this is basically an academic or theoretical discussion. But the main point that the senate structure is outdated is absolutely correct. Some states have practically 50 times the population of others. And they have the same number of senators, The house of representatives just isn’t enough to make up for that large a population difference. There is way too much power in the smaller states.

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