Tyranny of the minority

Brian W

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Here is an excellent article by the USA Today (!) about the inequity that the US Constitution imposes on us.

We can't let the Founders' Electoral College, Senate trade-offs distort democracy forever

Too often, we regard the Constitution as a repository of timeless wisdom. Far better to understand it as a remarkable but flawed product of its times. For within are embedded a series of awkward compromises that, after 232 years of national evolution unimaginable to its draftsmen, frustrate democracy as we now conceive it.

On the senate:

At the time the Constitution was written, the ratio between the most and least populous states was a paltry 12 to 1. Thirty-seven states and more than two centuries later, the population of California is 69 times that of Wyoming. In 2016, half the country lived in just nine states with 18 senators. The half living in the other 41 states had 82 senators — and in about 20 years they'll likely have 84.

What did America writ large get in return for this trade-off? Not the disinterested body that our Founders fondly imagined, free from unruly political passions. Today's Senate is polarized between underrepresented blue states and overrepresented red states, allowing partisans from unpopulated states to help strangle popular legislation. It is, in short, a satrapy for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
 

Brian W

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The first revolution's call to arms started with a tax imposed without representation. Well, today, 80% of the population's governance is controlled by 20%. What is that but taxation without representation? But that 20% doesn't care about the reasons for the constitution, they only care about maintaining the inequity that that constitution provides them.
 

Brian W

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Indeed, if you do the calculation, people in small population states have a voting weight of 8 times a person in a large population state. That means that they have less voting weight than a slave did under the antebellum constitution. Of course, a slave's proportion was exercised by a wealthy white man, while our proportion today simply means our votes are meaningless.
 

zgrose

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It seems like this might lead to one party government. You are either in power or out.

The main problem with the Senate are their rules which allow them to avoid voting on legislation. A mandatory 30 day FIFO vote on bills passed by the House (and probably vice-versa) would go a long way improving functional government.
 

Sand Bar Bill

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The electoral college and senate severely hurts the liberal large states and disproportionately empowers the small (in population) states. Unless it hurts both sides, conservatives have no incentive to change. A system where N. and S. Dakota have twice to voting power in the Senate as California is ludicrous on its face, but Republicans have no incentive to change and no one is talking about armed revolution.

While the argument is frequently is that the (grossly) disproportionate system prevents "tyranny of the majority", the flip side of that is "tyranny of the minority" or "tyranny of the few".

The biggest difference between the two sides: A sense of fair play and procedural fairness.
 

Sand Bar Bill

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OMG, just posted the above and then clicked on this:

“In a surprise move Wednesday morning, the N.C. House of Representatives voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget with just over half of the 120 members present to vote,” the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

“Democrats in the chamber objected to the bill being brought up, saying they were told there would be no votes during the 8:30 a.m. session and that it was just a formality so work could begin. Rep. Jason Saine (R) made the motion to reconsider the state budget and chaos in the chamber quickly ensued.”

Slate reports Democrats were at a 9/11 ceremony and had been promised no votes would be scheduled.


https://politicalwire.com/2019/09/11/north-carolina-gop-overrides-veto-while-dems-away/#disqus_thread

No honor, no fair play. How do you even deal with almost half the nation happy to endorse such skulduggery.
 

DWPetros

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Democracy, fairness, and now honor. The GOP Trump Party has lost all of these for good.
 

TopT

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OMG, just posted the above and then clicked on this:

“In a surprise move Wednesday morning, the N.C. House of Representatives voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget with just over half of the 120 members present to vote,” the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

“Democrats in the chamber objected to the bill being brought up, saying they were told there would be no votes during the 8:30 a.m. session and that it was just a formality so work could begin. Rep. Jason Saine (R) made the motion to reconsider the state budget and chaos in the chamber quickly ensued.”

Slate reports Democrats were at a 9/11 ceremony and had been promised no votes would be scheduled.


https://politicalwire.com/2019/09/11/north-carolina-gop-overrides-veto-while-dems-away/#disqus_thread

No honor, no fair play. How do you even deal with almost half the nation happy to endorse such skulduggery.
NC has been like this for quite some time (2010 ?). The Republicans are doing everything and anything to stay in power. Check out 2016 NC Governor's race where the Republican governor lost and tried to refuse to accept the results. In this state the Republicans have lost successive court cases regarding voter ID laws and congressional maps yet nothing has changed. They are just hanging on until 2020 to start another 10 years of mockery.
 
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