Congress with 3000 members?


by Anne P. Kreitzberg on Jan 09, 2013

Congress with 3000 members?

My friend Gail Johnson's letter to the editor of the New York Times has turned into An Invitation to Dialogue: Rebuild the House. The editor has invited comments from the public which will appear in the Sunday Review portion of the paper -- so I encourage you to join the debate.

Gail's position is that congressional districts are so bloated that it's impossible for the members of the House of Representatives to do the job the Founding Fathers intended, that is to know personally and represent the views and interests of their constituents. 

With some districts topping 700,000 people or more, she's got a point.  

The question posed in the editorial is: What if Congressional districts were limited to 100,000? 

Getting beyond the practical considerations of such a move - like, would Congress ever pass a bill that would set these limits?
And, if so, where would we find seats, offices and housing for over 3,000 more legislators? - Would this make for a more perfect democracy and more effective legislation?

How kinds of questions would a critical thinker raise to consider this question?

  • Would more, diverse perspectives be a likely outcome - merely by having so many voices added to the discussion?
  • Would  a more rigorous challenge and debate of issues would be possible - or would bias and spin continue to outweigh logic and evidence-based reasoning?
  • Would more effort be placed on better governance rather than better campaigning if people knew their representative personally - and save us all from endless campaign ads and robo-calls?

What do you think: Is this a choice between  "more is better"  versus "too big to fail?"

To read Gail Johnson's full argument, read her book Two Years to Democracy: The 2Y2D Plan


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