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That’s a very good introduction of Thirty-Thousand.org (TTO). The problem today is that the Congressional representatives' constituents are the special interests instead of the citizens. In fact, we are no longer citizens, we are federal subjects.
Even though TTO is non-partisan, support expressed by libertarians and classical liberals is especially helpful because you all are known to oppose enlarging government. The most common objection raised to enlarging our representation is that it would make the government bigger whereas, in fact, it would produce the opposite result! This common misperception is due to the fact that most people do not realize that governance is distinctly different than government.
Dr. Mark Thornton has written two papers providing empirical evidence that total governmental expenditures decrease as the number of representatives increases. Please listen to Lew Rockwell's interview of Dr. Thornton.
Also, please read Walter Williams' article "Political Monopoly Power" in which he states that "restricting the number of representatives confers significant monopoly power that goes a long way toward explaining the stranglehold the two parties have and the high incumbent success rates. It might also explain the power of vested interest groups to influence congressional decisions."
Finally, it is worth noting that the first amendment proposed in our Bill of Rights was intended to prevent this very problem from occurring. Unfortunately, because that amendment, Article the first, was rendered defective in the closing hours of the first Congress, it was never ratified as intended.
I'm thankful you have a site with so much useful information on this topic!
I agree with you that too often, folks confuse "government" with "governance." I often talk about the "size and scope" of government, however, the word "size" can be easily confused. I like your way of putting it: Governance vs. Government.
Yes, I've read Williams piece, and plan to incorporate it into a post soon. Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog! I'd be interested to develop some kind of activism on this important topic. Keep up the great work!
I’d be interested to develop some kind of activism on this important topic. Keep up the great work!
You are already doing that just by your posting. This is a "grass roots" effort in the truest sense. Every vested interest is opposed enlarging the citizens' representation. Why? Think about this: according to OpenSecrets.org there are over 14,400 lobbyists in D.C. (as of 2008). Let's do the math; that's 27 lobbyists per congressman (for 435 Reps + 100 Senators). If there were one Rep for every 50,000, then there would need to be 164,700 lobbyists to produce the same effect! Of course, the Representatives would then return to serving the citizens instead of the powerful special interests. In fact, current technology would allow most of the Representatives to serve in their home districts (where we could keep an eye on them). Only a few hundred need meet in to work in committees.
As far as encouraging more activist support, please e-mail suggestions to me. We need ideas. In 2009, I would like to start a PHPbb build a community of interest around this cause. There would need to be several moderators committed to keep it on track because I couldn't do it.
[...] No Taxation Without Representation! [...]
I'm interested to hear your thoughts on proportional representation. I appreciate your comments and increasing the size of the House seems more in line with our Constitution but I wonder if that would be simply bringing more troops into the same battle.
The reason I wonder this is that I believe that mass-media marketing has become the norm for campaigning and most of the people I know could care less about meeting their representatives or doing more beyond watching campaign ads and reading the ballot descriptions. The mud-slinging commercials seem to fit our laziness as voters. (present company excluded
One upside to increasing the numbers in the House would be that it would be more affordable to campaign and open up politics to those who truly wish to serve.
On a final note, you should visit the gop house website (http://republicanwhip.house.gov/) and sign up for "The Whip Notice". It's nice to see exactly what's coming to the floor but also horrifying to see how much time is spent on crap like H.Res. 211 - Supporting the goals and ideals of National Women's History Month. These people take up residence in Washington, receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries and from what I've read, spend most of their time dealing with this kind of stuff. In my opinion, time and money could be saved if Congress quit addressing fluff and took advantage of the technology that we're all using to connect. With teleconferences and live streaming you would think we could devise a way to make Congress more efficient.
I like your site, linked here from your post on the 9-12 project. Looking forward to making real progress--not to be confused with being progressive.
Thanks for commenting ...
I think smaller districts would change the "mass-media" format we have today. For one, it wouldn't be cost-effective in smaller areas. Two, with each individual rep having significantly less influence, they wouldn't be able to raise the campaign dough (from special interests) to buy the (now unneeded) mass media.
With more reps, it's not about the "masses" anymore, but about the neighborhoods and the people!
Maybe not everyone will want to meet their rep, but regardless, their vote will mean a whole lot more to that rep because he/she has fewer votes to rely on ... In other words, it's more likely that the rep will reach out to people!
And what a change that would be!
Thanks for the link, I'll be checking it regularly. And thanks for stopping by my blog. I started it because I felt it was time to "change" the entire political debate. Red Team vs. Blue Team just isn't working anymore.
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