Sunday, August 28, 2016

So how many legislators?

My last post discussed the advantages of increasing the number of legislators serving in the US House of Representatives.

This leads to the question of how many legislators should there be? The more legislators there are, the less political power that is wielded by each single legislator.

If we set the ratio of voters/representative to be equal to what it was originally (30,000/1) there would be over 10,600 representatives. Obviously, with that many congressmen there would have to be a radical reorganization.

Such a large body would need a correspondingly large arena to assemble. The current House chamber would be completely inadequate. But who says they have to physically assemble anyway? Advancements in technology can facilitate a virtual assembly and possible with less expense than the current physical assembly of 435 members. Once the infrastructure is in place the only cost would be for the legislator to 'login'. The time and cost savings by eliminating the private flights to DC, at the expense of taxpayers, would more than offset the cost of the electronic infrastructure. The additional benefit of keeping representatives closer to their respective constituencies probably cannot be overstated.

The current House chamber can be re-purposed or converted to a museum.


Further Reading

Enlarging the House of Representatives

Wyoming Rule

Increase the Size of the House

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

We Need More Legislators

Are legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives truly representative of the voters that put them in office? The motivation for the question is the fact that, on average, each congressional district has a 730,000+ population. In 1789 that number was roughly 30,000.

Is it time to increase the number of legislators in the House?


  • It would be more expensive to pay more congressmen and their facilities and staff.

(That's the only con I can think of at the moment.)


  • In context of the entire Federal budget the expense of operating the legislature is not significant.
  • The more members of the legislature we have, the more difficult it is for PACs and other special interest groups to influence (buy) individual legislators.
  • With smaller districts a campaign could be run for less expense which would enable more candidates.
  • Smaller districts would align more readily with natural boundaries of real communities.
  • Smaller districts would enhance the political power of more diverse communities.

There is much more to say on this. I'll be back.