Friday, April 19, 2013

Demand California's Fair Representation in the U.S. Senate

How do you feel about the allegedly democratic government of (not its real name) Syriastan?

To keep control of the Syriastan its ruling class has created electoral districts that each get two votes in its parliament, but have vastly different populations. One district in particular is discriminated against. It gets the same two votes as the others, but it takes 22 other districts to attain its population.

This goes against the basic democratic ideal of one citizen, one vote (one man, one vote in traditional patriarchal speak).

If the people of that oppressed district rebelled, demanding equal representation, would you support them? Of course you would. Why, such nations are Un-American!

Sadly, Syriastan is the United States. As the following table and graph show, it takes the population of the 22 smallest states to overtop the population of California. Those states get a combined 44 votes, enough to prevent any legislation they don't like from getting through the U.S. Senate (because of rules requiring a supermajority to pass a law).

California's estimated 2012 population: 38,000,000.

Our equivalents in population:

State  Population
Wyoming 576,000
Vermont 626,000
North Dakota 834,000
Alaska 732,000
South Dakota 834,000
Delaware 917,000
Montana 1,005,000
Rhode Island 1,050,000
New Hampshire 1,320,000
Maine 1,330,000
Hawaii 1,392,000
Idaho 1,596,000
West Virginia 1,855,000
Nebraska 1,856,000
New Mexico 2,086,000
Nevada 2,759,000
Utah 2,855,000
Kansas 2,886,000
Arkansas 2,950,000
Mississippi 2,985,000
Iowa 3,074,000
Connecticut 3,590,000
total: 39,108,000
California vs. small state represenation in U.S. Senate

This major flaw in our system goes back to the original compromises made to get the U.S. Constitution in place in 1789. At the time the decision was made to give each state two representatives in the federal Senate, the total population of the U.S. was less than four million. The least populous state was Delaware with 59,000 people, the most populous state was Virginia with 747,000 people (including 292,000 slaves).

In 1789 the population ratio between the least populous and most populous states was approximately 1 to 13. Today the ratio between Wyoming and California is 1 to 66.

It was an undemocratic decision at the time, basically the result of political blackmail by the small-population states, whose elites feared federal control.

It has gone on too long. Demand reform.

Every U.S. citizen should be represented fairly in the U.S. Senate.