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  1. #1
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    Is the concept of "Representative" dead?

    I understand the constitution dictates there needs to be at least 30,000 people per representative. I also understand the constitution was written when the United States had an estimated population of 2.5 million people. The ratio of Congressmen to citizens was within reason. Today we have 435 representatives and roughly 312 million citizens. That is 717,000 people per representatives. How can one person be deemed to be the voice of 717,000 people in such a diverse society?

    My question is not should we have 10,000 congressmen/women in order to appease the Constitution or to bring us closer to what it was trying create.

    My question is, are we really being represented by these people? If you think so, why? And if not, how would you help solve the problem of the voice of the common person no longer having the impact it did when the United States became a country?

    -----

    I personally feel that the concept of representatives is dead. We are no longer in segregated communitites like we were in the late 1700's. I think that with the innovation of technology people can have a stronger voice in our democracy. We no longer have to go from Local to District to State to Federal to have our voices heard. We have resources at our fingertips to do research and come to our own judgements on issues.

    I bring this up because I live in an area of Iowa that is very much straight ticket Republican. That doesn't bother me, people are within their rights to do that. The problem I have is that I am in the minority on many issues and because of that I will always be ignored on those issues by my representatives voice in congress because he does not want to stray from party policies and lose votes in his district.

    That is a start to the conversation. I will let people inject their opinions.

  2. #2
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    I think that either they should increase the number of representatives maybe 1 per every 200,000 people, or go to a party vote system nationally.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  3. #3
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    I have trouble believing that the system ever truly represented the people.

    This gets don't to the difference between direct and indirect democracy though. Can you ever truly represent me?
    Member of the Owlluminati!

  4. #4
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    I believe that yes in fact the concept of "representative" is dead.

    Even if you rearrange the ratio of people to representatives, my argument is that with money being free speech, 'special interests' will always speak louder than the individual. Grannie's $200 checks can't compete with 3 billion that corporations spend lobbying every year.

    When the system, and your reelection depends on how much money you can raise, you're beholden to the entities that give you the most money, IMO.

  5. #5
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    Nah. The people we vote for the most get put in power (most of the time). Say what you want about what motivates those votes, or how awful the elected officials are, they still can't get there without us voting for them.

  6. #6
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    You really want more politicans running around? Hell, the ones we got haven't done all that well in avoiding economical problems, Katrina type problems or solving the budget.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WES445 View Post
    You really want more politicans running around? Hell, the ones we got haven't done all that well in avoiding economical problems, Katrina type problems or solving the budget.
    maybe part of the problems is they aren't so representative any more. There is less and less representation of the middle. If a vote for the green party could get a green elected then the far left would do just that, leaving the democrats to move to the center. Republicans are running to the right for fear of the tea party, and thus they are becoming less centrist. If there was a centrist republican party, and a Christan right party, and a libertarian party all of who got representatives then it would allow for more compromise. The idea that compromise is a bad thing is stupid-tarded. A more representative government would mean more centrists, and more compromise. So what you would have is the plurality of americans (centrists) controling the political debate, instead of either far right or far left.

    I'm a broken record aren't I.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by flips333 View Post
    maybe part of the problems is they aren't so representative any more. There is less and less representation of the middle. If a vote for the green party could get a green elected then the far left would do just that, leaving the democrats to move to the center. Republicans are running to the right for fear of the tea party, and thus they are becoming less centrist. If there was a centrist republican party, and a Christan right party, and a libertarian party all of who got representatives then it would allow for more compromise. The idea that compromise is a bad thing is stupid-tarded. A more representative government would mean more centrists, and more compromise. So what you would have is the plurality of americans (centrists) controling the political debate, instead of either far right or far left.

    I'm a broken record aren't I.
    Never a broken record. I don't know, but I feel that the two party system is strangling our political system. Look how the radical rights chase out the moderates in various state elections. Each party demands it's members to walk lock -step with their agenda of the moment. Democrats and the Republicans have made it very difficult for a third party or interest to run against them. I like your suggestions, but the dem and rep aren't letting any outside interest spoil their good thing. They will choose the political agenda of the nation. If they both agree to ignore a problem (ie, banking reform, better FEMA, or balancing the budget) it get ignored. A powerful third or fourth party don't exist to upset the apple cart. They got it very good in compairison to other western governments.

    Then there is the money that is corrupting the system. When the surpreme court declare a business is a person due rights, it's time to nail the coffin shut on your system.
    Last edited by WES445; 08-09-2012 at 04:25 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WES445 View Post
    Never a broken record. I don't know, but I feel that the two party system is strangling our political system. Look how the radical rights chase out the moderates in various state elections. Each party demands it's members to walk lock -step with their agenda of the moment. Democrats and the Republicans have made it very difficult for a third party or interest to run against them. I like your suggestions, but the dem and rep aren't letting any outside interest spoil their good thing. They will choose the political agenda of the nation. If they both agree to ignore a problem (ie, banking reform, better FEMA, or balancing the budget) it get ignored. A powerful third or fourth party don't exist to upset the apple cart. They got it very good in compairison to other western governments.

    Then there is the money that is corrupting the system. When the surpreme court declare a business is a person due rights, it's time to nail the coffin shut on your system.
    One could argue that a third party has... I still think Ross Perot is still affecting the system. I am all for changing the way we elect our politicians... But we'd need some serious constitutional amendments to do it.

    In a side note.. Part of me hopes Obama wins the electoral college and Romney wins the popular vote (could happen). I think if it does there will be enough momentum on both sides to do away with that antiquated system.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Norwegian View Post
    Nah. The people we vote for the most get put in power (most of the time). Say what you want about what motivates those votes, or how awful the elected officials are, they still can't get there without us voting for them.
    Yep we get to vote for Red or Blue....

  11. #11
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    Or green. Or you could write in 'Walt Disney'. The point is no elected official gets there without a majority of us voting them in. I see anyone that is elected as a representative of who elected them, for that reason.

    I think the OP brought up a good point, which is basically trying to state the Tyranny of the Majority-- the views of the minority will always be forgotten or ignored. You could say that this is a problem in any majoritarian political system. We do what we can with the Bill of Rights, Separation of Powers, and constitutional limits, but this will always be a fundamental factor of democracy.

    The problem is we don't really have a better system. Someone's view is always going to be ignored because there will always be a minority.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Norwegian View Post
    Or green. Or you could write in 'Walt Disney'. The point is no elected official gets there without a majority of us voting them in. I see anyone that is elected as a representative of who elected them, for that reason.

    I think the OP brought up a good point, which is basically trying to state the Tyranny of the Majority-- the views of the minority will always be forgotten or ignored. You could say that this is a problem in any majoritarian political system. We do what we can with the Bill of Rights, Separation of Powers, and constitutional limits, but this will always be a fundamental factor of democracy.

    The problem is we don't really have a better system. Someone's view is always going to be ignored because there will always be a minority.
    Money and influence from the media will ensure that a 3rd party will never win a major election.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WES445 View Post
    You really want more politicans running around? Hell, the ones we got haven't done all that well in avoiding economical problems, Katrina type problems or solving the budget.
    I agree 100% and quite frankly, these people don't care about us at all! They care about us when it is time for re-election!
    PSD's Muhammad Wilkerson!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcityroller View Post
    Money and influence from the media will ensure that a 3rd party will never win a major election.
    That may be, but that's a reflection on the electorate. Money and influence from the media is not holding a gun to our head. We still make a free choice.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Norwegian View Post
    That may be, but that's a reflection on the electorate. Money and influence from the media is not holding a gun to our head. We still make a free choice.
    Yes we are free to chose a third party, but it is against the minorities interest to do so. I votew for a green, or a member of the libertarians, then essentially my vote doesn't get counted in the two horse race, because lets face it the way are system works it really only has two horses. If representative votes were national and say the greens and some far right party each got 5% of the vote they would get 5% of the seats. This causes other problems, but it would make the make up of congress more representative then the present two party system and would encourage you to vote for the party that most accurately reflects your views rather than the candidate you dislike least out of the dem or the repub.

    Essentially today the system is set up to say you are free to vote for a third party, but that's the same as you are free to have your vote not counted.
    Last edited by flips333; 08-11-2012 at 11:38 AM.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

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