Saturday, October 02, 2010

U.S. Democracy---maybe states that have more Senators than Representatives in Congress shouldn't have so much influence

Strange thing is that since every State is apportioned two Senators, but the numbers of Representatives are arrived at through population, you get some States where there are more Senators than Representatives. This means, to be clear, that there are so few people in the State itself that by population they're only entitled to the minimum level of representation in Congress--one Representative. Yet they still have 1/50th of the power of the Senate. The following States have only one Representative. For comparison, the numbers of Reps from California, Texas, New York and Florida will come after.

1. Montana

2. Wyoming

3. North Dakota

4. South Dakota

Combined, they have 8/100 seats in the Senate, or 2/25 seats

By comparison, these are how many Representatives California, Texas, and New York and Florida have in Congress:

1. California 53

2. Texas 32

3. New York 29

4. Florida 29

Now, these also have 8/100 seats in the Senate, or 2/25 of the Senate. But the total number of Representatives that they have is 143 versus the 4 of Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming, which means that they have over 35 times the Reps of these States taken collectively.
Equal power in the Senate, 35 times the Reps in the House.

How can this be even remotely Democratic?
The idea of the Senate was to protect the interests of smaller States, but this system puts North Dakota, which at a population of 646,844 , on par with California. For comparison's sake, Sacramento, the State Capitol of California, has 481,097 people, the City of San Francisco has 845,559, and Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco, has 425,068. According to Wiki, the San Francisco Metropolitan Area, which includes San Francisco and Oakland, has 7,427,757 people, or about 11.5 times the population of North Dakota. This goes beyond giving small states a voice, it undermines democracy in the United States as a whole.

*on edit: for comparison's sake, Seattle has 617,334 people, a little less than 30,000 below the entire population of North Dakota. Do we then get two Senators as well?

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