If We Switch to a Popular Vote for President, Shouldn’t We Dump this Whole Senate Thing Too?

Question for fans of electing the President by popular vote: What do you think of Professor Larry Sabato’s proposal for “reforming” the Senate (via Joseph Knippenberg of the Ashbrook Center)…

Because each state, regardless of population, elects two of the 100 senators, just 17 percent of the nation’s population elects a majority of the Senate. Sabato would expand the Senate by giving the 10 most populous states two additional senators, the next 15 most populous states one new senator and the District of Columbia its first senator.
After all, if we are going to govern the country on the principle that big states rule and small states obey, shouldn’t we make that change uniform throughout the government?
Second Question for the same fans: If you really believe that popular vote for President is a top priority, why not implement it through the undeniably Constitutional strategy suggested by previous Anchor Rising commenter “Rammer”…
The potential to win the Electoral College, but lose the popular vote for President only exists because of the fixed number of seats in the Senate, which is Constitutionally mandated at two per State. Historically this sort of mismatch happens once every century or so, but if that is too often then there is no need for interstate compacts or Constitutional Amendments, by changing one law we could substantially reduce the possibility.
The simple fix is to increase the number of seats in the U.S. House from 435 to twice that number or more. Those seats would be apportioned by population and the weight of the Senate votes in the Electoral College would be reduced proportionally.

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16 years ago

Nobody else going to take a crack? I’m no political scientist, but then I don’t think those words belong together any more than religion and science do. Anyhoo, my thoughts.
re: Rammer’s suggestion
1) RI winds up with 3 Reps, not 4. Slightly diluted influence on the federal level. Given the voting record of the majority of RI voters, this is a plus for the country. For RI, not so much.
2) Hey, at least its Constitutional.
1) twice as many idiots in full ‘looka me, looka me’ mode coming up with even more idiot laws
2) we probably wind up with twice the legislative mandarinate (at twice the cost) – EU here we come!
3) those same idiots will desperately try to deliver ever increasing amounts of pork. No pork is so tasty as that which somebody else’s tax dollars purchase and most voters are suckers for the suggestion they benefit from that sort of larceny.

16 years ago

I personally would love to change the Senate, as I’m all about proportional representation, but it’s tough to do, given Article 5.

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