Tag Archives: electoral college

Taxation Without Representation

8 Mar

I’m driving home through Phoenix when I see this billboard, “D.C. Statehood is a Civil Rights Issue.” It’s unusual for a city on the other side of the country to be advertising about the nation’s capital, but it’s an issue the advertisers are right, but for the wrong reasons.

For those not aware, our capital city is in the District of Columbia, which is not in either of the two states that border it. It is a federal territory, which means that Congress controls the budget and many of the authority in the District… Which means the mayor and city council are weaker to solve their problems than any other metropolitan area in the country.

However, the activists who paid for this sign don’t give a hoot in hell for DC solving their own problems. They care because Washington D.C falls into a loophole in the US Constitution. When the document was ratified in 1787, the capital city was New York. It was moved to Philadelphia two years later, and eight years after that, to the swampy land asking the Potomac River. Because there was no clause outlining a capital city, it’s not mentioned in the Constitution, they weren’t treated like a state, just as part of the federal government. They didn’t even get to elect their own mayor until 1974!

Only states could vote for president, due to our strange electoral system, so it took the 23rd Amendment passing in 1961 so that the people living just down the street from the White House could actually vote for the person who lives there. However, they still don’t have votes in Congress, just a non voting delegate.

If DC becomes a state, that means it gets two senators and at least one representative, just like any other state. However, DC has always voted solid Democrat since it got the vote. What that means is that with the numbers in the Senate so close, the Democratic Party will have a majority that will be nigh impossible to overturn. Add Puerto Rico as a state and you’ve got a four seat majority that is secured until the Dems implode or civil war erupts.

And that’s the sad fact. I think DC and PR should be states! Add Guam and American Samoa while you’re at it. However, doing it now will cause a chain reaction you don’t wanna go down. Because if the other half of the country feels they have no voice in the federal government, red states will rebel (in courts), and either the feds will have to crack down into an authoritative state or back down and become weaker… and no one wants to go down either road.

Now I could be too pessimistic here, but it’s a real concern. But where am I getting it wrong? Is PR not as hard core Democrat as I think they are? Should we return DC to Maryland (Virginia already took their half back in the 1840s)? Let me know in the comments below!

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Baja Arizona, Little Egypt, and the State of Jefferson

20 Aug

Every US presidential election, people call for ending the Electoral College, but there’s a big obstacle… it’s written into the Constitution! To shift to a purely popular vote, you’ve got to amend it, and that’s really difficult. But what if there was a better way?

Hear me out – let’s make more 15 states! Take all the cities that feel that they are being underrepresented and give them statehood! Suddenly they get their own senators and two more electoral votes. For the rural voters, you get rid of all the big city dominance of state politics and still have your seats in the Senate. Politically, Republicans and Democrats get roughly equal representation and preserves single-party dominance in their existing states. In the House of Representatives, it would work out about the same.

Here’s the current map – so my plan means cutting out 14 urban areas (and Puerto Rico, because they voted to and deserve to be admitted) and having them create their own states and creating a more equitable and electoral balance that’s closer to the popular vote.

New State – # of Representatives (Current # Reps in State)

  • Boston – 5 (9)
  • New York City 17 (27)
  • Philadelphia 7 (19)
  • Northern Virginia (add to DC) 2 (11)
  • Atlanta 6 (14)
  • Miami 5 (27)
  • Chicago 8 (18)
  • Detroit 5 (14)
  • Dallas 7 (36)
  • Houston 7 (36)
  • Phoenix / Tucson (South Arizona) 6 (9)
  • Los Angeles 25 (53)
  • San Francisco 8 (53)
  • Seattle 4 (10)

So that puts the new Electoral Count at 565. These 15 new states will be overwhelming Democrat, leaving the original states overwhelmingly Republican. As a bonus, that would allow someone from rural Illinois (such as I used to be) to feel that Springfield represents my interests instead of Chicago. Chicago can feel like they’re not having to drag the rest of rural Illinois with them. However, most importantly, the electoral numbers will be closer to the popular vote.

Now I thought about cutting up Ohio, North Carolina, Oregon, and Tennessee, but the numbers just didn’t add up. Believe it or not, this has been tried in California multiple times, starting with the State of Jefferson back in 1941 to the most recent “Cal 3” initiative back in 2017. Apparently, there’s a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to this.

Where did I get the math wrong? What new states would you include? Let me know in the comments below!

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