Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Why the US Congress Sucks: Exactly What to Do About It

In 2012, the year after the new lines were drawn, Republican candidates for the Wisconsin Assembly won less than half of the statewide vote — but 60 of the Assembly’s 99 seats. That pattern persisted in 2014, as well as in federal and state races elsewhere around the country. In North Carolina, Democrats got 51 percent of the 2012 vote for the United States House of Representatives, which translated to only four of the state’s 13 congressional seats. The skew was roughly the same in Pennsylvania: Democrats won a little more than a quarter of the House seats, even though they got a majority of the votes cast in congressional races in the state that year. --New York Times

1 comment:

John T. Maher said...

Was involved in this issue over a decade ago. It is all ring fence with constituencies under both the existing system and its proposed NYT alternative which is really drawn upon base assumptions. Even the proposed fix:

A permanent fix for partisan gerrymandering would be to take redistricting entirely out of the hands of self-interested lawmakers and give it to independent commissions. In California and Arizona, both of which have adopted such commissions, legislative races have become more competitive than the national average as measured by the smaller margins of victory. That’s good for voters, and for democracy.

is another opportunity for a different sort of gerrymandering. I suppose that is all the American psyche can handle. How about direct voting by all interested parties drawn from a cyber registry of all affected by an issue within some econophysics statistical rank? Let all Latourian constituents enroll to vote! Thus those voting upon another new Texas coal plant may also include fisherman in Florida and Island nations and ecosystem representatives. The theory is in place: 'natural laws', the Haudenosaune league council system which used game theory over time, the Maori's view of the rights of mountains and rivers, the rights of ecosystems, parliaments of things, fluid mechanics, and all may register a not necessarily equal vote to construct a quantitative output based upon claimed interest. And yes this is imperfect too because of the consilient feedback loops with other eco-systems which should maybe vote as well. The concept of vote should also possibly not be a binary but a conditional which changes over time. This would stabilize the earth and avoid the statistical Kuznets cycles of growth and bust I worked on which enslave our planet and our selves.

In Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), the US Supreme Court ruled that the EPA had the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. However, the Roberts Court has eaten away at this holding, which embodies the allocation of power beyond immediate spatial proximity. Specifically in the Connecticut case the Court tossed a nuisance claim by states downwind of pollution. Because the Courts are clogged with those embodying the dead white values of modernity, change must come from other means.

Congress sucks. Turn it into a free download all access reality show with life as the collective prize.

So-called Republican Democracy is overrated as presently constituted, so why not toss the NYT oversimplification de jour in favor of a now technically feasible allocation of agency de jure.