Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Way We Were

As those of you who know me know well, Hashbrown loves maps and politics. And anytime the two can go together, the better.

Some clever blogger in the the UK has attempted to tackle our nasty electoral college problem for us with a new fact, a whole new Nation.

The current system of 50 states and one District (which, incidentally has NO vote in Congress or representation, a minor Constitutional oversight along with women not being worthy of the vote and African-Americans only constituting 3/5 of a human being, but I digress) over-represents rural areas and neglects urban areas. After all, Wyoming, with about the same number of people as Staten Island (500,000), gets two Senators and one representative. California, with 33 million people, also gets just two Senators and proportionally fewer Representatives (using Wyoming's formula, it should have 66 instead of 51). The District of Columbia, with 600,000, gets zero of both.

The new map would create 50 states and one federal district of approximately the same population (5.61m). States would be re-districted after each census, and the map is not generated to favor one party over another, and adjusted very slightly to put whole cities in one state or another (so state populations will differ by a few hundred thousand).

It would never work. It skips over the fact that Americans are very proud of their states. They are not just political entities, but emotional ones as well. But it is a stark reminder of the inequity of our curious system, and the desperate need for reform.


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