Page 1 of 32

Weighting Rural Votes?/Election Reform

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:45 pm
by San Lumen
Often in the midterm thread the topic of election reform and drawing of district came up. There were multiple calls for state legislatures to be done not by district but by county especially in the upper house.

For example in my state of New York, Hamilton County (the least populous county) should have more representation than someone in the Bronx.

This was the case in many state legislatures prior to a Supreme Court decision entitled Reynolds V Sims in 1964 which established one man one vote and drawing state legislatures to favor rural communities over urban areas was unconstitutional and that electoral districts must be roughly equal in population. Chief Justice Earl Warren famously wrote “Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests."

Several state legislatures changed hands last year including the New York State Senate largely due to a collapse of the GOP in Suburban and Urban areas and somehow rural voters are left out. They are not. They have representation like everyone else.

Some even suggested statewide elections should be determined not by how many votes a candidate receives but how many counties they carry. How that is even remotely fair or democratic is beyond me.

The argument was made that somehow with FPTP in statewide elections those who didn't vote for the winner are not represented. How that leap of logic is made I don't understand. The Governor and other statewide officials represent all. Anyone in a district is represented by that person. How changing to PR as many advocated magically changes that I dont follow.

In very blue city like Minneapolis, Providence or Albany, the primary is tantamount to election. Somehow according to some the very small number of people who voted for other candidates in the general election are not represented and the system ought to be changed to accommodate them. Again why?

The concept of one man one vote is very important in any democracy. No person's vote should count more than someone else's because of where they reside nor should the whole system be changed simply because another side keeps losing which is where I think much of the reform calls come from.

Regarding election reform I do realize there are flaws in FPTP. I would be willing to endorse IRV or MMP.

In IRV no ones feels likes a vote is wasted and in MMP it ensures that someone from your area represents you in the state legislature or national capital.

This could be an issue in other countries its not just confined to the United States. Canada could be included too along with others.

Your thoughts NSG?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:52 pm
by Novus Wrepland
We should just switch to a proportional representation parliamentary model with a full ban on assault weapons on the state level.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:53 pm
by Diopolis
All blue voters in a given state should be assigned one particular district, with a single polling booth open only at 2 AM- 3AM and located at the bottom of the state's largest lake. All other districts should be reliably red.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:01 pm
by Nordengrund
Do away with elections and appoint me as Supreme Emperor of North America.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:01 pm
by San Lumen
Diopolis wrote:All blue voters in a given state should be assigned one particular district, with a single polling booth open only at 2 AM- 3AM and located at the bottom of the state's largest lake. All other districts should be reliably red.


That is not physically possible and obvious nonsense. Can you give a actual response instead of sheer absurdity?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:02 pm
by Kernen
Novus Wrepland wrote:We should just switch to a proportional representation parliamentary model with a full ban on assault weapons on the state level.

Alternatively, you can leave us law abiding owners alone, since the overwhelming majority of those weapons commit no crimes.

The advantage to a system which weights rural votes more is that it doesn't disenfranchise organizations that, by definition, require low population density. Farmer and rancher interests are significantly harmed when individuals in an urban area, who have little understanding or inclination to support many of those interests, are in control. That is one reason that so many rural voters feel increasingly politically abandoned by politicians who otherwise may represent their interests.

A pure OPOV model would work better in a more decentralized form of government, not unlike New Hampshire, where local governments are given broad latitude to self-govern, and the state legislature tends to reserve itself to measures best dealt with on a state level. My experience in New York suggests this is not the case.

There's also the question of whether you believe that a state legislature elected primarily by somebody with a different demographic than yourself would adequately represent your interests. If I lived in New York's rural areas, I would not trust NYC representatives to protect my interests.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:04 pm
by Ostroeuropa
Kernen wrote:
Novus Wrepland wrote:We should just switch to a proportional representation parliamentary model with a full ban on assault weapons on the state level.

Alternatively, you can leave us law abiding owners alone, since the overwhelming majority of those weapons commit no crimes.

The advantage to a system which weights rural votes more is that it doesn't disenfranchise organizations that, by definition, require low population density. Farmer and rancher interests are significantly harmed when individuals in an urban area, who have little understanding or inclination to support many of those interests, are in control. That is one reason that so many rural voters feel increasingly politically abandoned by politicians who otherwise may represent their interests.

A pure OPOV model would work better in a more decentralized form of government, not unlike New Hampshire, where local governments are given broad latitude to self-govern, and the state legislature tends to reserve itself to measures best dealt with on a state level. My experience in New York suggests this is not the case.

There's also the question of whether you believe that a state legislature elected primarily by somebody with a different demographic than yourself would adequately represent your interests. If I lived in New York's rural areas, I would not trust NYC representatives to protect my interests.


You could move to a parliamentary model and avoid this stuff, though admittedly that might be difficult for a nation of the size of the US. Contituencies in the UK are around 50,000 voters per MP, meaning rural areas have their own voices, plenty of them, in Parliament. Usually sufficient to swing a vote to favor the opposition if it comes down to it and they vote together.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:04 pm
by San Lumen
Kernen wrote:
Novus Wrepland wrote:We should just switch to a proportional representation parliamentary model with a full ban on assault weapons on the state level.

Alternatively, you can leave us law abiding owners alone, since the overwhelming majority of those weapons commit no crimes.

The advantage to a system which weights rural votes more is that it doesn't disenfranchise organizations that, by definition, require low population density. Farmer and rancher interests are significantly harmed when individuals in an urban area, who have little understanding or inclination to support many of those interests, are in control. That is one reason that so many rural voters feel increasingly politically abandoned by politicians who otherwise may represent their interests.

A pure OPOV model would work better in a more decentralized form of government, not unlike New Hampshire, where local governments are given broad latitude to self-govern, and the state legislature tends to reserve itself to measures best dealt with on a state level. My experience in New York suggests this is not the case.

There's also the question of whether you believe that a state legislature elected primarily by somebody with a different demographic than yourself would adequately represent your interests. If I lived in New York's rural areas, I would not trust NYC representatives to protect my interests.


And those urban people are entitled to representation just like a farmer or rancher is. If a area has more people it gets more representation. Its quite a simple concept.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:04 pm
by San Carlos Islands
Diopolis wrote:All blue voters in a given state should be assigned one particular district, with a single polling booth open only at 2 AM- 3AM and located at the bottom of the state's largest lake. All other districts should be reliably red.

This tbh.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:05 pm
by San Lumen
San Carlos Islands wrote:
Diopolis wrote:All blue voters in a given state should be assigned one particular district, with a single polling booth open only at 2 AM- 3AM and located at the bottom of the state's largest lake. All other districts should be reliably red.

This tbh.


And its totally utterly absurd. do you have something meaningful to contribute to the discussion?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:05 pm
by United Muscovite Nations
Upper houses aren't meant to represent the majority of people, they are meant to represent minority interests.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:06 pm
by San Carlos Islands
San Lumen wrote:
San Carlos Islands wrote:This tbh.


And its totally utterly absurd. do you have something meaningful to contribute to the discussion?

That the current system is fine... But I do still really like Diopolis's idea.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:06 pm
by Ostroeuropa
San Lumen wrote:
Kernen wrote:Alternatively, you can leave us law abiding owners alone, since the overwhelming majority of those weapons commit no crimes.

The advantage to a system which weights rural votes more is that it doesn't disenfranchise organizations that, by definition, require low population density. Farmer and rancher interests are significantly harmed when individuals in an urban area, who have little understanding or inclination to support many of those interests, are in control. That is one reason that so many rural voters feel increasingly politically abandoned by politicians who otherwise may represent their interests.

A pure OPOV model would work better in a more decentralized form of government, not unlike New Hampshire, where local governments are given broad latitude to self-govern, and the state legislature tends to reserve itself to measures best dealt with on a state level. My experience in New York suggests this is not the case.

There's also the question of whether you believe that a state legislature elected primarily by somebody with a different demographic than yourself would adequately represent your interests. If I lived in New York's rural areas, I would not trust NYC representatives to protect my interests.


And those urban people are entitled to representation just like a farmer or rancher is. If a area has more people it gets more representation. Its quite a simple concept.


How purist are you taking this?
Because despite what I just said, even the constituency system has outliers, with some Mps representing only 13,000 voters because of the geographic isolation of the constituency like the Island constituencies (to avoid the impracticality of having a constituency be a bunch of Islands and some of the Mainland, with their vastly differing interests and issues). The overwhelming majority represent about 50,000 though, and those exceptions are few and far between.

You will never get a system that adequately represents people equally, only a rough approximation.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:10 pm
by San Lumen
United Muscovite Nations wrote:Upper houses aren't meant to represent the majority of people, they are meant to represent minority interests.


In a state like Nevada 75 percent of the population resides in Clark County other 15 percent in Reno. That's 90 percent of the population in two counties out of seventeen. if you went back to the previous system you would have 90 percent of the population being represented by four people out of 34. Thats if you want two senators per county. How could that body claim to have any legitimacy to speak for the majority of the State?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:11 pm
by San Lumen
Ostroeuropa wrote:
San Lumen wrote:
And those urban people are entitled to representation just like a farmer or rancher is. If a area has more people it gets more representation. Its quite a simple concept.


How purist are you taking this?
Because despite what I just said, even the constituency system has outliers, with some Mps representing only 13,000 voters because of the geographic isolation of the constituency like the Island constituencies (to avoid the impracticality of having a constituency be a bunch of Islands and some of the Mainland, with their vastly differing interests and issues). The overwhelming majority represent about 50,000 though, and those exceptions are few and far between.

You will never get a system that adequately represents people equally, only a rough approximation.

'
Well of course there is going to be some variation but elections districts are usually roughly equal in population.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:11 pm
by San Carlos Islands
Ostroeuropa wrote:
San Lumen wrote:
And those urban people are entitled to representation just like a farmer or rancher is. If a area has more people it gets more representation. Its quite a simple concept.


How purist are you taking this?
Because despite what I just said, even the constituency system has outliers, with some Mps representing only 13,000 voters because of the geographic isolation of the constituency like the Island constituencies (to avoid the impracticality of having a constituency be a bunch of Islands and some of the Mainland, with their vastly differing interests and issues). The overwhelming majority represent about 50,000 though, and those exceptions are few and far between.

You will never get a system that adequately represents people equally, only a rough approximation.


To back this up...

The Isle of Wright constituency (Largest) has 110,697 folks while the Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency (Smallest) has 21,769. I'm not a fan of that.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:11 pm
by Kernen
San Lumen wrote:
Kernen wrote:Alternatively, you can leave us law abiding owners alone, since the overwhelming majority of those weapons commit no crimes.

The advantage to a system which weights rural votes more is that it doesn't disenfranchise organizations that, by definition, require low population density. Farmer and rancher interests are significantly harmed when individuals in an urban area, who have little understanding or inclination to support many of those interests, are in control. That is one reason that so many rural voters feel increasingly politically abandoned by politicians who otherwise may represent their interests.

A pure OPOV model would work better in a more decentralized form of government, not unlike New Hampshire, where local governments are given broad latitude to self-govern, and the state legislature tends to reserve itself to measures best dealt with on a state level. My experience in New York suggests this is not the case.

There's also the question of whether you believe that a state legislature elected primarily by somebody with a different demographic than yourself would adequately represent your interests. If I lived in New York's rural areas, I would not trust NYC representatives to protect my interests.


And those urban people are entitled to representation just like a farmer or rancher is. If a area has more people it gets more representation. Its quite a simple concept.

In any system, the dense urban population is going to have a great deal of representation. I doubt that the urbanites will ever struggle to have their voices heard, even considering the effect of increasing representation among rural populations. Again, this is irrelevant if state legislatures would permit a large degree of autonomy to local governments, like New Hampshire does. If New York operated like New Hampshire, the urbanites would self-govern the way they see fit on local issues, and the rural population would do the same, and the state legislature would not need to intervene greatly. New Hampshire is ideal like that.

The end result if you lack a minority protection is that the rural minority becomes increasingly isolated, despite controlling the majority of resources.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:12 pm
by San Lumen
San Carlos Islands wrote:
Ostroeuropa wrote:
How purist are you taking this?
Because despite what I just said, even the constituency system has outliers, with some Mps representing only 13,000 voters because of the geographic isolation of the constituency like the Island constituencies (to avoid the impracticality of having a constituency be a bunch of Islands and some of the Mainland, with their vastly differing interests and issues). The overwhelming majority represent about 50,000 though, and those exceptions are few and far between.

You will never get a system that adequately represents people equally, only a rough approximation.


To back this up...

The Isle of Wright constituency (Largest) has 110,697 folks while the Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency (Smallest) has 21,769. I'm not a fan of that.


That is due to population variances.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:13 pm
by Kernen
San Lumen wrote:
United Muscovite Nations wrote:Upper houses aren't meant to represent the majority of people, they are meant to represent minority interests.


In a state like Nevada 75 percent of the population resides in Clark County other 15 percent in Reno. That's 90 percent of the population in two counties out of seventeen. if you went back to the previous system you would have 90 percent of the population being represented by four people out of 34. Thats if you want two senators per county. How could that body claim to have any legitimacy to speak for the majority of the State?

Because the Senate tends to represent the state as a whole and not a narrow band of constituents. As a balance to the populist lower house. Its a balancing of interests.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:13 pm
by San Lumen
Kernen wrote:
San Lumen wrote:
And those urban people are entitled to representation just like a farmer or rancher is. If a area has more people it gets more representation. Its quite a simple concept.

In any system, the dense urban population is going to have a great deal of representation. I doubt that the urbanites will ever struggle to have their voices heard, even considering the effect of increasing representation among rural populations. Again, this is irrelevant if state legislatures would permit a large degree of autonomy to local governments, like New Hampshire does. If New York operated like New Hampshire, the urbanites would self-govern the way they see fit on local issues, and the rural population would do the same, and the state legislature would not need to intervene greatly. New Hampshire is ideal like that.

The end result if you lack a minority protection is that the rural minority becomes increasingly isolated, despite controlling the majority of resources.


What does New Hampshire do regarding local governments? Im not familiar with it.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:13 pm
by San Carlos Islands
San Lumen wrote:
San Carlos Islands wrote:
To back this up...

The Isle of Wright constituency (Largest) has 110,697 folks while the Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency (Smallest) has 21,769. I'm not a fan of that.

No, it's bad district drawing. Why can't a bunch of small constituencies be combined as larger ones are broken up?
That is due to population variances.


Sorry for that.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:14 pm
by San Lumen
Kernen wrote:
San Lumen wrote:
In a state like Nevada 75 percent of the population resides in Clark County other 15 percent in Reno. That's 90 percent of the population in two counties out of seventeen. if you went back to the previous system you would have 90 percent of the population being represented by four people out of 34. Thats if you want two senators per county. How could that body claim to have any legitimacy to speak for the majority of the State?

Because the Senate tends to represent the state as a whole and not a narrow band of constituents. As a balance to the populist lower house. Its a balancing of interests.


And this chamber would likely never change hands and in the case of Nevada is only representing 10 percent of the population

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:15 pm
by Kernen
San Lumen wrote:
Kernen wrote:In any system, the dense urban population is going to have a great deal of representation. I doubt that the urbanites will ever struggle to have their voices heard, even considering the effect of increasing representation among rural populations. Again, this is irrelevant if state legislatures would permit a large degree of autonomy to local governments, like New Hampshire does. If New York operated like New Hampshire, the urbanites would self-govern the way they see fit on local issues, and the rural population would do the same, and the state legislature would not need to intervene greatly. New Hampshire is ideal like that.

The end result if you lack a minority protection is that the rural minority becomes increasingly isolated, despite controlling the majority of resources.


What does New Hampshire do regarding local governments? Im not familiar with it.

New Hampshire's huge House (400 members, an average of 1 representative for every 2000 people) incentivizes local government rule, since its extremely hard to build large blocs in the state government. Planning, zoning, and nearly all taxation are handled on a local government level, usually sub-county.

The result is that the state government only really acts when the state is the only body that can effectively deal with a problem. It is not the first line of legislative defense.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:16 pm
by Kernen
San Lumen wrote:
Kernen wrote:Because the Senate tends to represent the state as a whole and not a narrow band of constituents. As a balance to the populist lower house. Its a balancing of interests.


And this chamber would likely never change hands and in the case of Nevada is only representing 10 percent of the population

Not generally. The interests of the state as a whole tend to diverge from the expressed interests of one concentrated population, but that does not mean that the Senatorial representation is not in the interest of all citizens.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:17 pm
by San Lumen
Kernen wrote:
San Lumen wrote:
What does New Hampshire do regarding local governments? Im not familiar with it.

New Hampshire's huge House (400 members, an average of 1 representative for every 2000 people) incentivizes local government rule, since its extremely hard to build large blocs in the state government. Planning, zoning, and nearly all taxation are handled on a local government level, usually sub-county.

The result is that the state government only really acts when the state is the only body that can effectively deal with a problem. It is not the first line of legislative defense.


As far as I know zoning and planning is largely a local issue in New York as well. I could be wrong though