The Senate was designed by slavers, to benefit slavers, to make the abolition of slavery impossible. Madison designed the Senate to obstruct the People's House and concentrate power, removing predatory elites from control by and accountability to the riff-raff. It worked! Self enrichment through slavery was preserved for 93 years after it was in 1772. When Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860, slavers lost control of the government and revolted rather than agree to peaceful democratic reform. Control has always been more important to predatory capitalists than democracy through cooperative power sharing. Slaver design of the Senate and the Electoral College survived the Civil War. Madison's design and attitude still persists. Watch . Moscow Mitch, , his attitude the same as his ancestors, doesn't believe in the concepts of power sharing, or collaborative democracy; he believes in 100% control. The US Senate has evolved into the .
The means to control are through distortions in representation, concentrated power through legislative levers and election design.
Nowhere are the various distortions in representation, power and election design in the United States more evident than the US Senate. The Senate is the most distorted form of legislative representation in the world. Demographic trends are making these distortions worse over time. This is further exacerbated by using the Senate to give small population states huge added advantages of distorted vote counting in the Electoral College formula.
Distortions in representation and power from .
• Wyoming, (pop. 578,759) has the same number of Senators as California (pop. 39,512,223). California has 68.3 times as many people as Wyoming. One Californian thus has 1.46% of the voting clout in Senate elections as someone living just a few hundred miles to the east.
• Since a majority of Americans now live in just nine states, they wind up with just eighteen votes while the minority holds eighty-two, a ratio of better than four to one.
• Thanks to the Senate’s bizarre filibuster rules, forty-one senators representing less than 11 percent of the population can prevent any bill from even coming to a vote.
• Thanks to the requirement that proposed constitutional amendments be approved by at least two-thirds of each house, thirty-four senators from states representing just 5 percent of the population can veto any constitutional change, no matter how minor.
• The same goes for treaties, which also require two-thirds approval.
• The Senate “hold” system is even more unjust. It allows a single senator representing as little as one citizen in a thousand to stall a bill or executive appointment almost indefinitely.
• with a higher population than Wyoming do NOT have two US Senators.
• Washington with a higher population than Wyoming has zero representation in the Senate.
Identify, acknowledge and remedy: all distortions in representation, all distortions that concentrate power and exclude people, and all distortions in vote counting.
I'm planting seeds. I doubt any of the following remedies I'm proposing will happen in my lifetime.
The cure for distorted representation is fair, accurate representation.
The cure for concentrated power is dispersed power.
The cure for exclusion is inclusion.
The cure for distortions in vote counting are systems designed to include every vote in outcomes and retain voter intent throughout the vote counting process.
in Multi Member Districts is the most effective method of achieving dispersed power, inclusive government, accurately preserving voter intent. Proportional Representation = Fair Representation.
Acknowledge the distortions in representation, concentration in power and distortions in vote counting.
Abolish the Senate.
Change Congress to a unicameral legislature.
Disperse power by expanding the House 3 times the size (its been frozen in size since 1929).
Use a (MMP) system, selected using (STV) vote counting in districts that extend over state lines.
No Constitutional Amendment Needed
The problems with the 1) the US Senate, 2) the Electoral College, 3) the Presidency and 4) the Supreme Court are all rooted in the same common issues:
a) "Concentration of Power", the flip side of the coin being "Exclusion of the Majority" from decision making,
b) a nearly complete lack of accountability by people in office to the electorate, and
c) distortions in the appointment/election process.
The branch that suffers the least from Concentration of Power, Lack of Accountability and Electoral Distortions is the US House of Representatives, accountable every two years. Even though the House suffers less from these shortcomings, there are still plenty of problems, it’s just a matter of degree.
How do we introduce democracy, dispersed power, accountability and remove some of the distortions in the appointment/election process to Moscow Mitch? The process of succession has been modified in the past, . Further conditions to succession can be enacted through legislation.
"The vice president of the United States is designated as first in the presidential line of succession by the Article II succession clause, which also authorizes Congress to provide for a line of succession beyond the vice president; it has done so on three occasions. The current Presidential Succession Act was adopted in 1947, and last revised in 2006.”
"The line of succession follows the order of: vice president, speaker of the House of Representatives, president pro tempore of the Senate, and then the eligible heads of federal executive departments who form the president's Cabinet.” Current third in line of succession is president pro tempore of the Senate, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Grassley is not the most powerful member of the Senate, the Senate Majority Leader is, Moscow Mitch.
would solve this problem nicely. A governing coalition would be jointly involved with the appointment process, with greater levels of accountability to the members of the coalition, with less concentrated power. Right now, that's not likely to happen.
Moscow Mitch embodies unaccountable, concentrated power; he’s a petty dictator, #2 only to Pee Brain. A bill could be written that offices with national importance need national consent from the governed. The top two individuals are elected nationally, using distorted vote counting through the Electoral College. The next two most important, most powerful offices, with national implications with their positions in line of succession, should also derive their power from the consent of the governed, the Senate President (redefined to encompass the Senate Majority Leader’s duties) and the House Speaker. Both positions could use a dose of democracy, subject to national election, using Range aka . National elections would be held for Senate President and House Speaker every two years on the first Tuesday of even years.
Winners with the highest score would be in the middle, gathering support from a wider range of the electorate than the current House Speaker and Senate President/Senate Majority Leader.
• The House Speaker and the new Senate President would still be powerful positions, but would have far more accountability to the electorate and not be occupied by party extremists on either end of the political spectrum.
• The appointment/election process to positions of national importance and power would be much more fair.
• Electing the Senate President and House Speaker by Score Voting would pave the way to elimination of the Electoral College, by demonstrating a much fairer method of conducting national elections.
Another option would be introducing Proxy Voting familiar to anyone who owns stocks in corporations. The more shares a stockholder owns, the more shares they can vote. Each Senator could cast as many votes for or against measures in the Senate, as votes they received in their election. Keep two Senators from Wyoming and two from California, but mitigate the distortion in representation by making their votes relative to the number of people they truly represent. That removes the bias favoring rural Senators.
Abolish the Senate, Adopt a Unicameral House
- Jesse Kumin
Abolish the Worst Deliberative Body in the World