Harvard political theorist Danielle Allen thinks we can solve some of our partisan differences and “renovate our democracy” by expanding the House of Representatives. She makes her case here. A taste:
Why this one renovation above all others? Four reasons:
For starters, with today’s high ratio of lawmakers to residents, representatives are too removed from their constituents. Constituent services are strained. Smaller districts would mean better responsiveness, which would align with the principle of popular sovereignty.
Relatedly, Congress has a much larger budget to track and manage, and many more agencies to review, than it did a century ago. More House members would make for more effective legislative oversight of the executive branch. That aligns with the principle of republican safety.
Third, the smaller the district, the less expensive the campaign, and the less politicians will be dependent on donors, instead of the people, as the principle of due dependence requires.
Fourth, a bigger House with smaller districts would enhance equal protection and inclusivity. More seats would mean more shots; smaller districts would give candidates from minority groups and nontraditional backgrounds a more feasible path to electoral victory.
Read the entire piece here.
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