Representation

Representation

OP-ED

         CA has 53 and TX has 36 Congressman while half of our states have fewer than 5! CA has 53 times the power of 7 states, and 27 times the power of 12 states. TX equals the combined power of 16 states! CA equals 22 states! The Valentine Constitution partially remedies the imbalance of power between the states by mandating a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 25 representatives per state. Only two states, CA and TX, would lose any Representatives.

         Our founding fathers would never have allowed the vast disparities of power between the states today. For their time balance was achieved by the equal allocation of 2 Senators per state regardless of population, and Representatives by population since populations were similar. In 1780 they never foresaw the huge differential in power we have now but rather presumed that the states would always be closely equal in power. The binding agreement that united our states depended on the states being equal in power and authority, and was contractually and verbally agreed to by all involved in a rare display of solidarity, as proven in the documents and discussions of the day, and numerous Supreme Court decisions since. NONE of our founding fathers would be OK with 27:1 or even 18:1 ratios, let alone 53:1 and 36:1 disparities! The only disagreement in 1787 was on extending equality to future states. The Constitutional Convention voted 9 to 2 for giving new states LESS power than existing states, not more, and why the state-equality clause never made it into our Constitution. This provision of The Valentine Constitution partially redresses this unconstitutional and dangerous imbalance of power by guaranteeing each state a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 25 representatives regardless of population.

         Should the exploitation of natural resources be rewarded? California and Texas have no water yet their power in Congress allows them to steal water from far less powerful disenfranchised states? Should states be rewarded for allowing a flood of illegal immigrants to go unabated decade after decade to make themselves more powerful by adding Representatives with every increase in their population, and then use that congressional power to put our country in the precarious position of running out of water. These states fail to enforce our immigration laws. As a result overpopulation causes more congestion, more traffic, more pollution, fewer jobs, higher rents, and less water. Environmental and financial stewardship is precisely the point of equal state power. Rewarding overpopulation and poor water stewardship is a mistake. These irresponsible states need to be reeled in, just as our founders would want us to. Our forebearers never foresaw that much power in the hands of one state. These things do not happen when we follow our constitutional foundations and maintain a democratic balance of power.

         Should CA and TX be rewarded for allowing a flood of illegal immigrants to go unabated decade after decade adding Representatives with every increase in their population, and then using that congressional power to steal water from far less powerful disenfranchised states? These states fail to enforce our immigration laws and allow overpopulation to cause congestion, traffic, more pollution, fewer jobs, higher rents, and less water. Environmental and financial stewardship is precisely the point of equal state power. Rewarding overpopulation and poor water stewardship is a mistake. These irresponsible states need to be reeled in, just as our founders would want us to, but we can’t. Our forebearers never foresaw that much power in the hands of one state. These things do not happen when we follow our constitutional foundations and maintain a democratic balance of power.

         The argument in favor of this huge discrepancy in power is that apportioning Representatives by population allows each voter to be equally represented. But are they? Does a ten square block area of Manhattan deserve as much voting power as the entire state of Alaska, or Montana, or North or South Dakota, or Delaware or Vermont? No, especially since gerrymandering will be prohibited and instead people in proximate geographies with shared issues will be represented together under The Valentine Constitution. It is reasonable to think that two contiguous districts in New York or San Francisco could indeed share one Representative since they share the same concerns, while it’s absurd to think that all the people in a state as large as Alaska are adequately represented by their one Congressman. This is precisely why our founders all agreed on equal power among states, and created Senators to take a national perspective, and Representatives to take the local perspectives of each district. In States with only one district, their Representatives are prevented from taking a local perspective in conflict with the vision of our founders.

         Only CA and TX will lose while 20 states gain slightly equalizing the balance of power among states as intended by the founders. Populous states will still have a huge preponderance of power in Congress and in electing Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, and national referendums and amendments.

THE MATH

Hawaii, Idaho, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island                        + 4     +20 total

Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont + 3     +18 total

Nebraska, New Mexico, West Virginia                                               + 2      + 9 total

Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah                           + 1     + 7 total

Washington DC gets 2                                                                         + 2      + 2 total

California 25 – 53 or                                                                                      – 28 total

Texas 25 – 36 or                                                                                             – 11 total

New York and Florida 25 – 27 or – 2 each                                                      – 4 total

Total seats gained: 54 – 43 =                                                                        + 13 total

Total Representatives from                                                              435 + 13 =  448