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Fair Representation Act

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Our electoral rules stink. Let’s change them.


Here’s the bottom line. Our single-member, winner-take-all approach to elections might have worked okay during a period of low polarization, when parties were overlapping coalitions, when more places had genuine two-party competition, and when voters were sometimes willing to support candidates from the other party.


But those things are in the past now. Our electoral rules are now gasoline for the current conflagration of partisan polarization. Because the polarization is primarily ethnocultural and therefore geographical, congressional districts and most states are safe for one party or the other. But in almost every national election, the balance of power in Washington is up for grabs.


I have been meaning to start this topic for a while and some people have asked for it. I finally ran across this vox article about some of the changes being proposed now that could actually move our system toward this.

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Interesting article. I'd like the idea - proportional voting.


This is an amazing stat:

In the United States, the vast majority of congressional seats are solidly safe for one party or the other. It’s still early, but as of April 21, the Cook Political Report lists only 5 out of 435 congressional races as “tossups,” and puts only an additional 19 races in its next closest category — “leaning” toward one party or the other. In other words, only about one in 20 Americans lives in a place that appears likely to have a competitive House election.

This is not new. Since the 1980s, consistently about three in four incumbents have won with at least 60 percent of the vote. In other words, these races are not even close.


and this


What about gerrymandering — the cause of much Democratic handwringing, not to mention lawsuits? It’s exaggerated. No doubt, the Republican redistricting following the 2010 census has given Republicans a notable advantage in translating votes into seats. But as long as we have single-member districts, and as long as Democrats concentrate in cities while Republicans live outside of the cities, any attempt to redraw districts to make them competitive would require awkwardly connecting slices of city to far-flung patches of country in ways that look even stranger and uglier than the current gerrymanders. Such redistricting would also break apart many identifiable communities

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