The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

15 April 2004

Obstacles to democracy

If you saw that title and immediately thought of the US Senate, go to the foot of the class with Richard N. Rosenfeld, who argues in the May Harper's for the abolition of the upper chamber.

Vent #385 takes exception. Several of them, in fact.

Posted at 7:05 AM to Political Science Fiction


I would agree but its seems more and more that the congress, not teh senate is teh source of most of teh harebrained ideas these days, but I admit it seems odd that we have a senate, 2 reps from each state, kinda makes it unbalanced.

Posted by: bruce at 5:24 PM on 15 April 2004

<rolls eyes>

bruce, just because members of the U.S. House of Representatives are called "congressmen" doesn't mean Senators aren't also members of Congress.

Clarity of expression indicates clarity of thought.

Posted by: McGehee at 9:38 AM on 16 April 2004

No good argument for getting rid of the Senate. A very good argument is out there for returning elections of Senators to the state legislatures rather than direct election, which would solve a lot of the problems we have there now.

Posted by: Phil at 10:15 AM on 17 April 2004

Oddly, Rosenfeld considered that Constitutional change to have been an improvement.

I suspect he's persuaded, deep down, that the states don't really matter anymore, that what goes for Alabama should go for Wyoming as well.

Posted by: CGHill at 11:55 AM on 17 April 2004

Megan McArdle said it best, way back in July 2002.

Under simple-majority voting rules, someone who won over 90% of the vote in the 25 largest metro areas in the US could win, even if he won not one single vote outside of them. It's one of the reasons that the senate was created, so that the most populous states did not smother the smaller states. Tyranny of the majority, and all that.

Of course, the article is from Harper's, so it's not surprising that the writer is still hung up on the 2000 election results. Louis Lapham never recovered from the stroke he must have suffered when Bush actually won the election.

Posted by: timekeeper at 4:18 PM on 17 April 2004