Thursday, October 8, 2009

More Congressman?! Maybe it's not such a bad idea

Interesting article from Jonah Goldberg at National Review about expanding the size of the House of Representatives.

The current number of representatives, 435, was made law by congress with the passage of Public Law 62-5 on August 8th, 1911. Since then, the population of the United States has grown from 92,228,496 people in the 1910 census to approximately 306,000,000 in 2007. Yet despite this enormous population growth the amount of representatives has remained stagnant. I agree with Mr. Goldberg that it is time we explore the idea of increasing the number of members of the House of Representatives. As he points out, the additional seats would allow the smaller parties ,such as the Libertarian and Green parties, to get some of their own into the legislature. This would affect lawmaking in a real, tangible way and perhaps even inspire other parties to form.

Adding more seats is also a better solution than term limits when it comes to injecting fresh thinking into the legislative process, as term limits have the undesired effect of removing both poor and exceptional public servants alike. While I too have questions concerning cost and logistics (all of these people aren't fitting in the Capitol) it is definitely a conversation worth having and I hope it gains some traction.

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