Never mind the futility of explaining proportional representation (or, for that matter, the existence of the Senate) to Chuck Norris; this insanity gives me the chance to root for a an idea that I certainly didn’t invent but have been in favor of for quite some time now: Increasing the size of the House. The arguments are many, but I do find it interesting that the UK House of Commons, while not proportionally representational, has 646 members. Each member of the Australian House of Representatives represents between 59,000 and 120,000 citizens – compared to the US’ average of 693,000.
693,000. Each representative “represents” almost 700,000 citizens. No wonder it’s easier to just listen to the biggest donor; increasing the size of the House wouldn’t ensure populism but it’d at least tend to cut down on the groupthink.
We currently have 435 representatives – 535 members of Congress – for a population of 300 million Americans. When Augustus cut the Roman Senate from 900 to 600, 300 million was the population of the entire world.
It’d take 7500 representatives to meet the proportions present at the establishment of the House. That’s probably a bit high. But maybe doubling the current size would be a good start.
(I know the above-named legislative bodies are not entirely analogous, for the record.)