Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Filibuster Follies Update

Commenter Chris D. writes the following:

As far as the filibuster goes, I've always argued for what I call the "popular filibuster." Each Senator is assigned the value of the number of votes he or she won in the last election. Cloture can then be invoked with a simple majority of Senators who also represent 50%+1 of the total vote votes cast for of all the Senators in their last election. So, then you are assured of a majority of Senate as well as popular support for cloture. Tell me that wouldn't shake the Senate up a bit. I've never met a fellow Democrat or even a Republican who doesn't like the idea. Tonight, I'll test this against yesterday's vote. I'll let you know what I get. And, to think, my parents didn't know what I'd do with a political science degree.

Great idea, Chris. If you credit each Senator for 1/2 of his or her state's population, the 49 Senators voting to end the filibuster represent nearly 160 million people (based on the 2000 Census--no interdecadal redistricting allowed here at PolySigh). That compares to only 108 million people represented by the 47 Senators voting against. There you have it, democracy inaction.

1 comment:

Chris D. said...

Wow! You got some speedy supercomputer back there at PolySigh HQ. I'm glad to see my assumption was backed up by the data. I considered the 50% of state population approach, which is probably truer to the implied Constitutional intent for the Senate.

My only goals in using electoral numbers were to...

A) provide a rolling update of popular input on various national issues as reflected in the election of 1/3 of the Senate every two years, and
B) push the parties and Senate candidates toward maximizing-- rather than suppressing--turnout, which is essential given the Constitutional duties of the Senate.

But, that's a bit of a stretch.