The legislatures of this country frankly suck, and this is no secret. For example, polls regularly find more than 75% of their respondents think Congress is not responsive to their voters in any meaningful way.
This is kinda by design.
The designers of the Constitution used the latest political theory to design the best system they could, so it’s not fair to lay the blame for this on them. This one’s totally our fault.
Seriously: the Constitution was written more than 200 years ago; we know hella better ways to design a representative legislature now than they did then.
This could be, oh so much better.
To get a legislature that more accurately reflects the desires of the voters we need to first move from small single-representative districts to larger multiple-representative regions. This would solve two problems we have now: it would eliminate gerrymandering and allow for proportional representation.
Gerrymandering, for those who don’t know, is the practice of shaping electoral districts to give one party an advantage. The United States’ electoral districts are massively gerrymandered. At the moment, it takes a nationwide margin of about 7% for the Democrats to get a majority in the House of Representives (the Senate uses state boundaries, so it’s not subject to gerrymandering).
That’s just absurd.
Proportional representation refers to electoral systems where votes in the legislature are allocated to each Party based on the size of their membership (or voter turnout) as a proportion of the whole electorate.
So make it better already.
What we need, then, is to first move House elections statewide by eliminating Congressional districts entirely.
Boom. No more gerrymandering.
Next, we allocate each Party a number of representatives proportional to their registered membership as a percentage of the total electorate in each state. This would benefit the Democrats in most states, though it would help the Republicans a lot here in California.
Then, the parties can hold their own seperate elections to fill the seats that have been allocated to them.
No more freakin’ primary elections for Congress; the Party elections could be held during the regular fall election with each voter getting the ballot of the Party they were a member of when the representatives were allocated.