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Old 11-11-2009, 09:09 AM
 
1,594 posts, read 3,405,270 times
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The United States Constitution provides that the House of Representatives is divvied up according to population -- that's why California has so many more representatives than Maine. The Senate, on the other hand, gives every state the same number of Senators -- two. Thus each state has an equal voice no matter what its size.

Why shouldn't the Maine Legislature be structured the same way? Currently the Maine Constitution mandates one person-one vote and that's the reasoning behind the state Senate being divvied up by population, as is the House. But why shouldn't each county have an equal voice as well? Currently one of the most common complaints I hear from people and see on this board is that highly populated southern Maine York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties dominates the legislature and sets the laws and policies for the rest of the state. But what if Aroostook County had a voice equal to York County in a state Senate where every county had just two members?

Changing this would require amending the state constitution, which can only be done if the legislature first passes the amendment and it then receives approval in a statewide referendum vote. So this probably won't happen unless the rural areas and small towns of Maine unite regardless of political persuasion to overcome the political power of the cities. But a real grassroots movement in this direction could at lest get a conversation started.

What do you think?
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,443,843 times
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I have felt that the Maine legislature does not equitably speak for the Maine people. The change that I have envisioned is a redistricting so that each senator and representative represents so many people in each different areas of the state.

A representative from Cumberland County would also represent a certain number of people who lived in Aroostook County. It would make it difficult for that representative to cater only to the Portland crowd if he had to face a bunch of people who lived in Ft Kent to justify his voting record.

I also think the size of the legislature should be reduced, but that might be a different thread entire.


Head up the movement to reshape things and I'll join in.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:01 AM
 
Location: The Woods
16,455 posts, read 21,473,314 times
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One man, one vote - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_v._Sims

The SCOTUS forced it on the states. But it had no business doing so, at least when it came to state legislature districting.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:44 AM
 
1,594 posts, read 3,405,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
One man, one vote - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reynolds v. Sims - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The SCOTUS forced it on the states. But it had no business doing so, at least when it came to state legislature districting.
From the first citation:

Quote:
(The US Senate was not affected by these rulings, as its makeup was explicitly established in the US Constitution.)
And if the state constitution made a similar explicit establishment, then SCOTUS would have no grounds for overturning it. As nearly as I can tell, the states affected by the SCOTUS ruling did not make that distinction.
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:03 AM
 
Location: The Woods
16,455 posts, read 21,473,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coaster View Post
From the first citation:



And if the state constitution made a similar explicit establishment, then SCOTUS would have no grounds for overturning it. As nearly as I can tell, the states affected by the SCOTUS ruling did not make that distinction.
No, the states were forced to do "one man, one vote." Many states which had previously had an arrangement like the U.S. Congress (Senate and House) had to rewrite their constitutions.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...838157,00.html
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:56 AM
 
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Thanks for the info, AH. It just escapes me how the Supreme Court can overturn a state constitution that copies the US Constitution in that respect.

Darn.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:04 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,455 posts, read 21,473,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coaster View Post
Thanks for the info, AH. It just escapes me how the Supreme Court can overturn a state constitution that copies the US Constitution in that respect.

Darn.
Tell me about it. They set up a disaster I think. When people have no true voice in their government things can get bad...

There were problems before that too with rigging districts obviously but they went to the other extreme and put rural people at the mercy of the urban population with no effective check on what the urban people do. Hence why Chicago controls IL, NYC controls NY, Seattle has run Eastern WA communities into the ground with their power, the Northeast Kingdom is powerless against Burlington in Vermont, and of course, in ME, Portland and thereabouts controls the state for the most part. They could have allowed states to have something mirroring the U.S. Senate for counties, perhaps, and the House representing by population. They created in the states precisely what the U.S. Senate was supposed to prevent in the federal government. The tyranny of the majority.
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