Wednesday, December 06, 2006

From Cato: term limits and a lottery

Edward H. Crane is the President of Cato, a libertarian think-tank. In the November/December 2006 issue of the Cato Policy Report, he writes about our "congresscritters," as he refers to them. Crane argues we should strive for term limits, "particularly in the House of Representatives." He also states that he would "prefer a lottery to the system we have now."

An interesting concept this lottery, although Crane doesn't say why a lottery of 435 for a nation of 300 million would be called representation. And the idea of a lottery, like term limits, is not found in the US Constitution. What is found in the Constitution concerning the US House of Representatives is a representation ratio that "shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand." The lack of any discussion of the constitutional ratio or the number of Representatives should be noted.

Crane also makes this point: "Congress today ignores the Constitution, which should be the basis for our rule of law."

Yes - following the Constitution is the basis of our rule of law, and that can only begin with a constitutional House representing We the People. What is called for today, constitutionally speaking, is a new US House of Representatives based on the representation ratio found in the Constitution - "The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand."

But hey - what are the chances of that?

(Bonus: if it were a lottery, why would randomness give us good representation? Didn't James Madison and the founders advocate virtue?)


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