Let’s talk numbers this time. First, a brief discussion about the houses of Congress. They stink.

 

Haha. That’s another post altogether. This time, we’ll be discussing how their numbers are chosen. In the end, it will tie into the electoral college, I promise.

 

The House of Representatives is composed of representatives based on the number of people living in a state. So, the large states have more representation in this house.

 

To balance this, they created a bicameral (meaning two houses) legislature (meaning the law making body of the government), with, in addition to the House of Representatives, the Senate that has two representatives for each state, no matter the size.

 

In reality, the big states were happy to not have a Senate. They were fine and dandy with railroading the small states. But, logic prevailed, and the bicameral won the day, thank goodness.

 

There is also the concept of length of terms. The House is supposed to have its proverbial finger on the pulse of the nation. Thus, every two years, the passions of the nation are made known by the election of those in the House. Or, ya know, it shows us how many people actually care enough to vote, especially when it’s not a presidential election year. (Hint: our framers would have a FIT if they knew how few people voted – and how fewer actually voted with accurate knowledge of the issues).

 

For the Senate, it was supposed to be made up of more thoughtful and longer-serving types of representatives. They are only up for election once every 6 years, and so have a couple of election cycles to not have to worry about campaigning. This is supposed to allow them to focus on the legality of the legislation they are passing. (Okay, take a minute to stop laughing…I know only a handful of them have worried about that in the past 60-100 years…)

 

They started out being picked by the state legislatures, so they were SUPPOSED to focus on the needs of the entire state. This changed with the 17th amendment and the Senate has become more prone to the whims of the electorate since, because they are now chosen by the one vote per citizen system. You’ll see later why this is so messed up. Hang in there!!

 

One-third of the representatives in the Senate are chosen every two years, so there is never a time when EVERYONE is a newbie. This sounds like a great idea…until no one knows how to function properly. Imagine there is an impeachment trial going on, and then everyone gets voted out. How are the new guys supposed to know what’s going on, who knew what and when…it would be a huge problem, to say the least.

 

Next up: other options for voting in the Pres and VP, and how this blog ties in with the electoral college. It’s going to be riveting! 😉