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The stupidest system

February 11, 2021

I know I’ve said this before and I’ m sure I’ll say it again after today, but the USA really does have the most ridiculous system of federal government.

I’m saying it today because of Alaska – or rather, looking into Alaska after a conversation I had yesterday.

Last month, following the riot at the Capital Building, Alaskan senator Lisa Murkowski (who did actually vote against confirming a frat boy to the US Supreme Court and has shown more backbone over the past four years – along with Mitt Romney and occasionally the flip flopping Susan Collins – than almost any other Republican senator) hinted that she might, maybe, possibly be considering crossing the aisle.

Murkowski was the only one of the five Republican senators who voted to try the Wankmaggot who is actually up for re-election next year. I wasn’t sure how Wankmaggot-mad Alaska is (this is, after all, the state that gave the world Sarah Palin), how probable it was that Murkowski will be primaried next year by some QAnon loonie, but, as I said to a friend yesterday, if it’s likely she will be replaced by a MAGA head, she should stop hinting and actually do it – cross the floor, switch to the Democrats. What would she have to lose?

After I got off the phone I got on the computer. There are Democrats in Alaska – just not enough.

Last November 52% of voters opted for the Wankmaggot and 42% for Biden – with other candidates accounting for the remaining 6%. (The last time a Democrat won the Presidential vote in Alaska was 1964.)

As far as the state legislature goes, there are 40 representatives (20 Republicans, 15 Democrats and five others) and 20 senators (13 Republican, six Democrats and one other).

None of which is why I am commenting about the stupidity of the federal system. No, it was when I checked to see which parties represent Alaska in the House of Representatives. You know how it works: each state gets two senators, but the number of representatives is based on population. There are currently 435 members of the house of representatives, one of whom is from Alaska.

Turns out there are seven states with only one representative: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota (I’m with Bill Maher – why the hell are there two Dakotas?), Vermont and Wyoming (that would be Liz Cheney).

Between them, these seven states have a population of 5.6 million people. That’s less than 2% of the country’s population. Fitting therefore that they should have less than 2% of the number of seats in the house of representatives. Insane that they should have 14% of the votes in the senate. California and New York, by contrast, have nearly 20% of the population and only 4% of the votes in the senate. That is fucked up.

Throw in the beyond ridiculous electoral college element and you have the stupidest form of “democracy” ever created.

Now I know it sucks if you’re a Conservative in the Prairie provinces of Canada to know that the only way your party can win government is by winning the suburbs of Toronto and Vancouver. (Try being an NDP supporter knowing the only way your party will ever govern is if the majority of the population suddenly developed a social conscience.) But give me that system any day over the nonsense south of the border. Majority rules. The voters have spoken (whether you agree with them or not).

Oh, and Lisa? Just do it. Stand for decency. (Stand for something.) Cross the floor. Give the Democrats a slim but actual majority, so Kamala Harris doesn’t have to live in the Senate for the foreseeable.

From → Columns

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