Recently while scanning through my Facebook page, I came across a New York Times article concerning the size of the US House of Representatives.
Here is the link to the article: Build a Bigger House
The article starts by saying that it has been too long a time since the House of Representatives has grown to accommodate the growing population of America. It states that today a Representative has around 700,000 constituents when in the US Constitution it states that in Article 1, Section 2, Part 3, that "The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand". While the article doesn't specifically state that our current system is unconstitutional, it does imply it. It also outlines a very big problem in ever trying to fix this "problem", which is that Congress it self has to change the rules.
And here is my take:
As with every issue there are some good things and some bad things. The good parts of our current system is that Congress is a small, easy to manage group of people. It is also the system that most Americans are comfortable with. With such a large constituency to represent politicians are more moderate than what they normally would be (not the case in some areas). The bad parts of the current system are that not everyone's voice is heard by their elected officials and there are life time politicians.
To change the system now would be a very difficult thing to do but not impossible. If we are to follow the Constitution word for word then there would be over 10,000 congressional districts around the country. This would open up the possibility to have multiple political parties. Certain areas would elect Green, Libertarian, or Socialist party candidates instead of just Republican or Democratic. This could result in a system like the one in the United Kingdom where there is a coalition government. This system also would require either a new building in Washington D.C. or a new way for Congress to meet.
I wouldn't mind seeing a new system come in to place for two reasons: 1) my vote would more powerful in a district with 30,000 than one with 700,000 and 2) more of the peoples voices would be heard. However, there are some down sides. One being that if a large enough number of districts elected a Socialist representative they could pull the country to the left. I am sure that there are many more unforeseen benefits and consequences of having this system.