Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Election Reform - Women Deserve More Representation in Congress

by laughingcat

Hello all! I floated this idea years ago, most recently in this post at Political Physics and believe it is one of the quickest ways for women to achieve a greater influence in our government and therefore our social policy. Though I have heard many objections (usually from men!) I think this idea has great merit and would break the good old boy system presently strangling our country. In fact, it would open up the public dialogue like few other things, and if we could accomplish this one thing, it would change the course of our country forever, empowering women in every state and eventually every country on Earth.

Part of a several-part plan, it is simple and constitutes true election reform. This proposal brings the makeup of the government more in line with the original intent of our Constitution and restores key elements of our democracy. To implement any part of this proposal would be to upset the entrenched interests now running our government. It is a way to begin to fix a system that seems broken. We certainly need some new ideas about how this government should function. This proposal forever ends the two-party male money monopoly.

Another part of this proposal, "More Congressional Seats opens up the game," outlines the need for more members in the House of Representatives to increase our ability to be represented, and the Constitutional basis for expanding the numbers representing us in Congress. I attracted some interesting feedback from that one, and it seems as though there are other people also directing their efforts at increasing our representation and breaking the power monopoly a few hundred people have to determine the lives and affairs of hundreds of millions of Americans. What follows is key in restoring proper representation to the female majority of our population.

Fair representation for women is in the interests of representative democracy and the enfranchisement of many millions of our citizens who are under-represented. I recall reading somewhere that we once considered an election format for Iraq so that women would be guaranteed a certain percentage of legislative seats. This would supposedly ensure their continued enfranchisement in the Iraqi government and the laws being made.

I believe we should try the same format in our country. Instead of open elections that historically have been dominated by men as a result of favored wealthy connections, I propose that we set aside 1/3 of all seats in the House and Senate for women, 1/3 for men, and 1/3 open races where either gender may compete. At the most skewed, we would have at least 1/3 gender representation, a much more fair proportion than what exists today. I am willing to concede that this proposal may yield some objections, but if true fairness were to be shown, then we would have to reserve about 53% of all seats for women. I'm sure this proposal would yield even more objections.

This point is not about race, or beliefs, or any other "minority" criteria than biological. If we were to designate a decent percentage of legislative seats for the female majority of our population, I have no doubt that there would be some radical changes in the public dialogue about budget priorities and like matters. And I'm willing to guarantee we would have health care reform quicker than the present Congress has ever imagined!


Blogger Thursday Next said...

You get my vote LaughingCat!

11:25 PM  
Blogger Karen M said...

Mine, too!

I also thought it was ironic that the administration wanted a quota for women's representation in Iraq, when we are so underrepresented here.

7:08 AM  

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