Abolish the Senate: End Minority Rule in Legislative and Executive Branches

End of minority rule in our legislative and executive branches.

For southern Cascadia, the Great Compromise, as it was called when it was adopted by the Constitution’s Framers, required that all states, big and small, have two senators. The idea that Rhode Island needed two U.S. senators to protect itself from being bullied by Massachusetts emerged under a system that governed only 4 million Americans.

Today, in a nation of more than 325 million and 37 additional states, not only is that structure antiquated, it’s downright dangerous. California has almost 40 million people, while the 20 smallest states have a combined population totaling less than that. Yet because of an 18th-century political deal, those 20 states have 40 senators, while California has just two. These sparsely populated, states can block legislation supported by a majority of the American people.

The math is even starker when you look at places like Wyoming and Vermont, each of which has fewer people in the entire state (575,000 and 625,000, respectively) than does the Twelfth Congressional District of Michigan, whose efforts are often stymied simply because it is understood that even should a good bill make it through the hyper-partisan House, it will die a quiet death in the Senate because of the disproportionate influence of small states.

The horror and increasing anger as that imbalance in power has become the primary cause of American national legislative paralysis. In primaries, the vocal rump of a minority of obnoxious asses can hold the entire country hostage to extremist views. This insanity has sent true public servants fleeing for the exits. The Electoral College has the same structural flaw. Twice in the past 18 years, we’ve seen the loser of the popular vote become president through the Electoral College formula, which gives that same disproportionate weight to small states, each of which gets two automatic votes for its two senators.

If nothing is done - demographic shifts coming will effectively divide the United States into two countries. In 2050, 70 percent of Americans will be living in just 15 states. That 70 percent will then have 30 senators, and the remaining 30 percent of the people, mainly those living in the smallest and poorest states, will have 70 senators.

There is a solution, however, that could gain immediate popular support: Abolish the Senate.

For any future governing structure in Cascadia to succeed - we must make sure not to make the same mistakes as America did - End Minority Rule in Legislative and Executive Branches. In the meantime, we can do everything we can to try and break down arbitrary and toxic political boundaries and borders - and work towards more representative systems of governance, for both our inhabitants and our region.