Change the Senate

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The U.S. Senate is the most undemocratic legislative body in the world, and one of the most dysfunctional. What can be done?

A strictly representative Senate would result in one senator representing multiple states, probably not acceptable. The states could be divided into cohorts depending on population. A two-cohort system with one senator for the smaller states and two for the larger would give 75 senators. A three-cohort system of one for the 16 smallest states, two for the 17 medium-sized states and three for the 17 largest states would give 99 senators, close to the present number. A four-cohort system would give 123 senators. This system would still result in the smaller states being overrepresented and the larger ones underrepresented, but it would be a step in the right direction.

Although a constitutional amendment would be required to change the composition of the Senate, something has to be done. The present Senate is undemocratic, unrepresentative and a standing joke. It is also an embarrassment to the rest of the world. How can the United States preach democracy with the most unrepresentative legislature in the world?

HAROLD CRAMER
Bethel Park

 


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