Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Steve Landsburg creativity on restructuring

senatorial representation:
  • Divide senatorial constituencies according to the alphabet, so that instead of a senator from Alaska and a senator from Wisconsin, we’ll have a senator for everyone whose last name begins with AA through AE. The point being that it’s easy to think up earmarks and pork barrel projects that will benefit the citizens of Alaska at everyone else’s expens, but not so easy to think up pork barrel projects that will benefit everyone whose last name happens to begin with Q.
  • Give each voter two votes to cast in every senatorial election. You get one vote to cast in your own state and one to cast in the state of your choice.

    Again, this forces senators to answer to broader and more diverse constituencies, diluting the power of localized special interests.

  • This one’s not in the book but should have been: Give each senator a personal budget so that once he;s voted for $X billion worth of spending, he’s not allowed to vote for any more spending until he gets re-elected. This pits his various sub-constituencies against each other, so that the New York Senator who lobbies for subsidies to New York City is sure to get a negative earful from upstate.

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