Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Totally Impractical Epiphany about Resolving the Vote Disparity Issu

So we’re a small group of political junkies, and John Campbell reminds us that to settle the vote disparity issue for good like the Supreme Court wants the Diet to do, prefectural borders would have to be disregarded in redesigning the districts. (Assume for the sake of argument that switching to a proportional system is not a viable option.) I note that one way to get around this problem would be to expand the size of the Diet houses indefinitely in order to accommodate the constitutional need for equal representation. John’s reminded me that public opinion and political discourse were running in the other direction.

It was then that I had my epiphany: Give each prefecture a number of seats positively correlated with its population. Fix that as it currently is, for that matter. Next, give each prefecture voting rights in proportion to its population. Finally, divide those voting rights equally between the Diet members of that prefecture. This means that some Diet members, specifically from the currently underrepresented metropolitan prefectures, will be more equal, proportionately, than their peers from the boondocks. And of course no one is going to lose his/her seat through redistricting. And at the end of the day, isn’t the most important thing at stake for these solons?

I know, I know, this will never happen. But if you’re thinking of setting up a new sovereign state, adopting it would remove a potential source of much conflict.

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