Read the Constitution | Letters to the Editor | Indy Week
Pin It

Read the Constitution 

I read "The Vanishing Voter" (cover story, Aug. 16) with considerable interest. I've been involved in electoral reform movements for 20 years, including serving for most of that time on the national executive of the Electoral Reform Coalition (ERC) in New Zealand. The ERC led the campaign to change the voting system for the Parliament of New Zealand from winner-take-all to proportional representation.

I'm writing for two reasons.

First, I'm glad to see more writers and columnists in the United States focusing on the failure of democracy in the U.S. to deliver any semblance of accountability or choice. Secondly, you appear to make the claim that the U.S. Constitution mandates winner-take-all voting for single-member districts for the House. This is a common belief, but reading the Constitution doesn't support it. No method of elections is specified for the House.

The Constitution does specify minimum numbers of representatives for some small states, but does not say how they might be elected. A form of proportional representation could be implemented with some cooperation between state and federal lawmakers, which would be entirely consistent with the Constitution.

The method of elections is defined in federal statutes linked to state laws, but these are laws and can be changed by legislatures.

Americans who wish to know more about Americans seeking electoral reform can look at www.fairvote.org, the Web site of the nonpartisan Center for Voting and Democracy.

Steve Withers
New Zealand

Latest in Letters to the Editor

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Letters to the Editor



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Please, Mr. Keen, inform us on what kind of person Hilary Clinton is. But please leave out the innuendo, unsupported …

by GorSun on Smug Revisionism (Letters to the Editor)

Thank you cleverweist1 and Cristel Gutshchenritter Orrand for the opportunity to stand up for what I believe in as a …

by half full on A Massive Scar (Letters to the Editor)

Mr Pollock makes some good points .
Noam Chomsky and Ron Paul have similar views on wars we have waged …

by CHHS Tiger on History you won't like either (Letters to the Editor)

Sadly, this letter, while well-meaning, is deeply flawed. The background check gun control law has failed but it can never …

by ProudlyUnaffiliated on No new gun laws! (Letters to the Editor)

For the life of me, I do not understand why folks keep yelling about their 2nd Amendment rights as though …

by cityfox on No new gun laws! (Letters to the Editor)

Comments

Please, Mr. Keen, inform us on what kind of person Hilary Clinton is. But please leave out the innuendo, unsupported …

by GorSun on Smug Revisionism (Letters to the Editor)

Thank you cleverweist1 and Cristel Gutshchenritter Orrand for the opportunity to stand up for what I believe in as a …

by half full on A Massive Scar (Letters to the Editor)

Most Read

  1. Recounting Him Out (Peripheral Visions)
  2. Safe Spaces (Letters to the Editor)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation