TLDR: The Projection Racket (Part 2)


This is a short-form summary of our long-form note The Projection Racket (Part 2), located here. While it attempts to present the most accurate picture of the arguments made, we always think that the long-form note provides the most helpful context.

  • In any representative democracy (RD), your vote is never your full expression of political self-determination.
  • In an RD like America’s, which subdivides the country into units and awards elections to the single highest vote-getter in each, your vote is even further away from a pure expression of your political will. For many, it means that their vote will never have a shred of influence over any federal position.
  • That’s true for the House, Senate, and through the Electoral College, the Presidency.
  • These were reasonable compromises of our political self-determination that made sense. Maybe you disagree. It is moot. They no longer make sense.
  • The first-past-the-post (FPTP) and winner-take-all (WTA) structures of our electoral system have been catalyzed by three developments into unacceptable compromises: (1) the shift in government to federal and presidential power, (2) the dilution of congressional representation and (3) the emergence of the Widening Gyre.
  • The shift in government power to national government and the presidency increases the number and importance of the issues now subject to the abstractions in our vote for national office caused by FPTP and WTA.
  • The limitation of the growth of the House of Representatives changes the fundamental nature of our representation, exacerbating the two-party entrenchment under FPTP and WTA.
  • The Widening Gyre – our term for a stable equilibrium defined by progressive political polarization on the dimension of party – further entrenches the existing parties, makes new party emergence nearly impossible and makes the average voter more distant from the viable electoral options accessible with their vote.
  • The Process to BITFD is one which secures the removal of FPTP, the removal of WTA and the removal of our progressive dilution in the House of Representatives.
  • The path to BITFD is difficult. As the Brits say, turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. As Miranda’s Hamilton says, if there’s a power you’re trying to douse, you can’t put it out from inside the house.
  • So we don’t. We do it from the bottom up and from the inside out. And we start with a national movement to ratify the Constitutional Apportionment Amendment, an amendment which has already been approved by congress and requires only 27 additional state ratifications, and which reduces the maximum size of each congressional district to 50,000 citizens.
  • By shrinking the size of the district to 50,000 citizens from 760,000, we permit the emergence of new parties, outsiders, dissenters within parties on a scale that will necessarily eliminate any true majority in the House.
  • The rest of the necessary remedies, including the transition to full proportional representation AND the removal of the WTA features of the Electoral College, can be pursued either through coordinated powerbrokering in the House of Representatives or through the now-established channels for marshaling action through state legislatures.
  • It won’t be easy. It isn’t THE way. But if you want to end two-party hegemony, the slow degradation of your right to self-determination AND the Widening Gyre, this is A way.


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