Is Too Much Initiative A Bad Thing?

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Is Too Much Initiative A Bad Thing?: The Benefits of Using Direct Democracy at the State Level and How We Can Make It Better

Sarah Millard
June 2, 2015
POSC 171
Dr. Collingwood At what point do you pronounce democracy dead? Is it dead only if a totalitarian regime takes control, or could democracy be pronounced dead when it simply has become so watered-down that the public’s participation in political activity is merely tradition or purely for aesthetics? On August 8, 1911, the sixty-second United States Congress enacted Public Law 62-5, also known as the Apportionment Act of 1911. This piece of legislation set the number of members of the United States House of Representatives at 435; that number remains the same to this day. The country has grown since the law officially took effect on March 3, 1913, under the sixty-third United States Congress. Data from the 1910 census total the United States population at 92,228,496. If we divide that population between the 435 members of the House of Representatives, each member would average 212,020 constituents per district. Even that number is far greater than the one Representative for every thirty thousand constituents that Article I, Section 2, clause 3 of the United States Constitution originally guaranteed (U.S. Census Bureau). Data from the 2010 census totals the United States population at 308,745,538. This population size gives Congressional districts on average 709,760 constituents. If the original
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