Thursday, July 11, 2013

THE RESULT OF COLORADO'S SECESSION HISSYFIT COULD BE A LESS DEMOCRATIC STATE

A month ago, I told you about efforts by some Colorado counties to secede from the state, because the county commissioners don't like recent the pro-environment laws and gun ordinances. Now people seem to be talking about this again:
There's a growing effort to create a 51st state out of parts of northeast Colorado and southwestern Nebraska.

Ten counties started talking about seceding last month. Now some people in Lincoln and Cheyenne counties say they want to join a new state they'd call "North Colorado," reports CBS Denver station KCNC-TV....

The secessionist movement is the result of a growing urban-rural divide, which was exacerbated after this year's legislation session, where lawmakers raised renewable energy standards for rural electric co-ops, floated bills increasing regulations on oil and gas and passed sweeping gun control....
Hmmm -- I was reading a couple of days ago that a secession effort was appearing less likely -- but that doesn't mean that the secessionist wannabes are through pouting about the fact that sometimes you wind up on the losing side in a democratic system:
Fervor for a plan to carve northeastern Colorado into a 51st state has been cooled by legal barriers and a lack of public support, but commissioners from rural counties say they're not done fighting for better representation of their citizens.

... the counties now are contemplating the Phillips County Proposal, which would change the way state House districts are represented at the Capitol....
The Phillips County Proposal? What's that?
... the Phillips County plan ... would base state House or Senate representation on area instead of population, a move that can be done through a bill in the state Legislature or, if that doesn't work, through a citizen initiative.

It would be similar to Congress, in which the House of Representatives is based on population but the Senate has two senators from every state regardless of their population.

Currently, both Colorado's House and Senate are based on population, which gives heavy sway to the needs and values of those who live along the Front Range, Schafer said.
Yes, it does give heavy sway to those people -- because there are more of them. It's called "democracy." But right-wingers don't believe in democracy when the consequence of democracy is that they're not the dominant group. Instead, they whine about secession, then demand an anti-democratic reworking of the legislation, as their fallback position.

I can't find an up-to-date source that compares Colorado's counties by both size and population, but you can go here to see the rankings as of 2000. At that time, Denver County was the most populous county in the state, but it ranked 63rd out of 64 counties in terms of size. According to the secessionists' plan, I guess Denver County would have the second-smallest state Senate delegation, even though it's the state's most populous county (or, now, the second-most populous).

If you like the U.S. Senate, where Wyoming and California have the same number of senators even though California's population is 66 times the population of Wyoming, you'll love this plan.

If the secessionists were being honest, they'd just call for the disenfranchisement of all liberals and Democrats. That's what they really want, because they don't believe we're Americans.

11 comments:

Paul said...

Just like the jackwagons in Eastern Oregon/Washington. Even though their very existence would be tenuous without the tax subsidies from the big cities to the west, they whine about not getting their way and block laws in the big cities that wouldn't even affect them.

Superfluous Man said...

A lot of states used to have senates with one senator per county. In Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County's 2 million people had 1 senator, and counties that were mostly state forest and were home to 2,000 people each had a senator.

The U.S Supreme Court threw out such county-based and acreage-based representation several decades ago.

Victor said...

And the Originalists on our Supreme Court, if this area tried to form it's own state, or reapportion the vote, and it ended up in the courts, would fall back on this (from the Wiki, on 'Voting Rights'):
"When the country was founded, in most states, only white men with real property (land) or sufficient wealth for taxation were permitted to vote. Freed slaves could vote in four states. Unpropertied white men, women, and all other people of color were denied the franchise."

So, if you rent, you might not be allowed to vote - or have your vote reduced to 3/5th's of a home/condo/coop-owner, farmer, or rancher.

I'm kidding, of course.
I hope...
Too many things that I once thought were jokes, have come to fruition.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Abolish the senate.

Rick Massimo said...

"Fervor for a plan to carve northeastern Colorado into a 51st state has been cooled by legal barriers and a lack of public support ..."

Oh, is that all? We can overcome those petty obstacles by COMPLAINING LOUDER!

Buford said...

I don't know how it is everywhere else but, the County Commissioners in our county believe themselves to be omnipotant...they only do for their supporters, and then punch the hippies...

Rick Massimo said...

I mean, seriously - I presume the rest of Colorado would have to approve of this separation. And I know the rest of the country would have to approve of taking them on as a new state. Do these super-patriots even realize the most basic rudiments of how their country works?

Palli said...

Secession and the formation of "new" states may be the only way to get new Republican Senators.

Yellow Dog said...

This is the representation Molly Ivins used to call "one cow, one vote."

Back when we had a Supreme Court majority of judges rather than extremist ideologues, the Supreme Court declared any plan that was not one man, one voter unconstitutional. I don't see the current court having any problem disenfranchising urban populations.

Steve M. said...

I agree with that, Yellow Dog. I can easily imagine the Roberts Court rejecting Court precedent on this.

neroden@gmail said...

Baker v. Carr and several subsequent cases threw out all the "area-based" undemocratic state senate allocations.

The current corrupt Roberts court might approve of such things, but I don't think the People would tolerate it.

The People are getting pretty angry about the US Senate's malapportionment already. The nine largest states have HALF of the national population... and 18% of the Senate seats.

The fact that these states are split 50-50 between red and blue is preventing this from becoming a huge political issue, but when Texas turns blue, as demographers expect it to, it will become an enormous issue.

Around the same time, other trends (basically, GOP nastiness) are going to turn Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio blue again, along with NC and Virginia, and then the malapportionment of the Senate will become an unavoidably obvious sign of lack of democracy.

Of course, by then democracy may have been abolished entirely in favor of the Imperial Presidency.... sigh...