February 23, 2009

Rotten boroughs are back

The next Census is a year away, and then legislative districts will be redrawn to reflect the new population. A crucial C0nstitutional issue is whether resident non-citizens, including illegal immigrants, should be counted in determining representation.
Some interesting data on rotten boroughs from Craig Russell:

1) In the last election, an average of 301,200 presidential votes* were cast per US House District.

2) In California, the US state with the highest number of immigrants, only 255,900 votes were cast per district.

3) The 22 House members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus averaged only 161,500 votes cast in their districts…

4) The 413 non-CHC US House districts averaged 308,700 presidential votes cast.

5) Of the 10 highest immigration states (by percent), 8 voted for Obama; of the 10 lowest, 9 voted for McCain.

We are told by Obama & Co. how crucial sampling is because an “actual enumeration” (the Constitution’s exact words) would unfairly exclude immigrants. Based on this data they’re already being overrepresented. Is it fair to give a dozen or more House seats (and electoral college votes) to people who aren’t even in this country legally, or who aren’t citizens?

In most states, illegal immigrants are counted in allotting legislative districts, but the highest court to consider the issue said that's wrong:

In the majority opinion of the 1998 7th Circuit federal case "Barnett vs. City of Chicago," Judge Richard J. Posner ruled, "We think that citizen voting-age population is the basis for determining equality of voting power that best comports with the policy of the (Voting Rights) statute. ... The dignity and very concept of citizenship are diluted if non-citizens are allowed to vote either directly or by the conferral of additional voting power on citizens believed to have a community of interest with the non-citizens."

That decision applies only to three Midwestern states, however. The Supreme Court has yet to rule definitively on the issue.

It would seem like if the GOP wanted to bring it up, they'd better do it now.

But, they'd get smeared as racists for mentioning it, so, never mind.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


l. ron hoover said...

Steve, you're nuts for staying up this late (it's 3:30 AM, California time). So am I. Good night.

Anonymous said...

Anything to get the desired result. Basically, if illegals are allowed to vote, or at least influence redistricting, one might as well allow the whole world to vote for Obama, er...the prez. Because if illegals can tilt the elections, then its just a matter of time, money and willpower to get everybody into the US.

Isn't this what Dems are ultimately after?

Henry Canaday said...

Michael Boskin, CEA chief for the first Bush and now back at Stanford and the Hoover Institution, makes essentially the same points Gramm did in a recent Hoover newsletter.

Boskin mentions the oil-price surge as well, probably as determing the timing and severity of the crisis, not its inevitable occurrence. But, of course, it was the timing and severity of the crisis that decided the 2008 election.

I am still trying to figure out how loose money or too-plentiful Chinese lending are supposed to have only cratered one financial sector, housing. These must have been JDAM funds, seeking out bad mortgages with laser-like precision.

Stopped Clock said...

Was Vermont the 10th low-immigration state, the one that voted for Obama? It's the only landlocked blue state east of the Mississippi and it's also pretty small, so it doesn't attract a lot of immigrants.

Anonymous said...

IIRC wasn't it proven(including a congressional investigation) that Bob Dornan lost to Loreta Sanchez due to votes cast by illegals?

Multiculturalism is simply a marketing campaign to implement Brecht's advice to dissolve the people and elect a new one.
People don't realize socialism collapsed 20yrs before communism.
Immigration is about the only thing that kept leftwing parties competitive.

Blair's "New Labour" was a coalition of upper class whites(the New Class)and the ever growing immigrant class against the traditional middle class and WWC(the white working class).

The middle class hasn't figured this out yet,but it appears the WWC is beginning to.

ronald 42 said...

Let's have a dialogue on race, but remember, the attorney general will arrest you if he doesn't like what you have to say. Now, tell us what you think, again...

Craig Russell said...

Was Vermont the 10th low-immigration state, the one that voted for Obama?


California has 85% as many voters in its House districts as the average US district. That means it probably has about 8 more districts (0.15*53=7.95) than it would if representation were based on voting status alone.

A real numbers guy would have to look at it, but my guess is that illegals and non-citizens aren't being undercounted by much if at all, unless the situation in California is even worse than we've been led to believe.

I didn't have time to analyze the data, but in general it looks as if the average House Dem in California has fewer votes cast in his district than the average Republican, even if you excluded CHC-held districts. New York City has the same issue going on - a much smaller number of votes cast per district.

Remember this effects the electoral college as well. George Bush only won in 2000 by 4 votes.

testing99 said...

Steve --

I think you and Holder are both stuck in the past. The reaction to Holder, and Sharpton, and Jackson, all shaking down the NY Post (which is not backing down and relishing the fight) is revealing.

In good times, yeah people would shrink from accusations of racism because it was easier to give a payoff and make the hustlers go away. Just up prices, and go on as before. Margins were good, and all that money was coming in.

NOW ... we have a global economic crisis. There are 20 million unemployed (suddenly) Chinese workers and 70K factories closed. To give you an idea of the depth of the crisis and how much the trade of US money to China in exchange for cheap junk has collapsed.

There is no more money. Gold is up to 1K (or over) per oz, and Gold is a TERRIBLE investment, no interest, storage costs, etc. This means there is no global alternative to Gold, not the Yen, Euro, Dollar, or any government bomd in those currencies.

What we are seeing is the Black Swan. Something that had always been there but was assumed not to exist. Which is the collapse of the Post War system based on American imposed security and international trade, cheap oil prices, and American consumerism fueling foreign industrial production.

It is over because America cannot pay for the foreign goods anymore.

Which makes a brutal spoils system over H1-B visas, Affirmative Action, illegal immigration, and so on the dominant political theme.

Americans elected Obama in part in the view that as "savior" and the Shaman of the electoral alliance of White Women, non-Whites, Gays, and the Gentry (Bill Gates, Bill Ayers) he would "fix" things and usher in peace, harmony, and rainbows. We are already seeing massive pushback on that as Obama can't even arrange simple competence, lacking even the skills of the Dinkins team.

We will never see Jared Taylor's "White Nationalism" but we will see divisions on race, class, and gender on spoils. It will be ugly, brutal, and long, and the largest demographic group, Working Class White Men, will probably emerge victorious, because all the money that papered over dissension is gone.

Add Mexico's probable collapse, and it's a free-for-all. Imagine FDR's policies excluding White Men instead of non-Whites. Because that is where we are headed.

Anonymous said...

Re Bob Dornan:

"Following the narrow defeat, Dornan alleged that Sanchez's winning margin was provided by illegal voting from non-U.S. citizens. A thirteen-month House of Representatives investigation ensued, during which Sanchez was seated provisionally, pending the inquiry. [14]. A task force found that 748 votes had been cast illegally--624 from non-citizens in addition to 124 that had already been thrown out by California officials. This was not enough to overturn Sanchez' margin of victory and she was allowed to keep her seat."

And from the experience of this guy, it looks wise not to bring up the issue:


Anonymous said...

"...if the GOP wanted to bring it up" is right. Sadly that would be appealing to the WRONG people these days. The GOP will be too busy enacting Steele's phat "hip-hop makeover" on themselves to worry about this stuff. Read it and laugh...

The Monster from Polaris said...

Changing to proportional representation, letting each state be a single district, would get rid of this problem as well as gerrymandering. It would also represent voters' opinions better.

Nurse Avalanche said...

European-style proportional representation isn't such a bad thing as long as it's not combined with European-style parliamentary control of the executive. Unfortunately most US proposals for PR involve each demographic being represented in the legislature proportionally, not just each party. So yet again, skin color would be used to determine success.

Mr. Anon said...

"The Monster from Polaris said...

Changing to proportional representation, letting each state be a single district, would get rid of this problem as well as gerrymandering. It would also represent voters' opinions better."

I remember when Lani Guinier (Clinton's first - or was it second - pick for AG) was criticized for having written in favor of proportional representation (PR). At the time, I concurred with that criticism, and perhaps I still do.

However, as you say, PR would give conservatives a real voice which they do not now have. It might be the only way to achieve a viable third party under the current system. However, it would also allow a fourth, fifth, sixth, and nth parth - a mexican nationalist parth, a black nationalist party, a green party, a GLBT party - you name it. It could well cause enough factionalism to finally bring the whole system to come crashing down.

I'm not saying I'd be against it though. As you point out, it has its merits.

Anonymous said...

Under proportional representation the large, mostly liberal states would wind up with several representatives from the very far left. California would send several representatives from the Aztlan Party to Congress, but would Alabama or South Dakota send anyone from the Minuteman Party? SD has only one House seat, so not likely.

In proportional representation there's generally a cutoff. A party has to get 5% or so to be included at all.

I might not mind an Aztlan Party so much. At least their motives would be out front every election for all the world to see. But in general I think a 2 party system works best to pull people towards the middle. People are always free to replace their current rep by defeating him in a primary, if they want to, but for the most part they're too stupid to do so.

There is no system you can make that will deal with the real problem - voter ignorance and apathy.

Anonymous said...

"There is no system you can make that will deal with the real problem - voter ignorance and apathy."

Establishment pols often like to cite this "problem". But it’s a problem which has been created by themselves. The dumbed down the voters deliberately in order to peddle any kind of shit past the citizen. Now they complain the voter is ignorant.
In addition, apathy is often the expression voters show when they deeply disagree with the superficial value systems of a party and there is no viable alternative. What does a paleocon do? Obviously he cannot vote GOP, and voting Dem could only be some kind of stunt. Maybe Constitution party? Perhaps.

togo said...

...But in general I think a 2 party system works best to pull people towards the middle...

It isn't likely to work out so well when the "middle"(i.e. consensus of elite opinion) is as far divorced from reality as it is today.

If the Netherlands had the first-past-the-post system(instead of PR) Geert Wilders will almost certainly be a complete unknown instead of leading a party in the Dutch Parliament. Since left liberalism/cultural Marxism/anti-Western "Multiculturalism" is the CW in today's West PR works in favor of the (genuine) Right.

David said...


the NY Post (which is not backing down and relishing the fight)


In a statement published in the newspaper, Murdoch said he wanted to "personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted." He said the Post will work to be more sensitive.

Btw, what is that cartoon ruckus about, anyway? Clearly the chimp refers to two things:

a. the real one that went nuts and attacked somebody locally - a topical event thoroughly covered by the newspaper and widely discussed in the region of the country from which the Post gets most of its readership; and

b. the well-known (?) joke about how long it would take a monkey to type "Hamlet" by accident, hitting keys at random.

The latter joke is simply a staple among intelligent people. The Post evidently counted on readers to recall it. As in, "Our legislators are idiots, as unlikely to come up with a good bill in a timely way as the monkey is likely to type all of 'Hamlet' (or any major literary work) any time soon."

How a monkey can be linked to black people more readily than it can be linked to the monkey of the old joke, is something best explained by Sharpton and the rest of the complainers. (Whatever happened to "water buffalo"?)

Back OT - doesn't this rotten borough stuff link up with the Obama census of 2010? I'm feeling nostalgia for the 90s. Back then at least, the mantra was "a [fill in the blank] that looks like America." That was decorous. Now the racial spoils fight is open and unashamed.

That's what whites get because - t99's bizarro-world notwithstanding - they aren't defending themselves, at least not in a large way.

clem said...

Establishment pols often like to cite this [voter ignorance and apathy] "problem". But it's a problem which has been created by themselves. The[y] dumbed down the voters deliberately in order to peddle any kind of shit past the citizen. Now they complain the voter is ignorant.

No, it's more than that. From The Fourth R:

"Only one-third of adults can reason formally. That means that two-thirds of the citizens in a democracy cannot understand the more complex issues facing them both in life and in elections."

The problem is not so much a contemporary ignorance which didn't exist in some imagined past Golden Age of Politics. It's rather that two out of every three adults in the civilized world lack the cognitive development to understand the issues they're voting on, even in principle. That's ignorance for sure, but it's not a product of any deliberate "dumbing down" from above, and it's also not a number that could have been higher in the past.

togo said...

Expanding on Clem's point:
Converse considers the issue of constraint early. In attempting to show that Americans have little constraint, he referencd evidence that those who most support expanding the Welfare State are also most likely to advocate lower taxes. Converse believes these two ideas are mutually exclusive, and therefore demonstrate lack of constraint. Furthermore, Converse suggests that while the intellectual and political ‘elite' do display constraint, the vast majority of Americans do not.
Drawing upon the election of Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, and the histories of the Republican Party, Civil Rights, and Nazism, Converse provides a case for his claim that most people have no true political ideology. The voting public displays limited constraint among policy beliefs, only slight understanding of important debates, and a tendency to frequently change opinions.

David said...

clem quoted

"Only one-third of adults can reason formally. That means that two-thirds of the citizens in a democracy cannot understand the more complex issues facing them both in life and in elections."

I'm all for logic and reason (and Mom). However, whenever somebody starts gassing about these things in a pedantic way, he or she invariably ends by giving examples "proving" conservative political positions to be "not logical" while hard-left positions are "logical" and "rational." Funny how that works.

How many such books have I read in which poorly informed arguments in favor of the welfare state or environmentalism or higher taxes or "affirmative action" were upheld as the very models of reasoning? The latest in this unimpressive series is the Robert Reich book from a while back. I think Al Gore wrote one of these, too. "Only liberals are logical" was the upshot.

The only such book that stayed away, mostly, from such special pleading and undistributed middles (I've got the lingo down pat) was Sagan's "Demon-Haunted World." He smuggled in only one or two questionable political conclusions.

Don't the degreed-up suit-and-tie religious folks also claim they are "rational" and "logical debaters"?

Everyone's opponent is irrational.