It’s been far too long since the House expanded to keep up with population growth and, as a result, it has lost touch with the public and been overtaken by special interests. Indeed, the lower chamber of Congress has had the same number of members for so long that many Americans assume that its 435 seats are constitutionally mandated. But that’s wrong: while the founders wanted to limit the size of the Senate, they intended the House to expand based on population growth. . . .The article goes on to outline the cons of the current regime and the advantages of expanding the size of the People's House, effectively arguing that increasing the quantity of representatives and decreasing the size of districts would increase the quality of political representation:
For well over a century, after each census Congress would pass a law increasing the size of the House. But after the 1910 census, when the House grew from 391 members to 433 (two more were added later when Arizona and New Mexico became states), the growth stopped. By the time the next decade rolled around, members found themselves reluctant to dilute their votes, and the issue was never seriously considered again.
The result is that Americans today are numerically the worst-represented group of citizens in the country’s history. The average House member speaks for about 700,000 Americans. In contrast, in 1913 he represented roughly 200,000, a ratio that today would mean a House with 1,500 members — or 5,000 if we match the ratio the founders awarded themselves.
This disparity increases the influence of lobbyists and special interests: the more constituents one has, the easier it is for money to outshine individual voices. And it means that representatives have a harder time connecting with the people back in their districts.Too bad Septimus of the Whig blog has been offline, this was one of his signature issues.
What’s needed, then, is a significant increase in the size of the House by expanding the number, and shrinking the size, of districts. Doing so would make campaigns cheaper, the political value of donations lower and the importance of local mobilizing much greater.
Smaller districts would also end the two-party deadlock. Orange County, Calif., might elect a Libertarian, while Cambridge, Mass., might pick a candidate from the Green Party. Moreover, with additional House members we’d likely see more citizen-legislators and fewer lifers. [Emphasis added.]