It seems as though California is struggling with the way that states are represented in Congress. They feel that because they have more people in their state, it entitles them to both more representatives and more senators.
The Articles of Confederation were written to provide equal representation. It ensured that small states and large states alike had their voices heard. The smaller states feared such things as “majority rule.”
It’s why the House of Representatives works by providing representation based on population while the Senate works by providing every state with two senators.
Yet, Alex Padilla, a Senator in California, is struggling with the math. As a newly appointed senator, replaced to fill Kamala Harris’ open seat, he must not be well-read on the Constitution.
Why do the Dakotas get four senators when California only gets two?
This is the question that Senator Padilla posed in an interview with Bill Maher of HBO’s “Real Time.”
Apparently, he’s serious.
Does he not realize that North Dakota is one state and South Dakota is another state? Each state gets to have its own senators – just as they have their own governors.
Padilla seems to be hung up on the population differences.
As Maher points out, the two Dakota states are compiled of approximately 2.5 million while California has a population of 40 million. It leads Maher to ask, “That’s got to change, right?”
Padilla says yes. He believes that by changing it, more things will get done in the Senate.
Ahh, but that comes down to the whole “majority rules” concept that led to every state getting the same level of representation.
It cannot always come down to population.
There’s only one governor in the state of California. No one’s complaining that a single governor is governing 40 million people while another governor only has to govern 1 million.
Padilla isn’t complaining about how Rhode Island has two senators. They have the smallest population of everyone…followed by Vermont.
Is it really that the Dakotas have the same number of senators that’s bothering Padilla?
No. The reality is that he just wants California to have more. It would be reasonable to believe that California residents would vote in Democratic senators, too.
The Dakotas are on his radar because they are red states. They contribute to the GOP. The reason he doesn’t have an issue with Rhode Island or Vermont having equal representation as California is because they’re of the same party affiliation.
Padilla has made sure that he’s highlighted every problem that he has with the way the country is running. He believes that there are many flaws in the representative democracy of the U.S. including the “original sin in the Electoral College.”
“It’s one of those long-lasting things that needs to be corrected.”
After being a senator for less than a year, Padilla feels as though he’s entitled to throw the entire U.S. Constitution in the garbage. And who is going to rewrite it? Well, we can all assume that he’d love to have a crack at it.
Is he at least a lawyer to show that he has an understanding of the Constitution and the “imperfect” founding of the nation?
Nope. Alex Padilla has a background in mechanical engineering. He has no legal background. After graduating from MIT, he was elected to the LA City Council and eventually became the state’s Secretary of State. The only reason he rose to fame was that he was the first Latino to hold the position.
If he thinks that he’s suddenly going to convince the Senate to give his state more senators, he should plan on a fight. After all, every small state wants to have equal representation. If he really wants more seats in the Senate, he better grab a sharpie and figure out how many states he can tear California into. Maybe if California becomes four states, he can get what he wants.