Dilution of Representation in Large States

Thus, the greater the aggregation, the more dwarfish becomes man. But this is not all, for along with the decline of a person’s share in sovereignty goes a decline in his share in government. Since effective legislatures cannot expand their membership in proportion to the growth of their countries, increasing population must ultimately lessen democratic representation. In 1790, the average constituency of a member of the House of Representatives in the United States comprised 33,000 citizens. If this ratio were still to prevail, the membership of the House would today be in the neighbourhood of 4,760, a figure that would make any sensible legislative action all but impossible.

breakdown-of-nationsp. 104

(Q: connection to logic of collective choice? Fairer outcome => more concentration of power?)


breakdown-of-nations Kohr, Leopold. 1978. The Breakdown of Nations. Dutton. ↩︎ 1