Michael Wile

Why do you think it is important to stagger elections in the Senate?

I agree with Natalie and Steve that staggering elections in the Senate allows for a continuation of key processes during election years. After all, elections are the means to an end not the objective. Sometimes it feels like the elections have become the end game and not the the means to the end which is legislating.

3. Is it fair that each state gets 2 Senators regardless of the state鈥檚 population? Why or why not?
I agree with Vivian concerning the more populated states would thwart those of the states with less population; however, I disagree that “If we are to be represented equally, then this is an effective means of achieving that equality.”
The concept of having Congress split between the House which is based on population and the Senate which gives every state an equal voice regardless of population originated at a time when the US population was still small and the differences between state populations was not so vast. Today, the country has states such as California that have nearly 100 times more people than states such as Wyoming, giving each vote in the smallest states much more power than any single vote in the more populated states. If the most populated states were still only five times greater or even 10 times greater in size than the smallest states, then it would still make sense to continue with a senate that offers equal representation of each state regardless of size. However, with the dramatic differences in state populations that we now experience, something should be done to give the largest states, such as California, Texas, and New York a little more voice.

Sign up for E-mails, Dateline Magazine, and other ways to stay connected.