Should the House of Representatives Get Bigger?

Nick Beaudrot at Donkeylicious still wants a much larger House of Representatives; I’m still strongly against it. Last time around, I wrote this longish post explaining why, despite being an understandably intriguing idea, a Big House would actually create more problems than it would solve. Short version: it wouldn’t actually be good for representation, and it also would be bad for the internal functioning of the House.

I’ll add one thing here: Beaudrot says, correctly, that a Big House would tend to make party leadership more important. My question is: why is that a good thing? I’m for strong parties, but the House already has strong party leadership. I like that, and I especially like the idea that there’s some differentiation between House and Senate on that score (I like bicameralism). But I like parties to be strong without being overly hierarchical, and I suspect that a very large House would promote a more hierarchical, less permeable form of strong parties.

[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]

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Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.