TED Conversations

Philip Zack

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An alternative form of representation in a legislative body based on our interests and how we engage with the community.

As currently implemented, representative bodies are all based on geography, be it by district, state or nation. But geographic proximity is not the only way that people form communities. What if one house was based on representation by geography, and the other house had representatives for communities of interest? If you worked retail, but spent your spare time snorkeling, you could have one representative speak for your interests as a union member, and another for your interests in preserving a healthy environment. As things are now, those interests are secondary, and are often sacrificed for political expediency.

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    Mar 18 2011: I have always thought the same thing, especially with what is going on in Wisconsin; why do we not have a system that represents interests and career groups rather than geographic areas? For example, the electorial college does not represent the views of every voter in the country, but rather the consensus of a geographic area, why?

    What if a representative had to represent a group of people that they were knowledgable about, say factory workers, in the legislative body? This representative would be grouped with other members of factory worker representatives so that they could push for this group while taking part in normal legislative activities.

    When I think about this, there are two major problems that I can see. First, because these representatives would represent the workers similar to the ways that a union does, they would risk corruption, stagnancy or other problems of a similar nature. Second, you have problem that I feel almost every American is aware of; politicians are politicians. Unfortunately it seems that politicians rarely, if ever, accomplish what their constituents as of them and if they do, it is often done incorrectly and inefficiently.