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Alfred de Grazia:




If we are to have representative government, some model for the ultimate foundations of power must be followed. There is ample evidence that the leaders of the reapportionment movement are of the classic antidemocratic type, frequently analyzed in studies of the French Revolution and modern dictatorship: egalitarian, majoritarian, monolithic, executive. In leaping for the clear shining absolute ideal of "The People’s Democracy," they shear off the supports of relativist, conservative, and elitist principles. They find themselves without balance, locked on an anti-democratic course. If they do not destroy representative government in one flight, as on the issue of apportionment, they shake and jar it. A succession of fights, on many issues, will finally disintegrate the structure as a whole.

Representative democracy requires certainly a belief in "the people" in the sense of the republic being founded upon a consensus, not simply of a mass of equal atoms, but a consensus that is functional. The functional consensus embraces all people, but conceives of society as all people contributing diversely, in their own way, to the common good; it is an image that goes backward and forward, as well as deep into the present. It is a painting, not a caricature; it is an organism, not a machine.

Apportionment should, according to the model of functional consensus, be based upon a formula that the constitutional authorities of the democracy approve—and it is difficult to see this authority in the hands of persons other than popularly chosen assemblages, whether in the beginning of a government or in the intervals when reapportionment occurs.

Neither courts nor executives should play the key role in determining the system of apportionment. There is no justification even in egalitarian theory for a court or executives or a political movement to place apportionment into a rigid formula obsessed with one slant about democracy.

Equality as an ideal and myth belongs in the Constitution, it can readily be claimed, but only and always in association with the other major principles in the conduct of government—conservative, elitist, and relativist.

The formula of apportionment that emerges from the deliberations and struggles among the constitutional authorities, the representative assembly or direct suffrages of the people, should reflect the functional consensus of the society—the balanced constitution. The communities into which the population forms, the associations and occupations, and the freely-joined groups of people with ideas about government, should form the basis of apportionment, as in Figure I.

It is believed that such a concept of apportionment would facilitate representative government based on the principles of consent of the people, provision for entry of opinions and interests, limitations on the coercion of dissenting groups, and a rule of law. That a great deal of research, research of an expensive kind, would be required to guide the specific formulas in every case, should be clearly understood.

Science of Equality


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