Dynamic sizing of the House of Citizens

By Lars Næsbye Christensen

Home Forums 04. Article II – Organization of the Legislative Branch Dynamic sizing of the House of Citizens


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    I propose that the following is inserted in Article II, Section 2, after the 1. point – as a new 2. point:

    “The size of the House of the Citizens shall be equal to the cube root of the total population of the states, rounded down”.

    The ‘cube root rule’ is not a rule, but an empirical observation of lower houses’ evolution. Making it a legal foundation for a dynamic representation is novel.

    Examples of the size of House of Citizens based on population estimates:

    Eurozone: 342409476 -> 699
    EU-27: 447706209 -> 765
    EU-28 (w/UK): 514787209 -> 801

    As can be seen, the House is then larger than the current EU parliament, which is intended. If however, it seems to big then it can be reduced by a fraction of the size of the House of States, but I find the dynamic sizing important to maintain representativeness.

    AvatarGiuseppe Martinico

    This debate is interesting, here is the reference text https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300050776/seats-and-votes. However, as Lars himself has said, this is an empirical observation based on the analysis of certain experiences. I do not think it should be codified in a constitution also because as useful as it is a formula that underestimates the specificities that each order presents in terms of greater or lesser territorial pluralism, linguistic and religious differentiation, these are all realities that must be taken into account when trying to constitutionalize a political system.


    I am absolutely willing to back a different type of dynamic sizing if the cube root method is unacceptable. Perhaps a more general phrasing can be made, but I hold that if the size is specified in the constitution it shouldn’t require an amendment or change to follow the population development.

    AvatarChrister Lundquist

    One should also keep in mind that if successful, our Federation will one day consist of all democracies on the Continent. Plus peoples/nations without territory. There are 44 European countries today, according to the UN. (Including Russia… unthinkable today, but maybe not in 20 years…) Plus dependencies and other territories. This is a strong argument for keeping the representative order of the Congress in law, not fixing it in the Constitution.

    AvatarRamon Maynou

    EN: I agree with the cube root proposal of the population but I would round it up.
    World population 7,900,000,000 -> 1,992

    AvatarManuel Galinanes

    The number of members in each chamber is important and I would suggest the following:
    (i) House of Citizens: Election of one member per 1.5 million people. In this way, each elected member will represent a his/her own constituency. If a country have less than 1.5 million people (eg, Malta) then it may be allocated 1 member.
    (ii) House of States: I do not know from where has been derived the number of 8 representatives per State. The fix number of members per State will give more representative weight to the smaller countries and will produce an unjust imbalance. I would suggest that each State can have a member per 3 million people. Again, countries with less than 3 million population will have the right to have a member.

    A large number of members in each House does not ensure better functioning. In addition, there is an economic element that will need to be taken into account.

    AvatarManuel Galinanes

    In response to my suggestion on the creation of population constituencies and the comments made by Leo Klinkers, I would like to make the following points for the consideration of the 55+:
    (i) I strongly believe that the population constituencies is a better model for direct democracy (citizens will elect their own candidate to be represented at the European Federal Government) than adopting the dynamic of the parties, even if they do work transnationally, which own interest usually are above the citizens interest. In a population constituency model, the parties still will be able to present their candidates, but these will respond directly to the people that elected them. This system is working very well in countries like the UK where the elected members to the Parliament maintain direct and regular contact with the voters of their constituencies attending their demands and needs. If really, the Constitution of the European Federal Union wants to give power to the people rather than to the parties, the representation system has to be changed. To make a new Constitution leaving the people behind, with limited power to influence their destiny it would be a great failure of the future Federation. In my opinion, the moto of the European Federal Union should be: “Give the power back to citizens”. I should clarify that the population constituency system does not support “The nation-state structure of the EU…” and the “…accumulation of national and nationalist interests”, as Leo seems to imply.
    (ii) I understand the reason given for a fix number of senators to each country irrespective of its population. However, I think it will be undemocratic that, if the House of States have legislative power, citizens of small population countries may have the same weight than countries with larger population. Again, if the nascent European Federal Union wants to leave “The nation-state structure of the EU…” and give the power to citizens the best way is the adoption of a population constituency system. With such a system, citizens would have the conviction to participate directly and effectively in the affairs of Europe.

    In my opinion, the current proposed governance structure in Art. II of the European Federal Constitution does not change fundamentally the present EU framework.

    Of course, if the 55+ finally opt up a population constituency system, there will be the need to further develop an organization chart to define the roles and mechanisms at each level.

    AvatarRamon Maynou

    EN: I agree with your argument about the population constituency as a way of returning power to the citizens, currently in the hands of the parties. To eliminate the power of the parties and for the population to have more influence, what I call the Virtual Party could be used.
    Democracy with a Virtual Party.
    Democracy is a political system in which sovereignty resides in the people, who exercise it directly or through representatives. People believe that democracy is when they can vote for a party. This is the current system in most democratic states in the world. In some states a voter census is carried out that informs whether you have the right to vote or not. But in other states (like the United States of America) you must register to vote, which is used to prevent many people from voting.
    But democracy should also be when you can be elected without belonging to any party.
    And here we will establish a new electoral system. A Virtual Party will be created, the list of candidates for this Virtual Party will be established by lottery among the independent candidates who present themselves as candidates. It is a democracy by lottery (called “demarchy” in ancient Greece).
    The Virtual Party will be assigned all the votes of the people in the census who have not gone to vote, plus all the invalid votes and the blank votes, and will obtain the seats that correspond to them according to the system of distribution of seats in force (Method d ´Hont, Sanroma Method, etc.).
    The Virtual Party will be able to consult on the internet what the people want (consultative direct democracy) before making its own decisions. The representatives will not be obliged to respect the opinions of the people and, therefore, “they will not violate the rules of the European Parliament, which prohibits its members from being forced to vote in a certain way.”

    Mauro CasarottoMauro Casarotto

    Dear Ramon, the Federal Constitution draft we are amending is not about parties. It is about institutions (executive / judicial / legislative so Federal Congress, Federal President, Federal Government, Federal Courts, etc). There is no mention of parties in the ten articles of the constitution draft. If European citizens will consider good for them to create such a ” Virtual Party ”, they can do it. The nature of parties is generally that of private organizations of citizens.

    AvatarHerbert Tombeur

    First, I do oppose any amendment to Section 1, 1. which would stipulate the number of this House based on the total EF-population number or on similar criteria. I emphasise that both Houses should have a number of members which would guarantee their best functioning. Therefore, I propose a number of no more than ca. 300 members for each House. Mankind is a biological species whose brain charging capacity is limited. E.g. men cannot debate effectively with more than ten persons at the same time, probably less (cf. this old bestseller: Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point – How little Things can make a big Difference, 2000).

    Second, I join Mauro: a virtual party is only another form of political party organisation, which would equally undermine democracy, that is individual opinion making, debating and voting.

    AvatarHerbert Tombeur

    To end with, Manuel, I bask the equal number of Senators for all Member States. The Senate or the House of the States is the institutional expression of the state sovereignty and in sovereignty they are all equal, whether the States are small or big in territory and/or population, poor or rich. The House of the Citizens is the expression of the federal sovereignty, that is these of the citizens – the persons with active political rights – in the Federation, of the Whole.

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