Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hands across the sea and all that.

A parliamentary imbalance exists. I am speaking of how they do things in the United Kingdom and how we do things in the good old U. S. of A.

In my post the other day, the one that put all of you to sleep, I quoted the statistic that the estimated population of the U.S. is 306,000,000 and the U.S. House of Representatives has 435 members, and we learned that each representative represents, on average, 703,000 persons (some more, some less).

As is my wont, I was pootling around (jinksy’s term) the Internet and learned that the estimated population of the United Kingdom is 60,000,000 and also that the House of Commons, their equivalent to our House of Representatives, has 646 members (I thought it was 630, but apparently the number of seats was increased). Therefore, each member of the British House of Commons represents, on average, 92,879 persons.

It’s not fair. In order to achieve parity with the Brits and have one representative for every 92,879 persons in the U.S., we would have to increase the size of the U.S. House of Representatives to 3,294 members. That might prove a bit unwieldy, even for Nancy Pelosi.

Maybe the Brits could adopt our ratio. All they would have to do is reduce the number of elected members of Parliament to a nice workable number, 85. I don’t think our British cousins would stand for it even though Gordon Brown might like to give it a try.

It’s a historical fact that a major reason the American Revolution occurred was that the colonists disagreed with King George III over that little matter of taxation without representation.

More than 230 years have elapsed, and given the state of affairs on both sides of the Atlantic, I don’t much care for taxation even with representation.

Let all 646 members of the House of Commons and 435 members of the House of Representatives put that in their pipes and smoke it.


  1. Hear, hear!! Or is it...here, here!?? I don't like taxes, either, but how else can things like roads and schools that everyone needs and uses be built and maintained? Has another way ever been thought of?

  2. Do any of us really like taxes? No we don't but things have to be paid for. As long as my taxes are going to make things better for me, I don't mind but when they are wasted on bailing out bankers who only give the money to their ceos for bonuses, I do mind.

  3. i lobve your picture of gordon brown

  4. Blimey! Gordon Brown's looking younger, suddenly. Perhaps he's thriving on the global crisis.

  5. They really don't care if you like being taxed or not as long as you pay it.

  6. Thanks to everyone who commented.
    Four veterans and a newbie, Garnetrose! Do come back often, all of you....

  7. Am I allowed to comment late? I love the fresh perspective you bring to this. It's never occurred to me to wonder how we compare to other countries in lawmaker to citizen ratio. (Now I'm going to file that aware as a stat to use in a future textbook sometime.)

  8. Ruth - Wow! I would be honored to be the anonymous inspiration and source for a comment in a future social studies textbook by you!