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Beyond Voting As Usual: Proportional Representation

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) recently announced her introduction of House Bill 2545 which would lift the 1967 federal law that mandates one seat per Congressional district, allowing states the option of electing their Congressional delegations by multi-seat proportional representation. Most third party efforts in the U.S. have already endorsed the idea. So has progressives Jesse Jackson and Lani Guinier, conservatives Kevin Phillips and Michael Lind, and the editors of USA Today. Justice Clarence Thomas has written favorably in his legal opinions of proportional systems as a race-neutral method of giving representation to racial minorities. Indeed, there is a startling convergence of thought on the subject taking place from both the left and the right, slowly gathering momentum since race conscious districts first came under attack in 1993.