Friday, November 18, 2005

An Argument Against Too Much Federalism

In this post I argued for federalism. I'm still not sure what Breyer would say against my arguments, but based on what I've read so far, he might say that pushing too much power down to small electoral bodies exposes them to the problem of factionalism. Representation over large groups of people dilutes factionalism by making a representative beholden to a wide variety of special interests, whereas a smaller district can easily be captured by a particular special interest group. This is a good argument. One way to solve the problem is by random appointments, like we do for juries. Ancient Athens had many randomly selected positions. Frank Herbert believed that many of our political decisions should be subject to jury review. Now that's active democracy!