The Senate still serves the purpose it was intended to, namely a) protecting the individual states by ensuring their equal representation and b) creating a legislative body that because of their six year terms can afford to think long-term as opposed to the two year election cycle of the House.
I would’ve answered “What the fuck are you talking about” in the poll, but that wasn’t an option.
The only way to “abolish the senate” is a Constitutional Amdendment…that would require 39 states to agree with such a stupid idea, which won’t happen. Might as well postulate on what might happen if you grew wings and could fly to the moon.
…which means that many of the states which are over-represented would have to vote to have their own power reduced. Not going to happen. Similar situation in Australia; in order to change our constitution, we need to carry a referendum (plebiscite) in the overall population and a majority of the states. So everyone in NSW and Victoria and Queensland might favour something, but the other three states can still scupper it. Changing this system, naturally, requires a referendum…
Whether or not it’s a good idea (mixed feelings) this is so far down the list of constitutional amendments we need, there’s hardly any point to bothering with it. Just in terms of political structure amendments, more significant and valuable by far would be abolishing the electoral college, for example.
The Senate was never intended to be representative in that manner. Federalist #62 explains the reasoning pretty succinctly. Apart from the matter of giving small states a reason to join the Union by ensuring their equal representation in at least one part of government, the Senate was meant to be a check on the direct representation in the House. Federalist #39 explains some of the founder’s concerns with the concept of direct democracy, which was a form of government that they believed to be fatally flawed, especially in its tendency to allow the passions of the people to run roughshod over reasoned deliberation. The founders looked to Greek democracies for examples of the shortcomings of that form of government, but if you want a modern test case, look at California. So the Senate was designed specifically to be the more deliberative branch of the legislature, with longer terms for its members (to insulate them from the need to constantly appeal to the people to maintain their seats), and with a smaller, fixed number of members, which better facilitates direct debate.
By contrast, today’s House is a terrible place for debate and deliberation, simply by virtue of its immense size.
I like the Senate. The US was built as a union of almost co-equal states making allowances for the varying populations. I prefer that over rule by regional majorities. The system has its draw backs but some of them are also assets. The slow pace of legislation helps to reduce the number of radical, and in retrospect regrettable, acts.
The dysfunctional California government is more of a state-level than federal thing. At the federal level, I’d guess that California is a net contributor of federal spending and Wyoming is a net receiver:
Anyway, for the topic at hand, getting rid of the Senate seems like a bad idea, if the alternative is the nutty gerrymandered House.