Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Some call the period just prior to an election "the silly season." Delegate Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg) has offered cause to describe the period just before the General Assembly session as such.

Delegate Cole's bill would do away with the Virginia Senate, in favor of a unicameral legislature of 140 members. Only one state in the union --- Nebraska --- currently has a unicameral legislature.

Wow! Now I can think of many good things such a proposal would achieve. After all (well, OK, happily), it would probably relegate Senator John Chichester (RINO-Northumberland) to the political oblivion he so richly deserves. However, probably unlike many, I've seen a unicameral legislature in action, and the bad would probably outweighs the good. Particularly when there are some very good ideas out there, like Delegate Scott Lingamfelter's idea to strip the Senate of the authority to originate tax increases, a change that would reflect the Federal scheme.

After all, instead of forty Senators and one hundred delegates, we'd probably end up with one hundred forty "Senators" (in Nebraska, the elected legislators are all "Senators"). Forty are more than enough, thank you. Moreover, we'd end up with a huge, unused room in the newly-renovated State Capitol. Given that we're spending $74 million or more on the project, it would be quite a waste.

All in all, a pretty bad idea that should die a rapid death. And it will. Can one imagine even a small minority of Senators voting to make themselves less special, and increasing those in Virginia who can be called "Senator" by 250%?

Let's just hope that the Republican who proposed it is merely attempting to provoke thoughtful discussion.

H/T to Jay Hughes at Virginia Virtucon and Kenton Ngo at 750 Volts.


Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

It wasn't me, it was Not Not Jay Hughes on Virtucon who posted that.

James Young said...

Thanks for the correction, Jim. Correction made.