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I didn't expect droid chatter or a Doberman with a fixed translator to sound off in a replay of a hearing on the census. The people who had this discussion didn't laugh nearly as much as I did.

Those voices are what caught my attention, but the discussion on citizenship kept it.

The dispute seems to be between total population count versus apportionment. The argument I'm getting is that services have to allow for a greater capacity of people (the specific word under the microscope seems to be "persons"), citizen or not, independent of party - which sounds like an issue that would use total population count, whether or not I heard it spoken in the discussion (which it was).

But if the population count of the census is directly tied to who gets another vote in government (which is what I gather from the term "apportionment count"), the political effect can't be ignored. If the apportionment count includes people who aren't citizens or even permanent residents, that does reduce the choice of the citizens who are here, who have just as much diversity as those without paperwork.

Services may be important, but it looks to me like apportionment is the issue that both sides are more focused on in an election year. If the discussion is more specifically directed to the issue of apportionment, then I side with the insistence on citizenship over residency.

What struck me was the use of the 3/5ths ruling as a historical precedent. The historical precedent makes sense for people who would have been here permanently. Cobbling together what I hear with what I learned earlier, my take is that those affected by that ruling were residents who were directly affected by the laws of the land in which they lived, whether they were here willingly or not, so having a say (-ish) in making those laws is appropriate. If they wished to return to their birth countries and were able to, it would have been a more difficult and time-consuming process taken on by far fewer numbers than were originally brought over.

It's now easier for people to cross borders and large bodies of water in order to return to their birth countries, or to visit or work in countries of which they aren't citizens (the term used was "transitory"). The examples of students and tourists were also used in the discussion, but I'm most familiar with my own. I can't vote in my birth country, nor should I be able to - there's an application that would allow me to do that legally. That requirement doesn't marginalize or disenfranchise me as a non-citizen of that country, and it's not a cruelty to me, but a protection for those who are already citizens there.

This broadcast is the sort of information I use, not cups or wands, to make my choice.

8/1 - And before I forget, there was a snippet on slander and something about a steady yes-no-yes-yes vote from a non-partisan panel.

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