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Monday, October 25, 2010

Direct Democracy

There was an article in yesterdays paper. The Oregonian to be exact that I linked to above. It is written about Direct Democracy in Oregon and asks if it is a good thing for the state. I think the author asks some good questions but his overall position is one that after 1912 all the good that the initiative system brought to Oregon politics was done and now the system has just brought us a bloated constitution and a budget that is out of control because state legislature is handcuffed by the whims of the public at large. In the interest of full disclosure I must add that I have been employed in the past by a signature gathering firm and will do so again if the opportunity presents itself.

I have to disagree. I realize there are problems with the system in Oregon. But, there are problems with every states system and nothing is going to make every voter happy. But DIRECT DEMOCRACY is what makes Oregon special. It is what allows the average voter to have a voice. I may disagree and often I do with where the money is coming from or what the particular issue is that we are going to be voting on. But, I get to vote. In other states I am not afforded even that. There are laws passed without any discussion or input from the voters who put the politicians in office in the first place.

To get rid of this would take the state backwards to a time when the elite where the ones voting and they liked it that way. Yes, Democracy is messy and ugly and that is how it should be. In truth if you want things to be run smoothly then we should install a benevolent dictator. Because, believe me, then things would run smoothly. The budget would be balanced, trains would run on time, and most likely Oregon would be a much quieter place to live. But, this idea goes completely against the so called origins of the United States. I believe that Direct Democracy serves the people best as messy as it is. It allows the people a voice and that voice is loud and sometimes unorganized and ugly but it is a voice.

As far as I am concerned, I would not have it any other way.
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