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Systems of Governance October 16, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Uncategorized.

One of the things I need to point out is that for the most part, the United States and all it’s territories and possessions is a Representative Republic.

In some states they have a citizen initiative process. Most notable among them California. The original intent of the initiative process in California is that during the mid to late 19th century, corporations were throwing their weight around. A notable court case from 1886 in which Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad is pretty much acknowledged as the spark whereby corporations adopted the notion that they had the same rights as a human being.

So the citizenry of California managed to insert an initiative process into their constitution. Lets examine what the initiative process has given the state.

Tax caps. And look at the effects of that one. You have government issuing IOU’s, schools collapsing, just a general mess. While the original intention was good since property taxes were getting crazy, the benefit of it has long since been lost.

Then lets look at human rights. Proposition 8 was a horrible initiative from the beginning. To deny a class of people rights is in a word, unconstitutional. You understand how a bill of attainder cannot be submitted to the U.S. Congress, a similar measure should be enacted for the states. Any inititiative that attempts to take away the rights of a class of people should not be allowed on an initiative ballot.

Then of course we have Question 1 in Maine which asks “Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?”

My reading of that question in essence says it’s a non sequitur. They could eliminate the last part and just ask if you want to reject the new law that lets same sex couples marry. The law already has the provisions for the religious bigots.

Of course I fall in the camp that doesn’t want this referendum to pass.

It’s interesting, the government in RI may be a cesspool that is thoroughly infected by the Roman Catholic Church, but at the very least we do not have an initiative process. Instead we must lobby our legislators to put questions on the ballot. It’s a little more difficult than signature gathering.

That’s the other thing, signature gathering. I bet if you de-duped the lists their actual number of signatures to get these measures on the ballot falls short by thousands. I’ve seen this just doing some postcard work for Marriage Equality RI. People will fill out more than one postcard. Luckily the system used de-dupes so we have a definite membership with literally no duplicates.

But what is the perfect form of government? A benevolent dictator of course. 🙂


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