Free and Proper Elections

NCFPE Poltical Blog and News Tracker

Free and Proper Elections - NCFPE Poltical Blog and News Tracker

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  • SNorberg says:

    I respectfully and wholly disagree with Phil’s claim that American government is the ideal blend of majority will and minority rights. Surely minority rights deserve respect, but not at the expense of the majority (as often happens). The “tyranny of the majority” is an old notion that deserves to be shelved, because, in light of Americans’ enlightened perception of the world in 2009 (as partially evidenced by the support offered to both African-American and Female candidates for the presidency and VP spot), the masses no longer deserve to be silenced. Surely back in 1968, when Californians voted 2:1 to uphold racial and other types of discrimination in housing and renting, the majority deserved to be stifled. But I totally disagree with the notion that the open-minded, largely unbiased Americans of today are unfit to rule themselves and vote the things into law that they deem constitutional. What a crappy democracy we’ve allowed ourselves to become when the majority is put on the backburner, and only allowed its say “in time,” holding off just long enough to prevent social unrest. Americans are rational people that deserve to have a voice, especially when they unite as a Majority in favor of one policy or another. The whole problem of interest groups is that, while they are beneficial in the sense that they allow likeminded people a means of aggregating and affecting policy, they arguably do so at the expense of everyday Americans, who don’t pay attention to the unnecessary and costly agro-business subsidies, or pork projects that benefit a single county in North Carolina’s problem with pig odor at the tax expense of the whole country. 30,000+ interest groups on Capitol Hill, each rigorously supported with potential campaign donations to political candidates, doesn’t make for a democracy that is responsive to the general needs of the people. And each pushes a highly specific agenda, while everyday Americans tend to be more ambiguous concerning what changes they would like to see from the government. And it is SO Hard to resist campaign funding- I have a good example. While she was first lady, Hillary strongly opposed the “bankruptcy reform” bill that came across President Clinton’s desk, because, beyond its tightened conditions to force repayment of credit card debt and other debts that bankruptcies normally forgive, it included a nasty provision that placed credit card repayment as a higher priority on the totem pole than child-support and alimony payments. According to the Clinton-era bankruptcy bill, a divorced man undergoing bankruptcy was compelled to place priority to the credit card companies over the payments to support his children, and if he were behind on the child support, to forego the payments entirely in favor of the companies. Hillary recognized at the time that the bill was not good for families and persuaded Bill to veto it. Yet as a Senator from NY, her campaign financed by Wall Street and financial industry companies eager to regain monies lost during bankruptcies, she caved and voted yes when an essentially identical version of the bill was introduced. Overall, I feel that it’s time to put the concerns of minority interests aside in favor of adopting and enacting the will of the masses.

    March 22, 2013 at 10:34 am
  • PhilaBus says:

    There would be better laws.

    March 22, 2013 at 11:31 am
  • Phil says:

    The beauty of our system in America is that it does not, despite public misconception, provide for majority rule. What it does proivide is restraint upon the “tyranny of the majority’ by making it difficult for the majority to impose its will on the minority. It provides a balancing of majority interest and minority rights. No system does it better, even though this one sometimes doesn’t work. It has been called by our founding fathers “the tyranny of the majority” and likened to Mob rule… Of course no system can survive if it does not respect and bend to the will of the majority in time.

    March 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm
  • The Beerman says:

    That would be like two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

    March 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm

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