Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November 4th, 2008 The first Tuesday of November after the first Monday

Or How I Learned to Stop Voting and Love the Bomb

Every year propositions come and there is usually one or two which ignite the conservative or liberal bases to come out in droves in support. This exercise in direct democracy is bothersome because the actual propositions are rarely ever read by the voters. I admit I have not read an entire proposition before I vote on them, because I do not have the time or the patience. This is unhealthy, and exhibits Alexander Hamilton's fears when he pushed for an electoral college to elect the president. The common citizen is too far removed from political thought and exercise to be completely responsible. I only bring this up, because every four years we hear cries about the imperfections of the Electoral system (only the election of the NCAA football champion is more hotly disputed).

The ghosts of our Constitutional Congress have created a fear of large government and over representation. It is as if the Anti-Federalists succeeded in weakening the national government in the eyes of the public, only 200 years later.

Perhaps this is a great time to point out that I have no love affair with the electoral system, its the parliamentary systen which I prefer. I like the access to John Locke's social contract granted by the parliamentary system; if you disagree with your Prime minister you can give him/her a vote of no confidence and start fresh again. There is no waiting four years or laboring therough the rediculous process of impeachment (a legal process which every public official is afraid to be the first to succeed in). I guess my rambling has left me with one point remaining. We are not Greece, this is not the age of Peleponisia. Direct democracy cannot exist in a nation of 300 million.

Listening to: Rammstein - Moskau


Anonymous said...

though i agree with you point that ballot initiatives and propositions can be extremely dangerous, i would not go as far as to say that the elements of direct democracy which exist in the united states today are something that should be eliminated. inherent in the system is an elasticity which allows for all points of view to be, though regrettable not equally, heard, shared, and practiced. we have established a socialist system of free public education, of which you are now a contributer, to not only combat ignorance, but also to prepare American citizen for their RESPONSIBILITY of governing themselves. this is why education is so important. the fact that there is a general apathy, ignorance, laziness, and political malaze in this country is not the fault of the system... it is cultural. tightening the reigns of democracy would only disenfranchise those who are a voice and vehicle for progressive politics and ideas, and insure that the institutions and ideas that dominate American politics would go unchallenged through normal and "legitimate" channels.

Endless Mike said...

Perhaps I was unclear, I was using my dissapointment with the way Propositions are used to point out that I don't agree that the electoral college needs to be removed, that instead I would prefer a Parliamentary system like England. Keep the propositions like they are, but take away the popularity contest so only the informed vote. Think about how many people voted just to say they did.