December 05, 2008

Are We Really a Democracy (or even a Democratic Republic)?

Dave Johnson has a very important post about the state of California's democracy. In the last election, a vote that consisted of small fraction of voters over 50% voted to deny gays the human right to create a family. Yet, to pass a funding or tax law, the state constitution requires a 2/3's vote. Obviously in California, it is more important to protect us from excess taxation than excess government interference into our personal lives. This is the insanity that the Grover Norquist libertarianism promotes.

Anyway, Dave writes that Santa Clara County voted to fund extending public transit (BART) into San Jose. But because the vote garnered an approval of slightly over 2/3's rate, those who hate taxes and community investment are mounting a challenge saying that the vote was "too close" to 2/3s of the voters and they are demanding a recount.

Just think about that. Two-thirds of the county voted to fund extending BART into the San Jose region, and the losers don't think that is enough support to actually follow the will of the people. Evidently, the 1/3 minority must have protection from the rest of us because their private and selfish needs are more important than providing a community service to the rest of us. That certainly shows where they are coming from.

My dad talks a lot about how there were lots of arguments against BART when it was first proposed. Arguments that said it would be a huge boondoggle and waste tax payers dollars.

Obviously, the naysayers were right about what a failure BART has been for the region. And we should always say no to anything that benefits the community when I personally don't like it. What a great philosophy on which to build a society.

Posted by Mary at December 5, 2008 08:27 PM | CA State Politics | Technorati links |

What about taxing those with six figures to pay for it? Progressive taxation!

Posted by: brian at December 6, 2008 01:33 PM

And apparently it's OK to make the government pay for a recount when you think it's in your interest.

It's hard to explain how people seem to see government as a tool for advancing their personal interests. We clearly don't do a very good job of teaching people what government is actually for.

Oh, wait...this is California. We don't teach anybody anything. *sigh*

Posted by: Chard at December 8, 2008 04:08 PM