"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Money Talks

As Steve Dekorte writes, we now know who our members of congress truly
represent. I've not been a fan of direct democracy. The idea of a
deliberative body of representatives appeals to me. I'm rapidly
becoming more favorable toward direct democracy. Not that that would
bring perfection, but at least that would bring direct responsibility.

Direct democracy as most anything though would work better in a
decentralized system. There are no easy answers but over and over the
primary lesson is smaller is better.

As it turns out overwhelmingly those who voted yes are those who
receive the most money from the banking lobby. Although the law that
passed gives the administration the _option_ of taking part ownership
of the institutions it bails out, what is the likelihood of Paulson,
an owner, siding with the taxpayers over his best buddies, also
owners? Zero, that's the likelihood. These are crooks and they've
taken us to the cleaners.



dbt said...

Sadly, residents of California already know what that looks like, and it sucks.

jarober said...

I'm not sure that the Athenian experience demonstrates "Better". There's a reason the founders feared direct democracy.

The base flaw in our current system is that Washington has too many responsibilities. The weight of them gives Congress plenty of opportunity for corruption. A smaller set won't get rid of the corruption (see the 19th century building of the railroads), but it will at least make it easier to find.

Gordon Weakliem said...

In Colorado, we have Referendum O to make amending the state constitution more difficult. What happens here is that you end up with nutjobs like Doug Bruce foisting TABOR onto the constitution, and then the state spends the next 15 years writing in loopholes for TABOR, instead of doing the right thing and taking it back out. Also, out of state interests like to use CO as a test bed for initiatives in larger states.
This year, there are 7 initiatives on the Colorado ballot related to organized labor. You can get a good overview of the saga here.

Patrick Logan said...

Oregon has that as well... a lot of out of state money to try out kookie ideas through the initiative process. A couple of local nut jobs make their living through managing the initiative process. The opposition is learning how to combat this - the opposition now advertises "Hey, ballot measure N is managed by Bill Sizemore so vote it down".

Arto Bendiken said...

The problem with democracy may run much deeper than that. As Churchill quipped, "it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.