Your Opinion: A basic tenet of democracy
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Democracy, as formed by our forefathers, is a simple concept; government of the People, by the People, for the People. Our Jeffersonian Democracy established what the purpose and role of governments are; “That to secure these natural rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
It is disconcerting that our state legislators have set aside this basic constitutional tenet. On three occasions our governing body has ignored the voters direction — in 2008 on the voter approved Proposition C, the 2010 voter approved Proposition A and now on voter approved term limits.
Regardless of your position on these issues we need to remind ourselves that in a democracy, the government is the people, and people are the government. In other words, “governments” are established to protect the people’s rights using the power and direction received from the people.
Whenever a governing body is characterized by decisions whereby the citizens have a less significant share in state decision-making we should be concerned. In a democratic society it is a right to impart direction through the ballot. That is the purpose of ballot initiates and referendums. It is disappointing when elected officials cannot respect that right; it is a basic tenet of democracy.