Democracy At Its Worst
|March 28, 2004||Posted by Hanno T. Beck under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Democracy At Its Worst
Observations from the Publisher
Politicians call themselves “public servants” because they are supposed to serve the will of the people. In many cases, they try to suppress the will of the people instead. I’m tired of allowing anti-Americans to have so much power in this country. Here are some examples — you can probably find more.
Democrats Against Democracy
by Hanno T. Beck
Publisher of The Progress Report
When I first planned this article, I had one particular story to tell. But how does a person select among outrages? How do you ‘rank’ anti-American activities? It’s not obvious.
- Case A. In the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Democratic Party (“DFL”) is the largest political party, followed by the Green Party. But in 2002, a nine-person redistricing commission included only one Green and three Republicans, even though Greens hold city offices and Republicans hold none. After showing a modest redistricting plan at a public meeting, the commission then voted for an extremely different plan, which happens to disrupt the Green officeholders’ districts, forcing ‘progressive’ incumbents to run against one another.
You can find lots of further information about this scandal, and others that we will mention in this article, by searching the World Wide Web. As a starting point, here is one of the clearest descriptions:
This was a bad, ugly, anti-democratic trick. Democracy is one of our most cherished American values but some powerful people try to throw it in the trash can. The wimpy mainstream media tell us that this is normal political behavior.
- Case B. In April, 2003, Democrats in the legislature of the state of Maine adopted an unconstitutional redistricting plan that would dismantle the district of the state’s only elected Green Party legislator, John Eder. (Eder won election with 67% of the vote, defeating a Democrat.)
Case C. In the first half of 2003, Democrats in the New Mexico legislature advanced a bill to ban the Green Party. Of course they did not phrase it precisely that way, but the bill would have that effect, was dubbed the “kill the Greens” bill, and everyone understood this was its purpose. Thanks to a last-minute filibuster by a Republican who favors democracy, the bill did not pass — yet Democrat Ben Lujan, speaker of the New Mexico House, said he would try again.
How should your public servants spend their time and your tax dollars — confronting challenges such as crime, housing affordability, etc., or plotting to ban democratic alternatives? The Maine and New Mexico Democratic Parties have acted against what America is all about, just as surely as a group of terrorists would. It’s disgusting.
- Case D. Hypocrisy at the national level. If you have paid any attention to the mainstream media during the last four years, you will have noticed that Democratic Party officials blame Al Gore’s 2000 presidential defeat on Ralph Nader. Although that claim has drawn many counter-arguments, we continue to hear it all the time.
In the last three presidential elections, the winner has never had a majority of the votes! So why not do something about it? Many states have an accepted process for situations like that — they hold runoffs between the top two vote-getters. That way the winner of the election actually gets a majority.
Some people fear the idea of a presidential runoff, and for those people we want to mention the increasingly popular system of Instant Runoff Voting, which we have endorsed many times in the past. It’s a simple way to cast ballots by ranking the candidates, so that a majority winner can be determined, without a second voting day.
Now here is the funny thing. The Green Party, whose presidential candidate in 2000 was the “spoiler” Ralph Nader, endorses Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). It’s simply a more democratic way of finding out the overall will of the voters. And surely the Democratic ‘victims’ of the current ‘spoiler’ voting system would be even stronger advocates of IRV, right? Wrong.
The Democratic Party is not attempting to fix the very system that they whine so loudly about.
They don’t even seem interested.
- A couple of weeks ago I visited the Democratic National Committee web site and ran a search: 0 results for “instant runoff voting”
- Now let’s try the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: 0 results for “instant runoff voting”
- The Democratic Leadership Council: 0 results for “instant runoff voting”
Let’s try one more test, shall we? In the years since 2000, how many actual attempts have the Democrats made to change state laws to prevent the ‘spoiler’ effect from hurting them in federal elections? If they really believe their own rhetoric, then of course we should be able to point to dozens of such efforts. When you start down the list of states alphabetically, the beginning seems encouraging — Alabama, nothing; but then Alaska, yes, there was an Instant Runoff Voting bill in Alaska. (It was voted down.) But then continue down the list of the rest of the states and DC, and you find absolutely nothing. No legislation, not even in the states controlled most strongly by Democrats, nor in the states where the whining about a ‘spoiler’ is loudest.
Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention one thing about the Alaska IRV legislation. The Democrats opposed it. Indeed, all political parties in Alaska endorsed the measure, except for the Democratic Party.
What’s the bottom line? Any Democrat who criticizes Ralph Nader as a “spoiler” but has failed to support any measure to eliminate the “spoiler” situation, is a hypocrite. Do not vote for a hypocrite.
The Democratic Party owes the citizens of America an explanation and an apology for its anti-democracy behavior in Minnesota, in Maine, in New Mexico, and nationwide.
We invite your thoughts.
Read our previous article –
Democracy At Its Very Best — A Success Story
The examples of anti-American behavior cited in this article happen to come from the Democratic Party. We could probably have found similar examples from the Republican Party, but that party’s long history of corruption is much better known already. Now tell your views to The Progress Report!