Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Limited Representative Government: Prop. 8 and Racism

Californians are now just racists (like they have always been) because its citizens won't allow same sex couples to pretend they are married. Direct democracy must not be allowed, they say, only the power of the state constitution is right! Well, if the state constitution allows for direct democracy, then to what constitution do they refer? Some say that constitutions are written to protect the minority from the majority. That is not correct, otherwise no majority rule could exist, hence no democracy and no democratic republics. Constitutions in constitutional republics represent a covenant among the people as to how their laws will work. When that covenant is broken, they owe the powers that broke the covenant no allegiance.

The biggest problem with more direct forms of democracy is that important issues are fought out in sound bites (like education becoming the focus of the last month's debate). During the 1960's revision period Bernard Hyink (see page 5 of article) made a series of serious arguments against the prevalence of direct democracy in California's constitution. Californians did not want any part of returning to a more representative form of government. It is this direct democracy that is more Libertarian because it liberally gives the people greater say. A reduced dependency on an independent judiciary is another libertarian notion that arose in California as the institutions of the federal constitution began to struggle under the pressures of massive industrialization during the Civil War period.

There have been many really stupid things written into California's constitution over time, including, as some rightly point out, racist notions in bold print. These things have all been eradicated, but the principles of greater direct democracy have been strengthened.

Constitutions don't come from a Divine Being. They come from people. Good people don't come from governments; good governments come from good people. There are those, (I am not among them), that argue that even our notions of right and wrong don't originate from a Higher Power. I do believe that things like passionate self-interest, greed, and jealousy often blind some people to the voice of conscience. These people, sadly, are too often the ones that are in authority in political parties.

Some folks talk about how health care must be reformed because of greedy and corrupt doctors. My response to this has always been to throw up my hands. If the people who deliver the health care are corrupt, it's over. What can anyone do? That's how I feel about the "checked" use of a greater direct democracy in not only California, but in the nation. If the people, of whom, by whom and for whom government exists, have lost their way, what's the point?

I think, because of the federal constitution, and the language of the California constitution regarding it's subjection to the federal constitution, the objections some raise about returning to a KKK society is a read herring. I say, "I think", because San Francisco seems to have seceded from the union relative to immigration law and no one cares.

In general, it is sad that people accuse the entire populace of hate because they don't want to lie to their kids and tell them that same sex couple are married... well not really... well legally... That's a bit much. What's wrong with civil unions anyhow?

I saw a good Wikipedia article on the language of Prop. 8. After great debate, "may" and "could" were the words left in the ballot initiative concerning required teacher participation in educational programs. The Supreme Court Justices had essentially ordered teachers to lie to little children, whether students could "opt out" or not.

The constitution of California never, ever provided for making people say that same sex couples are married when they are not. Four Supreme Court judges, perhaps inspired by some vision from of Saturn in red, exercised their authority to INTERPRET the constitution (if they did more than this they dare not admit it!). The simplest way to clarify the constitution was to do the people of California did.

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