Monday, October 16, 2006

Florida Legislature, Supreme Court Conspire Against Democracy

John Fund has a good article in the WSJ about how legislatures and the Florida Supreme Court collude in blocking the will of the people---which threatens judicial fiat and legislative gerrymandering:
Establishment forces have long resented that initiatives allow voters to do an end run around them and are always looking for ways to limit them. Florida's Legislature put a measure on next month's ballot that would require a 60% supermajority for passing all future constitutional amendments. Such a barrier would discourage many groups from even trying to qualify measures.

Massachusetts famously got gay marriage ratified through judicial chicanery and collusion by a cowardly legislature fearful of the powerful homosexual mafia. But Florida has a Supreme Court which loves to interpret things through a prism made in pre-Gorbachev Moscow:
But the biggest threat to initiatives comes from the courts, which are striking measures from the ballot with abandon. The Florida Supreme Court, infamous for its creative rulings in the 2000 recount, has removed a proposed measure creating a nonpartisan commission to redraw the state's gerrymandered legislative districts on the grounds it deals with more than one subject.

The whole article is rage-inducing to those who esteem the civic values of a great nation which are eminently worth preserving, but threatened by a [largely] incumbent cabal that seeks what Fund defines in the last paragraph of his excellent article:
With incumbents increasingly making themselves invulnerable to challenge through either gerrymanders or campaign finance restrictions, the right of initiative is an important safety valve. The process can be abused, but most voters are discriminating and reject measures that don't stand up to scrutiny. The late economist Mancur Olson argued that the downfall of democracy would be its tendency to calcify into special-interest gridlock. Direct democracy is one way to stop that from happening.
[Emphasis Mine]
Thoughts to ponder as the USA goes hurtling down the road or into the downward spiral of PC Thought Police Permanent Councils of Elders much like the Islamic Republic of Iran has concocted. These incumbents prevent change by excluding values different from the elites' values---which of course are always the drive to preserve the power of the elites!

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