Tag Archives: democracy

One man, little or no vote

Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville

Ever since the ancient Greeks, and long after Attica and Pericles, we arrived, by fits and starts, at an understanding that democracy, and the right of the people to vote, is how we overthrow kings, dictators, and corrupt political elites.

Many suffered and died when resisting those who opposed the popular vote.

We are engaged in a struggle over what the franchise means in this presidential election year.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

What is especially “good” about America is that “we the people” can say directly or indirectly how we are governed by whom we may elect with our votes.

Thomas Jefferson believed that, “[s]hould things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights.”

Republican voters are asking this year whether their “elective rights” have anything like the bang per vote they thought they enjoyed.

In the Republican primaries, we have seen how the votes of one man may be reduced to a fraction, or be treated unequal to another man’s vote, or may even wither until a nullity, void and of no effect whatever.

Harry Enten studied the variance in the recent Republican primaries and caucuses, focusing on how many voters it took to elect a delegate.

Mr. Enten found a range, how it took 52 votes to elect a Republican delegate in the Northern Mariana Islands, but 2,516 votes in Nevada; the insider caucuses, he concluded, invited outsized elite influence, requiring fewer votes to elect more delegates.

The orange canary in the Republican presidential primaries has been Billionaire Developer Donald Trump. Continue reading

“God” is alive! His office is in the NVTA

[Update 2013-09-14 - Edited for spelling, grammar and clarity]

The Leesburg Town Council apparently stepped out of line by considering opposition to the Tri-County Parkway, a North-South corridor connecting I-95, Manassas, and Route 7 via Route 659.

Loudoun BoS Chairman, Scott York asked his aide, Robin Bartok to read a letter to the Town council at their June 25 meeting. The Washington post reports that Bartok read:

“The chairman asked me to ask you: Do you support roads? And that’s a really important question,” she said to the council members. “Because if you oppose this road, it appears that you don’t support roads.”

And if the council opposed the road, she warned, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority would “keep that in mind” when determining how to allocate funds from the landmark transportation funding bill passed by the General Assembly this year.

York is on the board of the NVTA. Continue reading

“NOT WITH A BANG BUT WITH A WIMPER”

There are those who think the answers to economic progress in a democracy are simply to be had by privatizing everything as much as we can as soon as we can, all the while de-regulating the market place. (Both nationally and locally.) In case you are not yet sure how you feel about that—or even if you think you are, consider your almost 1000% increase in tolls on the Greenway. If that’s not enough to get you “into the streets,” then consider also this local example:

In a current HOA condominium neighborhood in Loudoun, a recent discovery was made of structural repairs needed. There are two cost options for these repairs: 1) $2 million dollars; or 2) $700,000. A vote will be taken of homeowners (never mind the ones who lease and whose lease will increase. They can’t vote.) There is a corporation that owns several investment condos in the community. It gets to vote each piece of property it owns. The rule is “one property = one vote,” not “one person, one vote.”

BUT, each and every homeowner will be assessed either $3500 or $10,000 depending upon the choice this one company makes.
In other words, there is only 1 absentee landlord making this decision – not the resident owners who live in the neighborhood, although they will share the cost burden – most of them seniors or working families… many of them with mortgages under water as a result of the last housing debacle.

Moreover, who will guard against the possibility that the whole repair proposal is possibly a fraudulent scam? The only people who could afford the lawyer to do that are the ones who stand to benefit from having homes dumped on the market at a low price that they can snap up for investment purposes.

THIS is how wealth is transferred from the bottom up… and only a small example. THIS is how we become dis-enfranchised and will increasingly so when corporations own everything. They have already bought Congress and the investment HOAs, and a commuter highway. Why is anyone so eager to give them more?