to hell with the politicians

by problembear

i have been thinking lately that voting for republicans or democrats is simply not enough to save this country anymore. we need to get back to the basics again. corporate money and lobbies dominate our elected representatives so much these days that electing one over the other doesn’t make much difference. once they take office, they ignore us and pander to the wealthy elite, the special interests and the corporate lobbyists who provide them with the money to keep winning future campaigns. there are not enough real statesmen and women in congress anymore to make even a dent in the juggernaut of corporate takeover of this country’s politics.

but we do have a weapon to defeat the corporate lobbies in the state of montana and at least save this state from the quicksand of pay-to-play crony capitalistic politics which has consumed washington dc.

i think if we pass enough good citizens initiatives in montana we could solve many of our own problems without even darkening the doorway of corrupt politicians or their bribing special interests and corporate lobbyists.

they don’t want anything to do with the people who work for a living anyway. what do we have to offer them besides our one stinking vote on one day every 2 or 4 or 6 years. the rest of the year, they ignore us anyway. so let’s get creative shall we?

how about some citizen initiative brainstorming? i will start if off with a few of my favorite pet projects and leave it to the commenters to add some of your own.

  • a montana citizens initiative to provide a public health option for everyone regardless of income. the base to fund it would be a 2% state tax on income. affordable co-pays would be based on a sliding scale also according to income.
  • corporate subsidies of any kind would be illegal in the state of montana.

i am not a lawyer and it is a long way off to 2012 so i fully expect to hear all the reasons these citizens initiatives would not work by commenters. bring it on.  i don’t care who you vote for president or congress or senate. i don’t care what party you are from. i am willing to listen and learn.

  1. Moorcat

    It isn’t a matter of “whether it will work” or not. It is that the very process of citizen initiatives in Montana is broken (as, I am sure, it is elsewhere).

    Let me give you an example. Years ago, the citizens of this state made the wise decision to enact a citizen initiative to allow for citizen recall of thier elected officials. It flew through the process and was overwhelmingly recieved. Now enter the politicians and judges.

    The first time this citizen initiative was actually tried, it was fought (by the politicians and the lawyers that protect them) all the way to the Montana Supreme Court. That court made a decision (taking advantage of loopholes in the initiative) to soften the recall law. The law was further chipped away by district court judges (and the politicians/lawyers) with each successive case that came to trial. In the recent decision by District Court Judge Tucker in Beaverhead County, the last bastian of the recall act was breached. In fact, based on Tucker’s decision, it is easier to accuse a politician of a crime (and the resulting criminal proceeding) than it is to get a recall allowed. You have to basically “prove” that the politician committed an act warrenting recall (and Judge Tucker narrowed the allowed acts for recall significantly) to get the recall petition allowed. Then the politician would have to face a citizen vote to actually be recalled.

    This is just one of many examples of how the citizen initiative system has been manipulated by the Powers that Be here in Montana. It will take a LOT more than just a few initiatives to take back control of our government – even locally – than that.


  2. mr benson

    I’ll swim against the tide here. I’ve not been a fan of law by initiative in the past and I doubt I will be in the future.

    Lawmaking at the legislative level may be sausage making, but electing responsible legislators who will read the bills and debate them is preferable to the guy at the ballot box depending on what he saw for thirty seconds on television.

    Whether I agree, medical marijuana, or disagree, ban on gay marriage or CI75, it seems to turn the lawmaking process over from a system of checks and balances to one where money and sloganeering carries the day.

    Then again, I’m not a big fan of populism or it’s most famous proponent, William Jennings Bryan. For example, I think primaries have damaged our civic discourse, especially closed primaries. “Run to the right” or “run to the left” means the centrist who is open to compromise and community is banned from politics.

    I prefer secular, representative democracy, or republic at the national level, to rule of the mob. A lynch mob is a democracy in action. Here in America, we still have the rule of law. Democracy would deny the rights of the minority in almost any case and there are too many examples in our short history. As the father of the constitution said, it’s in the power of the majority that we find the chief threat to individual liberties.

    So we were given the rule of law, and representative democracy by the founders. I’ll stick with it.

  3. Representing the positions of corporate lobbyists is the only form of representation we have in congress today.

    I doubt that is what the founding fathers envisioned.

    I trust the people before I trust compromised politicians. Voting is our only way to make them answerable and it is not working. They ignore us until election day.

  4. mr benson

    Yesterday a group of lesbian and gay couples filed suit against us Montanans to achieve equal rights and recognitions for their marriages.

    A few years ago, in the same election that gave us Medical Marijuana, Montana voters overwhelmingly voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

    The head of the Montana Family Establishmentarians for Jesus for President, or whatever the organization, is today making the same complaint as Moorcat, “what’s the use of having voters and petitions and legislators if such laws can be overturned by the courts?” I heard it when CI75 was overturned, too.

    I think this lawsuit should prove my points, above, in spades. The chief threat to the rights of individuals is found in the opinions of the majority, and it’s the system of laws and lawmaking we have, not the unfettered democracy of the mob, that protects our individual rights.

    You are wrong, problembear.

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