Charter Member of the Sub-Media

June 15, 2005

This article makes me suspect that Taiwan hasn't even become a truly democratic nation even since martial law was lifted and the native Taiwanese were nominally allowed to participate in politics.

A question: if a people don't really have a voice in their governance, but think they do, is it still democracy? Even more importantly, does it matter if it's not?*

Which, I must say, is why I'm not only not overly concerned about a Congressional attempt to amend the US Constitution to ban flag-desecration, I'm also somewhat encouraged by it.

See, I won't support the amendment, and I'll let my state legislature know about it.

But it is time to return some power to the state legislatures. It is time that we don't take the word of a judge as the final word, but act to change things to be more in line with what The People really want...even if that result is that the people don't really want it.

This bill is good for the exercise of Democracy.

UPDATE: Related.

*If a vote is cast in the forest and no one counts it, does it still count as political expression?

Posted by Nathan at 11:29 AM | Comments (3)

"act to change things to be more in line with what The People really want"

That's a scary thought to me and it's precisely the reason why federal judges received lifetime appointments.

The whims of society change like the weather and sometimes what the people 'really' want may not be in line with what's really good for the country (national security).

For the most part, I think I feel more secure taking the word of a judge and that's all the more reason to make sure we are putting the right people into those positions.

The US isn't a true Democracy and quite frankly, I'm glad.

Posted by: Gordon at June 15, 2005 06:04 PM

I don't feel as scared as you seem to be about "The Will of the People".
The Amendment process is fairly slow and requires supermajorities at multiple levels. That evens out the quick mood changes of the people into something more deliberate and stable.

But necessary.

The lifetime appointments of the higher levels of the Judicial branch are also necessary so that it's harder to corrupt a judge.

But do you really think it is in the best interests of the nation that some of our Supreme Court Justices look to European judicial standards before the US Constitution? Don't you think the People should have some outlet to be able to resolve Roe v Wade or Gun Control or School Vouchers or some other issue if a packed Supreme Court won't?

I absolutely oppose the tyranny of 5 people over the supermajority of the entire US population.

Posted by: Nathan at June 15, 2005 06:44 PM

Put another way:
The process of Amending the Constitution is there for a reason. It's about time we learned to use it again. Maybe We, the People can do something about the McCain-Feingold Act. Or, if you prefer, the Patriot Act.

Posted by: Nathan at June 15, 2005 06:46 PM
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