To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Majority Rules: How Politicians Do Not Understand Democracy

Today's Kojo Nnamdi show on NPR debated three bills pending in Maryland that affect marriage. The show's title was "Government and the Meaning of Marriage."

What most struck me about the debate was Maryland State Senator Janet Greenip's incorrect definition of a democracy as she pushed her referendum bill. I have employed my best memory recall as I did not want to pay the $30 transcript bill to get the actual dialog but here is my best effort:
Kojo: Many people think that a simple majority vote results in the tyranny of the minority. How do you respond to that?

Greenip: Well, we live in a republic, and that means that the majority absolutely should make the decisions.
Actually, Ms Greenip, you have no understanding about either a republic or democracy. Neither is a simple majoritarian vote. We have first of all a Constitution, which gives every individual rights that cannot be negated on a majority vote. Next, we have the balance of powers that include the judiciary. No matter what anyone thinks about marriage this women ought to be thrown out of elected office.

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