[EM] Accountability of Lawmakers
donald at mich.com
Thu Nov 5 05:05:03 PST 1998
There must be ways in which elected officials can be held accountable.
One way is when they face re-election. Another way is recall. These two are
not enough to make our lawmakers accountable. There are two other ways that
need to be added before we will have the best accountability of our
One is that the citizens should have the means to petition for a
referendum, so that the citizens can pass laws that the lawmakers refuse to
pass or laws that the lawmakers are not allowed to pass. The second way is
for the citizens to have the means by which they can change or veto any
measure that was passed by any one of their levels of government.
We the citizens must think of our elected officials as our employees.
We have the right to correct our employees and the right to change any
decision they may have made. In most cases of disagreement we the people
would be more willing to change a decision of a lawmaker than to recall the
lawmaker. We the people should have this option.
In regard to accountability, these two improvements in government are
more important than proportional representation - more important than any
other election reform. Even before we gain full representation(PR) in our
voting for lawmakers, these two improvements will work very well by
themselves to give us accountability.
The voters of any currently existing district should be able to
petition to have a House measure put to a vote in their district. The
district vote could be taken before or after the House vote. If the people
voted different than their representative, then one vote on the measure in
the House has been changed. As more votes get changed from other districts
the measure could lose enough votes to void the measure. Not all districts
need to vote on the measure.
Proportional representation is good and I hope it is installed in my
country, but it will not give us the level of accountability that we need.
The power to change the vote of the lawmakers has far more power to make
the lawmakers accountable. More so than re-election by proportional
representation or recall or the media and other forms of public scrutiny.
These two improvements are the first two principles of Direct Democracy.
Maybe Direct Democracy should change its name to Accountable Democracy.
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