Thursday, January 9, 2014

Would We Be Better at a Direct Democracy?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 5:30 AM

The tale of Coonrippy Brown (you'll remember we talked about him on Monday) continues to be pretty ridiculous but makes me wonder about bigger things. Tom Humphrey has word from the Governor's office that they never got Brown's petition, but that they have talked to him about his raccoon, which Brown assumes (and probably reasonably so) is dead.

Here's the thinky part:

In an interview, Brown declined to give specific views on state issues such as implementing a school voucher system or repealing Common Core standards.

A governor, he said, should “listen to the cries of the people and let them decide,” then act in accord with majority opinion.

So, this isn't, obviously, how a governor should work. If it were a job that didn't call for any discernment, we could program a computer to do it and all just weigh in on every issue. But I do wonder—if everyone voted on everything, do you think we'd have more voter turnout? Or do you think that the long list of items to vote on would dissuade even more people? And do you think we'd end up with better decisions or worse? I mean, think of it this way — do you think the decisions made by American Idol or Dancing with the Starts are giving us a clear picture of who has the most talent? So, would a direct political democracy have any better a chance of giving us the most intelligent decisions?

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