North Carolina’s Amendment 1

Posted: May 10, 2012 in Current Events, Election, politics, Religion

Freedom and democracy are when a duly elected legislature can vote on a question or a law, come to a resolution and then enact that law.  Why would a group want to insert a state constitutional amendment that restricts the legislature’s ability to do just that?  Why not have a straight up vote?  A constitutional amendment which states that it is illegal for the legislature to propose a certain law, whatever that law may be, seems to defeat the whole idea of freedom and democracy.  It is basically one group saying, we want to decide for you whether or not you can propose this law in the legislature.  As a result, it doesn’t get proposed, it doesn’t get debated and effectively it is buried and repressed.

This is not the democratic process.  Whatever the issue may be, and in this case it just happens to be the definition of marriage, to stack the rules against fair and free discourse on any topic is an attempt to hobble democracy and have one group dictate to the future.  Who are the people who want to do this?  They are, of course, the religious right, who once again have demonstrated that they have no interest in freedom and democracy if it does not suit their own purposes.  By adding this amendment they are unfairly limiting a legislative body’s ability to act in the future.  One well planned campaign, where analysis indicates that a large percentage of the voters were confused or uninformed about the issue, and where the elderly and the religious vote carried weighted influence, will now place severe imitations on future debate and action.

I don’t care what the issue is, this is an affront to democracy.  It is also a demonstration of the disrespect that the religious right has for democracy.  For many in the right wing, democracy and freedom are good, but not more important than the righteousness that comes from their interpretation of the word of God.

We’ve seen the same in Canada, where just a short time ago MP Stephen Woodworth proposed a private members bill to discuss the question of when life begins.  Once again, it is legislation designed to create a situation where other laws would be affected and limited.  There are few who don’t see his private members bill as an attempt to reopen and prejudice a discussion on abortion.  Why the sneakiness?  Why the attempt to circumvent the normal democratic discussion of the issue?  Why not just have a debate and vote on abortion?  Because as things stand now the right knows that it can’t win that battle with the voters and so once again the sense of righteousness held by these people make it OK to try to accomplish their goals through trickery.

Fortunately few are fooled by Woodworth’s proposal, but North Carolina was not as lucky.

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