Democracy is slip-sliding away

February 25, 2010 by barbara

Alan Anderson writes

In 2000, Al Gore won the presidency by more than 500,000 votes. Due to a technicality in Florida, conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices overturned the will of the people and failed to allow a recount to proceed, even though that was the directive of the Florida supreme court. Democracy was damaged.

Now, the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, is making a further mockery of our democratic system. He chose last year to exercise “unallotment,” and in so doing, he alone dictated the entire budget for the people of Minnesota. He disregarded the will of the legislature—the representatives of the people—and refused to negotiate. He didn’t have to. Pawlenty chose to misuse his power, completely disregarding the will of the majority….the same majority that voted for members of the House and Senate to represent them.

But wait. It gets worse. Read on.

Pawlenty then vetoed a bill to retain General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) for the poorest of the poor and also many veterans. In so doing, the governor chose to overrule the largest majority in recent memory, i.e., 125-9 in the House and 47-16 in the Senate. Almost 86% of the legislature voted to pass the GAMC bill. Democrats and 40 Republicans supported it and the bill cut spending to less than the program the Governor wanted for those he proposed to strip of GAMC.

The bill that passed cost only $459 per person for coverage on GAMC instead of the $724 Pawlenty wanted for Minnesota Care. The veto makes zero sense…not even dollars and cents.

Pay attention. Pawlenty is governing like a dictator. If you love democracy, you will loathe the Governor’s actions. And you will tell him so, please and thank you. Why? Because Democracy is slip-sliding away right here in Minnesota.

(Cross-posted at mnpACT!)

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