Letters and Opinion

Democracy requires representation

March 26, 2011

In Wisconsin and Indiana, elected Democrats have fled to Illinois in order to avoid making the difficult decisions facing their states. In Indiana, House Democrats are upset over right to work legislation and anything else they can conjure up feigned outrage for. These same elected officials would have one believe their actions are the equivalent of democracy in action. However, their behavior holds more in common with anarchy than democracy. This behavior is not the result of a breakdown in the system of government. It is the result of elected officials who place personal ambition and special interest ahead of their duty to the people as a whole. If the individual representative will not correct this deficiency on his or her own then it must be corrected by the voter at the ballot box.

Three days after winning the presidency, Barack Obama, in a meeting with congressional leaders, stated, “elections have consequences.” They most certainly do. There is a winning and losing side.  

This is not to say the minority party does not have rights. They do. They have the right to disagree, debate, offer amendments, and use procedural rules to block a bill. However, to deny the chamber a quorum to do business is not a procedural move. It is a dereliction of duty, which in any other profession would result in their termination from employment.

What is occurring in Wisconsin and Indiana is not democracy. One might agree with the Democrats’ position, but this should not be confused with representation. These missing Democrats must remember they are stewards of the public business not rulers over it. They have rights, but with those rights come responsibilities. The time has come for the Democrats to return to Indiana and fulfill their responsibility.

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Chris Slager
Mishawaka

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