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Forum Post: Another example of why Direct Democracy can really suck.

Posted 6 years ago on May 8, 2012, 8:03 p.m. EST by joethefarmer (21)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

If you are not part of the majority,

Today - May 8, 2012, folks in North Carolina are using the power of direct democracy to ban not only same sex marriage but same sex anything. Exit polls show the referendum will pass.

Once again the majority steps all over the minority!

While North Carolina already bans same-sex marriages, the measure voters are deciding on today would not only enshrine that ban in the state’s constitution—it also will ban civil unions and domestic partnerships.



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[-] 2 points by April (3196) 6 years ago

While I agree that direct democracy is the most dumb ass concept I've ever heard of in my life - I'm not sure that was the root of the problem here.

For one - the State Legislature pushed this right? They are supposed to be the wise "Representatives" of the people. Tempering the emotions of the majority, or of narrow self interests, in the interests of the greater good. That failed. Because as far as I understand - the concept of marriage between a man and a woman - - is rooted in the religious/biblical definition. When did the US become a Theocratic Republic? I missed that memo. I don't get how this can even be Constitutional.

I think the root of the problem here is the NC Legislature. Making/allowing/promoting Constitutional Law based on a religion construct in the first place. The real shame belongs to the Legislature for allowing such a thing. A purely religious construct is now part of a State Constitution? wtf?? It is supposed to be up to our Representatives to protect the masses from themselves. No matter that the majority wants a theocratic State. This was a total breakdown of the responsibilities of the elected Representatives. Who fanned the flames of the religious emotions of the masses/majority. At the expense of the minority. While stepping on the Constitution.

The dumb ass concept of direct democracy will always be a dumb ass concept. Will always be a fail. In this case, it was the secondary failure, after the first failure of the legislature.

How is this even Constituional?

[-] 2 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 6 years ago

On behalf of 40% of our state's population, I'm sorry. We don't yet outnumber the masses of Christian bigots that voted for this abomination yesterday.

There were a bunch of very old people who I have never seen before that came out and voted yesterday. I have a feeling that they also voted against blacks in the 60s.

As to your point, if this DIDN'T go to a general vote, then the Republican-controlled state legislature would have passed this without us having any say over it. I am glad that at least the people had the chance to do the right thing.

[-] 1 points by joethefarmer (21) 6 years ago

Or the wrong thing in this case.

[-] 1 points by JPMcMahon (18) 6 years ago

Given the fact that in the black community, churches are almost always the center of political activity, and that black churches have shown incredible antipathy to gay rights of any kind, Xenu you better check yourself on that second statement. There are a lot of black voters in NC. Why do you think that Obama has danced around this issue for so long?

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 6 years ago

Black or white, they're still bigots.

The fact stands that the original bigots (OBs) are still alive and kicking, and still expressing their hatred by taking their walkers to the polls and voting against a group of people that will never personally affect their lives. I bet if these people actually met a gay person that they wouldn't be so quick to demonize them.

Then again, hate like this stems from fear. The bible and preachers instills this fear in these people from a young age, and it is very hard to break out of this mindset, especially since "that's the way its always been" and "everyone I know has the same beliefs."

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 6 years ago

This is a perfect example of why religion should not be in politics. It invariably leads to religion in the legislature. And then a religious construct is written into the Constitution.

Religion should be banned from politics. Apparently, that part about separation of church and State is just not clear enough.

"The proper role of religion is to appeal to the conscience of the individual, not the coercive power of the state. " Sen. Edward Kennedy

"The separation of church and state can sometimes be frustrating for women and men of religious faith. They may be tempted to misuse government in order to impose a value which they cannot persuade others to accept. But once we succumb to that temptation, we step onto a slippery slope where everyone’s freedom is at risk." Sen. Edward Kennedy

"The real transgression occurs when religion wants government to tell citizens how to live uniquely personal parts of their lives." Sen. Edward Kennedy


[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 6 years ago

I read several other articles on this topic today, many of them pointed out that voters were not fully informed of exactly what this amendment was expected to do...Once again, too many voters took both politicians and politically active religious leaders word and failed to look for themselves.

One might also note that the architect (or so his wife says) of this bill stood by and smiled while his wife announced that "The reason my husband my husband wrote Amendment 1 was because the Caucasian race is diminishing and we need to uh, reproduce."

[-] 1 points by JPMcMahon (18) 6 years ago

Xenu, I agree with you. But your post seemed to be targeting white people and letting others off the hook, especially when you consider the large number of African Americans that live in NC.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 6 years ago

It is true that in direct democracy there can be tyranny by the majority. On the other hand right now in this country, by and large, we have tyranny by the minority.

We may not agree with how the citizens of North Carolina have voted, but the state belongs to them, not to us or any other people outside of North Carolina. Now the same-sex minority in North Carolina must either step up and fight the referendum in the courts or accept the decision of the majority.

[-] 4 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 6 years ago

The courts no longer have a say. This was a constitutional amendment, not a simple law, and the state courts cannot hold that the state constitution is unconstitutional.

Where were all the young people? The average age of the voters yesterday was 57. This is a perfect example of why the Left abstaining from voting - something many on this fora advocate - is such a stupid and destructive strategy.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 6 years ago

From what you have posted, apparently, direct democracy does work. Those who voted carried the day; those who abstained from a referendum on a constitutional amendment displayed remarkable apathy or ridiculous skepticism. I'm not sure, but I still believe tyranny by the majority is preferable to tyranny by the minority even if I oppose the proposition and the results.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 6 years ago

This was hardly the majority. What percentage of the state's electorate actually voted? The minority actually made the decision. And they were fired up (as they were in California with the far less pernicious Prop 8) by propaganda paid for by the 1%ers from inside and outside of the state. There was as much corruption and manipulation here as there is in the halls of congress.

Again, where were all the younger voters? Their disaffection with the voting process led them to give up, not only their rights, but the rights of their friends and brothers and sisters. That is the same thing many here advocate doing: boycott elections or throw one's vote away on an unelectable third party spoiler.

Tyranny is tyranny. I don't care what process ushers it in. Without protection for the minority, any system stinks to hell. In this case, the Republitard state legislature already had passed a law banning Gay marriage in the state. But they were worried that the courts would find that law unconstitutional, so they raised great deal of money and created this constitutional referendum to get around any challenge. It was a purely cynical ploy. In the meantime, the younger population, for whom this law would have the most impact, decided that voting was too passe for one reason or another. Both direct democracy and representative democracy fail when people don't vote.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 6 years ago

That's correct, but there's no viable way of forcing people to vote.

The choices are either direct democracy, a republic, or some type of totalitarian state. Ideally the rights of minorities as well as the rights of the majority should be safeguarded, but so far that's still a dream.

[-] 1 points by The99Rises (12) 6 years ago

Damn homophobia. Yeah, I totally agree that direct democracy doesn't work out (except in REALLY small populations).

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

was there a republican primary along with this vote?

because there is no demo primary

Support the 99% ... demand elections be national and state holidays

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 6 years ago

There were Democratic and Republican (and Libertarian!) primaries yesterday. You had to declare a party affiliation if you wanted one of these parties' ballots, otherwise I assume you just get a ballot with the amendment vote on it.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

Voter turnout was strong in Tuesday's primary elections, with about 34 percent of the state's registered voters turning up at the polls


34% is not a strong voter turn out


[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 6 years ago

No, its not. Its disappointing that only a third of registered voters wanted to weigh in on something as important as Amendment One. I'm ashamed for what my state did yesterday.

[-] 0 points by The99Rises (12) 6 years ago

Are you trying to say the movement has become to much about anarchy? If yes, I agree. This should be about democratic socialism!

[-] 0 points by tallscott (11) 6 years ago

OWS uses consensus rather than "majority rule" to protect against this kind of thing. So it's not direct democracy that sucks, but democracy without protection for minority rights.

[-] 1 points by SingleVoice (158) 6 years ago

It seems to me that democracy worked but that not enough people with the alternative view voted. You either have an electorate that didn't bother to take part or the majority of people in that state agreed with the amendment. In either case, democracy worked but we're not always happy with the outcome.

[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 6 years ago

We had a massive effort to get people out to vote NO, and we outspent the yes campaigns at a nearly 2:1 ratio. I doubt it was voter apathy. We just don't have the numbers when the hillbillies decide to invoke "god's will" and vote for their favorite fictional character's whims.