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A vital democracy

EDITOR: The adaptability and creativity that makes democracy such a vital system was demonstrated again on Saturday's front page.

First, the founder of RepealSMART expressed regret that "people won't have an opportunity to vote on the tax." I would posit that by choosing not to sign the petition to overturn the tax that was approved by a super-majority, the electorate was, in effect, voting to reinforce its previous decision through collective inactivity.

Second, by upholding the new state Senate districts, the state Supreme Court gave the Democratic Party the opportunity to obtain a two-thirds majority. As I see it, after 30-plus years of trying to make government non-functional by requiring a two-thirds majority to approve taxes, the Republican Party finds itself likely reduced to a minority party with less than one-third of the seats. It's like it created something of a self-fulfilling prophecy through the law of unintended consequences.

Free elections are the hallmark of a democratic system. But they aren't the only way people are able to effect government action. A vital democracy can overcome Machiavellian attempts to circumvent it.

EMIL BACILLA

Sebastopol


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