7
   

Should petition signer names be public?

 
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Nov, 2009 09:18 pm
@parados,
Quote:
The Declaration of Independence was a petition of grievances and was quite clearly signed in an open manner and the names made public.


1) the declaration of independence has almost nothing in common with the call for a vote

2) I believe that most of the signers of the declaration were willing to die for what they believed in. The fact that they would sign the declaration should not be construed as a statement of belief on how a democracy should function. It should not be necessary to die in the name of supporting democracy, the declaration was in their view rather extraordinary measures called for by extraordinary times.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Nov, 2009 09:57 pm
@parados,
Quote:
The protesters were silenced? I seem to recall a lot of public protests and those protesting weren't threatened by mobs or required to protect themselves with guns.


the protesters we generally ridiculed, as will be those who called for the vote in Washington should their identities be revealed. The point is that the laws did not prevent the majority from running over the minority in this case. The problem for us is that the minority was right, the majority was wrong. The threats from the majority ran more towards injury to public standing, reputation and livelihood than to bodily injury, but the minority was certainly threatened for speaking. When they failed to gain converts the price of speaking was no longer deemed to be worthwhile, as the majority was of closed mind.

Quote:
What is your point? The debate can certainly happen without it being on the ballot


It is also much more easy to ignore a question when no vote has been called on the question. It is also much more easy to lie to the public about what the public believes if no vote has been taken. It is also much more easy to demagogue on what is right without a vote taking to see if the people support your claims about what is right. Voting promotes the functioning of democracy, those who oppose voting generally oppose democracy, presumably because they know that they have not sold the people on what they want to happen.

Quote:
Someone using force would be a violation of the law and it tends to have the opposite effect when it comes to support. People tend to NOT support a minority that uses force to make people think like they do.

you have misunderstood what I was attempting to say....people made fun of Nixon when he talked about the "silent majority" which he said supported him, perhaps reasonably so because their is no indication that he was correct about where the majority was. However, if the cost of standing up for what you believe is too high for you then you will not do it, you will be bullied into staying quiet and not getting in the way of what the bullies are attempting to do. When the system is rigged to assist the bullies there is a near certainty that silent majorities will develop, which will skew the democracy because the minorities will gain ground that they otherwise would not, that they in fact should not gain.

Quote:
The issue was whether to use force or not in Iraq. There was no "force" used against those that were opposed to going into Iraq.


Bullshit, denying us our right to conduct public discourse before going to war was an act of force. It was the act of forcing us into an invasion that we likely would not have agreed to if what had had the correct facts as they were known at the time. The force was not used against those who apposed the war, it was used against the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, the America People, the rule of law, the fourth estate, the founding principles of our nation, our general moral code.....
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 04:34 am
@hawkeye10,
I did not say that the framers were "silenced", I said that the Constitution and the Federalist Papers are "SILENT" on the issue of secrecy of petitions. In fact the Federalist papers are against a BILL OF RIGHTS.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 07:54 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:

the protesters we generally ridiculed, as will be those who called for the vote in Washington should their identities be revealed. The point is that the laws did not prevent the majority from running over the minority in this case. The problem for us is that the minority was right, the majority was wrong. The threats from the majority ran more towards injury to public standing, reputation and livelihood than to bodily injury, but the minority was certainly threatened for speaking. When they failed to gain converts the price of speaking was no longer deemed to be worthwhile, as the majority was of closed mind.

OMG.. they might have been ridiculed? No wonder they might need guns to protect themselves. Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 08:01 am
@hawkeye10,
Your arguments defeat themselves hawkeye.
You claim it has to be secret to protect the minority.
Then you claim the reason for it is to allow the people to decide an issue. (That seems to be agreed to by the majority in the case of the war in Iraq which you use as an example of why it should be secret.)

Signing a petition wouldn't have made the Bush administration tell us the truth. Secretly opposing the Bush administration wouldn't have caused any changes. If it had been put on the ballot, it would have most likely passed.

If anything the war in Iraq shows that "secret" opposition doesn't do any good. If you aren't willing to stand up when you are right, why would anyone believe you? Yes, those that opposed the war were correct but they also weren't doing so "secretly". Nor were they threatened to the point that they needed to protect themselves with guns.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 01:12 pm
I think the real problem is that ballot measures should not be created by petitions.

Petitions are in effect pre-votes saying that a proposal has enough support to be considered. I do think that voting should be anonymous and that people could face a backlash if they voted against the majority. I remember reading about an Alabama man whose car was vandalized because of an Obama sticker. I would hate to see how some people might react if they knew their neighbors voted the "wrong" way. I saw another case of an employer telling workers directly to vote a certain way. If he had access to the voting records, do you think he would be above taking job actions against those who did not follow his direction? I think it is naive to say this wouldn't happen if voting was public, even if it wasn't wide-spread. If petitions are pre-votes, then they deserve protection as well.

But we have a representative form of government. The people are suppose to elect fellow citizens who will study the issues and go on record in voting for it. I think the signers of the Constitution would be surprised that we think the average man on the street is sufficiently knowledgable about some of these issues to vote on them directly, but if signers of a petition are going to usurp the role of their elected leaders, then like those leaders, they need to do it on the record. I say get rid of the petition process, but if you are going to keep it, make it public.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 02:26 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

I believe you are mistaken. Since petitions don't have a 'yes' and 'no' position, a signature just has to be taken as an endorsement. You don't suppose that people in opposition to an issue are likely to sign a petition in favor of moving the issure to a vote, do you?

I sign all sorts of petitions for candidates for whom I have no intent to vote. I think the ballot access laws in my state are ridiculous, and I sign every candidate petition that is shoved in front of me as my own form of protest.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 04:09 pm
@joefromchicago,
Well, okay. If you do, you do.
0 Replies
 
 

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