Saturday, November 21, 2009

On Mass Democracy, part 3

In response to Ian Welsh, who blames the electorate of California out of what seems to me despair:

The California budget disaster is a result of gaming the California electoral system, not the will of a majority of Californians. Prop 13 was passed by 18% of California's population in the off year of 1978. Even of registered voters, it only got 45% of the vote. The tax cutting is not the will of the majority of Californians--never was. Such laws do not usually pass with even a majority of registered voters, and probably would not even pass in Presidential election years, even counting only that percentage of voters who turn out. So don't go blaming the citizens of California. Don't tell me they deserve it, or asked for it. An overwhelming majority never asked for any such thing.

To repeat myself: that many people do not understand or are not interested in politics is not a justification for mistreatment, any more than a patient's limited understanding of medicine is a defense of malpractice.

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