Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The war on democracy is ongoing. One of the ironies some folks note is that the biggest opponents of citizens’ direct say in government tend to be sitting Democratic politicians. But Democrats who earnestly support democracy can take heart, for not only can they remind Republicans of recent GOP-led jihads against initiative rights, but Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, just vetoed an initiative-silencing bill in California.

Of course, it was concocted by labor unions for their benefit, and was supported by Democrats in the Assembly, but still: Huzzahs for Jerry Brown!

Assembly Bill 857, advanced by Cupertino’s Paul Fong, would have placed hurdles on the petitioning process by limiting the paying of petitioners to qualify initiatives for the ballot. The vetoed law, if enacted, would have required 10 percent of valid signatures to be volunteers. But “volunteer” included union workers who were, in fact, being paid to circulate petitions.

And that was one of the governor’s complaints about the weaselly legislation.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association had gone on record opposing the measure, charging that it would have made the process more difficult for most groups with its cumbersome record-keeping requirements. And another part of the bill, as Neal Hobson summarized at Citizens in Charge,

would have established a right for any California citizen to sue the sponsors of initiative petitions by claiming they had turned in any fraudulent signatures. Whether such charges could be substantiated or not, the resultant litigation could bankrupt initiative campaigns with legal fees.

Devious political minds obviously cooked up this bill. Exclude Gov. Brown from that designation.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. 2WarAbnVet says:

    I have to comment on a subject that greatly disturbs me. Our Founders never intended or established this nation as a “Democracy”. By and large they, and their contemporaries, all had only contempt for “Democracy”.

    “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” – John Adams

    Democracy was the right of the people to choose their own tyrant.”- James Madison

    “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who would not.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.”
    Alexander Tytler

    “By giving the government unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal; and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.” –economist Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992)

    “Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville

    Only moronic libs continue to whine about “Democracy”.

  2. Edward Agazarm says:

    Governor moonbeam continues to surprise me, in good ways.

  3. Paul Jacob says:

    2WarAbnVet — No one is talking about an Athenian democracy as a form of government, where all matters including our rights are up for a vote in the city or national square, day-in and day-out. We’re talking about democratic checks emanating from the people — “the fountain of all power” — within a constitutionally limited government.

    Some folks say, “We’re a Republic; Not a Democracy!” But the USSR was a “republic” as well. What kind of republic is the US? We’re a constitutionally limited republic with the sovereign people enjoying democratic checks on those holding office and other checks and balances built into the system to protect the people from their government and those in charge of it at any given time.

    My view of the people being sovereign and being the fountain of all power, and noticing the political world I have inherited, cannot be reconciled to a government where citizens have no direct democratic check on the laws under which they live.

  4. Dirk says:

    We were conceived to be a constitutionally limited republic. We are not. Republics require representatives for every 10-30,000 people, not for every 850,000 like we have now. We are out of scale to be a republic other than in name only. As such we are an oligarchy. A democracy would be better, even though a democracy is still an evil governing principle.

    By out of scale, I mean that the size no longer fits or is useful to humans. Our current republic is like an 8 foot long, 6″ diameter pencil. A curiousity that resembles the original in form and reminds of it but that is useles for its original purpose.

  5. Most days I am an Anarcho Cap. However, I cheer any little return of rights, property and monies to the individual. I see our primary problem as the long build up of power in the Administrative Agencies until we now resemble more a corporate state similar to a fascist state with many aspects of Empire. For a good article today on Anarcho Cap, see Brian White in

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