Letter: Legislating by referenda is bad policyThe Republican caucus of the Minnesota legislature appears to be committed to abdicating its elected responsibility to the citizens of Minnesota when it comes to the issues of gay marriage, voter photo ID and the Right to Work.
An open letter to Rep. McNamara,
The Republican caucus of the Minnesota legislature appears to be committed to abdicating its elected responsibility to the citizens of Minnesota when it comes to the issues of gay marriage, voter photo ID and the Right to Work. In a representative democracy, one of the major responsibilities of elected officials is to make difficult decisions that reflect the will of the people and their own conscience while protecting the rights of all citizens. Legislating by referendum circumvents that decision making process, leads to more poisonous public debate and allows legislators to ignore their responsibility to minorities. If you need any further evidence of the toxic nature of this model of governing, please review the past 30 years of California history and witness the cultural and financial disorder that has resulted from their experiments in legislating by referenda.
While the issues the Republican caucus is putting forth truly deserve debate and public comment, attempting to legislate in this manner shows contempt for the same Constitution they are attempting to amend and for the representative democracy process. I wish to remind you of a statement you made in a public forum in the Hastings Public Library in February—when you were asked about this form of governing—you stated that you do not believe that it is right to be legislating by amending the Constitution. I hope that you will remember your commitment to the constituents of your district rather than to the arm twisting of the Republican caucus when these bills come before you and that you vote against them on the principle that this is not legislating, this is shirking responsibility.
The majority does indeed rule, but they must rule with the wisdom to also protect the rights of the minority.