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Democracy, Yes. Charter Change, No! No! No!

By Mike McGarry

September 26, 2013

The very odd charter changes on the ballot this November are an insult to the democratic system we as citizens are so fond of and depend on.

First, major changes in the system in this off year will only involve a few voters. Only 10% of the registered voters will come out. Changing anything based on 50% plus one vote (5% of the voters) is anything but democratic.

Let's take a quick look at the questions on the ballot - more coming in future articles. The first question is incomprehensible. It refers to charter changes - unexplained - that jumble up things that have not had proper vetting. One object, taking away the Mayor's vote on the Board of Education is certainly debatable. Have you heard any meaningful debate? Supposedly, you'll be given an explanation of all the changes at the polls. Yes, at 6 a.m., you'll be expected to read 300 - 400 words of legalese.

The second, and most foolish, question is pushing the idea of tax-payer funded city elections. What! The roof of city hall leaks, we are eliminating police functions, our roads are pot-holed again, our parks are weed filled ... and we are talking about funding elections? Let's be honest, the election that counts most is the Democratic primary.

Who will figure out who gets what in one of those? The chances for favoritism, cronyism, and outright fraud are high and, god forbid, if one, as a candidate makes a mistake, a career is ruined. Does anyone think a minor bookkeeping error in a tight election would be overlooked?

The last sad question is the idea that the Registrar of voters office would become a patronage job and not an elected position. Of all the anti-democratic moves a foot, this takes the cake. Just because of personality conflicts, we voters would lose the right to vote for the important posts of registrar of each party.

Let's hope the voters pay attention to these mistaken missiles of anti-democratic changes. Let's show the characters who want to lessen our input that taking away voters rights and input is wrong, wrong, wrong and let's vote No, No and No on Questions 1,2 and 3!

Reprinted with permission of the The Hartford News.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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