SDO issue shows need for direct democracy
First of all, I applaud the Letters to the Editor in The Royal Gazette (April 26, 2023) by Ben Smith and Robert Landau. It seems to me that the direction of Bermuda's economic future is at stake.
Whether the issue is small or large, it’s time Bermuda changed its system of government to accommodate a direct-democracy system on major, or even lesser, issues. Let the people decide by way of initiatives from the people, petitions and binding referendums.
The way this could work is for any issue to be presented to a select committee to determine its worthiness by way of a petition — a high-percentage turnout obviously indicates a high level of “people’s” interest in the specific subject and vice versa. Perhaps once a year, we could have one, or several different issues, voted upon by the people, the results of which must be binding upon the Government — or what’s the point?
Relying on the decisions of a handful of representatives, some with more than one powerful portfolio, on all major issues is just not good enough, when our entire future could hang in the balance!
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton)
In my letter to this valued newspaper on of April 6 headed “Bermuda’s representative democracy”, I discussed direct democracy for Bermuda on major issues. But, whether on major issues such as independence, the Fairmont Southampton special development order, or on other issues such as legalisation of drugs, same-sex marriage, speeding and traffic violations, penalties for Belco, or smaller issues, it is time the people made the decisions that affect us all.
Thomas Jefferson said: “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”
MICHAEL G. MARSH
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