Americans have more democracy? (con't)

offices, from judges to district attorneys to court clerks and county auditors. Perhaps more important, they can vote directly on many of the issues of the day – from gay marriage to medical marijuana. And they also have a right to vote on tax measures. In the Detroit suburb of Troy voters this week overwhelmingly turned down a proposal to increase the millage or tax rate. Now the city is looking at layoffs, and the closure of a nature centre and library, though opponents dispute the library needs to close. Even more drastic, in Colorado Springs, Co., voters last November in no uncertain terms opposed a tripling of property taxes. They didn’t trust city government to spend the money wisely and disputed drastic cuts were needed. The city has since become notorious for slashing services from darkened street lights to community centre and pool closures. Canadians may cluck-cluck about how Americans run their government. But don’t say their democracy is worse than ours. Other than dragging ourselves to the polls every four years for a paltry number of candidates voters here have no direct say about anything. Can you imagine how people in Windsor - Essex would vote on proposed tax increases? Union and special interests would no longer make a scapegoat of politicians. They’d be dealing directly with the electorate. And it’s pretty hard to argue with democracy. Feb 25 2010

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