The decentralization of power is a good thing

Jim Galloway has another insightful column up at the AJC’s Political Insider blog. He uses the recent advance of the Sunday Alcohol Sales bill to point out how the Tea Party movement has caused a decentralization of political power in Georgia.

“Republicans often talk of the chill that last November’s tea party-driven vote sent up President Barack Obama’s spine. Only rarely do they acknowledge that those same ballots signaled a shift to a more libertarian brand of conservatism within the GOP.”

“It’s a bill about local control,” Bulloch said. And we’re all about limited government these days, because the pitchforks – once held by followers of Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson — are now in the hands of tea partyers.”

I for one would welcome this decentralization of power. One of the consequences of concentrating money and power in a central location is that it makes it much easier for lobbyists to influence where that money ends up being spent. The farther the decision making process gets from the taxpayer the less chance there is that the money will actually be spent to benefit that taxpayer. The supporters of turning North Fulton into Milton County are using this same justification for local control.

With that in mind my favorite quote from Galloway’s column is by the head of the Georgia Christian Coalition, Jerry Luquire, as he explained why he didn’t bother to attend the hearings on Sunday alcohol sales,

“I don’t show up at the Capitol much anymore because that’s not where the power is anymore. The power is among the people”.

I don’t care if you support the Tea Party or not, I would hope we can agree that the power being back with the people is a good thing.

If you are interested in Georgia politics then the Political Insider is a must read and you can find the whole article here.

2 thoughts on “The decentralization of power is a good thing

  1. Having to slightly disagree.

    The Sunday sales issue aside, power moved back closer to the people is generally a good thing, but I think referendums are overused. It moves toward a pure democracy rather than a representative republic. I have seen elected officials use the referendum to avoid the responsibility of making tough choices, and therefore not held accountable.

    Our Founders got to craft a form of government after the colonies had marinated in their various forms of governance for 150 years. They were able to take the best from each and weave together a brilliant tapestry of a constitutional representative republic with a separation of powers and a dual (national/state) form. We continue to chip away at that form to our own demise.

    Moving toward a more purely democratic form in a nation that no longer believes in absolute truths is a scary proposition. Unless, of course, you believe in the inherent good of man, but nothing we see bears out that theory.

  2. The other thing that is bad about referendums is that they are often so poorly worded that it takes much effort to understand what you are even voting on. I’ve always maintained that the wording is intentionally obscured. Many (most?) voters don’t take the time to educate themselves and it is often hard to get the information even when you try. So then you have to ask how true are the results?

    Referendums have their place, such as bond issues, but we’ve gone way beyond that. The majority rule doesn’t make an issue right. Right makes right.

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