The Orlando Sentinel reports that State Senator Paula Dockery (Lakeland-R) is teaming up with Richard Steinberg (Miami Beach-D) to sponsor legislation to allow voters to “veto” legislation that is passed in Tallahassee. This citizen veto (SJR 1490 and HJR 1231) would require amending the state constitution and therefore needs approval from the voters.
“Like many states, Florida should afford its citizens the opportunity to reject legislation that they deem detrimental to the State,” Steinberg said in the press release. “In a democracy, it is the citizens who should have the final word on whether to accept or reject a law.”
This is a curious quote and while I have yet to see the details of this legislation, I would caution against a populist movement such as this. Steinberg’s reference to a democracy caused me great pause. Because Steinberg has a law degree, I am sure he realizes that we do not live in a democracy. In fact our founders took great strides to not form a democracy because they realized a democracy is a “mob rule” which leads to an oligarchy. Simply stated, in a pure democracy, 50%+1 of the population can vote to take your stuff away from you. Again, let me state, we do not live in a state democracy or a national democracy. We live in a republic.
If you are not sure of the nuances of a republic vs a democracy, I urge to you watch this video:
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Contact Dockery and Steinberg and let them know that you do not support this legislation: