Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Bigger Picture

In HoCo, some loco activists are in up in righteous arms over a failed petition drive to overturn a zoning change as to whether a grocery store could be 55,000 square feet as opposed to 18,000 square feet. They see this as basically a violation of the constitutional right to vote. That is the legal argument from which they are hanging their continued appeals.

That’s nothing.

Just down the pike, in the District of Columbia, the new GOP leadership is about to strip the watered down voting rights of the Districts representatives. According to this story by Ben Pershing in The Washington Post, the new Republican House leadership has “decided to take away the right of delegates and resident commissioners to vote on some amendments.”

This was a pretty watered down right to vote to begin with. Their votes are limited to something called The Committee of the Whole. This gives the District representative some say on tax and spending bills but even here the vote is largely “symbolic because it does not count if it is the deciding one on an issue.”

Of course the District of Columbia doesn’t have real representation in Congress because it’s not a state. It’s a one of a kind. It is also home to 601,723 people, more people than Wyoming. The cowboys in Wyoming get two senators and one congressman who all have real votes.

On the other hand, it is smaller in land area than Rhode Island, twenty eight times smaller. It’s airports are in other states. It has more parks and libraries than any US city of comparable size.

I’m not sure what the answer is for the District and their disenfranchised voting rights. I do know that taking away what is largely a symbolic vote for political reasons just smacks me as wrong. It’s sort of like bullying with the right to vote. What end is served by this?

We don’t like your kind?
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