Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rep John Dougall calls 62% of Utahns ignorant

Actually, he more or less calls all of us ignorant:

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
-- Thomas Jefferson

There were many valid reason to support and oppose Referendum 1. My question is: Did you read the bill (HB148/HB174)? If the answer is no, then note the quote above. When the decision is placed on your hands, your duty is to be informed. Listening to outrageous commercials (from either side) is insufficient and likely counterproductive. Attending debates and reading the voter pamphlet can be helpful. But if you didn't read the bill (and voted), you shirked your duty.

I read both bills forwards and backwards. OK, so not backwards, but I read the bills several times. All I saw was a program that helped very few Utah families while raising taxes on all Utah taxpayers. I saw taxpayer monies going into the private sector with minimal accountability to the taxpayers. I also so nothing that worked with Article X, Section 9 of the Utah Constitution.

These bills, as with all legislation, are written in legalese. I can fake legalese well enough to understand the bill, but most Utahns can't. It's a simple fact of life. However, the Office of the Lt Governor published a voter information pamphlet. I read the Legislative Fiscal Analyst's statement that in year 13 the savings would be less than the expenditures. That's on page 5.

Let's face it, 300,000 of my fellow Utahns decided for themselves that vouchers were bad.



Oldenburg said...

Isn't this rich? A Utah legislator calling voters ignorant. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

This bill was poorly drafted from the start. That's why a bare majority voted for it in the UT House. That's also why amendments were proposed to this bill.

Voters very clearly understood what the bill was intending to do and rejected it by a nearly 2 to 1 margin. The only cities that supported this bill were the polygamous towns like Hillsdale that were going to use it as another means of embezzling state moneys.

JM Bell said...

What Oldenburg said.

Obi wan liberali said...

In a a subsequent post, Rep. Dougall pointed out that many of the municipalities he represents voted for Referendum 1. However, outside of Laverkin, it's hard to find as conservative area as Dougall's district. That may explain his existence as a legislator from that district.

Cameron said...

Let's not pretend that everyone that votes does so in an informed manner.

I read the bills, the information pamphlet, all the various arguments for and against on all the blogs, and I voted for Ref 1. Many did the same research and voted against it. Informed, one and all. Which Rep. Dougall noted when he wrote, "There were many valid reasons to support and oppose Referendum 1."

But there are those that didn't do much more than see the tv commercials, and that's obviously not enough. Many of the people with whom I associate fell into that category.

And this bit of voter ignorance is common. In Utah it's common for Democrats to lament the fact that in many parts of the state all you have to have is an (R) next to your name on the ballot and you're a winner. Is that because the majority of Utahns are ignorant? Perhaps.

I read Rep. Dougall's paragraph, and it strikes me as very true. If someone didn't read the bill as part of their due diligence before they voted, then they voted ignorantly and shirked their duty.

Voice of Utah said...

I wonder how many people vote for their legislators without reading up on them. Guess those votes are illegitimate, too.

Cameron said...

I found it interesting that over at the Utah Amicus Homer wrote a comment much like this post. Except that it was taking to task Utah voters for voting for Republicans all the time:

"Unfortunately, I think that voters in Utah are more concerned with having the "right" kind of person in office and worry less about performance, ethics, and specific legislative positions.

Whatever, that's democracy. The will of the people doesn't have to be right or intelectually satisfiying or even make sense."