The United States of America is not, in fact, a true democracy. In a democracy, the people are the government. Today, we elect people to run the government for us. The people we elect do not, for the most part, run the country in the interest of the people; they run it in the interest of themselves. We are led to believe that we must put our trust in these people. We, the People, do not have the power to create laws in our interest. This causes an imbalance of power in the government.
The powerful elites who control our government will self-servingly argue that the People are not qualified or do not know enough to be trusted to make laws. To counter those opposed to empowering the People, one needs only look to the record of the last 100 years in the 24 states where the People make laws by initiative. In those states, the People have legislated responsibly, and many times more so than their elected representatives. Civil service, campaign finance reform, and women’s right to vote are but a few examples of the progressive legislation initiated by the People.
The experience of Switzerland is even more instructive. Switzerland, a poor, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, hardscrabble country without natural resources decided, 140 years ago, to adopt a constitution that brought the People into the operation of government as lawmakers. Even Alexis de Tocqueville had serious doubts that this Swiss experiment in direct democracy would work. The result is without precedent in human history; Switzerland has evolved into the most successfully governed nation in the world.
With the National Citizens Initiative’s enactment, the American People will experience the responsibility of legislating and governing themselves directly, which will bring about greater civic maturity. The National Citizens Initiative does not alter the existing structure of representative governments; however, it does add an additional check, the People, to our system of checks and balances. Bringing the People into the legislative operations of government sets up a working partnership with the People and their elected legislative representatives.
The election by Philadelphia II at votep2.us overcomes the monopoly of representative government over the people and the failure of Congress to share its lawmaking powers with the People, who are already experienced as lawmakers in 24 states where they make laws by initiative, and everywhere, whenever people vote on bond issues.
The ideological foundation of the National Citizens Initiative rests on the belief that the constituent power of the People is sovereign and the American People can govern themselves as they see fit in pursuit of their happiness and the general welfare. George Washington put it best: "The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.
2002 – Written by David Parrish and Senator Gravel, edited by Michael Grant
Jun 2008 – Edited by Joshua Pritikin