ND Democrats Complain About Alleged Legislative Power Grabs
The Bismarck Tribune has a lengthy run-down of allegations from North Dakota Democrats about “legislative power grabs” as well as the predictable Republican denials.
While I think a the Republican majority in the legislature has all but abandoned its limited government principles in some ways, the accusations of “legislative power grabs” does seem to illustrate the basic ideological divide between Republicans and Democrats.
Proponents of limited government tend to believe that the best government is that which is closest to the people. That means we are best served when the people making the decisions are directly accountable to the people via the ballot box.
Democrats want the exact opposite, with more bureaucracies and more bureaucrats wielding more power over the people with less recourse for citizens who might now like how that power is being wielded.
The Democrats see “power grabs” in attempts to end the State Board of Higher Education’s obstinate independence and put them under the direct control of an elected leader. The governor, to be specific. They also see a “power grab” in efforts to undo the colossal mistake that was the creation of a permanent, taxpayer-funded anti-smoking bureaucracy at the smoking level. They see it as a power grab to have legislators, and not bureaucrats, overseeing the state’s pension funds.
In all of these instances, the Democrats side with unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy over elected leaders making decisions. That’s…telling. Even the term “legislative power grab” is laughable. The legislature grabbing power from the people would be a bad thing. The legislature taking power from unelected bureaucrats? That’s generally a positive development.
Which isn’t to say that all the ideas Republicans have had this session have been good ones. Rep. Mike Schatz proposed legislation that would have allowed the legislature to undo a ballot measure voted on by the people. That would have been a mistake.
But, generally, in criticizing Republican efforts to involve elected leaders more thoroughly in the state’s business the Democrats reveal their preference for a weakened electorate and a stronger government.Tags: democrats, North Dakota News