SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Democracy or Oligarchy, You Decide.
By Samuel Bergeron


August 27, 2007

Winston Churchill said that "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others we've tried".

We live in a republic (representative democracy). We elect people to make decisions and exercise power for us. Often times the decision making of our elected officials do not represent the will of the majority of the people they represent. On issues of great importance I think it is prudent to take the issue to the people and ask them directly rather than having some elected official assume the will of the people or ignore their will altogether. That's why I like ballot initiatives; it's the purest form of democracy.

Those of you who lament the jewelry store initiative should take to heart the sacrifices made by our brave veterans and current service men and women that give us the freedom and right for the people to make laws. We have an obligation to exercise the freedoms afforded to us that is commensurate to the ultimate sacrifices made by those who came before us. This does include, if you are so inclined, the right to opposition. But do it in a manner that is not personal, intimidating or disrespectful. To ignore this advice is to weaken your chances of success at the ballot box as you will be seen as a jerk and people will vote against you for spite.

An oligarchy is a small group of people who together govern or control an organization, often for their own purposes. Arguably that can be said about the Borough Assembly, KIC Tribal Council and the City Council as well. Rather than leaving the big decisions to a benevolent oligarchy, I would take democracy to its purest form and ask the people directly. In a democracy the majority rules, an oligarchy rules regardless if the majority likes it or not.

Samuel Bergeron
Ketchikan, AK

Received August 26, 2007 - Published August 27, 2007

About: " I'm a life-long Alaskan and concerned citizen."


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Ketchikan, Alaska