The Portland Phoenix

Your Viewpoint: Arguments against pure democracy

Added to Al Diamond’s, “good arguments against democracy,” I submit a quote from H.L. Mencken – “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what’s best for them, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

This quote was exemplified when Portland’s acting city manager released the costs for the referendum questions and Charter Commission proposals going to the voters this November. The drafters of both the Charter Commission and referendum questions refused repeated requests for cost implications. Now we know – $6.5M, annually – all to be borne by: property tax payers, renters, small businesses, young workers and retirees. Concern for costs, in these times of high inflation, was a responsibility they ignored.

Neither the majority of the elected Charter Commission nor the drafters of the referendums cared about the cost burdens to Portland’s citizens. Should all but a couple of these questions pass, the common people will be getting it good and hard.

Robert Kahn

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