Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Athens on Long Island?

I was watching a show on PBS the other evening on democracy in ancient Athens.

While it was by no means a perfect system, I found the idea of a broader, more inclusive voting system on issues to be interesting and thought that perhaps it could be incorporated into the "One Long Island" project in some way.

I will explore this concept further as time permits.

1 comment:

J said...

Referendum voting is an interesting concept but it will not work on Long Island with its inherent NIMBYism. Imagine where LI would be today if Robert Moses required a referendum voted on by residents to complete his far-reaching projects. Local opposition did kill the R-135 extension and connection across the Sound. For good or bad representative Democracy can get more done. More direct control in the form of councilmatic districts in TOBAY would bring more power to voters. At-large voting does not reflect voters wants in all neighborhoods.
Elected officials must and should be expected to make tough decisions. An elected official who sticks his finger in the wind to see which way it is blowing is no better than referendum voting. If a majority of voters are unhappy with the decisions, they can vote the person out of office.
The trick is to increase voter turn-out to accurately reflect the "will" of the voters.
Along the same lines, how accurate is a "referendum" if less than 25% of eligible voters actually vote?
Any elected official should not celebrate "victory" if less than 50% of eligible voters turn out.