This just sort of popped out at me and poked me in the eye as I was reading the Reason.com Hit & Run
blog in my feed-reader.
I had to do a doubletake to make sure I had read it aright. The motivation for this apparent example of counter-democracy would appear to be that at least one senator might be fearful that shifting public notification of local government actions to the Internet and away from newspapers might make him more accountable.
(Copied below sans
Brickbat: Here, Sir, The People Don't Govern
Charles Oliver|Apr. 23, 2013 7:00 am
"I am the senator, you are the citizen. You need to be quiet."
That was what North Carolina state Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Waxhaw, said to Hal Tanner. Tanner had just asked for a recorded vote from the State and Local Goverment Committee on a bill that would shift public notification of local government actions to the Internet and away from newspapers. The committee had just had a voice vote on the bill, and Tucker, the committee's co-chairman, said it had passed. Tanner, publisher of the Goldsboro New-Argus, said the bill failed the voice vote and asked for a vote on the record. Tucker denied telling Tanner to shut up, though the remark was confirmed by others at the hearing.
Whilst this discussion thread has mainly related to evidence of existing/future potential Internet freedoms being restrained
by government or **AA lobbies' and/or other "Big XXX" lobbies' actions, this is the first instance I can recall where there is evidence that the restraint is coming from the other end
- i.e., by deliberately avoiding use of the Internet
where it might improve
citizens' freedoms and democratic rights and ability to more actively participate
in civil matters, and
make government (and senators) more open to scrutiny, and more accountable and transparent for whatever legislation they find themselves having to push or block.This would seem to be akin to pulling the teeth of potential future use of the Internet for increased transparency and democratic scrutiny and participation.
If it so happened that there were (say) any senators with a tendency to behave like arrogant little Fascist toads with hidden agendas that they want to keep
hidden, and without them being scrutinised or held accountable, then I think that pulling those teeth might be a very
good idea for those senators to consider.
My suggestion would be to keep an increasingly wary eye open for any such "democracy dentists" - just in case they show themselves, like.