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Majority and Minority

January 31, 2019

When I was in Toastmasters, I read Robert’s Rules of Order, a set of rules to be used in parliamentary debates.  Most of the rules were based on the principle: the majority rules but the minority must be heard.  This is a good principle, but it’s not sufficient in our system of representative democracy.

The minority voice must also be respected.  If it’s ignored, there will be a public outcry.  There might even be demonstrations.  After all, the minority may represent a significant portion of the population.  In government, members of the minority should be present on committees and should be able to propose motions.

In a true representative democracy, the entire population must be represented.  This principle requires the elected officials to know their constituents.  Of course, the leader must know their constituents or their voters, but that’s only the beginning.  The entire population must be represented too, through their elected officials.  The assembly must not be adversarial.  Officials must cooperate to build legislation that suits the entire population.


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