There was a recent Opinion Piece that got me thinking. In it, Idaho House Majority Party Assistant Leader Brent Crane was cited:
He offers caution to those who think Troy’s district would be better served by a Democrat, who would have no clout in the Legislature. A Democrat, he said, “can’t get a hearing on a bill if Republicans decide to block it. Caroline Troy could get a hearing on any bill she wants and she has direct access, whether it’s the governor, or if it’s House and Senate leadership. If there are things she needs to get done for her district, she can get things done.”
And then my opponent sent a letter to the local paper singing a similar tune. He states:
In Boise, Democratic votes count for nothing, as the Republican leadership typically requires a majority of the majority to get things passed.
I do not believe this majority party attitude serves our citizens. Are not we all sent to represent our constituents? Does the party affiliation of the representative mean those citizens are not represented in our political process? If so, then we have a significant problem.
Here was my response:
I welcome all to the political process. We need engaged citizens for this democracy to work. But to say, as my challenger did, that the solution to Idaho’s problems lies with simple party affiliation because only one party’s votes matter is counter to our democratic principles.
I believe every vote counts, here in our district or in the statehouse, I don’t care what your party. I vote for the ideas that will bring my state and my district prosperity, whether that means improving the income of Idahoans, their education or their health. If my vote falls in the minority, that doesn’t mean I was wrong or that my vote didn’t count. All votes count.
If the majority party believes my votes aren’t worth considering, I wonder who else they might dismiss. Do women’s votes count? How about the votes of ethnic or gay people? Dismissing the value of a person’s vote is insulting to our democracy. All votes matter.
Neither should we in representation dismiss any person. I always say, I get 51% of the votes but I represent 100% of the people. All people matter.
The old political one party dominance power game does not serve Idaho citizens. It’s time to play the game of ideas; I hope the voters agree.
But standing up to a bully, you can take a beating. But isn’t that what we need to do for this democracy to work?
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