Rhode Island… Something Other than a Democracy

Given other content on the site, it seems like a good day to catch up with an excellent commentary by Capers Jones published in the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition’s RISC-y Business newsletter:

The hectic conclusion to the 2010 summer legislative section illustrates once again that Rhode Island is no longer a true democracy. Rhode Island has become a tightly controlled oligarchy that is ruled by special interests and the Assembly leadership without any serious concerns for the good of the state, the towns, or the citizens. Here are the reasons why Rhode Island is no longer a true democracy:
Every year the General Assembly puts forth more bills than any other state, including large states such as California and New York. Usually more than 2,100 bills are submitted here in Rhode Island. Of these at least 2,000 are trivial and are used primarily to make it hard for voters to find out what is really going on about serious issues.

Jones’s rapid succession of explanations of questionable legislative processes and then examples of the consequences for RI government makes it impossible to tease out a small, representative quotation. Read the whole thing, if you haven’t already done so.

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