Democracy, Elections & Accountability: Commentaries

"If virtue is to pervade the society, as many public decisions as possible must be made by the broadest range of citizens possible, and they must be made at a level as close as possible to citizens' daily experience."
    -John McClaughry, The Vermont Papers

"The effect of [a representative democracy is] to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of the nation...."
    -James Madison

All Commentaries

Commentary: Return of the Johnstown Flood

Searching for an arresting metaphor for the approaching legislative session, I found a compelling example, as described by contemporaneous reports.

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Commentary: The Check Back for Legislative Accountability

The climate lobby is racing to push through the Clean Heat Standard heating fuel tax bill – without any legislator voting on the record to lau... Read more

Commentary: Middlebury's Messy Voter Rolls Suggests a Larger Problem

Vermont’s poorly maintained voter lists are placing the integrity of our 2022 election at risk, as newly uncovered evidence from the 2020 election shows.

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Commentary: The Condos 'Wet Paper Ballot Standard' surpasses "Gold Standard"

In his recent commentary, Secretary of State Jim Condos d... Read more

Commentary: Public school democracy, voice vs. choice

New departures in sex education and union-promoted Critical Race Theory in the public schools are raising the temperature of parents and school board. Objecting parents should... Read more

Commentary: The Least Secure Voting System in the Nation

Vermont is on the cusp of having the least secure election system in the nation.Read more

Commentary: Meet Your New Climate Government

Meet Your new Climate Government:  The Global Warming Solutions Act, enacted over Gov. Scott’s veto, establishes a 23-member Vermont Climate Council ... Read more

Commentary: Early Voting Is Bad for Democracy

Every day there is a new announcement from the Vermont Secretary of State’s office proudly proclaiming how many Read more

Commentary: Vermont not ready for mail-in-voting says Colorado Secretary of State

Live ballots for the Vermont general election are in the mail and on their way to every active voter on the statewide checklist. Since coming up with this vote-by-mail scheme in r... Read more

Commentary: Shout-downs place democracy in peril

For years, public demonstrations on issues ranging from abortion to climate change have been commonplace in Vermont, signs of a healthy civil discourse. But some demonstrations ha... Read more

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