Teens, Cell Phones and Equal Representation.

Posted: 03/06/2007 in Uncategorized

I see in an AP article that the proposed ban to prohibit teens from talking on cell phones while driving is gaining momentum. Being one who is against governmental control I tend to be somewhat disturbed over this proposal. The government ahs learned to be quite clever (adroit, in the old days) at misleading the public. The teens are going to be prohibited from using cell phones while driving. Another new law. Adults can still be stupid enough to use them while driving, but the ban will prove it’s safer to not talk on a cell phone while driving. So eventually, a law will be passed prohibiting all drivers from talking on a cell phone while driving. Except the cops of course. They have no need to obey the rules. They are above the rules. They enforce the rules.

All well and good. We will have banned the use of cell phones while driving in a few years. How did it happen? We became incrementally used to the rule, and it silently became law because we weren’t paying attention. But then, to start at the beginning, why do we need a law prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving? Proponents will say that studies prove the ban will save countless lives and prevent accidents. Well, Duhhh! How stupid are we as people? Of course it will prevent accidents. Anything that distracts a driver can lead to an accident on the highway. That’s common sense. Everybody that drives knows it. So why do we need a law? The answer is we don’t. What we need to do, is to make people responsible for their actions while behind the wheel of a car. No one should be using a cell phone while driving, period. But people still do it. Instead of changing the laws, why don’t we start changing attitudes? Wouldn’t it be better in the long run? We need to remember that laws do not make bad people good, but they do make good people bad.

In another AP article in the 02 June, 2007 issue of the Kennebec Journal, House lawmakers killed a proposal to amend the State Constitution and reduce the number of legislators. I applaud this action for a couple of reasons. Number one, there really won’t be any meaningful savings as the supporters claim there will. We’re not going to see real changes in the cost of government until we change the government. While Maine’s Legislature ranks sixth in size nationally, we are number forty in the population roster, the districts are so widely spread now that many people will not get fair representation. We need to start making changes in the overall concept of what the leadership of Maine has become.

I see a couple of different scenarios developing here. Population usually dictates coverage of the representation in most states. If we were to simply use a population density mapping formula, who will get most of the representation? You guessed it, the heavily populated Southern portion of the State. Therefore, they will get a bigger voting block in Augusta. The sparsely populated areas such as Western Maine, Down east and The County will have fewer representatives, and therefore a smaller voting block. Read that as unequal representation.

A second, and more sinister scenario is that governmental controls will become more centralized. Along with a downsizing of the legislature will come a mandate to shrink other aspects of the control portions of the government. The move to consolidate the school districts is one example. Fewer people to drive the car, so to speak. Will those fewer people take us where we want to go? Centralized government is a hallmark of Socialist and Communist governments. One step up above a dictatorship.

The second reason is that we should be very careful when approaching the constitution with a change. The Constitution is our basic tenet of law. It should define the territory we must remain in, and define the territory we should stay out of. By attempting to make numerous laws a part of, or become an addition to the Constitution, or to change its meaning, we will merely weaken its stature. When its stature becomes weakened our society will become weakened. Maine has become a weak enough society as it is. Why make it worse?


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