Monday, October 1, 2007

Proposition could mean a more open government

Proposition 11, put forth by Rep. Dan Branch (R-Dallas) could mean a more open government for the state of Texas. If approved in the November election, Texans would add a piece to the current constitution that would require lawmakers' votes to be recorded and subsequently placed on the internet for public viewing. Both sides of the issue are passionate about their stance. Those for the proposition feel that this would serve the public better and ensure a more open government. Those against the proposition feel that it is unnecessary because the House and Senate already have an unspoken rule concerning recording votes. They also argue that mandated vote recording would increase partisanship and only weaken lawmakers’ ability to work together across party lines.

I agree with proposition 11. By voting 'yes' the public would be voting for a more accountable and open government. As citizens we decide who we place in the state legislature. If not for our votes, state senators and representatives would not be able to hold their respective offices. That said, they should have no problem owning up to the votes they cast. If I vote someone into office it is based on my own beliefs and therefore I expect them to carry out the platform promises on which they ran. The article stated that there are three different times votes are cast within the legislature. Proposition 11 only covers the final vote. I believe it is necessary to have full disclosure at all levels; hopefully someone will argue for this sometime soon. I completely disagree with the argument that record voting would increase partisanship and hinder lawmakers' ability to work together in a bipartisan form. As elected officials, they should be open and honest about their stances and still be able to maintain a civil and productive work environment. Excuses should not be made for grown adults. Government should be open and honest and so should the people we place in it.

No comments: