Greetings from St. Paul,
How many times have we heard, “we live in a democracy”? Or it’s a constitutional republic? Or some combination of republic, democracy, constitutional, or representative?
Each of these words has an exact meaning. When misused, whether intentionally or not, they convey an unintended meaning.
Example: we elect representatives to all levels of government in a democratic fashion, yet we are not a representative democracy. So what are we? What form of government do we or did we have?
The answer lies in who is the sovereign.
In a democracy, sovereignty lies with the whole. In a representative democracy, those elected to represent a portion of the whole may implement any law they wish as long as 50% plus 1 agree. An example would be: on Tuesdays everyone must wear a shirt of a certain color, or any money earned in excess of a specific amount will be seized by the government and spent however the representative body agrees to.
In a republic, sovereignty lies with the individual. Each of us may decide for ourselves what is right or wrong. What color clothes to wear and the disposition of our earnings. We may choose to surrender a select portion of our sovereignty to a larger body, a state or a city, for example. When we, as individuals do, write down what we surrender or delegate in the form of a constitution, anything not surrendered is retained by default.
What are we? We are a Constitutional Republic.
Article 4, Section 4 of the Federal Compact guaranties each state in the Union a republican form of government.
YOU are the sovereign! YOU did not delegate away all of your rights and responsibilities! ONLY those things listed in either the state or federal constitutions!
Article 1, Section 8 of the Federal Compact lists those things delegated to the federal government. Those things delegated to the state government are listed by article in the Minnesota Constitution.
Give both a read. Decide for yourself if we are being represented as a constitutional republic or a representative democracy. One is following the law, the other is not.
Words mean things.
A priority of mine in St. Paul that you likely heard from me on the campaign trail is my desire to put more money back in the pockets of Minnesotans, instead of in state government’s coffers. Earlier this month, the House passed a tax relief bill that provides $1.35 billion in tax credits and deductions aimed at helping our students, seniors, business owners, and middle class families. While I would like to see even greater tax relief for Minnesotans, this bill is a good start towards getting more money back to the folks who worked so hard to earn it.
Some of the bill’s highlights:
I am hopeful that the Governor and the Senate will join the efforts of the House to get this bill signed into law as soon as possible.
I want to thank you again for allowing me to serve you in St. Paul. If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding any issue related to state government, please feel free to contact me.