Is This Democracy?
Democracy in Action
In the UK, we have just had an election and a particular party won. Fine, they are now in power for the next 5 years and it is up to them to propose legislation (laws) for the next 5 years. While they can propose the legislation they want, it is up to Parliament to approve the legislation. There will be a lot of debate and things may be changed a bit, hopefully to make it better.
Once the election is over, that is it. the government gets on with governing and passing laws until the next election in 5 years' time.
Now of course, there will always be people who don't like the party that got in or a particular law or will feel they are disadvantaged by a proposed new law. We have lobbyists, who try to persuade the legislators to change the law, modify proposed laws and make new ones. This is a recognised part of government. (Of course, some lobbyists get a bit too cosy with some legislators.)
You Can't Change the law
Well, of course, you can but only through (a) the recognised democratic process, that is putting a Bill through Parliament, or (b) if you think the new law itself breaks the law by having been made, you can challenge it through the courts. This is called "Ultra Vires" and means literally that it is "outside (ultra) the law (vires) and means you didn't have the power to make it in the first place.
But You Can If You Have Enough Money
Is it any different in the USA? Of course, in the USA, there are State Legislatures that can also pass laws. Vermont has just passed a law requiring genetically modified foods to be labelled as such from 1 July 2016. The Grocery Manufacturers Association doesn't like that law and is going to court to overturn it. At the moment, the court has ruled that the law can stay in place but the lawsuit will continue. Both sides have their arguments and there are lobbyists working o both sides to have the court rule in their favour.
Is it Democratic?
Will money talk here? Should a state be allowed to make laws that the residents want? Was the State legislating "Ultra Vires"? The contention is on both sides that the other side is acting against the first amendment. As far as I understand that (I am not American) the First Amendment protects the right to free speech.
What Do You Think?
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/vermont-lake-champlain-sunset-725940/ by johnoghue