September 2021

Self government

Letters to the Editor, September 26, 2021: Rational Self-Government column is a troubling notion | Letters

“Rational autonomy”

column a disturbing notion

David Marion’s recent commentary column, “Voting Rules and Rational Self-Government,” leaves a disturbing impression.

He defines his position by asking rhetorical questions, such as “Who, after all, wants incompetent, ill-informed, or ad hoc governance, deliberations, voting or decision-making?” – as an argument for his call for voting rules and rational autonomy. He calls on the American people to follow the example of the founders of our country, as set out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Those who disagree with his argument practice “power politics”, which he seems to define as “emphasizing the importance of individual will or desires in governance”.

Our founding fathers established a number of positive principles as the foundation of self-government. However, it is clear that they have also practiced “power politics” in a number of compromises around fundamental issues, such as the restriction of the freedoms and rights of enslaved individuals.

The politics of power frequently determine the design of electoral districts. The aggressive efforts of many states to adopt restrictive voting rules are certainly power policies designed to limit voting opportunities for those seen as a threat to the grip of power by those in office. If the United States is to finally deliver on its equal rights promise, we must focus on the right to vote and improve, not restrict, access to voting opportunities.

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Self government

Chronicle Stepankowsky: Knowledge of history is essential for self-government | Chroniclers

Boston’s Old South Meeting House brings history to life and reminds you that it repeats itself often.

It was here, for example, that 5,000 Bostonians protested against British taxes, prompting settlers to dump 342 cases of imported British tea into Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773.

Just outside the 300-year-old brick walls, a sidewalk medallion marks the location of the Boston massacre, when nine British soldiers fired at settlers rioting against the presence of redcoat troops in Boston March 5, 1770. The first of five victims was docker Crispus Attucks, who was of African and indigenous descent. He and the other four are buried in the nearby cemetery, next to Samuel Adams.


You can almost imagine Adams’ voice ringing and echoing through the white walls and galleries of the Old South Meeting House. A failed brewer but a gifted orator and politician, Adams is known as one of the fathers of the American Revolution. He was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. He propagated the Boston Massacre and helped organize the Correspondence Committees, which coordinated affairs and civic resistance to British rule.

Sadly, I would bet that more people today know Samuel Adams as a 21st century beer company than as a patriot. And this is one of the points of this column.

People also read …

Yes. My daughter and I visited the Samuel Adams Brewery (not related to the revolutionary except for his name) on a four day visit to Boston earlier this month. The tour quenched both my thirst for beer and eastern seafood. It also fulfilled my need to refresh and deepen my understanding of our nation’s roots during this time of upheaval.

Boston, then a city of nearly 16,000 inhabitants (a little larger than Kelso), became the cradle of the American Revolution. I learned that the British had sent around 4,000 troops to the city and ordered the settlers to pay to quarter them. Bostonians got angry when their city became a military fortress.

Yet about half of the city has remained loyal to the British Crown. Imagine how much the Loyalist businessmen must have felt when the Correspondence Committees “asked” them not to do business with the British. It looks a bit like the companies’ pinch today to exclude opponents of masks and vaccines.

We have learned that John Adams, who later became the second president of this country, was the lawyer who successfully defended the British soldiers who killed Crispus Attucks and the other victims of the Boston Massacre. Adams, like all Founding Fathers, abhorred mob rule. During the soldiers’ trial, he portrayed Attucks as a terrifying figure who led an intimidating mob against British soldiers. However, Adams (a first cousin of Sam Adams) later took inspiration from Attucks’ actions.

Without a doubt, the British viewed Attucks and his countrymen as thugs. Doesn’t this reflect the clamor for the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, seen by myself and most Americans as the work of a mob, but as a patriotic act? by a few? History is often in the eye of the beholder.

Visiting Boston’s many historic sites leaves you convinced that British authority over its settlers was stubborn and harsh. Yet were their actions so horrific as to warrant a bloody revolution? Most of the settlers’ objections were to the Townsend Acts, which required the American colonies to pay for the North American war against France and to protect the settlers from the native tribes. Sounds reasonable. But the settlers oppose it, shouting “no taxation without representation”. Americans today share that independence, as do many who resist vaccine and mask mandates, legal and justifiable as they are.

The real value of tours like this is to be grounded in history, to be inspired by it, and to understand that it is not one-dimensional, as is often taught in schools. How cool, for example, to see Paul Revere’s pistol, which he perhaps carried on his famous nighttime ride and which reminds us of the risks the early Patriots took to build this nation. (British soldiers detained Revere briefly before he could complete his entire mission).

Visiting the homes and graves of our revolutionary patriots, visiting the places where they worked and spoke, makes history more tangible and sparks thoughts and questions, even action plans. Invoking the founders of our nation today to guide decisions is a risky controversial strategy. Who knows what they would have thought of modern problems, however complex and burdensome they are? They had flaws: they were prejudiced (the majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were slave owners), excluded (only wealthy white males could vote in early U.S. history), and suspected to give too much power to the people.

Yet understanding their motivations – as well as the pressures and conflicts they faced – inspires and reminds us that they have grappled successfully with the same basic questions we still grapple with today: what is the appropriate role of government? When is violent resistance justified? How far should the popular will reign? When does the good of many outweigh the good of the individual?

Unfortunately, knowledge of our history is woefully poor. The 2020 Annenberg Constitution Civics Survey, for example, found that half of American adults could not name all three branches of government. A 2018 survey found that only one in three Americans could pass the civics exam for U.S. citizenship.

Knowing our history is essential for self-government. An inscription in the magnificent Boston Public Library reminds us: “The Commonwealth requires the education of the people as a safeguard of order and freedom.

Maybe more of us should visit Boston.

Andre Stepankowsky retired in August 2020 after a 41-year career as the city’s reporter and editor at The Daily News. He has won or shared many prestigious journalism awards, including the 1981 Staff Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Mount St. Helens. His column will appear on the editorial page every other Wednesday.

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Silver coin to mark the centenary of the self-government constitution of 1921

A silver numismatic coin marking the centenary of the Self-Government Constitution of 1921 is due to be issued shortly by the Central Bank.

A coin will be presented by the bank’s governor, Edward Scicluna, to President Anġlu Farrugia at the end of a symposium held in Parliament to mark the anniversary on Friday.

On April 30, 1921, hundreds of Maltese gathered in Valletta to witness the debates related to the enactment of the new Constitution, which gave responsibility to the Maltese government.

The Constitution established a diarchy through which an elected Maltese government was responsible for local affairs, while the Imperial government was responsible for “reserved matters” which included defense and foreign policy.

Elections were held in October 1921 and the first Maltese Parliament was inaugurated by Edward, Prince of Wales, on November 1, 1921.

The Maltese experience of self-government was short-lived, as the Constitution was withdrawn in 1936.

Nonetheless, this paved the way for further constitutional development, which resulted in Malta’s political independence from Great Britain in 1964.

Only 1,500 coins were issued, with a face value of € 10.

They were struck by the Royal Dutch Mint.

Each coin is minted in 0.925 silver, weighs 28.28g, diameter 38.61mm and is proof finished.

The pieces were designed and engraved by Noel Galea Bason. The obverse of the coins features the coat of arms of Malta, while the reverse shows Melita, an allegory of Malta.

The coins, which will be sold for € 65, can be purchased at the Malta Coin Center online store from Friday at 3 p.m. and at the Malta Coin Center counter at the premises of the Central Bank of Malta in Castille Place, Valletta. , as from Monday at 8:30 am.

Independent journalism costs money. Times of Malta support for the price of a coffee.

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David Marion’s column: Voting rules and rational self-government | Chroniclers

There is ample evidence that the Constitution was intended to promote informed deliberation and decision-making aimed at advancing the “common good”. The goal was to establish a consent-based government that would not quickly sink into anarchy or give rise to tyranny, the usual history of democracies. Competent self-government requires the kind of reasoned deliberation and voting that sets the stage for prudential decision-making and policy-making.

Who, after all, wants incompetent, ill-informed or ad hoc governance, deliberations, votes or decision-making? While perfectly rational decision-making will never be accessible to fallible beings, it is possible to structure behavior in a way that promotes more, rather than less, competence when it comes to nurturing a civic order that enriches society. life of its members.

Take, for example, the voting rules. If a close approximation of competent self-governance is our collective goal, then a one-year residency requirement to vote in local and national elections deserves serious consideration – it takes time to become familiar with the challenges and opportunities. that contextualize decision-making at all levels of government. While we should never forget the abuse of literacy tests before the civil rights movement, we should not allow historic wrongdoing to make us abandon the cause of rational self-government.

In fact, the voting rules are inherently restrictive – and for good reason. The reasoning behind these rules mirrors the reasoning behind the drafters’ decision to create a constitutional republic rather than pure democracy. They believed that government legitimacy is the product of popular consent, but of the consent of people who understand what it takes to have a government up to the task of protecting fundamental rights and freedoms or the conditions that allow flourishing. human.

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The Métis of northern Lake Superior take another step towards self-government (2 photos)

The Métis claim their rights as a recognized indigenous people.

THUNDER BAY – There are perhaps thousands of people of Métis descent in the Thunder Bay area who do not yet realize that their heritage could provide them with benefits that they do not currently enjoy.

The organizers of an initiative to develop a regional Métis self-government plan say they want to hear from as many Métis as possible in the region in the days and months to come.

The Métis people are recognized as one of three distinct Indigenous groups in Canada, with rights guaranteed under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

“If people looked at their genealogy, I would suggest that there are over 5,000-10,000 Métis citizens, and we would all like to involve and involve them in this process,” said Darren Brown, President of Northern Lake Superior Métis. . Self-government steering committee.

In collaboration with the Métis Nation of Ontario, the committee is holding a series of consultations this week in Thunder Bay, Geraldton and Marathon.

Brown says the meetings will help determine how to proceed with self-government in that part of the province.

In 2019, the Métis Nation of Ontario signed an agreement with the federal government that recognizes the MNO’s right to self-government.

Brown said three Métis councils – Thunder Bay, Greenstone and North Superior – subsequently agreed to negotiate self-government for the region as a North Lake Superior Métis community.

He said self-government could help improve many services to Métis people.

“We want a relationship with government so that our child and family service needs are met, our regional health care needs are met, our regional housing and child care needs are met. long-term be satisfied, “said Brown.

“We have this right, and we want to assert it with the government and negotiate directly with it. As well as with the rebate programs for gasoline, energy. We pay the taxes. We want to seek a better relationship, and we want regional harvest control. These are essential. “

Brown said the consultative work done to date has identified several options for self-government, under the Three Canoes, One River banner.

“One is for a relationship with the Métis Nation of Ontario, the second is an autonomous regional relationship directly with the Government of Canada… and the third option is that we are ready to listen to the existing structures of the Métis Nation of Ontario or take a third way. “

The key questions to be resolved are whether the group should incorporate and whether it should have its own constitution.

The Métis community of northern Lake Superior is one of seven Métis communities in Ontario recognized as a “historic” Métis community.

It is the second largest of the nine Métis regions of the Métis Nation of Ontario, and one of six with rights.

It currently has approximately 1,800 registered members.

Thunder Bay area members attended a consultation meeting on Tuesday evening.

Meetings are also scheduled this week for residents of the Greenstone area in Geraldton at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall on Wednesday evening, and for members of the North Rim at the Zero 100 Motor Inn in Marathon on Thursday evening.

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Self government

It’s time for Sabah to achieve self-government status – Jeffrey

Jalumin Bayogoh (seated left) and Yong Teck Lee (right) watching Sabah Day. celebration via the Zoom screen.

KOTA KINABALU: STAR President Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has said it is time for Sabah to achieve self-government status.

According to him, Sabah Day, when published in the Gazette, complements Malaysia’s training.

“This will open the door to more opportunities for Sabah in the future and elevate the status of Sabah as a region which was announced by the eighth Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin in Sarawak earlier this year,” Jeffrey added in his recorded speech for the 58th Sabah. Celebration of the day broadcast online using the Zoom app.

The Deputy Chief Minister is very optimistic that Sabah Day will be published in the Official Gazette and will become the official celebration of Sabah from next year.

“The chief minister basically approved the publication in the Sabah Day Gazette, just like the other members of the Cabinet,” he added.

Jeffrey also said the proposal document was being finalized and would be tabled in Cabinet for further action.

Yesterday’s Sabah Day celebration was broadcast live hybrid from the SAPP headquarters in Likas, Kota Kinabalu.

He had to stand virtually due to SOP compliance.

A total of 300 participants participated in the video conference comprising leaders of SAPP, STAR and party members as well as activists from various NGOs such as Mosik, Sorak Sabah, Mondopitan, Padaras and others.

Veteran political figure Datuk Haji Mohd Noor Mansoor called on Sabah rulers to act bolder and immediately realize the dream of publishing on Sabah Day.

“If Sarawak can proudly celebrate July 22 every year since 2016 as Sarawak Day, why not us with Sabah Day,” he said.

The former finance minister in the Berjaya government also called on the people of Sabah to always be united and not to follow an immature political culture.

He also recalled that Malaysia was not formed as a new Federation until September 16, 1963, 58 years ago.

Recalling the events of August 31, 1963, he said that Sir William Goode, Governor of North Borneo (Sabah) issued a declaration regarding Sabah Day, Sabah autonomy and Sabah independence ending rule British.

SAPP Chairman Datuk Yong Teck Lee has high hopes and is confident that Sabah Day is published in the Official Gazette and officially celebrated by the government every August 31st will become a reality.

Yong also expressed his enthusiasm for the positive developments among Sabah residents, legal entities and political leaders who have started to put the hashtag “Sabah Day” in the social media network.

“Sabah Day is our common struggle, 2023 is one of the greatest challenges of celebrating the 60th Diamond Jubilee of Sabah Day. Hopefully we can celebrate it on a large scale all over Sabah, ”he added.

Yong, who is also an appointed state assembly member, called on activists to continue their efforts to educate the community about Sabah’s history and to work hard to promote Sabah Day.

Japiril Suhaimin, the third chairperson organizing the celebration, concluded that the celebration of Sabah Day has proven that SAPP and STAR have always been consistent in their struggle.

He thanked all participants from all over Sabah as well as overseas Sabahans staying in the peninsula.

He added that in addition to participating through the Zoom app, the organizers also shared it via Facebook live.

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