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Sept._18_transparency - elections proliferation of...

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Political Associations and Majority Tyranny in America 1. Enduring Federalist/Anti-Federalist debate 2. ascendancy of Anti-Federalist ideas and party, durability of Federalist institutions 3. great and small parties a. great parties as agents of fundamental change i. instability and risk of tyranny b. small parties as symptomatic of stable, prosperous societies i. multiplicity of parties, inability to effect real reform 4. Tocqueville on majority tyranny a. Dangers of free press and free association b. Safeguards of free press and free association i. Ability of minorities to organize ii. Transparency c. Dangers of majority rule i. Praise of Federalist institutions, praise of Puritan township government – paradox or continuity? ii. Locus of threat of tyranny – states and townships 1. unstable, shifting constitutions, frequent
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Unformatted text preview: elections, proliferation of legislation, lack of consistency in policy iii. Lack of any guarantee against majority tyranny iv. omnipotent majorities 1. narrowness of political debate in U.S. v. “causes for the mildness of government should be sought more in circumstances and habits than in laws” vi. habits of the legal profession vii. habits of citizens as jurors Questions to ponder • state and local government as locus of majority tyranny? – direct election, citizen-initiated ballot measures, recall elections • political parties in U.S. today – great parties for small purposes? • Range of political debate as reflected in major parties, Congress and legislatures – suppression of dissent, or the fruits of stable consensus, or both?...
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