Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Mirror Law

The Mirror Law
I am not in a position, nor do I foresee being in one, where I can propose federal law.  Nonetheless, for this moment we are going to pretend I can.  So, the issue with DC lacking representation in Congress is not just the whole taxation without representation, it is also that Congress has the ability to make laws about DC and there is no one in the room with equal power to advocate for DC.  (Don't get me wrong, I think Rep. Holmes does a great job with what she has.) Now, you might be thinking that's true of everyone, Congress makes laws for the whole country.  But, no, those I am (mostly) fine with.  I mean the laws they make that are just about DC.  Laws that often override stated desires of the DC residents.  This proposed gun legislation is only the latest example.  There has been medical marijuana and changes to capital punishment and so on.
So, my proposal is what I call the Mirror Law.  Anyone in Congress who proposes legislation that is just for DC, will also have to agree to that legislation in their constituency.  So, decide to add capital punishment to DC, you get it in your district to. (For example.) This would accomplish two things - it would force Congresspeople to think a little harder about the legislation they force on us, since people who actually can vote them out would be affected by the laws also; and, it would raise further awareness of the meddling that Congress does in the lives of DC residents.  We aren't asking for representation for the star (although, really, it's very obvious where the star would go) or for a longer ballot in November, we are asking for the rights that other US citizens have - to choose a person in that room who has the same powers as everyone else, so that if I don't like the results, I know who to yell at. Or to not pay federal taxes (like the territories who also lack federal representation).  I'm fine with that too.

1 comment:

The Sanguine Pen said...

I like the idea of the "Mirror Law".

You vote in a legal provision for DC, the jurisdiction you represent gets the same provision applied to it.

Except if it's in the Senate, you might be exposing people to "double Jeopardy", since they have two senators. But I'm ok with that.

Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. Equality, nothing more, but equality, nothing less.