Governments are selective when following the will of the voters



Dear Editor,

Our Commonwealth or State government is conducting a campaign to influence voters to vote in referendum for an (22%) increase in state sales tax to pay for certain road projects.  If a majority of the voters by referendum vote for this increase in taxes the state government will, without fail, see that our state sales tax is so increased.  A majority of voters voting YES will insure that the referendum question becomes law.

Citizens of Virginia Beach have initiated two referenda in the past decade.  In 1994 their referendum question asking if citizens wanted equal population boroughs and voting by borough received 53% YES votes.   

In the second referendum on May 2, 2000 the referendum question asked if citizens wanted a Park Only at 31st Street and the Oceanfront.  Fifty-eight per-cent of the voters voted YES.  

If the State's referendum in November asking if citizens want an increase in taxes to fund roads receives anything like the majorities that the two citizen referenda received, the State's referendum will be considered a great victory.

In a true democracy a majority vote is supposed to rule.  Why should a state referendum become law, while the majority YES votes for citizens' referenda are ignored?  As George Washington once said, "If the minority can rule over the majority, then you have lost true freedom."  If we have a true democracy, let it be fair.
If a majority vote works for the state's referendum, it should work for citizen initiated referenda as well!  Are citizens second class?


Maurice B. Jackson
Virginia Beach