Archive for March, 2011

The Imminent Dangers of Ethics Commissions

March 22, 2011

Sovereignty is a term often used to denote jurisdiction of law.  As I hope to illustrate, it can mean so much more, especially when used to reaffirm the dignity, worth and power of the individual, especially the individual voter.  At least some and hopefully many still realize that sovereignty implies autonomy and freedom to act.  Autonomy implies protection from encroachment of such freedom to act.  Such protection is afforded through limited delegation of enumerated powers to higher levels of government.  Each level of government from individual self-government on up to local, state and federal governments should be jealous of its sovereignty in limiting how much power it delegates to other bodies and levels of government.

As of late, there is a grave threat to our sovereignty as individual voters and ultimately to all levels of government.  It is the fanatical drive to surrender voter choice and the Rule of Law to those tauting Ethics Reform.  How would you like to vote someone into office only to have them deemed unworthy and therefore ineligible by a supposedly independent ethics commission?  Such notions stink of political correctness.  Even if such a commission were non-partisan it certainly wouldn’t be unbiased, especially with so much power at stake.  Just look at the state school board — nonpartisan perhaps, but unbiased?  There is also the danger of local ethics commissions being influenced or becoming members of national ethics commissions.

Holding government officials to high standards is worthwhile, but let’s do this the right way!  When codified under the Rule of Law, expectations of ethical behavior allow individuals to plan and act, confident in the impartiality of justice.  Ethics commissions in contrast remind me too much of the eerie cold war soviets or councils that arbitrarily decided the fate of their citizenry.  Ethics?  Whose ethics?  The answer to this question is ultimately what matters.  When ethics are codified into law then they become our ethics and not some independent commission’s.  Let’s rely on The Law enacted by our elected representatives of “We the People.”  If our elected representatives betray our trust, but still live within the law, let’s retain our right to boot them out next election!  If our elected representatives disobey the law, then let the law prosecute them!  If instead elected representatives are effectively silenced or influenced to only do the politically correct things because of potential threats of ethics charges, then political correctness rules rather than the people.