From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]


FROM WIKI : “Mike Gravel was a Democratic U.S. Senator from Alaska for two terms, from 1969 to 1981. He is primarily known for having put into the public record a large portion of the Pentagon Papers by entering 4,100 pages of the Papers into the record of his Senate subcommittee on Buildings and Grounds, in 1971. In the same year he embarked on a one-man filibuster against a bill renewing the draft. Using various parliamentary methods, Gravel was able to block the bill for five months before President Richard Nixon and Senate Republicans agreed to allow the draft to expire in 1973.”


“Equipping Americans with deliberative lawmaking tools will unleash civic creativity beyond imagination. A partnership of American citizen-lawmakers with their elected legislators will in fact make representative government more responsive to the needs of the people. Some people are cynical–they believe American citizens are unqualified to legislate on the policy issues that affect their lives. But these cynics fail to appreciate or are ignorant of the fact that 70% of American citizens have been legislating by initiative in states
and local governments for the last 100 years. Their record is as good as legislative representatives and from a fiscal point of view, far superior. It’s almost 100% of the citizenry if you include referendums on bond issues–serious legislating. Indeed, this idea of lawmaking by the people has been in operation at national and local
levels for more than 150 years in what may be the most advanced political culture in history, the democratic republic of Switzerland.”