Participatory Democracy: When voting is not enough.
Democracy is not a sport where the two teams do battle every few years and we as spectators cheer our team on, hoping for the best and then watching the post-game show on cable. We're told, the best we can hop for in this case, is a "peaceful transition" of power -- to the new oligarchs.
On the contrary, participatory democracy requires a citizenry that is both active and educated, with the courage to stand up for its rights and freedoms regardless of which party is in power. It's a 24-7 job. That doesn't mean of course, that we neglect the ballot. But you can only win at the ballot box that which you are willing to fight for and defend on your block, in your school, workplace, and in the community.
Case in point... in 2015 Chicagoans overwhelmingly voted for a referendum supported by the teachers union, calling for an elected School Board and an end the mayor's autocratic rule over the public schools.
An elected school board bill passed the IL House in March in bipartisan fashion, by a 110-4 vote. But the measure was blocked by an unholy alliance between Rahm Emanuel, Gov. Rauner and Senate Pres. John Cullerton, who never allowed the bill to come to a needed vote in the IL Senate. You'll notice that two of the three blockers are Democrats.
With the 100th Illinois General Assembly sworn in Wednesday, state Rep. Robert Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Participatory Democracy: When voting is not enough.: