Wednesday, March 08, 2006

4 towns want the president out

In Vermont, many of the smaller towns still use a Town Meeting form of government, where all the eligble citizens gather in a hall once a year to debate and vote on the town business. It's democracy by direct involvement. These meetings are usually held around this time of year, and recently four towns passed resolutions calling for the impeachment of President Bush. You can read the story in the Rutland Herald, here:

The material in the story belongs under copyright to the Rutland Herald, and I respect copyrights (mostly), otherwise I would repeat it in full here. But still, given that Web-based news stories often disappear after a time, I'd like to quote a couple of passages for relative posterity:

Four Vermont communities Tuesday passed town meeting resolutions calling for Bush's impeachment for allegedly misleading the country into war with Iraq, authorizing torture policies and for carrying out a secret program to spy on Americans without court oversight.

Residents of Newfane, the only town where the impeachment question appeared on the warrant, passed the resolution 121-29 by paper ballot.

Other towns passed the resolution under the "other business" portion of the meetings, including Putney and Dummerston in near-unanimous floor votes, and in Marlboro, where it passed 60-10 by paper ballot.

Although the votes weren't even close, there was a small amount of opposition:

Residents opposed to the controversial question tried to indefinitely postpone the vote Tuesday (in Newfane).

Gunther Garbe, who proposed the delay just seconds after the article was read by Moderator Hendrik W. van Loon, said "this meeting is to discuss town business — not national issues."

But residents like Norm Kuebler, who reflected on his own German ancestors' silence during the Nazi regime, disagreed. While Kuebler said he did not want to compare Bush to Adolf Hitler, difficult issues such as war need to be addressed at the local level, he said.

"My ancestors are very ashamed of their silence," he said. "And we have this opportunity today to speak and I suggest we take advantage of it."

Does this make a difference? I dunno, but I'll leave you with this final quote:

Many voters remarked that it was vital for small towns to take the lead.

(Thanks to my bro', Glenn, for the tip about the article. Putney is the next town over from where he lives.)



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