2074 Pages of Absurdity

Fr. Robert Araujo thinks we should be able to read and understand the legislation passed by our Congress. How quaint!
I am one of those folks who thinks that the parliamentary process of legislation necessitates the deliberation of texts so that legislators and citizens can know, if they read it, what pending legislation says and what it does not say. This is a point I have been making in my legislation courses that I have taught over the past twenty-four years. I find it of great concern when legislators do not know on what they are voting regarding the content of the text. I realize that there are occasions, especially when legislative proposals are hundreds or thousands of pages long (such as the stimulus package of last year) that legislators’ familiarization with the text is difficult to master. But this is not a good pretext to excuse legislators from having the opportunity to know on what it is that they are committing the nation whom they represent. Texts and familiarization with what they contain are vital to law-making and to the democratic process to which we citizens entrust to our legislators.
Father Robert should understand that sometimes the common good requires getting past our common sense and that we should simply trust our congresspeople to do the right thing. Words are just a social construction, anyways. They mean one thing today, and tomorrow something else. They are useful insofar as they influence who holds "the power".

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