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letters | STIFLED DEBATE IN THE MASS. LEGISLATURE

Closed-door decision-making undoes democratic process

Thank you for your fine June 4 editorial “Beacon Hill leaders stifle debate among legislators.” It’s depressing to see how the democratic process has ground to a virtual standstill here in Massachusetts, the cradle of American democracy. Many public-spirited citizens give up when they realize that their input no longer makes any difference.

As you write, the decisions are being made behind closed doors. Those making the decisions are often more responsive to monied interests than the general public. The proposed update of the popular bottle bill, which has been bottled up in committee for years, is a prime example of this.

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The Legislature’s trend toward closed-door decision-making is in the vein of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, and it underscores the need to make politics about ideas instead of influence, and to restore power to the voting public.

Isn’t that the point of what happened here in 1776?

Paul Lauenstein

Sharon

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