Curling for Democracy

What does Democracy have to do with the sport of Curling and the Winter Olympics? If you ask the newly formed District of Columbia Olympic Committee (DCOC), a lot.

The DCOC was formed by Mike Panetta with the purpose of bringing the status of D.C.’s citizens to the attention of other Americans:

There are over 600,000 residents in the District of Columbia. We pay our taxes and fight and die in every war. But the citizens of the the District of Columbia do not have the same represenation in Congress as Americans in the 50 states.

People living in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have just as much of a voice in our represenative arm of government as we do. These territories, and the District of Columbia, each have a single, non-voting delegate instead of two Senators and a proportionate number of Represenatives.

According to a January 2005 poll commissioned by DCVote.org “82 percent of Americans believe citizens of Washington, DC, should have equal congressional voting rights – in both the Senate and the House – a number that is 10 percentage points greater than a similar poll conducted in 1999.”

The DCOC believes they have a chance to be recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because there are “all sort of odd recognitions” such as Hong Kong which still sends a team even though they are now part of the People’s Republic of China. Or Palestine’s Olympic Committee despite the fact that they are not technically a state.

And why the sport of Curling?

We figured that it was the only sport that really fit our collective athletic ability, plus there’s usually beer at the end of the games. Plus, nobody really wanted to wear the tight outfits you need for luge. We’re pretty sure you didn’t want to see that either.

The DCOC setup a form for those interested in supporting their effort to be recognized by the IOC and to further their efforts to be represented in Congress.

posted by mikehorn
  • http://www.dcolympicteam.org Mike Panetta

    Hey thanks for the link to the DCOC site! We appreciate you helping to spread the word about our efforts to get the District of Columbia the recognition it deserves.

  • Rick Rajter

    DC is a territory. If they want to be a state, petition to be a state. But lets not keep muddying the distinction between the two.

  • http://coercedfreedom.wordpress.com/ Josh Davis

    Rick,

    State or not, that’s not really the point. The point is that the citizens of DC are forced to pay taxes and abide by laws on decisions made by Congress – where they have no real representation. It shouldn’t matter whether they’re a state or not, they should be equally represented in Congress.

  • Rick Rajter

    The live in one of the 50 states!

    Last I checked, Peurto Rico didn’t have any senators either. The election map for 2004 didn’t take into account their electroral votes because they ain’t got none.

    DC is a territory and should be ruled as such. Otherwise, why not give congressional seats to our military bases in Germany. After all, they are technically American soil are they not?

    What about Gitmo Bay?

  • http://coercedfreedom.wordpress.com/ Josh Davis

    Again you’re missing the point. It’s about taxation without representation. And moving to one of the 50 states is 1. hardly an option for everyone, and 2. hardly a worthy argument for not having representation. Having more than one territory without representation also isn’t valid – two wrongs don’t make a right (by the way I believe Peurto Rico has fought for statehood and been turned down, but not given the option of separation – both of which have to be approved by Congress).

    Military bases don’t apply for two reasons. The first it that they’re military installations, not territories. The second is all of the personelle there are represented in Congress by their home states, unless they live in one of the territories.

    If territories don’t have representation then they shouldn’t be taxed and ruled by U.S. laws as though they are a state.

  • Rick Rajter

    Josh,

    Check your USA Constitution. Congress has exclusive legislative jurisdiction over the territories (Art 1 Section 8, 2nd to last clause). You can politely ask them for representation, but they do not have to give it to you.

    So, I agree with you in a sense. They don’t have to be taxed and/or ruled by the same US laws. Unfortunately, that means you’re most likely going to get the short end of the stick.

    I understand taxation without representation sucks, but you’re going to have to fight King George for that. I am for you protesting, I’m just saying that they don’t have to give you a darn thing.

  • http://coercedfreedom.wordpress.com/ Josh Davis

    Check your USA Constitution. Congress has exclusive legislative jurisdiction over the territories (Art 1 Section 8, 2nd to last clause). You can politely ask them for representation, but they do not have to give it to you.

    Ahh, now we’re getting somewhere – you’re finally getting to the posts (and my) original point. Just because you petition to become a state or secede from the Union does not mean Congress must allow you to do so, but they’re still more than willing to take your money and force you to follow their laws – it’s undemocratic.

  • Rick Rajter

    Josh,

    Personally, I think you’re goal is more about taxes than representation. I have representation, and the bastards raise taxes every year anyway. I guess it merely makes the process more legitimate, rather than just stealing money outright. But, to each his own.

    So tell me, once you get this representation, do you think they’ll lower your taxes? We supposedly have a “conservatives” in both the white house and congress, but taxes are certainly getting worse.

  • http://coercedfreedom.wordpress.com/ Josh Davis

    Honestly, I doubt DC and Puerto Rico having better representation will make a difference concerning taxes or laws, but it certainly gives them more of a chance than without. I believe that in a democratic society everyone should be represented (somewhat) equally in the government – otherwise it’s not really democratic is it?

    As I’m from Maine this makes no difference to me personally and it will be a long time before I’m no longer taxed out the ass (representation or no).

  • http://coercedfreedom.wordpress.com/ Josh Davis

    Rick,

    Off topic, but I’m enjoying the good, clean, respectful disagreement. Always agreeing with people is boring, and resorting to flame wars goes nowhere.

    Thanks.

  • Rick Rajter

    Josh,

    Unfortunatey, we are now a democracy, on the way to some form of socialism/oligarchy. We at least started off as a constitutional republic, for what it’s worth. Representation is always a good thing, as long as the representatives can be held accountable. The last 2 safeguards used to be the ability to petition for a redress of grievance (end of 1st amendment) and of course, the 2nd amendment.

    Unfortunately, both are restricted now to the point that our representatives can do whatever the heck they want, whenever they want. Voting is more an act of habit than a true means to do anything these days.

    Sorry, being cynical, but I’ve been watching the givemeliberty.org guys for some time, and they’ve been through the wringer.

  • http://www.dcvote.org Kevin Kiger

    Thanks for supporting congressional voting rights for the residents of DC and our newly formed Olympic team!.

    The correct address for the Web site where the national survey is posted is http://www.dcvote.org. DC Vote is an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to working to bring American democracy to America’s capital.

    Thanks again!

  • http://coercedfreedom.wordpress.com/ Josh Davis

    Rick,

    It’s easy to be cynical in the current political environment and I don’t blame you. I’m young and haven’t yet become completely jaded.

  • mikehorn

    Kevin,

    Thanks for pointing out the correct address, it’s fixed!

  • Rick Rajter

    Josh,

    I’m not jaded, I just know that this is the game being played, and there is no way around it. Try not to let it upset ya.

    The ones I feel sorry for are the ones that believe they can truly work within the system and change it. Maybe on a local level, I agree. But on a national level, the repub/democrat system is so entrenched, that it’ll take nothing short of a miracle to get them out.

  • http://coercedfreedom.wordpress.com/ Josh Davis

    Rick,

    I know it’s a game and I’ll admit I’m still learning how to play. It takes a lot to get me upset, plus I’m a bit of an idealist at times so no worries.

    The ones I feel sorry for are the ones that believe they can truly work within the system and change it. Maybe on a local level, I agree. But on a national level, the repub/democrat system is so entrenched, that it’ll take nothing short of a miracle to get them out.

    Now your getting into a completely different subject. I’d disagree with you in part, but I think that’s best left to Gordon’s next post where it will probably be on topic :)

  • http://thedefeatists.com comandante agi

    Curling…now there’s a defeatist sport!

  • http://www.dcolympicteam.org Mike Panetta

    “If you aren’t happy about taxation without representation, just move back to England.” – King George III to the colonists

    OK, I made that up. But you get the point. Just because I, and 600,000 people (more than the state of Wyoming, FYI) live in DC does not mean we give up our rights. We shouldn’t need a UHaul to enjoy the rights and representation that other take for granted.

  • Richard Gibson

    *Ahem*

    Perhaps this has already been covered; perhaps not. But if I remember correctly, DC was created to be explicitly and permanently independent of the several states, so that no one state would have unfair sway over national politics. It should not even have residents. Furthermore, anyone who does live there should not expect representation, because any amount would carry the very disproportionate power that DC was created to avoid!

    That said, I am firmly against taxation without representation. But the appropriate remedy here is not to add representation or (even worse) to grant statehood. It is to treat DC residences as part of Maryland or Virginia, by the same mechanism through which state laws are honored in national parks.

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