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then there needs to be a resort back to the source of power in a democracy which comprises of course the electorate.

As the witnesses will no doubt inform you today, there has been a considerable history at the State level with initiative referendums and the Chairman certainly has had experience in that area, both personally and coming from the State where the first initiative amendment was enacted at the State level in the late 19th century.

It is often said that while it may work at the State or local it simply cannot work at the national level. That is not entirely an insupportable assertion. If it is going to work at the national level, there has to be a correlative series of reforms in order that the severe imbalances in access to money and access to communications do not turn this instrument into simply a tool for oligarchic power.

This is the principal emphasis that I would like to make this morning. Unless something is done about access to mass communications, the display of first amendment rights, which is the fundamental substructure of any democratic initiative, will not be possible even in a remotely effective way. The people who exercise these rights must have comparable access to the technology that can disseminate the words and beliefs exercised under our first amendment. That means that not only must there be campaign finance standards as envisioned in the background materials to this proposed amendment to the Constitution, but there also needs to be, particularly by implementing statutes, a resolution of the access problem to the mass media. Indeed, even in the traditional campaign financial forum discussions, it has been said by observers and students of this problem that the financial aspects are not the exclusive focus of reform. It has to also involve the access to the communication system.

Senator ABOUREZK. May I interrupt?

That all should be done in separate legislation, implementing legislation and not in the amendment itself; is that right? Mr. NADER. Yes.

Senator ABOUREZK. Yes, that's my view.

Mr. NADER. It would have to be done with an implementing

statute.

Senator HATCH. Let me interrupt. Mr. Nader, you seem to be saying that in your opinion this particular joint resolution would not work if you do not take care of those two problems-basically the campaign finance standards and the resolution of access problems to the mass media; is that right?

Mr. NADER. It would not be free to work as well as the concept would imply. I can imagine in some instances it would work.

Senator HATCH. Certainly.

Mr. NADER. If for example there is a great fear of a particular health epidemic and there needs to be something done about it, I can imagine it working just as it does now.

But obviously when you deal with issues of the distribution of power in our society, you have to have some fairness in the access to the communication system that is grantedly controlled by a very small handful of people and companies in our economy.

I would like to illustrate a point. For example, if there is a national initiative launched to overrule a populist piece of legislation that

Congress has enacted and the President has signed, if a national initiative was launched by the corporate institutions of the country and through their access to shareholders and to the mass media they could easily gain the requisite signatures and easily dominate the communications system. So, I think it is a little naive to think that only the people can really get the people behind them. Basically through such threats as mass loss of jobs which the companies can disseminate throughout the country or the increased cost of certain proposals that Congress has enacted then they could, lacking a countervailing source of information, obtain sufficient support for this kind of initiative.

That is not to say that the people cannot make up their own minds in an intelligent manner. The whole theory of democracy is that the broader the audience, the broader the value systems that are taken into account and the more likely will be the best decision for the society as a whole. While people can make mistakes like corporations make mistakes, to the extent that they can express their own interest as a people then they are expressing the broad values and interests of our society.

It is important to note that even with the expression of this popular interest there are still safeguards which this amendment does not disrupt. You have the safeguard of the initiative being declared unconstitutional. You have the safeguard of a two-thirds override with Presidential concurrence. And you have of course the safeguard of another initiative coming along and repealing the old initiative if, in the light of experience, it has not worked out well.

I think there needs to be more discussion, Mr. Chairman, of the side effects of this kind of national initiative proposal. One of the great needs in our society is the location of leadership. How do leaders arise in our society?

If there is principally one way that leaders arise in our society politically and that is through the formal political machines, the formal political parties, then we are going to deprive ourselves of some very basic reservoirs of leadership in the country. You just have to look at the composition of the Congress, for example, to see that one-half of the U.S. Congress comes from far less than 1 percent of the population called lawyers. One of the reasons that is true is that not only do lawyers tend to be trained for politics from law school on, but they have the time to be in politics. They have been able to combine both a practice and politics. They are viewed by society as perhaps the last remaining specialists who can be generalists as well and can be viewed as generalists in their commentary on public policy. Whereas people will say, "What does that architect know about politics?", very few people will say, "What does that lawyer know about politics?"

But it is clear that the Congress does not draw from the broad base of leadership potential of our society.

In contrast, with the increasing development of initiatives and referendums and recalls at the State level, we have seen people who ordinarily would not be part of the political process come to the broader political process known as the initiative referendum or recall, and to get experience and to train themselves and put themselves forward as alternative leaders in our society.

That is one very important side effect of this process and in fact it may be just as important as the direct effect of this process. It opens many more opportunities for local, State and national citizen leadership and involvement than has been the case.

Imagine in the last 10 years the lack of leadership in our country of 250 million people compared to the leadership that our country drew forth before 1800 when the population was under 3 million. I think most of us in this country would agree that the leadership that came forward in the late 18th century in our country has not been exceeded in the 20th century in our country.

The second side effect that I think is important is that it puts a responsibility on the people. It is not only important to give people more rights and more opportunities to participate in decisionmaking. It is also very important to put a civic burden on the people and to in effect say to them that they have no longer any excuses about not participating or deciding the future of their society and that they can no longer say, "You cannot fight city hall" and shrug off their responsibility. They can no longer say, "What is the use of trying everything is all locked up or rigged anyway?"

What the national intiative concept does, as well as State and local analogies, is to say to the electorate, "Listen, you have nobody to blame but yourself because you now have a direct tool of decisionmaking, namely the ability to propose and write your own laws.” That is very important.

The best antidote to cynicism in a civil sense is to endow the cynics with power. When those cynics are the electorate and the endowment of power is effective, then the issue of citizen obligation can come to the forefront as the dialog in our country and not the nagging issue of powerlessness.

I would like to add one more point because I know there are time limitations. Many of the people here have come a long way to testify today.

It is not likely that the proposal will be successful, as the Chairman knows, in Congress unless it achieves a much broader awareness and support level throughout the country.

I think it is important, for example, for some of the national pollsters to develop specific polls on the subject and keep them up-todate. It is also important to enlist many of the neighborhood and community organizations at the local level into this effort.

I want to caution, however, the need for thinking through a rather comprehensive supplementary statute in order to make sure that this opportunity, as some others in the past, does not get captured unfairly by the very special interest groups, particularly the corporate structure, in the country.

This is not to say that the resulting reforms in a supplementary statute will prevent a corporate-sponsored initiative from ever winning. It is to say, however, that there will be contention in the marketplace of ideas that is not obstructed by how deep your pocket is or how thin your pocket is.

This is, I think, the basic operational safeguard that the subcommittee should pay attention to in the coming months.

Thank you.

Congress has enacted and the President has signed, if a national initiative was launched by the corporate institutions of the country and through their access to shareholders and to the mass media they could easily gain the requisite signatures and easily dominate the communications system. So, I think it is a little naive to think that only the people can really get the people behind them. Basically through such threats as mass loss of jobs which the companies can disseminate throughout the country or the increased cost of certain proposals that Congress has enacted then they could, lacking a countervailing source of information, obtain sufficient support for this kind of initiative.

That is not to say that the people cannot make up their own minds in an intelligent manner. The whole theory of democracy is that the broader the audience, the broader the value systems that are taken into account and the more likely will be the best decision for the society as a whole. While people can make mistakes like corporations make mistakes, to the extent that they can express their own interest as a people then they are expressing the broad values and interests of our society.

It is important to note that even with the expression of this popular interest there are still safeguards which this amendment does not disrupt. You have the safeguard of the initiative being declared unconstitutional. You have the safeguard of a two-thirds override with Presidential concurrence. And you have of course the safeguard of another initiative coming along and repealing the old initiative if, in the light of experience, it has not worked out well.

I think there needs to be more discussion, Mr. Chairman, of the side effects of this kind of national initiative proposal. One of the great needs in our society is the location of leadership. How do leaders arise in our society?

If there is principally one way that leaders arise in our society politically and that is through the formal political machines, the formal political parties, then we are going to deprive ourselves of some very basic reservoirs of leadership in the country. You just have to look at the composition of the Congress, for example, to see that one-half of the U.S. Congress comes from far less than 1 percent of the population called lawyers. One of the reasons that is true is that not only do lawyers tend to be trained for politics from law school on, but they have the time to be in politics. They have been able to combine both a practice and politics. They are viewed by society as perhaps the last remaining specialists who can be generalists as well and can be viewed as generalists in their commentary on public policy. Whereas people will say, "What does that architect know about politics?", very few people will say, "What does that lawyer know about politics?"

But it is clear that the Congress does not draw from the broad base of leadership potential of our society.

In contrast, with the increasing development of initiatives and referendums and recalls at the State level, we have seen people who ordinarily would not be part of the political process come to the broader political process known as the initiative referendum or recall, and to get experience and to train themselves and put themselves forward as alternative leaders in our society.

That is one very important side effect of this process and in fact it may be just as important as the direct effect of this process. It opens many more opportunities for local, State and national citizen leadership and involvement than has been the case.

Imagine in the last 10 years the lack of leadership in our country of 250 million people compared to the leadership that our country drew forth before 1800 when the population was under 3 million. I think most of us in this country would agree that the leadership that came forward in the late 18th century in our country has not been exceeded in the 20th century in our country.

The second side effect that I think is important is that it puts a responsibility on the people. It is not only important to give people more rights and more opportunities to participate in decisionmaking. It is also very important to put a civic burden on the people and to in effect say to them that they have no longer any excuses about not participating or deciding the future of their society and that they can no longer say, "You cannot fight city hall" and shrug off their responsibility. They can no longer say, "What is the use of trying everything is all locked up or rigged anyway?"

What the national intiative concept does, as well as State and local analogies, is to say to the electorate, "Listen, you have nobody to blame but yourself because you now have a direct tool of decisionmaking, namely the ability to propose and write your own laws." That is very important.

The best antidote to cynicism in a civil sense is to endow the cynics with power. When those cynics are the electorate and the endowment of power is effective, then the issue of citizen obligation can come to the forefront as the dialog in our country and not the nagging issue of powerlessness.

I would like to add one more point because I know there are time limitations. Many of the people here have come a long way to testify today.

It is not likely that the proposal will be successful, as the Chairman knows, in Congress unless it achieves a much broader awareness and support level throughout the country.

I think it is important, for example, for some of the national pollsters to develop specific polls on the subject and keep them up-todate. It is also important to enlist many of the neighborhood and community organizations at the local level into this effort.

I want to caution, however, the need for thinking through a rather comprehensive supplementary statute in order to make sure that this opportunity, as some others in the past, does not get captured unfairly by the very special interest groups, particularly the corporate structure, in the country.

This is not to say that the resulting reforms in a supplementary statute will prevent a corporate-sponsored initiative from ever winning. It is to say, however, that there will be contention in the marketplace of ideas that is not obstructed by how deep your pocket is or how thin your pocket is.

This is, I think, the basic operational safeguard that the subcommittee should pay attention to in the coming months.

Thank you.

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