Back on the motorcycle track

Jul. 16, 2013 @ 05:09 AM

It is a bird?

Is it a plane?

Nope, it’s the North Carolina General Assembly riding on the back of motorcycles to enact restrictions on abortions.

Raising eyebrows yet?

It did with us too.

The question is what do motorcycle safety and abortion have in common? Nothing except for the underhanded way politicians of both parties go about doing the people’s business.

Essentially, the state legislature amended a bill on motorcycle safety to include restrictions on reproductive health.

On Friday, Gov. Pat McCrory said he would sign an augmented version of the bill that will increase the standards for abortion clinics. That came two days after he said he would veto a previous bill which made the standards for abortion clinics similar to those of outpatient surgery centers.

Putting the contentious issue of abortion rights aside for the time being, this calls into question the validity of the legislative process used by this country for decades.

In a democracy like ours, we would expect the elected representatives of the people to conduct the people’s business in an open and forthright manner.

In the legislature, bills would be given titles that clearly indicate their content, hearings would be scheduled for public input and the bills would be debated in both chambers without restrictive time limits.

This was clearly not the case in this situation.

In the murky world of politics that has consumed our legislature, lawmakers have devised a process for enacting laws that are designed not to enlighten the public, but to trick, fool and otherwise confuse the them.

One such tactic is to tack a highly controversial issue onto an otherwise mundane piece of legislation. That’s how abortion became attached to a bill to improve motorcycle safety.

This is a disingenuous tactic to say the least.

Our elected officials — both Republican and Democrat alike — should refrain from trickery and adhere to the principles envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

Every bill should stand on its own through the legislative process.

We, as the voting public, should not accept being steamrolled, railroaded or motorcycled.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board

 

The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark.