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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Stanford Raynold Brookshire, August 18, 1975. Interview B-0067. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Complications of pure democracy

Brookshire addresses the innate difficulties of pure democracy. He provides an example of how democracy could hinder the administration of city services.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Stanford Raynold Brookshire, August 18, 1975. Interview B-0067. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BILL MOYE:
That, in a way, is why I was asking that. It seems that the group who wanted consolidation might have realized, before appointing such a broad commission, that by appointing such a broad commission you might open the door to getting beyond what they wanted into a sort of unworkable...
STANFORD RAYNOLD BROOKSHIRE:
Well, I guess we just weren't wise enough or smart enough to see that. Didn't anticipate that. Back to the point I just made or the opinion that I expressed that pure democracy doesn't work, I'll illustrate that. During the hearings for the proposed goals for Charlotte Mecklenburg last May a year ago in one of the meetings which I attended, one man got up and proposed that one of the goals provide for a referendum on city and county budgets. That before adopting a city budget, for example, the City Council would hold a city-wide referendum to approve the proposed budget. That particular individual also wanted, after the adoption of such a budget, all expenditures of over $100, I believe he said, to be approved by referendum. Well, can you imagine...
BILL MOYE:
You'd have a hard time.
STANFORD RAYNOLD BROOKSHIRE:
The administration of city affairs would get stalled on the first referendum. But, that would be pure democracy if everybody had a right to say how the city money was to be spent under given budgets.
BILL MOYE:
Something of an unworkable situation.
STANFORD RAYNOLD BROOKSHIRE:
That's right.