From the NY Times:
According to a standard set by one prominent New Yorker, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s re-election ought to be dismissed as inconsequential. That standard comes from Mr. Bloomberg himself.
A year ago, he dispatched a couple of his legal whizzes to the City Council, which was holding hearings on his desire to scrap the voter-approved law on term limits so that he could cling to office. The whizzes’ marching orders were to explain to council members why it was perfectly legal to subvert the expressed will of the people — “legal” not being synonymous with “proper.” No real heavy lifting was involved. The fix to change the law was in.
One whiz, Anthony W. Crowell, the mayor’s counselor, went beyond legalisms. He trivialized the two plebiscites in the 1990s that established a two-term limit for major-office holders.
To underline how unimportant the mayor considered them, Mr. Crowell noted that the 586,890 people who formed the majority in a 1996 referendum represented a trifling 17 percent of all registered voters in the city. Others in the Bloomberg administration invoke a different standard. Term limits, they say, had support at the polls from only 1 of every 15 city residents.
O.K., then what is one to make of the 557,059 votes that Mr. Bloomberg received on Tuesday to win his coveted third term? They amount to a mere 13 percent of registered voters. The 1-in-15 standard for all residents also applies.
To use City Hall’s logic in regard to term limits, shouldn’t Mr. Bloomberg’s triumph this week be deemed unconvincing, even suspect?
Obviously, the answer is no. The mayor’s victory may have been rather narrow for a man who spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 to purchase each of his votes. But a win is a win. And the voters must be respected.
If only Mr. Bloomberg and his minions had kept that fundamental point in mind last year. Instead, they dismissed it as an inconvenience.
The issue is quite simple, really. In our democracy, we don’t count those who don’t show up.
Photo from the Daily News