The Fourth Carnival of Principled Government, A Principle of Virtue
Welcome to the fourth Carnival of Principled Government. While its actual posting was not inhibited by the birth of my fourth child, it went sorely neglected. Still, a loyal few submitted.

The key foundation upon which our nation rests is not so much the documents which created it, but the character of its people. In a speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention (June 20, 1788), James Madison stated,
Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks--no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea, if there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.

Tackling the issue of character directly, The Liberty Papers offers a post on breaking the law. After all, if our founders had not been willing to break the law, thereby risking their lives, we might not know liberty today.

Without virtue, we elect those without virtue. And wonder how to go about changing the law so that we don't do it quite so consistently. (At least that is my take on campaign reform.)

BlogforCox looks at campaign reform. It would be nice to have men and women of character, such as George Washington who reluctantly accepted the highest office in the land and voluntarily left after serving two terms.

We align ourselves by party lines, as Hell's Handmaiden asserts in his post on public opinion and the US attorney firings.

We change the law to protect the guilty, as presented by Twelve years of being annoyed... and the Casey Serin Project.

Political discourse becomes more about phrases and sound bytes than any sort of principles, let alone our founding principles.

The Dissentators ask to repeal the second amendment from the debate on gun control.

Because virtue and character are directly tied to education, I offer the post which served as my introduction and dedication of this blog, which looks at an old quote from Abraham Lincoln.

Consent of the Governed shares a letter she received which offers to "credentialize" homeschool parents (EC). What begins as a program designed to "help," often ends as mandatory and completely overseen by the government.

Luckily, our founders had the foresight to put some checks in our system. What is often viewed abroad as "undemocratic," has preserved our republic and our conception of liberty for longer than other modern democracies have existed. Whether it is through our federal system, the branches of government or the electoral college, numerous checks are in place both against the power of the state and the passing fancies of the people.

Devoted to the cause of divided government, Divided We Stand, United We Fall scores a few rounds between the Executive and Legislative branches. The balance of power was placed in the Constitution for a reason. And as far as we've strayed, I fear it would have been a much hastier decline if our system were not so sluggish in actually accomplishing anything.

One thing which has long troubled me is the steady centralization of power in our country. I think that is largely due to the fact that no one really cares about local politics.

Coming from England, Save the Ribble offers some advice for questioning candidates for upcoming council elections. Trying to tie a politician to an opinion on anything seems to be a difficult task, no matter what nation you are in.

Commenting on the rule of law (as opposed to expressing the absolute power of the state) China Law Blog offers an interesting case demonstrating that perhaps China is making some steps in the direction of being governed by law.

Thank you for visiting this edition of the Carnival of Principled Government. If you would be interested in participating, more information can be found here. Post may be submitted through the form at blogcarnival and if you are interested in hosting, please email me.