Any examples of urban folk voting to screw over rural folk?

Whenever there’s a discussion of the Electoral College, I hear that if we don’t give rural people more voting power relative to their population, the urban people will vote for policies that hurt rural areas.

That sounds like a plausible idea, in theory. But what I’m wondering is, does this ever actually happen in the real world? Can anyone give me some real examples of this occuring?

I don’t know about any examples on a national level, but I know that on a state/province level taxpayers outside of major metropolitan areas are often reluctant to subsidize subway systems (I’m thinking of Toronto in particular, but I gather that voters outside of New York City would probably feel the same way).

I believe that is the opposite of what the OP is asking for.

IIRC, fracking is one such issue. Fracking is often perceived as economically beneficial in some rural regions, but many urban voters (who are in cities far removed from the fracking) vote against it because they don’t like the idea/concept.

Also, I have read that some urban voters do not understand how important guns are for self-defense for rural people who may be two hours away from police, or have to deal with wolves/bears/coyotes.

If I remember correctly my state had funding for road maintenance in rural areas reduced through a state wide vote. Happened awhile ago so I don’t remember the details.

I know people who would absolutely argue that voting to use rural taxpayer money for something that only benefits urban residents is “screwing over rural folk”, but I could be misinterpreting something.

I don’t think that’s the intent of the OP. There appears to be a significant number of rural conservative voters who simply want to hurt urbanites. It has nothing to do with whether they think a policy is a positive step for the US or the reverse. Essentially the motive is vengeance. Vengeance on liberals thinking they are dumb hicks, I guess. It doesn’t have the effect they want, though. Like most vengeance.

There’s no equivalent in the other direction. Urbanites simply don’t think about rural people at all.

It’s a lot easier to provide services in an area that’s population dense. Let’s use a bridge as an example. A bridge near a city might serve a million people. An identical bridge out in the country might only serve ten thousand people. With limited government revenue, you can’t build all the bridges. So the priority goes to building the bridge near the city, which will benefit more people. And after that bridge is built, there’s not enough money in the budget to build a second bridge. You can apply this same principle for roads and schools and clinics and libraries and fire stations and power plants. It’s not a case of urban people setting out to screw over rural people, but rural people live in the reality where they’re paying taxes but they see all the money being spent in cities.

I agree with this post. And I don’t think it’s an intentional screwing; it’s that urban people don’t think much about rural people. That and everyone would rather have budget cuts impact the other guy.

Another (Canadian) example I thought of is the Canadian Firearms Registry. It required citizens to register all firearms in a central database, including unrestricted firearms like hunting rifles. The legislation had very little support outside of urban areas.

The only argument that I’ve heard that seems to have some degree of validity is gun control. The notion that city-dwellers would make it very difficult to acquire guns, thinking to themselves that nobody need a damn gun, while rural folks actually use them on wolves and coyotes and whatnot. I did say “some degree”, mind you — don’t see any reason why rural folks need freaking bump stocks or semi-automatics etc.

But in contrast to that whole thing, you don’t see urbanites pushing for privatizing the US postal service and thereby letting them charge for carrying packages and letters out to West Bumfuck, Idaho the $$$ that would let the postal org not take a loss on such deliveries. Or going hard against farm subsidies. We generally don’t see rural folks as economic parasites. (Hey, we like the good food and the textiles and stuff!)

The guns thing, which AHunter3 explained. Up here in the Northwest, dam removal is a clear urban/rural divide where I’m not sure my fellow urban-folk fully understand the impacts on the rural areas where they want to breach dams. Also, a lot of rural communities are very dependent on logging, which I imagine a lot of city dwellers might just vote to shut down entirely, if they had their druthers.

I live in the Northwest and don’t recall ever being asked to vote on dam removal. Yes, there’ve been various fights over them, but they happen in courts and commission meetings.

You’re not going to be asked to vote directly on that issue either. It’s ultimately a federal decision - at least, breaching the lower Snake River dams is, and I think all the dam breaches are as well - and there is no federal initiative or referendum. But I saw the OP’s question as more of, “if urban areas exercised political power in line with their actual percentage of the population, on what issues would rural voters get hurt?”, I think this qualifies, even if the decision making authority rests with representative bodies rather than with direct votes.

I’ve lived in rural areas for much of my life and have never found this to be true. The people in rural areas want to be left alone to self-govern.

They do get resentful when the voting power in urban areas overrides their votes on issues that are important to them; this happens fairly frequently in my state. But aside from this they don’t care much about or think much about people in urban areas.

I’ll throw in another one: location of garbage/trash sites.

People living in cities generate a lot of ‘waste’, which they want to go ‘away’. Often they want it to go away to rural areas, where they think there’s plenty of room for it.

We don’t want it, either.

That’s often (though not always) an intrastate issue, though.

It’s much broader than that, apart it’s access to the same level of basic services.

Government services are easier and more cost effective to provide in the higher population areas.
Education, health, transport, policing, infrastructure etc.

Having greater political power gives a small degree to redress that imbalance when decisions are made. That local considerations are considered.

To be fair it is the balancing act between the rurals wanting to be left alone while simultaneously not wanting to be ignored.

Urban folk get that warm inner glow about doing their bit for the environment, provided the cost and implications are borne by somebody else away, way out there.

There is the imposition of a whole raft of land and water management regulations, applied with classic bureaucratic inflexibility by people who make decisions on whiteboards in 20th floor boardrooms.

Imposing building standards applicable to high or medium density developments on houses built where the nearest neighbor is miles away but access to power, water, internet etc don’t come packaged with the deal.

Being levied road service taxes to fund major transport projects in the city when there are no sealed roads to your property and access bridges are being closed because they are too expensive to maintain.

It pisses me off, as a volunteer of a junior footy club, that the urbanites demand an ambulance be called to treat a boy with a broken arm or collarbone when there is a major public hospital in of line of sight, while my relatives have died from avoidable causes because they couldn’t get to a doctor, much less an emergency ward.

I remember once returning from a bushwalk in Sydney and on the way through the car park that there were dozens of vehicles whose owners were out boating on Warragamba Dam enjoying water sports, but their cars all had “No Dams” stickers in support of the latest urban environmental fetish.

True that urban people may not see the need for AR-15’s or such for coyote removal. And most urban people would be perfectly fine with the rurals having whatever aresenal they wanted, as long as they kept them out of the cities.

But, most of the time, the money is actually leaving the city to the rural areas. The bridge near the city got built by city taxes, and so did that bridge that serves a couple thousand people out in the middle of nowhere.

Those roads and schools and clinics and fire stations that the rural areas want? They cannot afford them on their own taxes, so they have subsidies that come from the more affluent areas to get them.

The states that are having problems in this regard are largely the red states, where the rural areas have enough sway to “starve the beast” as it were. And that means that rural areas get fewer funds for maintaining and building roads and providing services. The cities do fine, as they can provide those services on their own.

The city people see their taxes going to subsidize people living a lifestyle that would be unsustainable without the tax base of the urban areas, and are cool with that. They would actually like to increase that subsidy, if the rural areas would let them.

Rural areas not getting as much services as cities isn’t the cities screwing over the rural areas. It’s letting the rural areas be rural. Not having services is inherent in being rural, and giving them the same services as the cities would mean they would become cities.

The NSW state government is a coalition between the (predominently) urban based Liberal Party and the (notionally) rural based National Party. More practically, the Nats are the political arm of the mining lobby.

How well the government is performing is a matter of opinion, but they aren’t a bad government.

At the moment the coalition looks like it will fracture in the next couple of days … over legislation proposed for koala habitat protection in the wake of the 2019 bushfire season.

IMHO, in this particular case it’s the Nats who are screwing over the rural folk in favour of their city based backers in suits.