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Author Topic: poll: Voter initiative  (Read 5959 times)

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Offline DanG

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Re: poll: Voter initiative
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2005, 01:06:50 AM »
Tom, let me clarify what I mean by letting the insurance companies bear the burden of inspection.  If a home is built that doesn't meet the codes, they wouldn't have to insure it.  I'm not talking about the building industry, but about individuals such as us, who would like to build our own house in which to live out our days.

I don't like the "voter initiative" process, but I do think we could use it to slow the bureaucracy down, if it is used wisely.

I agree that the citizens need to make their reps accountable, and that's the way it is supposed to work.  Problem is, too many voters are too lazy to really examine a politician's record, or search out the facts for themselves.  They just vote for the one with the best hairdo or the pearliest smile, or the one whose party is represented by their favorite ugly animal.  The reps say what the voters want to hear, then go ahead and do what they want, or get paid to want, until the next election.

Our system, a Democratic Republic, could work quite well if we could regulate the campaign process better.  We should outlaw ALL political advertising, and put the candidates on television in a public forum format.  The candidates should be isolated from one another, and not know what the opponent's answer to a question is until he has filed his own answer.  ALL entertainment broadcasting should be suspended in the days preceding the election, so that folks could get a good look at the candidates.  IMO, we have a perfectly good system of governing ourselves, but we are not using it to best advantage.
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline PawNature

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Re: poll: Voter initiative
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2005, 06:57:48 AM »
I would like to see political parties done away with. People then would have to look at what the canidates stood for instead of voting party line. I know poeple who have no idea what their canidates stand for. They just hit the lever for what ever political party they belong to.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: poll: Voter initiative
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2005, 05:59:07 PM »
Here's what our initiative bill has for getting one started:

  An initiative measure may be proposed by presenting to
  the Secretary of the Commonwealth a petition that sets forth the
  text of the proposed statute or amendment to the Constitution
  and is certified by the Secretary of the Commonwealth to have
  been signed by registered electors equal in number to 8%, in the
  case of the statute, or 10%, in the case of an amendment to the
  Constitution, of the votes for all candidates for Governor at
  the last gubernatorial election.
      Signatures on initiative petitions must be obtained from
   at least 5% of the registered electors as of the date of the
   last gubernatorial election in each of 36 counties in this

That seems like a pretty healthy number of signatures that a lot of those frivilous initiatives wouldn't develop.  But, our state doesn't trust the electorate with this ability.  We would have rescinded their payraise in a heartbeat as well as some other money grabs these guys made in the past few years.  I see the initiative as an electorate safeguard against an arrogant legislature.

One problem we have is that most of our legislators run unopposed.  The dominant party decides who is going to run, then there isn't any competition.  The general election has no opposition, since all the campaign money has been sucked up by the incumbents many months before. 

The payraise has raised such a furor in PA, that a local talkshow host gathered 155,000 signatures in 2 months and presented them to the Legisilature.  Well, not really the legislature, but one of their secretaries.  They were too scared to show their faces.

On Tuesday, they sent one Supreme Court justice packing.  The first time a judge has ever lost a retention vote.  The other judge narrowly escaped the vote.

Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline solodan

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Re: poll: Voter initiative
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2005, 12:37:01 AM »

Some states, notably California and Florida, as well as some others, have a provision that allows the general public to initiate proposals to the voters to ammend the state's Constitution.  This is done by securing a certain number of verifiable signatures on a petition.  That being done, the proposition appears on the next statewide ballot.  If it passes muster with the voters, it becomes law, no ifs, ands, or buts!  It matters not if it is practical, economical, or even doable.

These proposals, or initiatives, have been used by environmental activists and special interest groups to put some items in our State Constitutions that really do not belong there. 

Voter initiatives seem like a good idea and fair way to get things done, but only in theory.
Here in California the biggest problem lies with the fact that 32 million of the 35 million people live in a few densly clustered regions. This is the reason why a proposition like that of 117 won, and 197 was defeated. 117 made the mountain lion a specially protected mammal. 197 was to take the mountain lion out of the protection. The problem is, California is a huge state and the mountain lions are not running down the streets of L.A. So most of the voters have probably never seen a mountain lion, however these large elusive cats inhabit huge areas of the state. Most of these areas are uninhabited by people. Where I live, we  see them all the time, but we live in a lightly populated area.  Therefore 10% of the geography has 90% of the voice. I personally don't think that someone in L.A. should be able to protest a timber sale in my area, but I've seen it happen.

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