Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bill to Clean Up Initiatives

A trick question in the agora here –– how can you be against democracy? Far too often, this comes from some narrowly focused interest group pitching a sneaky ballot initiative. The group has tried to badger the legislature and courts into supporting its unfair position. Then it turns to call, "Let the people decide!"

After this week's Constitutional Convention, we may hear more about a commonwealth Senate bill designed to reduce fraud in promoting initiatives and getting them through the process for vote.
  • Baystate blog covers the ideas here.
  • You can see the actual bill 2158 here.
  • massmarrier posted a series on the larger issue, starting here.
It's big, it's contentious, it can be boring, and it's damned important. It's the first step toward giving the electoral a fair shot at what the initiative and referendum process was meant to do –– correct overreaching legislative action.

Instead, in most of the states that allow them, the vast majority of ballot questions and referenda are tricks and fly in the face of the constitutional and legislative protections in place. You can be sure that the narrow interest groups are already lobbying against SB 2158.

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