Here we go again. As soon as the people gain a little democratic power over their own government, the politicians line up to snatch it back. Now the governors of Arizona and Maine are attacking the initiative and referendum process, or I & R.
I & R is a very good thing because it allows the people to have a say in government a say that can’t be overturned by special interests and politicians. But that’s just the problem, according to folks like Maine Governor Angus King. King, says, “Government by referendum is not the system that we have in this country.”
But the state of Maine had its first referendum in 1911. King may be taking that last name of his just a little too seriously we’re still a democratic republic, last time I checked, where the people are supposed to be in charge.
Politicians, like King, know they don’t stand a chance of abolishing Initiative and Referendum outright, so instead they just want to strangle it slowly. King wants to hike the number of signatures required on petitions, mandate that a certain percentage of signatures come from each county, and prohibit signature gathering near polling places. Governor Jane Hull of Arizona wants similar restrictions. That way, they can stop people who lack big bucks or big connections from having a say in government.
It’s no way to represent the people, that’s for sure. And come to think of it, that’s another reason for the initiative process.