Sometimes you just have to do it yourself if there’s a way. For term limits and many other reforms, the citizen initiative process is a way that the people, not the politicians, can lay down the law. In 24 states, initiative and referendum allows citizens to propose a law and get a vote on it.
Career politicians hate this direct democracy, because it gives folks the ability to participate directly in determining important questions that affect their lives. The politicians are wondering, golly, shouldn’t I be the one running everybody’s life? So they work hard to throw a monkey wrench in the process.
And looks like they’ve got friends in the media, too. Recently, a horrified editorial in the Bangor Daily News complained that signature gathering was too easy these days, given how the “professionalism of it” has grown.
Why should democracy be easy, right? Maybe each voter should have to get a tooth pulled every time they lend their signature to a petition.
But geez, doesn’t the Bangor Daily News have at least one valid point? They complain about the excessive number of ballot questions that voters and newspaper editors in the state of Maine have had to think about and vote on over the past decade. I mean, there have been 9 whole referendum questions in Maine over the past five years. That’s an average of 1.8 referendums per year. Gosh, it sure is tough to be a citizen who has a say.
America, let’s hope this editorial writer never has to move to California.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.