Do you believe that exercising our democratic rights should be as tough as the Twelve Labors of Hercules? Even Hercules had trouble with those, capturing a hound from Hades and so forth.
No, it shouldnâ€™t be such a chore. But in state after state, power brokers whine that itâ€™s way too easy for voters to consider an initiative that legislators dislike.
Sure, there should be safeguards against electoral fraud. But this isnâ€™t what politicians in, say, Michigan fret about.
According to one new proposal, by Michigan Senator Michelle McManus, a certain number of petition signatures should be collected in each of 83 out of 110 House districts.
The point of this formula? Only to force petition supporters to spend resources unproductively. Thereâ€™s nothing â€œdemocraticâ€ about the burden. Does election to some statewide office, like governor, require votes to be apportioned among districts according to such a formula?
Of course not.
Another notion is that constitutional amendments are so important that only the Michigan legislature should be allowed to place them on the ballot. This would presumably ensure that such amendments are properly â€œvetted.â€ Otherwise, â€œspecial interestsâ€ might have too much influence.
Wrong again. Initiatives are vetted by voters in the campaign before the election. The whole point of citizen initiative rights is to end-run â€œvettingâ€ by biting and snarling politicians.
Sometimes I think Hercules had it easy.
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.