Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Political change sometimes happens in hiccups.

A burst of innovation. Then a slump in its pace. An idea’s day may be done . . . or may just lie dormant, awaiting conditions for resurgence. Perhaps one tipping point is a rise in the number of voters who have become really, really, really fed up with the excesses of the ruling class.

Consider statewide citizen initiative rights, which many states installed between 1898 and 1920, with few more in the 1970s and Mississippi in 1993. The current total is 24.

Citizens of the other states need initiative rights too. Especially those graded F by the Citizens in Charge Foundation for their lack of initiative rights—for example, Pennsylvania. The Keystone State was rocked by a major legislative pay scandal a few years back, not to mention several scary judicial scandals.

Michael Nerozzi and Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation argue that only initiative rights will enable genuine reform. Pennsylvania’s constitution recognizes the right of citizens to “alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper,” but citizens are thwarted by the politicians.

Citizen initiative, the authors say, “is the only reliable mechanism for implementing reforms such as a part-time legislature, term limits, state spending caps, and abolishing gerrymandering.”

It’s a tough sell with the political class. But Pennsylvanians can and will win the right of citizen initiative when enough of them insist. Strongly.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

2 Comments

  1. […] Common Sense with Paul Jacob – Brought to You by Citizens in Charge Foundation » Archive » The Pen… thisiscommonsense.com/?p=5934 – view page – cached A burst of innovation. Then a slump in its pace. An idea’s day may be done . . . or may just lie dormant, awaiting conditions for resurgence. Perhaps one tipping point is a rise in the number of voters who have become really, really, really fed up with the excesses of the ruling class. Tweets about this link […]

  2. Ken Howes says:

    Initiatives are in general a good thing. There are just a couple of things to be aware of:

    1. People tend to use the initiative as a substitute for an opposition party. In Massachusetts and California, the people, rather than get rid of the Democrats who have caused most of those states’ problems, rely on initiative petitions to try to undo the damage. Once in a while it works.

    2. Too often the legislature or the courts simply nullify whatever the people vote on. The courts, informed by a liberal professional culture among lawyers, will use any excuse to thwart the will of the people–ask the people in California about gay marriage. In Massachusetts, the legislature will do everything it can to keep initiatives off the ballot; if they cannot, then they undo the result of an initiative they don’t like at the first opportunity.

    How can they do that? Very simple. People don’t really like liberalism. But the Democrats need only recite their mantra,
    “Republicans are the party of the rich,” and the people vote Democratic again, returning to office the legislators who keep passing things obnoxious to them.

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