It’s open season on Middle East dictators — but I’m a little jealous. Greater freedom and democracy may be coming to Tunisia and Egypt and Bahrain, but what about us?
The last two decades Americans have asserted themselves, changing control of Congress several times as well as passing term limits and other reforms directly through numerous statewide citizen initiatives.
Have our elected representatives responded by facilitating such democratic participation? Not on your life!
This year, many state legislators came into session hell-bent on blocking the citizen check of initiative and referendum.
In Colorado, legislators have proposed a constitutional amendment making it harder to place initiatives on the ballot. It would also mandate a 60 percent supermajority vote to pass a constitutional amendment, allowing deep pocket special interests the power to defeat reforms popular enough to win 59.9 percent of the vote.
Last November, Oklahoma voters passed a constitutional amendment to make it a little easier for citizens to petition an issue onto the ballot. Now, just months later, state senators narrowly passed an amendment that would make the same process much more difficult.
Currently, Nevada citizens must gather signatures in each of the state’s three congressional districts to qualify a statewide ballot issue. Legislation is pending to increase this requirement from three petition drives to 42 separate petition drives — one for each of the 42 state legislative districts.
Thus our “representatives” seek to stop the people from representing themselves.
This is Common sense. I’m Paul Jacob.