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initiative, petition, power, money, elections

Three Bad Propositions

Two propositions on this November’s California ballot, Propositions 8 and 11, have found an opponent. “Both would have voters decide very narrow union-management conflicts in two relatively small medical service sectors,” explains Dan Walters, long the dean of California columnists. Unions are sponsoring Prop 8, which “purports to limit profits

Memphis, ballot, instant runoff, term limits

Intentionally Confounding Incumbents

The three issues on the ballot in Memphis this November are “not complicated,” writes Commercial Appeal columnist David Waters, “unless you read the actual ballot questions.” Which is all most voters will see. All three directly affect the self-interest of members of the Memphis City Council, which placed them on

Party Line, Nudge Nudge

I’m all for government transparency. But transparent politicians? The office of New Mexico’s Secretary of State sent out a press release, yesterday, announcing that Secretary Toulouse Oliver “is formatting the 2018 general election ballot to once again include the option for ‘straight party’ voting.” “The more options people have,” Oliver

voting, elections, democracy, illegal, aliens, migration, borders, citizens

Should Non-Citizens Vote?

“A lot of people would like to say this is an immigration issue. It’s really not,” offered Gary Emineth, the head of North Dakotans for Citizen Voting and a candidate for state senator.   “It’s really about preserving the right for U.S. citizens, and in our case, North Dakota residents,

term limits, elections, voting, limits, white lines, yellow lines, democracy

The Yellow and White Lines

If I’ve heard it one million times, I’ve heard it ten: “We already have term limits; they’re called elections.” A statement usually offered as the beginning and end of wisdom regarding the problems term limits are designed to tackle. Equally “profound” is the collateral claim that “the only term limits

voting age, democracy, elections, adult, maturity

Fiddling with the Franchise

In 2013, Tacoma Park, Maryland, became the first place in the U.S. to allow 16-year-olds to vote in local elections.* Now, Washington, D.C., Councilman Charles Allen, “inspired by the high-schoolers who are campaigning for gun control and filled D.C. streets last month in a massive protest that mesmerized the country,”

Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, data mining, hack, hacking, elections, democracy, meddling

The Real Democracy Hack

A whistleblower in a British data company called Cambridge Analytica accuses his company of stealing as many as 50 million Facebook profiles. This is the latest version of the “hacked the election” meme pushed by the establishment after Trump’s 2016 defeat of Hillary Clinton. Cambridge received data on 270,000 Facebook

Florida, Proposal 97, Constitution, democracy, voting, initiative, Constitution Revision Commission

New-Fangled Vote Counting

Call me old-fashioned, but when you go to the pols to cast your vote on a ballot measure, your Yes vote should count for yes and your No vote for no. And if you choose not to vote, your non-vote should count for neither yes nor no. That’s just common

Oklahoma, votes, democracy, initiative, marijuana, State Rep. John Enns, ballot

Fear of Voters

You are a state legislator, say. And an issue could be placed on the ballot on which a majority of your state’s citizens might not vote according to your preference. What would you do? Educate your fellow citizens on the merits of your position; or Dawdle while calling a lobbyist

Tim Eyman, doll, petition, taxes, Washington, initiative, democracy, voters

What Unlimited Government Costs Us

“Olympia can’t restrain itself,” Tim Eyman wrote the other day, a judgment on legislative irresponsibility hardly unique to the Evergreen State. Citizens around the country have cause to lament the difficulty of obtaining anything close to a good legislature. Too often the merely “bad” would constitute a significant improvement. Which

great fiction, government, citizen, initiative, term limits, Paul Jacob

The Great Faction

Politics isn’t a pretty business. Frédéric Bastiat called the beast it serves “that great fiction” not because it doesn’t exist — intrusive state power sure persists — but rather because what it promises cannot really happen: “everyone living at the expense of everyone else.” What can we do? How do

If This Be Blackmail. . .

The Republican Party now boasts of more positions of power than . . . ever? And yet the GOP is in danger of falling apart. The Democrats, now forced to endure Hillary Clinton’s new absurdity, What Happened, appear at wits’ end. They just do not “get it.” Alas, “not getting

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