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What’s Love Got to Do With It?

“One of the great myths in official Washington,” writes pollster and pundit Scott Rasmussen at Ballotpedia.org, “is that voters hate Congress but love their own representative.” Working for term limits, boy have I heard this assertion a lot. Oh, voters do hate Congress; this we know. Less than one in

Tim Eyman, democracy, initiative

Advice & Conceit

The core idea behind the institutions of representative government — state legislatures, city councils, Congress — is that lawmakers, sometimes called “representatives,” endeavor to implement “the will of the people.” To do so . . . necessarily entails knowing the public’s preferences. Hmmm. How to find out what people want?

Barnie, sentry, connectivity, individuality, violence, peace, love, play, comedy

Evergreen State Blues

One of the things many people no longer understand about these United States is its — their — peculiar genius: decentralism. The extreme of this is that contentious notion of state nullification of federal law, which most “smart” people deride (contra Jefferson and Madison) as itself made null and void

Senator, David Hogue, petition, initiative, ballot, democracy, North Dakota

Who Works For Whom?

On the difference between citizen control and a cheap imitation. . . Rob Port likes something I do not: North Dakota’s Senate Concurrent Resolution 4001.  I have previously applauded Port in this space, for his excellent political commentary on Say Anything Blog, columns for the Forum News Service, and on

yellow vests, jackets, France, protests, taxes, nationalism

Who Rules the French?

The petition that Priscillia Ludosky posted on Change.org many weeks ago was labeled “For a Drop in Fuel Prices at the Pump!” Now more than a million people have signed it.  “Taxation as a whole represents about two-thirds of the price of fuel,” the French activist informed. Sparked by the

Peru, term limits, Trump

Trump Should Look to Peru

Democracy can degrade into other things, even strong-man rule. To avoid such degradation, we have a ready prophylactic. Term limits. Which hamper would-be dictators-for-life, including entrenched oligarchs in the legislature. Many countries illustrate the point. But take Peru, where the new head of state, Martin Vizcarra, has been combatting political corruption by supporting a referendum to impose

nothing, Washington, pay raise, Tim Eyman,

The Seinfeld Referendum

There is an unmistakable connection between Washington State initiative guru Tim Eyman and New York City comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Mr. Seinfeld gave viewers what they wanted for nine seasons as the star of the self-named 1990s hit television sitcom, Seinfeld. It was slyly defined as “a show about nothing.” Meanwhile,

Regnat Populus, Arkansas, term limits, initiative

Suppressed Measure Woulda Won

Arkansas politicians and their cronies were terrified by Issue 3. So when this tough state legislative term limits measure was approved for the ballot, foes of citizen-controlled government sued to kill it. Agreeing that thousands of already-approved signatures of bonafide registered voters must be tossed because of new, legislatively-imposed, byzantine,

domino, power, election, term limits, initiatives

Electing a Better Way

For the seventh time in the last 22 years, the Metro Nashville Council put a measure on the ballot to weaken or abolish their own term limits. And for the seventh time voters said no.  Term limits were under attack elsewhere in Tennessee — along with Ranked Choice Voting. The

Gender, neutral, term limits, Memphis, City Council,

Seventh Time’s the Charm?

“You have to give the public something,” explained termed-out former Councilperson Emily Evans, a few years ago. She was referring to a 2015 initiative she had pushed. The unsuccessful measure had tempted voters with a smaller council in exchange for weakened term limits. On Tuesday’s ballot, voters find lame attempt

money, global warming, carbon, tax, climate

The Green in the Evergreen State

We’re told of the scientific consensus on global warming. Whatever you may say about that consensus (I’ve expressed extreme skepticism), no such consensus exists for what steps would be best to take to deal with the identified problem — which is usually understood in terms of the “carbon footprint,” of

libertarian, spoiler, porcupine, snake, politics

Spoiler Season

“Libertarians poll high enough to tip key races,” informs The Washington Times — citing contests for governorships and both houses of Congress.* Libertarian Lucy Brenton is one example, running for U.S. Senate in Indiana. She grabbed 7 percent in a recent poll, greater than the margin between incumbent Democratic Sen.

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