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Matt Pitsch, Arkansas, initiative, citizen, ballot,

The Rest of the News

Reid Wilson’s very welcome reporting in The Hill, recently, was headlined, “GOP legislators clamping down on voter initiatives.”  This disrespect for the people and their basic, democratic check on legislative power is far too common, and something about which people need to know. For instance, ballot measures in Florida already

Alan Clark, Arkansas, term limits,

Catnip for Arrogant Politicians

Arkansas Sen. Alan Clark pretends that his bill, Senate Joint Resolution 15, would toughen the term limits that apply to him. Clark’s masterpiece, which sailed through the Senate 27–3 on Tuesday, most certainly does not. While it purports to toughen term limits from 16 years to 12 years, read the

Idaho, initiative, ballot, Senate Bill 1159, democracy, voting,

Holding All the Trumps

Last week, Idaho’s Senate Bill 1159 — “the bill to make it much harder to qualify a voter initiative or referendum for the Idaho ballot,” as the Idaho Press summarized it — passed the Senate on the narrowest 18–17 vote. Now headed to the House, the legislation would  nearly double

North Dakota, initiative, citizen initiative, ballot initiative, democracy, suppression

March Sanity

“A public debate on the merits of a measure can reveal its flaws,” the Bismarck Tribune calmly and reasonably editorialized yesterday, “and then we have to trust voters to do the right thing.” “Why are some legislators so afraid to allow North Dakota voters to decide what is in their

citizen's initiative, democracy, mob, North Dakota, initiative

Meet the Mob

North Dakota faces a serious problem: The Mob.  “The point of being a republic is so that Mob doesn’t rule,” warned Chris Berg, host of Point of View on Fargo, North Dakota’s Valley News Live. “If you live in a true democracy that’s where Mob can rule.” Berg called citizens

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,

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