Should Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) create a wolf-hunting season? That question will be on the statewide ballot this November.
What’s going on has less to do with killing wolves than it does with politicians butchering democratic checks to their power.
Until 2012, wolves were a federally protected endangered species. Now some say the estimated 650 wolves in Michigan have become a nuisance.
It has long been legal to shoot wolves threatening livestock or people, so that’s not at issue.
What is at issue? Last year’s legislation, which gave the DNR power to establish a wolf-hunting season. Animal protection activists objected, gathering more than 250,000 signatures to put the law to a statewide vote.
Okay, let the people decide, right?
Wrong. Legislators intent on not permitting citizen control passed a brand new law to have it their way — the people be damned. So tenacious citizens signed more petitions to put this second statute to a referendum.
Hence the two referendums on the ballot.
Legislators still weren’t finished, though. They passed a third bill, this time slapping an unrelated appropriation in it, thus blocking a referendum. That law faces a legal challenge.
This seems a choice between the government regulating wildlife matters with or without any popular check on that power. By voting NO on both Proposals 1 and 2, Michiganders can tell the wannabe dictators in Lansing that their democracy-hunting season is over.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.