Sunday May 19, 2013
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This is beyond a doubt the best idea I have ever had--or ever will have--regarding initiatives.
Boy! Wait till you read this. It says how government ought to run.
Right now, if some group gets some screwy idea, and gets enough people to sign a petition, it goes on the ballot.
I don't know whether or not you've ever had one of these paid petition people knock on your door, but I have. Their line always goes like this "Well, you're not voting for this; you're just giving people a chance to vote yes or no. It's democracy in action. It lets the people decide what they want to do. How can that hurt?"
Then the thing gets on the ballot and we get sandbagged by misleading television ads that leave out the fine print. A lot of half informed people vote for something they really don't want. And bingo! We're stuck with another tax of some kind.
That's how we got stuck with the "temporary" 1% sales tax hike. The legislature wouldn't pass it because they are sworn to No New Taxes, but they fobbed it off on us, and fools that we are we let it slip through the net.
So here's my idea.
Are you going to love this!
If the initiative involves any cost to the taxpayers, no matter what form that cost comes in, then only those people who voted for it have to to pay it.
Now that's fair!
Let's say that you are a big supporter of--say--state parks. Let's say you utilize them, and you want them to keep on being run by the state, and you want them to be paid for with taxes.
Fair enough. Vote for it--AND pay for it.
Look! If there are enough people who really want something, they can have it. But why should they be allowed to force YOU to pay for something YOU don't want?
So what we do is put that into an initiative and change they way they are done.
And before anyone starts to carp, listen to this. If it is right to put a surcharge on driver's license because it is "voluntary," why isn't it right to make all such things voluntary?
Come on, now. You can't have it both ways.
This may anger some but even though I think your idea is brilliant the missing piece is that there is no way to track who voted for it, ballots are supposed to be secret. The part that may anger is
" It's democracy in action. It lets the people decide what they want to do. How can that hurt?”
It does hurt, it's the problem and has been for about a century. We are not a Democracy. We are a Democratic Republic and there is a major difference. People and organizations outside of government should not (in a Republic) be able to bring iniatives to the ballot.
The process was set up so that the public in the Area where they lived, found a person whom they wanted to Represent them in the Government. They had an election, a representative was chosen and they sent them off to either the State legislature or to DC.
That Representative's job was to represent the people that elected him or her period. The States also have Senates and the number is fewer because they represent the whole of the State and the larger body of the public that sends them there.
Before the progressives took power, the Congressional Senate was composed of two people from each state who were to represent and protect the States interests. They were chosen by the State Legislature, who were comprised by the public as previously explained.
When the progressives put the elections into the hands of public, we began losing our freedom.
Politicians knew they could buy votes using the Treasury and the result is the mess we are in now.
Look up how to lose a Republic and you'll see several ways, all of them in full swing currently.
To further anger the 'democratic mislead',
The way to take a greivence to the public is through the Legislature.
Contact your Representative, your Senator, Your Governor and tell them what you want.
They may or may not listen depending on whether or not they believe the greivence is felt by everyone they represent. There is the rub. Those with a greivence want everyone to agree with them and make a law to stop it or allow it. Those that don't see it as a greivence don't give a ....
hoot and get on with their lives freely and without restriction.
Everytime a citizen or group initiative hits the ballot it asks for two things, Take away a freedom or restrict it. Charge a tax to pay for it. It's always full of "JUSTiFICaTION" but if it passes it always cost more than it does good and it never goes away and we are a lot more restricted because of it.
End the Iniative process. Use the process put in place. Don't like the way the representation responds, vote them out if you can. If YOU can't.......it wasn't a good idea in the first place and most of the public agrees.
Our ballots are not secret. They are numbered and the envelope we put them in we have to put our signature on is numbered. Secret ?
Excellent idea Tom.
If the taxpayer is getting a reduction in taxes, or a rescinding of taxes, then the initiative should include returning some tax money to the taxpayers. Wouldn't it be nice to see a lower property tax bill and a refund check in the mail for what the town didn't spend.
When doesn't the town spend all our money and borrowing more?
"...ballots are supposed to be secret."
No big deal. This is not a vote for a candidate, so there is no need to keep it secret. It's simply a vote on whether or not you want something to be done that you favor. Let's say, for example, there's an initiative on
We re only a democratic republic because of an accident of history. The original idea of democracy was a vote of the people. That was back when cities states were still small enough for it to work, but our nation was formed after states became too large for everyone to vote. Even so, back in 1776 there were still many places where everyone voted. And we still have town meetings now, where all the interested people meet and vote on issues. It isn't until recently that we have had the capability of voting the entire nation. Now that we have it, why not go to genuine democracy? Why vote for someone who goes off and does what he wants instead of what you want?
"That Representative's job was to represent the people that elected him or her period."
In truth, with our archaic, outmoded system that's impossible, isn't it? Look. We have a vote. Forty-seven percent vote for A; forty-six percent vote for B, and seven percent vote for the neighbor's cat. A is elected. How can he possibly "represent" the almost half of the people in his district? He can't. Every time he votes he votes directly against the wishes of those who did not elect him. It's an out of date system. It needs to be replaced.
"Before the progressives took power, the Congressional Senate was composed of two people from each state who were to represent and protect the States interests. They were chosen by the State Legislature, who were comprised by the public as previously explained."
The theory that they represent the people is interesting, but untrue. By letting the State Legislature elect them we are an additional level out of touch with the people. What they really represent is the interests of the State Legislature, and the interests of states as opposed to federal interests (which is why the system was set up that way). Why would they be more responsive to people who essentially have even less to do with their election than they do by a direct vote? The system is broken. And it is broken exactly because we have no direct control over what Congress does? Do you think we would have passed Obamacare if they hadn't let us read it first?
"The way to take a greivence to the public is through the Legislature.
Contact your Representative, your Senator, Your Governor and tell them what you want."
The trouble with that is that if you are part of the 46% instead of the 47% you'll get "out-grieved" just like you got outvoted.
The people can't win without a direct vote of some kind. Mind you, I would not favor the throwing out of our whole system. I'd just favor adding in direct vote and recall. We would be foolish to move too fast. That never works.
"Wouldn't it be nice to see a lower property tax bill and a refund check in the mail for what the town didn't spend."
Yes, it would. And it would be even nicer if we could see the actual bills.
"When doesn't the town spend all our money and borrowing more?'
When we go to an all income tax, and no other tax, law. The cities, counties, and state ask for what they need. We pay it. That's that.
Under this concept if there were some people who wanted--say--a stadium for the Cardinals to come here, they could pass an initiative and pay for it themselves, which would cost the rest of us nothing.
See? Doesn't stop people from doing what they want. Just lets the rest of us off the hook for things we disagree with.
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