View Poll Results: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

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  • I like voter initiatives and referendums

    9 34.62%
  • I dislike voter initiatives and referendums

    15 57.69%
  • other

    2 7.69%
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Thread: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

  1. #31
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    There is no surer way to destroy representative democracy than direct democracy.
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Works fine here in Switzerland. It's not perfect, no system ever is, but the various checks and balances prevent our form of direct democracy from falling into the tyranny of the majority trap. It's very similar to how Yossarian describes the Australian system. It's a fundamental pillar of our system of government that ensures that all major decisions rest solely in the hands of the people.
    "Yes, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?".- Northern Irish joke

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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana XV View Post
    Works fine here in Switzerland. It's not perfect, no system ever is, but the various checks and balances prevent our form of direct democracy from falling into the tyranny of the majority trap. It's very similar to how Yossarian describes the Australian system. It's a fundamental pillar of our system of government that ensures that all major decisions rest solely in the hands of the people.
    I think California shows that the absolute last place you want decisions to rest is in the hands of the people.

  4. #34
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana XV View Post
    Works fine here in Switzerland. It's not perfect, no system ever is, but the various checks and balances prevent our form of direct democracy from falling into the tyranny of the majority trap. It's very similar to how Yossarian describes the Australian system. It's a fundamental pillar of our system of government that ensures that all major decisions rest solely in the hands of the people.
    I see voter initiatives and referendums as an important pillar against government tyranny.

    Many of these people who voted no on voter initiatives and referendums are the same people who basically say most voters are too damn stupid and that if you do not like the job a politician then you should vote them out. Its the voters that a too damn stupid that keep voting for the same lousy politicians, so you can not just vote them out. These voter initiatives and referendums can be used by the people impose pay cuts on the politicians, make it illegal for a politician to vote yes on a bill they didn't read, impose term limits and anything else a politician in office are not going to do.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite View Post
    It doesnt matter, the money has to come from somewhere and voters WILL NOT allow programs to be cut or taxes to be raised, except for tobacco tax.
    This is why someone in office requires that these things have funding. For example if they want a new park or more books for the their schools then it must come with a tax increase or a budget cut to something else and if not it can not be put on the ballot. Or voters circulate a petition to require funding be attached to future petitions on future ballots and use flashy advertising to get to the voters you claim are too stupid for their own good to vote for this.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

  6. #36
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I see voter initiatives and referendums as an important pillar against government tyranny.

    Many of these people who voted no on voter initiatives and referendums are the same people who basically say most voters are too damn stupid and that if you do not like the job a politician then you should vote them out. Its the voters that a too damn stupid that keep voting for the same lousy politicians, so you can not just vote them out. These voter initiatives and referendums can be used by the people impose pay cuts on the politicians, make it illegal for a politician to vote yes on a bill they didn't read, impose term limits and anything else a politician in office are not going to do.
    While politicians are often corrupt scoundrels or, at the very least, have their own motives that are not aligned with the public's...they're still much better than the average voter. At least they spend their life learning about policy, and presumably got into politics because they care about policy. And the average politician is probably considerably smarter than the average voter.

    It's not that the average voter is "stupid" persay...I think that's the wrong word to use, as I don't mean to suggest that they are unintelligent people in all matters. However, I think it's accurate to say that they aren't well-educated on any specific issues and aren't motivated to learn about them.
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  7. #37
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    While politicians are often corrupt scoundrels or, at the very least, have their own motives that are not aligned with the public's...they're still much better than the average voter.
    I disagree with that notion of them being better than the average voter. It is because they are often corrupt scoundrels that the people need alternative route to keep these politicians in their place. In our form of government the politicians are the servants and the people are the bosses of those servants. As their bosses it should be the right of the people to implement a new policy without the servants approval.

    At least they spend their life learning about policy, and presumably got into politics because they care about policy.
    Considering the fact many of them do not read the bills the vote for they are no better than the average voter.


    And the average politician is probably considerably smarter than the average voter.
    Being knowledgeable about a few things does not make you smarter than everyone else. Its like saying trekkie nerds are smarter than everyone else because they know everything about star trek.

    It's not that the average voter is "stupid" persay...I think that's the wrong word to use as I don't mean to suggest that they are unintelligent people in all matters.
    You all are basically saying "Voters are too damn stupid". You do realize its these same people whose intelligence you others mock that vote for these politicians,so the just vote them out of a office is a unrealistic solution to government corruption. With voter initiatives and referendums you can limit their terms, their pay, kick them out of office, repeal a law they enacted and so on.

    However, I think it's accurate to say that they aren't well-educated on any specific issues and aren't motivated to learn about them.
    I believe yourself have said that it is not the job of politicians to read the bills before they vote yes on them.So how can you sit there and honestly say they are more educated that the average voter?
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

  8. #38
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    You all are basically saying "Voters are too damn stupid". You do realize its these same people whose intelligence you others mock that vote for these politicians,so the just vote them out of a office is a unrealistic solution to government corruption. With voter initiatives and referendums you can limit their terms, their pay, kick them out of office, repeal a law they enacted and so on.
    It's not that they're stupid, just that they don't have the time. I would be very interested in knowing how many voters actually opened their voter guide. Look at Prop 23. New extreme enviornmental measures when the state already has above 12% unemployment, yet people voted against the bill that wouldn't have allowed those regulations to go into effect until unemployment fell below 5.5%. The only explanation for me is that voter's voted on their gut feeling: pollution is bad and the environment is good. How else do you explain it?

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  9. #39
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Yes, but so are the acts of politicians. And when they enact and execute legislation without adequate checks and balances from the people those politicians represent, which popular initiatives and referendums can do, then their discontinunous impressions and impulses also become individually self-serving.
    Popular initiatives destroy checks and balances. The separation of powers that forms our republic is meaningless when we are a "direct democracy, except when politics are unpopular." Regardless of how far they are from having a will, a few people can form one much more ably than a nation.

    The only 'check' politicians need from the people is an election. If the American people can handle an election responsibly, then we can consider deepening their power. But culturally speaking, we aren't there.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 11-05-10 at 03:50 PM.
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  10. #40
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    This is why someone in office requires that these things have funding. For example if they want a new park or more books for the their schools then it must come with a tax increase or a budget cut to something else and if not it can not be put on the ballot. Or voters circulate a petition to require funding be attached to future petitions on future ballots and use flashy advertising to get to the voters you claim are too stupid for their own good to vote for this.
    People will vote away the rule that requires bonds and spending to be coupled with new taxes.

    People are short-sighted, they dont want to pay for what they want. You have the Republicans' temper tantrums about taxes and how unfair they are to thank for this.
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