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

    What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Like of the of

    I love them. It gives the people more control seeing how the employees of the people aka the government sometimes does a lousy job. I wish the constitution was amended to allow this on the federal level.


    Here is a Wikipedia definition for those who do not know.
    Initiatives and referendums in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    # Initiative, in which any citizen or organization may gather a predetermined number of signatures to qualify a measure for the ballot. (These may be further divided into constitutional amendments and statutory initiatives. Statutory initiatives typically require fewer signatures to qualify for the ballot.)
    # Popular Referendum, in which a predetermined number of signatures (typically lower than the number required for an initiative) qualifies a ballot measure repealing a specific act of the legislature.
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Direct Democracy gets you California. That alone should suggest it's a bad idea when used liberally.

    In theory, voter initiatives aren't bad. It's when they get used for everything that it goes to pot. And at least in America, we'll put anything up to vote.
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    I think the system of voter initiatives is a good THEORY, but in practice most voters are not educated enough and do not take the time to educate themselves to a necessary level to be able to make an informed vote on something.

    In California, people usually vote YES on all these school bonds and new parks, etc etc. But when it comes time for some new taxes or cutting something else to free up money to PAY for all these nice new things, people vote NO then wonder why we're broke.
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    They're generally terrible. Voters don't research the issues enough to have an informed opinion. Many of them never even considered the issue until they stepped into the voting booth. Voter referenda bring disasters like the California voting process, which requires a simple majority in their General Assembly to increase spending, but a two-thirds majority to increase taxes. Is it any surprise that they're going bankrupt as a result? All because a couple decades ago voters walked into a voting booth, decided "dur hur i no liek taxes," and passed a constitutional amendment without even considering the consequences.

    I think we have a representative democracy for a reason. Most voters don't know about the issues and don't care to learn.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 11-04-10 at 04:07 AM.
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Voter initiatives tend to show us how stupid the general public is, and why democracy is slow and only mildly effective over the long-term. Sorry to be so blunt about it but I couldn't put it any other way. The majority of people are not educated to sufficient levels to understand the issues or at least have the tools to understand the issues. Most people cannot afford the opportunity cost to do research. They are busy surviving in their day to day. What voter initiatives do is suddenly give these survivalists something that they have to deal with, even though many are completely incapable of judging the issue.

    It's why elections in general are more about celebrity and charisma. People will vote for someone based on the most trivial details.

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

    The less democracy, the better. I usually roll my eyes when some dewey-eyed right winger talks about returning to the Founders' original vision, but I think the idea of repealing direct election of senators and the president is a good idea.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Patria Antiqua View Post
    The less democracy, the better. I usually roll my eyes when some dewey-eyed right winger talks about returning to the Founders' original vision, but I think the idea of repealing direct election of senators and the president is a good idea.
    One thing we need to consider is that the founders kept the hands of the average person AWAY from the mechanics of government. We did get to vote on some things, but the American voter has A LOT more of a free-hand today than he ever did 200 years ago.
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite View Post
    One thing we need to consider is that the founders kept the hands of the average person AWAY from the mechanics of government. We did get to vote on some things, but the American voter has A LOT more of a free-hand today than he ever did 200 years ago.
    I agree with you, and I think that it's time to end the folly of that increased liberty.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Patria Antiqua View Post
    I agree with you, and I think that it's time to end the folly of that increased liberty.
    That's a dangerous line to toe, one I'm not entirely comfortable with.

    I would rather try to increase political education so many voters CAN make educated choices.
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    Re: What do you think of voter initiatives and referendums?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patria Antiqua View Post
    I agree with you, and I think that it's time to end the folly of that increased liberty.
    You seem to think that "increased democracy" and "increased liberty" are the same thing. Not only are they different, but increased democracy isn't even particularly likely to result in increased liberty.

    The most likely outcome is horrible government policies, enacted by people who know absolutely nothing about the issues they are voting on.
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