In the comments about placing HB 1234 on the November Ballot, ‘Jammer’ posted this:
We were blessed in this country by the system our Founding Fathers put in place for us. They were very learned men that thought long and hard about not only what type of system would work but would have the best chance of preserving our freedoms. Fortunately for us they chose a representative republic form of government.
I am not sure what it is about the progressive liberal mindset that makes them intent upon fundamentally changing our country. It makes no sense that we would want to change a system that made the United States the greatest country in the world. However, that logic does not change the agenda of progressive liberals.
I encourage people to read the article in the link below. I think it does a good job shedding some light on this problem. Hopefully after reading it, people will be more knowledgeable about this issue and decline to sign a petition to put this matter on the election ballot.
If people are opposed to the Governor?s plan, they should do everything in their power to influence their elected representative. If that fails and they are still concerned about the outcome they should seek to replace that legislator at the next election. However, they should not pursue the path of creating a ?direct democracy?. History has proven that never works. A direct democracy always ends up with decisions being made based almost exclusively on emotion rather than logic and well thought out deliberations.
These decisions need to be left in the hands of our elected officials. Please don?t let someone convince you otherwise.
Jammer might be on to something here. Direct Democracy has another name ? Mob Rule. Let’s take a look at some of the past public votes
November 2006: A $1.00 tax per pack of cigarettes was passed by the public, some of the money was to be used for Medicaid, education and what was left over was to put in the general fund. The measure passed. Largely due to the idea that smoking is evil and smokers are the offspring of the devil himself, and must pay and pay dearly for their sins.
November 2006 & 2008 The abortion ban. Most people in South Dakota oppose abortion. The bill passed the legislature, signed by the Governor. Still, it failed a public vote. Why? The only reason I can come up with is people were afraid of Kate Looby (from Planned Parenthood) would swoop in with a crack team of Denny Craine style lawyers and make mince meat of the law on the steps of the Supreme Court, costing the state millions in legal and clean up fees.
November 2010 Smoking ban. It wasn’t enough for the evil ones (smokers) to pay for their sins, they also had to repent, and stop sinning (smoking) in public. With this vote, they took away the rights of business and property owners, reclassified their property and demanded the owner enforce the new law. Because the very idea of smokers brings up images of people with horns and speared tails spewing black smoke in to the faces of innocent children, the law was passed.
If the public won’t take the time or effort to learn about the issues, can the public be trusted with matters of state?
From the Honorable State Representative Stace Nelson
Our founding father?s envisioned the legislature as the strongest branch of our government as the voice & representation of the people?s will and the much needed checks and balances of the power of the executive & judiciary branches. When it fails to act as such, the safety valve of the people being able to seek redress on single issues has to be a good thing.
Maybe a review of the first amendment is in order:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
When the government does not act in best interest of the people, the people must act. Referred laws, and initiated measures are only two tools the people have for a redress. ‘We The People’ is the trump card every politician either fears or embraces. When a bill is passed by the legislature, and signed in to law by the Governor, ‘We The People’ can kill it, or reaffirm that law.
Our founding fathers thought the right for the people to petition the government should be in the FIRST amendment. Not second with the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, or even the ninth or tenth. It was that important. The real power in politics is not the elected, or their handlers. The real power lays with the people.
Now Jammer’s idea that we should just let our elected representatives deal with such issues. At the national level, we do. At the local level, the public is invited to vote on items. Sioux Falls voted on the events center, in my township, we voted on how much to pay for fire protection and road maintenance. Local voters, voting on local issues, as it should be.
When our elected legislature make a mistake, it is up to us,’We The People’ to stand up and correct that error. Getting a law passed is not a easy task; referring that law to a public vote, by the people, is even harder. Our system was designed that way. It reserves the public vote only for the most important issues.
I believe the issue that Jammer is getting to is public education of the issues at hand. Once an initiated measure or a referred is on the ballot, the proponents and the opponents, start their marketing blitz. Think of it lobbying, for the entire state. There is a lot of information and misinformation put in to the media stream. Since most people dislike conflict and by extension politics they will tune most of it out.
Our system isn’t perfect. We can and do make mistakes. However for the the most part it works. You can lead a horse to water, however you can make him drink; you can lead a voter to information, however you can’t make him understand it.