Along with the re election of the President and a number of other Congressional elections, several states also had ballot measures with things like gay marriage and legalization of pot to be decided by voters. While I generally agree with the direction most states went on these issues, I wonder about the merits of ballot measures in general. Are they a good thing?
To me, ballot measures are antithetical to the spirit and role of republican government. The founders didn't think that the average person was totally equipped to make legislative decisions, so they instead gave us a constitution that allows for democracy while avoiding mob rule. To me, ballot measures seem like the latter.
When the result of these measures is more liberty for the individual, there is no real reason to worry that a tyranny of the majority has occurred. But what about when a ballot measure restricts someone's liberty? Then, often times there is a small margin of victory, as there often is in ballot measures, and while maybe only a little more than 50% of voters made a decision, the rest of citizens have to live with that decision, allowing a the majority to make decisions about everyone's personal lives.