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Thread: Are Ballot Measures a Good Thing?

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    Are Ballot Measures a Good Thing?

    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.

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    Chris's Avatar tPF Moderator
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    My sense of it is it is too populist and prone to the whims of the public that fly like a flag in the wind.

    They come about though, I suspect, because representative government isn't working so the people take matters into their own hands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    My sense of it is it is too populist and prone to the whims of the public that fly like a flag in the wind.

    They come about though, I suspect, because representative government isn't working so the people take matters into their own hands.
    That's true I suppose. I think I'd be more likely to support them if voter turn out rates were higher to begin with. A slim majority of the voters shouldn't be able to decide how the minority lives their lives, especially when there is only a portion voicing their opinion anyhow.

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    My State, VA, had Constitutional amendments -- at least VA understands how to change, unlike the Federal government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1469 View Post
    My State, VA, had Constitutional amendments -- at least VA understands how to change, unlike the Federal government.
    That's good news, Pete. Hope the folks you guys sent to Washington will try to do the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kathaariancode View Post
    That's true I suppose. I think I'd be more likely to support them if voter turn out rates were higher to begin with. A slim majority of the voters shouldn't be able to decide how the minority lives their lives, especially when there is only a portion voicing their opinion anyhow.
    The majority deciding to legalize gay marriage has absolutely no affect on how the <50% who voted "nay" live their lives. The only people affected by it are the gays who wish to marry and the churches that get forced into marrying them.
    Same with pot, on a different level though. No church is forced to sell weed when recreational pot is legalized.

    I love the idea of ballot measures, you know why? BECAUSE THEY GET MORE PEOPLE TO THE POLLS. If there was a ballot measure up for public voting in your state that affected you or you felt good about, and you weren't interested beforehand, it might spark an interest in you to get to the poll and vote.

    Ballot Measures are great.
    Last edited by GrassrootsConservative; 11-09-2012 at 04:13 PM.
    Government cares about people like fishhooks care about fish.

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    The only measure I would want (federally) would be one that asked if you felt your representative deserved a pay raise. I'm sick and tired of the economy going south while they grant themselves more and more federal money.



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    Quote Originally Posted by coolwalker View Post
    The only measure I would want (federally) would be one that asked if you felt your representative deserved a pay raise. I'm sick and tired of the economy going south while they grant themselves more and more federal money.
    We had one of those here and it got shot down, we did however vote to spend more money on the natural waterways in the state so that natural irrigation gets to the farmers better.

    The one that was shot down got landslided.
    Government cares about people like fishhooks care about fish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassrootsConservative View Post
    The majority deciding to legalize gay marriage has absolutely no affect on how the <50% who voted "nay" live their lives. The only people affected by it are the gays who wish to marry and the churches that get forced into marrying them.
    Same with pot, on a different level though. No church is forced to sell weed when recreational pot is legalized.

    I love the idea of ballot measures, you know why? BECAUSE THEY GET MORE PEOPLE TO THE POLLS. If there was a ballot measure passed in your state that affected you or you felt good about, and you weren't interested beforehand, it might spark an interest in you to get to the poll and vote.

    Ballot Measures are great.
    No argument that the results this time were great- the results led to some states allowing pot and same sex marriage- hardly a tyranny of the majority. But if just a few votes had gone to the other side...

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