How about this as a principle for ballot issues: It should be difficult enough to place a ballot item that real support needs to lie in back of it, but money should not be a factor in that - that, for example, a single wealthy person couldn't in effect buy a ballot slot (to which we're very close right now). Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times gets at some of this in his column today, writing "There will be two “citizen” initiatives on the election ballot this fall. I can say that with some certainty because that’s how many petition-gathering campaigns have been blessed by the superrich." That includes one by Tim Eyman (who has millionaire help this time, unlike last time, when he didn't make the ballot). Weatneat goes on, "The rule of thumb is if you have about a million dollars, your idea is by definition strong enough to qualify for a vote. If you don’t have a million, then it isn’t good enough and usually it won’t make the ballot." Surely we can structure the ballot process better than this.
Another thought as we move toward the campaign season: Is something an extremist stance if a majority of the population favors it? And what does it say if a (clear) majority of the country wants something, but a specific state does not?