If we're up to the responsibility of a pure democracy, which is deciding directly by popular vote on all policy matters, then the rationale for Tim Eyman's latest - which would seek to overturn the gay rights bill just passed by the Washington Legislature - would make some sense.
But doing away with representative government altogether never has been much on the agenda. Do all of us have time to educate ourselves and carefully consider the hundreds of policy decisions that come to legislatures, councils, commissions and the rest every year? In initiative-heavy states, not many voters even do so dandy a job of self-education on the issues. (Don't get us started on self-education re the candidates.)
So here we have Eyman delivering a statement to the press saying this: "Politicians are deciding based on special interest group pressure and their own reelection calculations ... The voters have watched this disgusting display of arrogance and selfishness for weeks."
Putting his point in different words: Politicians have been listening to people who petition their governmental policymakers (something encouraged in the federal constitution) and have been bearing in mind "their own reelection calculations" - which means they are bearing in mind whether their constituents will favor or oppose their actions. Horrors!
Eyman is even more explicit, though, in his actual initiative, numbered 927. (more…)