“It should be harder to place initiatives on the ballot to discourage special interest groups.”
The underlying message here is that voters are routinely “duped” and end up voting against their best interest. Does the initiative process thwart the will of the majority more often than other forms of lawmaking? There’s no evidence to suggest that. I wonder how differently some of Missouri’s ballot measures might have looked if the legislature had been responsible for curbing their own reach. Do you think it would have been closer, or further away, from the will of Missouri voters?
If Missouri voters were easily hoodwinked, I’d also expect to see green checks next to most of the measures, but of the 134 questions posed to Missourians in the last 86 years, voters approved only 69 measures, and rejected 65. Missouri voters seem to have no problem saying no to measures they don’t like.
Are all of those good laws? Probably not. I’ve got several in mind that bother me to no end. But for every one of those I can also think of a dozen passed legislatively that I wish hadn’t. With an initiative petition process like we have in Missouri, I can do something as a voter to change or dismantle a bad policy, or create a new policy, and I can directly vote against something I believe is misguided.
To top it all off, making access to the ballot more difficult will put this tool even further out of reach for the average citizen. If we’re interested in a state government that’s responsible and responsive to its people, making it harder to put a question on the ballot would be a serious blow to that goal.