Kevin Drum hates ballot initiatives:
Capping property taxes at 1% or requiring a two-thirds vote to raise taxes — regardless of whether I agree with them — are big enough issues to deserve a place in the constitution. Diver’s licenses for illegal immigrants and after school programs aren’t. It’s time for an initiative to end initiatives.
What’s bizarre is one would think we’d have learned this from our own history: the inflexibility of the Articles of Confederation, attempting to tie the central government’s hands on the most trivial of matters, was a major reason for its failure. It’s also amusing that California, lauded as one of the most progressive states in the union, has placed itself in exactly the same pickle as Alabama, generally considered one of the most provincial. The Alabama Constitution of 1901 is almost funny: it’s bigger than a New York phone book, with even minor local matters such as whether a given county can sell alcohol, a matter for statewide ballot and amendment.
Our political system is designed around the principles of representative government and regular, fixed elections. It’s a shame that those touchstones are being so casually undermined.