Initiated Measures and Election of Candidates

Fifteen hours working at a polling place yesterday was followed by a ten hour road trip today.  The nice thing is the road trip was a chance to reflect on the intense election day.

I got started in politics working on an initiated measure.  These are laws put on ballots by signatures, or, “referral”, referring to voters laws passed by elected officials.

Some of my liberal academic friends did not like initiated measures.  They believed laws should be passed by our elected representatives, not by voters.

Putting laws in place by initiated measures has become so popular today, it is hard to imagine our political system without it.  Redistricting has made House of Representives seats at both the national and state level so secure changes reflecting voter sentiment would seldom happen without initiated measures.

A beautful example of the competition between electoral and initiated politics occurred yesterday.  Most conservative House members were reelected.  Without the voter sentiment reflected in initiated measures, the majority in the House, mostly very conservative Republicans, could say their preferences were also the public’s preferences.

On the issue of gay marriage voter sentiment in initiated measures expressed something very different than the elected majority in the House.   In Minnesota, an initiated constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage was defeated.  Other states passed laws allowing it.

In capitalism, we say nothing gives us a better product and price than competition.  The same is true in politics.

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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31 Responses to Initiated Measures and Election of Candidates

  1. Henry says:

    Jon: “In capitalism, we say nothing gives us a better product and price than competition. The same is true in politics.”

    We were able to view direct, real-time competition in the form of presidential debate on three occasions. The “better product and price” easily handed Obamba his head on the three occasions (even dems were regretting Obamba’s performances). These findings never became an important factor in the end. The consumer no longer cares. The consumer settled for mac and cheese in lieu of roast. The prime rib wasn’t even touched. We are in a new era.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Henry 4:59 Romney “easily handed Obama his his head on three occasions (even dems regretting Obama’s performances).”

      I don’t know who the “dems” were who thought Obama did poorly. I’m sure there were a few. The “dems” I know all thought Obama won all three. I didn’t watch any of them so am not in a position to judge. It really don’t matter who looks better on TV or in debates. I’d have to admit Romney’s hair looked great.

    • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

      “The “better product and price” easily handed Obamba his head on the three occasions” I don’t know anyone who agrees with this as Obama lost the 1st and won the rest…..

      • Henry says:

        Obamba was out of stride on the others as well with poor composure. He tended to repeat himself with unsubstantiated data, making technical errors.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Henry 6:34 Good hair, or, bad hair is just as important in the qualifications for being President as “..tended to repeat himself with unsubstantiated data, making technical errors”

          It’s when a President makes mistakes with unsubstantiated data while on the job a President screws up. I give you, again, President Bush and the weapons of mass destruction he should have substaniated before invading Iraq.

          I know you will tell me again your absurd observation one weapon, or two, of no importance were found, and you are welcome to to that again.

          • Henry says:

            Jon: “I give you, again, President Bush and the weapons of mass destruction he should have substaniated before invading Iraq.”

            Jon, you truly are a shining gem. When Obamba’s incompetance is called into question, the response is, “It is Bush’s fault.”

            The dems commissioned the study indicating there were WMD’s in Iraq. It was their idea, a product spawned by democrats.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 8:38 I simply question your ability to define incompetence. If they found one little weapon in Iraq, you would call the invasion and loss of gazillions of lives a competant decision.

            I’m not blaming Bush for whatever happened in Obama’s first term. I’m saying you are not the person I would rely on to judge competance or incompetance.

          • Henry says:

            Jon: “I’m saying you are not the person I would rely on to judge competance or incompetance.”

            You may have a point. I am not in touch with the latest hairdo’s. With you being a well qualified dem and conisewer of hair, you are imminently qualified to judge competance and imcompetance.

  2. Michael Ross says:

    “In Minnesota, an initiated constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage was defeated. Other states passed laws allowing it.”
    Four states (Minnesota, Maine, Maryland, Washington) voted for gay “marriage” and the nation reelected a president that has openly supported it.

    With abortion, Roe v. Wade was rammed down the throats of an unsuspecting public by the judicial elites on the Supreme Court. Gay “marriage” we have done to ourselves. If the Almighty is the righteous Judge of the whole earth, then we can expect to hear from Him shortly.

  3. Michael Ross says:

    Religious Conservatives Dealt Fatal Blow this Year
    Posted by Ryan W. McMaken on November 7, 2012 12:12 PM
    This election proved once and for all that the Democrats don’t need the Catholic vote to win, and it proved that evangelicals aren’t enough to hand victory to the Republicans.

    As an electoral force, the Catholic Church is dead as a door nail. The American bishops. too lazy or too cowardly to actually preach their own doctrines for the past 40 years, now face a situation in which Catholic voters are now indistinguishable from the population at large, and thus are irrelevant as any sort of a unified voting block. The rank and file Catholics can’t even agree on the abortion issue. Thank the bishops. If there was a religious version of breach of fiduciary responsibility, the bishops would be guilty of it.

    Conservative evangelicals, on the other hand, have become little more than a niche interest group within the GOP. This is the group that gives rise to people like Todd Akin, and who are far more of a liability for the party when it comes to appealing to urban and educated people, which is a huge part of the voting population.

    In order to actually hope to win any national elections, the GOP or its successor party will need to flee from the religious conservatives. The new coalition will have to appeal to young Ron Paul people, to gays, to Hispanics, and to other anti-drug war libertarian types.

    ~Jesus may have been victorious 2000 years ago but that was then. For now we can only get ready for the Rapture. There is going to be one, isn’t there?

    • Henry says:

      “In order to actually hope to win any national elections, the GOP or its successor party will need to flee from the religious conservatives.”

      That has been tried twice in the last two presidential election cycles. I would allege that Republicans not using religious conservatives (McCain and Romney being liberal Republicans) has not worked well. It seems silly to try the same thing a third time (liberal Republican) in four years and expect a different result.

    • Avatar of seaofstories seaofstories says:

      I’ve got to object to the idea that American bishops have been either lazy or cowardly. They’ve been very active and vocal. Their problem isn’t their effort it’s their message.

      Not steeped in political history but I don’t think that Catholics have ever been any sort of unified voting block.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        sea 1:51 “The problem isn’t there effort it’s their message…that Cathoics have ever been… unified voting block.”

        I would judge you correct on both points. Of course, there is a lot of art in politics. My observation is the Bishops have never been skilled at all in politics. Nor, have evangelical operatives. They’ve has some brief victories but their message just does not have much appeal once confronted with long term consequences.

        Evidence is the Pope. I’ve always wondered how many Vatican staff are devoted to public relations, press and publicity work. They are skillful in the message they deliver about the Pope. Every story about the Pope is carefully orchestrated to portray him as this loving man appearing before adoring crowds. His positions on various issues that come along are dutifully reported in newspapers and on TV networks.

        Yet, politcal skill is not there. One gets the feeling everyone in the Vatican gets promoted according to how wonderful the Pope is made to look. But, there is no message about how to deal with people’s personal dilemmas except to follow church dogma. The Pope never says, “I know couples out there don’t have the time or money to raise another child and use birth control. Here is how to handle that….”

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 7:26 “For now we can only get ready for the Rapture. There is going to be one, isn’t there?”

      I hate to disappoint, but no. At least there is no evidence there will be one.

      • Henry says:

        I’ll have to agree with you, Jon. Rapture is not in the Bible in word or in description. The second coming of Christ is described, but that is not the “rapture”.

        • entech says:

          Do you have the same expression in America? We often complain about things that never seem to happen, or, are very much delayed or becoming more and more in doubt; the expression is “as slow as the second coming”.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            entech 12:35 “as slow as the second coming”

            We don’t have that saying in the U. S. But, I’d have to agree. The second coming is really slow.

          • entech says:

            Perhaps the idea is so close to being broken that we should start talking about the “rupture”.

          • Henry says:

            endwreck: “…very much delayed…”

            Patience, my boy.

          • entech says:

            Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
            So said Lukey Luke and others, I know they lived a long time in those days but 2000 years for a generation?
            I don’t think I would like too much patience, Job had patience, and look what happened to him. Kicked from pillar to pst and worse, when he asked why he had to be satisfied with “because I can”.

          • Henry says:

            “So said Lukey Luke and others, I know they lived a long time in those days but 2000 years for a generation?”

            Patience, my boy. Context is difficult for you.

          • entech says:

            Context is nothing compared the to strange imagination you must have to actually think stuff is real and true. Of course I can’t say it is not, but it is completely implausible.

          • Henry says:

            endwreck: “imagination you must have”

            Imagination is not received. What did I supposedly create through “imagination” that is not received?

          • entech says:

            Received is an interesting word to use in this context. The standard English as spoken by the well educated is called received English or received pronunciation; then we have received wisdom – books and covers, for example, in your case we can hope the scales fall from the eyes.

            Received is something that is handed to you, imagination is certainly not received, as you say, but the content of imagination can be – creationism is received from your background, upbringing, peers and so many sources around you that are part of your life.
            I do not “suppose”, or think, that you created anything from your imagination, the mythology you follow was created by the efforts of people in the earlier part of their development and knowledge, the details probably came from the imaginations of the priests and shamans who had a vested interest in imagining how they could best obtain and keep power over the general populace that wanted some kind of reassurance.

            I am grateful to you for making me revisit the idea of imagination, you have made me aware of being wrong, again. Because it is actually a complete lack of imagination, blindly accepting an ancient book as completely and totally true, never mind a lack of evidence, never mind the contradictions, it’s in the book, it’s true.

            If you want to equate received with revealed then it is all yours, all your imagination despite the ‘burning in your bosom’.

            Usual disclaimer, because I call it myth and you accept it as complete received truth does not make either case true.

  4. Michael Ross says:

    One of the more amusing parts of this election was watching the now-irrelevant Christian Right rally its rank and file to vote for a non-Christian. Some Christian evangelical groups have for years held workshops and seminars explaining how Mormons are members of a cult. This year, once Romney got the nomination, these same people, who have for years maintained that one should only vote for a Christian, started rallying around Romney.

    A perfect example was Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas. “Even though he’s a cultist, you must vote for Romney,” he told us. Why? Obama is like Hitler. Oh.

    There was, by the way, a Southern Baptist in this presidential race. His name is Ron Paul. Evangelical Christian groups came out against him. Why? Because he is not a warmonger.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 6:48 Interesting observations. I mentioned the inconsistancy in some of the political left. When California voted in its first tax freeze, so many on the left said voting on laws, rather than having the legistlature do it, was a dangerous thing. Now that the left is winning some of these, it seems OK.

      On the topic of voting on laws, I’d like to have a national referendum on returning the tax structure of the 1960′s and early 70′s–much higher taxes on very high incomes. It would get 80 per cent approve. Using Congress and the President, with all the campaign money involved, to make a workable tax structure has been next to impossible.

      • Henry says:

        Jon: “I’d like to have a national referendum on returning the tax structure of the 1960?s and early 70?s”

        That is when we enjoyed the benefits of the military-industrial complex filled with hard working workers. Now, America enjoys the benefits of the housing complex (projects) filled with welfare receipients. That tax structure would snuff out any smolder industry now has in America.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Henry “filled with hard working workers.”
          Those workers got a bigger piece of the pie because of the tax structure.

          I’m glad you know absolutely for certain, “That tax struture would snuff out any smolder industry has in America”. History does not confirm that.

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