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.