If you've tried to be heard above the cacophony of chaos coming from the state capitol, you've probably been frustrated.
If nobody in the legislature seems interested in hearing you, maybe it's true.
For example, during the last three years of contentious education legislation, public hearings by the relevant legislative committees have fallen from a couple of days to a few hours.
The latest is a move to ignore the voters is to reduce the capability for voters to get an initiative on the ballot.
Initiatives can sometimes be real pains in the rear end, but we defend them as being a perfect example of voter involvement in legislation.
Let's face it, our elected leaders in the legislature don't always do what we want them to do (and they usually don't really go out of their way to ask what we want, either). And with functionally a one-party legislature and a joke of a party for any opposition that could be used by voters to threaten incumbents, the initiative process is one of the few ways the voters can take direct action on what they believe is important legislation.
Making it harder to get an initiative on the ballot is only designed to perpetuate party political power, it does nothing to expand the responsiveness of the process to meet the needs and desires of the public.
It's tough enough right now to get an initiative on the ballot. It takes a lot of hard work and organization. The process shouldn't be made harder just because some elected officials, who can't stand the idea of everything not filtering thought their all-powerful hands, don't like the results of direct democracy by the people.
-- Kelly Everitt