Tyranny of the majority
25 October 2004 - Orange County Register
63 might be the best
example of how the ballot initiative process can go horribly
wrong. Giving the public the ability to pass measures into law was
supposed to be a way for citizens to get around a legislature stymied
by special interests. When 51% of the people can unilaterally impose
a special tax on the other 49%, we get something else entirely:
tyranny of the majority. Exactly what a constitutional republic
is supposed to prevent.
Ballot initiatives should be limited to either those that reduce taxes, spending or government power, or those that increase citizens’ freedom. The legislature can increase our taxes just as precipitously (shown by our unevenly applied progressive income tax) and accumulate power to itself fast enough on its own – they don’t need our help.