Changing the Rules for Initiative Petitions
I respectfully, yet strongly, disagree with my colleague Dave Roland’s post yesterday on changes to the initiative petition/constitutional amendment rules in Missouri. We are a republic, not a direct democracy. We elect people to make laws and decisions. If they are not doing a good job, then we should elect different people. These petition-gathering amendment drives have led to some terrible legislation, in my opinion, such as the recent minimum-wage increase. They have also led to some excellent legislation, such as the Hancock Amendment. However, as more people and organizations become willing to pay people to gather signatures for pet causes, I believe it is reasonable to increase the amount of signatures required.
I disagree with some of the suggested changes, particularly the requirement that petition gatherers must be residents of Missouri. That is just silly. I support the increase in signatures required and the restriction on paying people by the signature, which is just an open invitation to fraud.