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Tyranny of the majority
25 October 2004 - Orange County Register

Prop. 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.

HTML & original content © 2004, 2005 Jason Trippet