Healey: Question 1 Results Prove Viability of Voter Initiative
Robert Healey, Cool Moose Party Lt. Governor candidate, writes in a letter-to-the-editor that appeared in Friday’s Warwick Beacon (and probably in other local papers):
In the aftermath of Question 1 there is an interesting point for those who support Voter Initiative.
Too often labor and others with vested interests in maintaining the status quo of legislative access via lobbyists have indicated that the initiative process would be too easily manipulated by those special interests with money.
These opponents of initiative have already purchased their protection and see initiative as an assault on their stronghold. Thus, they argue that anyone with tons of money could use the initiative system to circumvent the process.
The vote on Question 1 is a direct confirmation that such an argument is specious. The amount of money spent in support of Question 1 dwarfed the money spent in opposition.
If, as initiative opponents state, money can buy a vote, then why was it that such did not happen?
Buying elections is still in the purview of political parties, but the reality is that because someone with money wants something it still can be voted down by an electorate after an open and public debate on the issue.
Sure, there was effort to influence opinion. Sure, there were mindless voters in the process. But, through it all, the public was heard on the issue.
So, now, just what is the argument against voter initiative? The ability to buy influence is still concentrated in the lobbying process and away from the voters, but the argument that the voters can be swayed by a corporate interest with deep pockets is no longer a realistic argument.