Voter Initiative

Congressman Patrick Kennedy Wants to Expand Gambling in Rhode Island, Even Though He Is “Personally Opposed”

By Carroll Andrew Morse | February 15, 2007 |

Congressman Patrick Kennedy will seek to use Federal law to reverse the people of Rhode Island’s rejection of an Indian casino. But don’t worry. According to John E. Mulligan and Katherine Gregg, reporting in today’s Projo, Congressman Kennedy does not support the expansion of gambling in Rhode Island. He just favors allowing gambling to be…

Healey: Question 1 Results Prove Viability of Voter Initiative

By Marc Comtois | November 25, 2006 |

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…

No Surprise, Voter Initiative Killed in Committee

By Marc Comtois | April 6, 2006 |

As today’s ProJo story said, the Senate Committee on Constitutions and Gaming Issues voted 6 to 4 against bringing Voter Initiative to the voters “after almost four hours of discussion and debate — much of it familiar — at a well-attended hearing at the State House.” Those of us who have followed the VI debate…

Tocqueville on State Legislatures

By Marc Comtois | April 3, 2006 | Comments Off on Tocqueville on State Legislatures

Here’s a historical addendum to Andrew’s point about Voter Initiative and it’s purported incompatibility with Representative government. Tocqueville’s observations concerning the functions of each House of the bicameral state legislature’s of the early 19th century seem to imply that they already were getting a bit redundant. The legislative power of the state is vested in…

Why Voter Initiative is Not Incompatible with Representative Democracy

By Carroll Andrew Morse | April 3, 2006 |

In previous postings, Don has discussed some of his reservations about voter initiative. Don’s reservations, however, should not be confused with the weakest argument against voter initative, the argument that VI is inherently an affront to American-style representative democracy. In a Projo op-ed, State Representative John Patrick Shanley frets that “Voter initiative lacks the elements…

Leading Opponents of Voter Initiative Show They are Implacable Foes of the Public Good

By | March 30, 2006 |

I have been clear about my skepticism regarding the Voter Initiative (VI). Yet, consider these March 30 words from Tom Coyne about the words and actions by people firmly opposed to the VI: Anybody who doubts that we are in the middle of a war for the future of Rhode Island should have been at…

Voter Initiative: Special Interests and Voters’ Competence

By Marc Comtois | March 26, 2006 |

Another day, another letter to the ProJo on Voter Initiative, but this time arguing in favor. Joseph H. Weaver’s argument echoes that given here and elsewhere, but he brought up two interesting points that warrant attention. Weaver believes that the two issues at the heart of the debate are “the role of special interests and…

Voter Initiative Advice from WA

By Marc Comtois | March 24, 2006 |

John Roskelly, a former Washington state politician, thinks that RI should steer clear of the Voter Initiative: There are some Washington State initiatives I have personally promoted, such as I-901, which passed by 66 percent of the vote, and eliminated smoking in all public places, including restaurants and bars. But in general, the initiative process…

Voter Initiative, Checks, and Balances

By Carroll Andrew Morse | March 15, 2006 |

In today’s Projo, Senator Marc Cote (D-Woonsocket/North Smithfield), the primary sponsor of Rhode Island’s voter initiative legislation in the Senate, responds to Representative John Shanley�s (D-South Kingstown) anti-voter initiative op-ed from earlier in the week…Voter initiative threatens only those legislators who wield disproportionate power in shaping public policy, and the lobbyists and special interests that…

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