One of the big arguments in the debate over HJR-3, the marriage amendment, is Hoosiers should have the right to vote and one person should not prevent that from happening.
In a democracy, even though we live in a constitutional republic, citizens should have their voices heard. But if that argument is good enough for the amendment to ban same-sex marriage, shouldn’t it be good enough for some other items?
For example, during the debate over Right-to-Work, my Democratic friends proposed putting it to a referendum which my Republicans friends shot down.
When we talked about mass transit, some lawmakers don’t want to give Central Indiana residents the right to vote whether to raise their own taxes to pay for expanded service, even though we do allow school districts to recapture dollars lost due to property tax caps via referendum.
I think if we are going to use referenda and constitutional amendments to make public policy then I think we should throw a few other items on the table and resolve some issues once and for all.
- We are having a debate about the minimum wage and income inequality in this country, so why not just put it on the ballot and let Hoosiers decide, since they are the ones who ultimately bear the costs anyway?
- Lawmakers go back and forth every year on this topic. Instead of expanding vouchers in baby steps, let’s put universal vouchers on the ballot and let Hoosiers decide where they want their money to go?
Sunday Sales (You knew this was coming)
- Instead of a handful of people deciding whether you can buy alcohol on Sunday, let the people decide whether they want to get booze. Right now they have no choice, this way, Hoosiers can decide whether they want to get tanked before football.
Those are just a few. I am sure you could come up with a lot more. In fact, why don’t we just get rid of the legislature altogether and have government by referendum? Although if we did put that up for a vote, I think I know what the outcome would be.