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If a Vote is What You Want…

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.

Fair enough.

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.

Minimum Wage

  • 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?

School Vouchers

  • 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.


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  • Joe

    Why not a referendum that would allow civil unions?

    How about a referendum that would allow gay marriage?

    Make it a true vote.

  • malercous

    Not relevant to the topic Abdul, but you seem to use the term “hoosier” quite often. I know it’s just a term for Indianans, but in southern IL & MO at least, it’s a fairly derogatory word. (Just sayin’)

  • The_Amazing_Abdul

    When in Rome…

  • Steve

    You are absolutely right. During right to work a certain state senator from the Speedway area told us in no uncertain terms that the job of the elected representatives is to do what is best for the citizens of the state, not pass on their duty by sending issues to referendums.

    I was amazed to hear a representative from the Shelbyville area say on your show that his high school daughter told him the the Constitution was to protect not punish. Says a lot when a politician admits he doesn’t understand the reason for a Constitution..

    By the way Barnes and Noble has a nice bound pocket copy of the Constitution of the United States and Declaration of Independence that only cost $7.00.

    I would have bought one for all my “the Second Amendment
    is the only one that counts” friends, but I would be living on the street buying that many copies.