Protect the Oregon Initiative Process

The Principles

The purpose of the Oregon initiative process is to provide a way for the citizens to express their will directly without having to depend on the legislature. "Reform" of the initiative process is usually a fraud intended to make the process more difficult rather than solve a real problem.

The Problem

Making it harder to get initiatives on the ballot in Oregon is a bad solution to a problem that doesn't exist. The first question to ask is "What is the problem?"

One of these "problems" is the number of initiatives. The politicians seem to think that having five or ten questions on the ballot is too much for the voters to deal with. I say that it is insulting to the citizens of Oregon to assume that they are not smart enough to deal with multiple issues. Elected politicians in the legislature deal with many more issues than could ever be put on the ballot. They don't seem to think that is a problem. In the past we have seen deadlock and compromise stall needed action and produce bad legislation. From past performance it is clear to me that the citizens are smarter than the politicians.

Another "problem" is that initiatives get on the ballot with the support of "special interests" that "buy" the process. What the politicians are really complaining about is that the special interests are bypassing the legislature and taking their case directly to the people. The politicians lose the power and the money and they don't like it. They are afraid of the competition and don't want to lower their prices.

The main problem with the initiative process right now is that the Secretary of State uses his position to raise artificial barriers to initiatives he doesn't support. One way this is done is by titling the initiatives unfairly.

My Policy

The first reform needed for the initiative process is to elect a Secretary of State that will deal fairly with initiatives, title them honestly, and not change the rules with secret orders. When I am elected, I will do just that.

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