Who Will Resist State Support of Initiatives Amendment?
Coalition of Powerful Forces will Resist State Support of the Initiatives Amendment
At least the following sources of powers, constituencies, and factors of will resist state support of initiatives amendment and oppose a State’s support of the Initiatives Amendment. Though the constitutional and beneficial reasons for State support are powerful and compelling, there are also powerful forces that may prevent state legislators from endorsing the Initiatives Amendment.
Federal Power Structure
The federal power structure is ubiquitous and excessively powerful. Consequently, many will believe that this Plan is naive dreaming. However, this power of federal government and special interests’ excessive influence upon it are the fundamental causes for the Amendment. Excessive federal interference actually reinforces the need for the Amendment. Consequently, we reach some blunt logic:
- If the Problem are predominantly valid, and
- If this Solution is the only effective and comprehensive plan available, and
- If a second method Constitutional Amendment is the only way to implement this Solution, and
- If the States permit federal power to prevent them from using the second method to propose the Amendment or from ratifying it, Then, it follows that:
The transformation of our Republic into a permanent Oligarchy is irreversible and our
Constitution has failed the Founding Fathers’ intention to control federal excesses. The People must trust their state legislators and their legislatures, in whom the Founding Fathers constitutionally entrusted the power and responsibility to prevent this disaster, to act decisively and courageously.
Special Interest Groups, Oligarchy, and Great Wealth
The most vigorous and intense opposition is inevitable from Special Interest Groups, Oligarchy, and Great Wealth, whose influence this Amendment may threaten in the short term (though in the long-term the stability will greatly benefit them). In some cases, they may be able to influence state legislators as they influence congresspersons. If their influence is sufficient to prevent responsible state action, then the same blunt logic shown above for the federal power structure will apply with the same conclusions and disastrous results.
Political Party Leadership
Political parties have many facets. At the level seen by the rank-and-file voters, they represent a collection of political theories and policies that their members can espouse. To party candidates, they represent the means to obtain the support needed to achieve high elected office. At party leadership levels, the party is the financial beneficiary and influence beneficiary from many special interests. The quid pro quo is that the candidate must comply unquestioningly with a call to vote the party line. In effect, a political party is also a special interest organization. Since political parties have the ability to freeze their support of state candidates, they could have a major effect on legislators’ support of this Plan. However, party leadership must consider their base of support in the rank-and-file voters. Polls show that voters approve of nationwide initiatives by a three-to-one ratio. The parties may show restraint because they cannot function without the ability to produce the vote for their candidates. On the other hand, if their lack of restraint prevents responsible state action, then the same blunt logic shown for the federal power structure will apply with the same conclusions and results.
Negative Experiences with State Initiatives Process
Some state legislatures have had negative experiences with state signature-petition initiatives. A study for the National Conference of State Legislatures details these experiences and attendant opinions. They echo the voters concern about the increasing influence of special interests on the state initiative process. However, whereas signature petitions are vulnerable to special interests’ influence, the planned Citizens’ Initiatives Assembly is virtually immune to such problems. Thus, provided the state legislator understands the nationwide Ballot Initiatives plan, this issue should be a favorable rather than an opposing factor.
Pressure of Work, Procrastination, and Apathy
Procrastination is a very dangerous. Madison warned about procrastination with the words “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” State legislators are often under considerable pressure from constituents to take care of local matters. The imposition of an important constitutional matter will be an unwelcome addition to their load. The natural inclination will be procrastination even apathy. Most problems go away if one does nothing. The problem of congressional excesses, however, will not go away. It just gets worse. Simple fixes have never worked and will not work now. The voters are frustrated and want a solution. If the Legislature is not comfortable with passing the Initiative Amendment application by State Legislation, legislators have an available solution for approval by the People via State Referendum.