ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET
While the heated battle over whether Ballot Measure 1 is a boon or bane to Alaska and its natural resources rages on unabated, we find ourselves wondering about the process that put it on the ballot in the first place.
The complicated salmon habitat ballot measure began life as an initiative, and, frankly, we are underwhelmed at how either side of the issue has presented its arguments. It is either a way to save Alaska’s salmon or destroy its economy, depending on who you listen to. Like most initiatives, this one serves Outside special interests.
Ballot initiatives seem all the rage among the uninformed who believe they are enhancing the notion of direct democracy by settling issues on the ballot and without a legislative process, but they present a real danger. They are, in essence, convenient back doors for monied special interests to artfully push their aims, neatly sidestepping pesky governmental checks and balances to avoid the fuss and muss of the legislative process. No vetting. No oversight. No public hearings. Certainly no discussion of consequences.
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