Ballot initiatives pose a threat, serving special interests



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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  1. When news reports suggest our lobbyist-legislator-executive branch team seems corrupted beyond belief,
    when you wonder whether the Le Doux vote-buying scheme may have been a market test of public reaction; if nobody important cares, as seems to be the case, maybe the scheme will work for the same thing on a larger scale.
    when you realize Anchorage voters may have been effectively disenfranchised by a mail-in ballot scheme which appears to have little or none of the process integrity inherent in the original system and nobody important cares,
    then “…laws without government.” looks a whole lot like it already happened!
    A follow-up story might be headlined “Ballot Initiatives – Threat or Symptom?”.

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