It Might Be Time For A System Of National Referendums

When state legislative bodies lose their nerve or become paralyzed because of lobbyist forces representing vested interests of the powerful, states put important hot potato issues on the ballot.

Perhaps to end the supremacy of the few to rule the many though gerrymandering, voter suppression and other undemocratic slights of hand, perhaps it is time to created a national system of referendums. This would address certain situations where some states, like their laws regarding pot, are incompatible with federal regulations.

That the founding fathers had much wisdom applied in creating our tiered system of governance — local, state and federal — is true. Still, they were far from perfect. Realizing their limitations to see future needs they created a system of Constitutional amendments. Now I have no idea what technical and legal requirements would be needed in order to bring about the possibility of a system of national referendums, but our Washington based government is currently in desperate need of an update of some sort.

Hopefully the time consuming process of instituting such a system of referendums won’t require a Constitution amendment, though I fear it will. But even so, it would be well worth the effort in the long run, cutting though much politics and giving average folks more power.

Cutting through the complexities of the initial methods by which such a system might be set up, the way it might eventually work is that when, say, a certain number of states propose that there be national referendum on a particular issue, it is so done. Then if the proposed issue should pass by a simple majority, it would require a three-fourths vote of the Federal House of Representatives to override it.

It is obvious that as long as the Republicans, being tied to the past and the greedy super rich (not all the super rich are greedy), are in power nothing of this nature is going to be allowed to come about. But Democrats might want to make something along this line an issue going forward?

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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