Okay, so here's the first of those political rants I mentioned in my post earlier today. It's specific to Arizona, but I think everyone needs to know that this kind of thing is out there.
One of the Propositions on the ballot this election is Prop 105, the 'Majority Rule' proposition (you can get both the text of the bill and the public pamphlet at the AZ Secretary of State ballot measures page). Essentially, this bill says that any initiative which will increase taxes has to be approved by a majority of registered voters.
Let emphasize this last point: "a majority of registered voters." NOT just a majority of those who voted, but of those who are registered to vote. This means that people who are registered but do not vote on an issue are effectively marked down as a "no." Given that registered voter turn out in the 2004 election was 88.4% (and that was the highest level since 1996), the "no's" already have a 12% advantage over the "yes" votes. The numbers get even worse when you look at non-presidential election years. In 2006, that number drops to 70%. Remember, these are the percent of registered voters who voted, not the percentage of eligible voters (those number are even worse). [See the Census Bureau numbers]
You can see the problem here. This measure would make it nearly impossible to get any initiative which raises taxes in any form (even if it's just to pay for something in the bill) passed.
Now, I'm all for fiscal responsibility in government. And, as should be fairly clear by now, I am a very strong believer in citizen participation in politics and government. This bill, however, is just fuckin' insane! I've people who support dismiss the concerns of low voter-turn out by saying that it will actually encourage people to educate themselves on the initiative and then vote. This is a bull-shit argument. Let's fact it - "people" are lazy idiots. They are NOT going to read up on a issue in depth and then vote on it. Some will, but many will not.
This entire bill is predicated on the Libertarian idea that government needs to be reduced as far as possible, mainly be doing away with as many taxes as possible. Get a clue people! We NEED taxes! Yes, April 15th sucks every single goddamn year. But it IS necessary. Know what taxes are used for? Roads, fire and police, schools, basic infrastructure. Taxes go away, so do all of these things!
And that is exactly what Prop 105 would result in.
But, given my previous statement about people being idiots, I have a real free that this will pass anyway.