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…and the Devil turned round on you, where would you hide…?

Robert Bolt – A Man For All Seasons:  A Play In Two Acts

Yesterday, at the Missouri Ethics Commission:

CONTRIBUTION OF MORE THAN $5,000.00 RECEIVED BY ANY COMMITTEE FROM ANY SINGLE DONOR – TO BE FILED WITHIN 48 HOURS OF RECEIVING THE CONTRIBUTION

C111073 VOTER PROTECTION ALLIANCE [pdf] 4/13/2011

Citizens in Charge

2050 Old Bridge Road, Suite 103

Lake Ridge, VA 22192

4/12/2011

$7,257.69

The Humane Society of the United States

700 Professional Drive

Gaithersburg, MD 20879

4/12/2011

$39,957.85

[emphasis added]

The Voter Protection Alliance filed committee organization paperwork [pdf] with the Missouri Ethics Commission on March 18, 2011 for the purpose an initiative “Adopting Article III, Section 54; State of Missouri” in for the November 2012 general election.

The language on the petition [pdf]:

Be it resolved by the people of the State of Missouri that the Constitution be amended:

One new section is adopted, to be known as Article III, Section 54, to read as follows:

Section 54. (1) This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Voter Protection Act.”

(2) A statute enacted by citizen initiative pursuant to this article shall not be repealed or amended by the general assembly, except by either a three-fourths vote of the members of each house or a vote of the people through a referendum or unless such statute explicitly provides that the general assembly may repeal or amend it by a majority vote of the members of each house.

Evidently, a reaction to the Missouri General Assembly moving to repeal Proposition B.

However sympathetic to the original cause we may be, there is significant concern that an increasing reliance on governing by initiative petition institutionalizes this cumbersome process at the expense of direct representation. Just ask everyone in California how that’s worked out over the past few decades.

Maybe it’s a symptom of our collective laziness that we can’t be bothered to pay enough attention to what out representatives and senators do and how they vote in the General Assembly, but we’ll get outraged at the end result while still reelecting them anyway.

I won’t sign the petition. That three-fourths vote requirement is the devil waiting to turn round on us all.