Citizen’s Initiatives Issues in Review
This link is to a CBC Edmonton piece on the UCP Government deliberations in the “Select Special Democratic Accountability Committee.”
“It notes, “Last summer, the United Conservative government passed legislation expanding the range of issues the government can put to a popular vote. The UCP wants to go further by introducing new legislation allowing Albertans to determine ballot questions if they can collect enough signatures.”
There are many things to consider in practical and processes not to mention the impact on Representative “Democracy. Here are some key quotes that jumped out at me from experts who made presentations.
- “Many of our lawmakers (referencing the USA) don’t like initiatives because they circumvent the legislature,”
- “Other drawbacks include legislation that is created without deliberation by a legislature, unlimited spending on ballot campaigns, inadequate voter information, and involvement of groups, corporations, and out-of-state voters in pushing a proposal,”
- “While referendums can reflect the will of voters and get people involved in policy-making …they can present significant problems.”
- “The discussions can be dominated by the most vocal groups, he said, and can be divisive, like the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, or can be used to quash the rights of minorities.
- “A number of European states have seen same-sex marriage bans introduced through citizen initiatives…
AS YOU CAN SEE THIS MATTER NEEDS SOME SERIOUS CITIZEN ATTENTION. Check it out.
I don’t expect this will actually happen. If it does the requirements will be onerous. That said the UCP has a very loyal, organized, and active Faith-Based core following so they may be able to mount Ballot Initiatives. With essentially anonymous dark money PACs now involved in provincial and local elections and issues management, we can expect lots of self-serving disinformation to be spread in any such efforts.
Reboot will have more to say on this and the Recall Legislation that is before the committee now too.