A little less than a year ago, I blogged at The Same Rowdy Crowd about One Minnesota Ballot Initiative I Could Support.
In said blog, Captain Obvious pointed out that Minnesota is supposed to have a representative democracy, where we elect leaders to make decisions for us, rather than a direct democracy, where elected officials pass the decision-making buck back to the voters who elected them to make decisions.
My specific complaint was about Minnesota conservatives’ rush toward a rash of constitutional amendments as a means of bypassing the normal two-branch lawmaking process, which includes a liberal Governor in possession of a veto pen.
I then proposed, somewhat cheekily, that:
(T)here is one ballot initiative I could support. I wrote it this morning in in my parlor with a feather quill, but I have faithfully transferred it to typeface for you:
‘Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require an affirmative vote of seven-eighths of the State Legislature before more Constitutional amendments can clutter voters’ ballots?’
Please sign the petition and consider making a donation at makethemdotheirjobs.com.
Well, Politics in Minnesota’s Weekly Report recently noted:
Rep. Kim Norton wants to bring constitutional amendments back on the table in the form of an amendment to make it harder to pass amendments (her bill would require a two-thirds legislative majority to pass a ballot measure instead of a simple majority).
It’s probably just a happy coincidence that Representative Norton (DFL-Rochester) and I landed on the same solution, the Anti-Amendment Amendment. We’ve never met, and I can’t imagine someone as respectable as Norton would read my blog.
Moreover, our proposals aren’t identical. I proposed a seven-eighths (~88%) majority, while Norton is proposing a two-thirds (~67%) majority.
But, I hereby cave to Norton, and endorse her two-thirds proposal. So Norton and Loveland are now constitutionally copasetic, like Jefferson and Madison.
Needless to say, this is a historic moment at WWP. I am currently retrofitting the “Wry Wing Politics” banner with the additional text “…and Constitutional Scholarship,” and I am holding onto that feather quill for future display at the Minnesota History Museum.
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