Opinion

When will no mean no on I-1053?

By ERIK SMITH
For the Independent

It’s simpler than it looks.

As crowds of north westerners head back to the golf course after 270 days of Washington winter, you can just feel the optimism in the air.

While only 10 percent of golfers actually break 100, 90 percent of golfers hold on to the belief that, if they just had the time to train and the right instruction, they could cut their handicap down to single digits.

But like so many things in life, those seeking improvement are likely to be hindered by a tendency to over complicate things.

It’s just human nature — because we can’t control all of the variables in the equation, we fixate on a few and imagine that those that we’ve chosen hold some magical significance.

Business and politics are no different. Sure, there are thousands of little things that can have an effect on the ultimate outcome of a business venture or a political race.

But most of the factors are counterbalancing, and when you cancel out all of the terms you come down to a central equation that, if grasped, provides great power.

Think of the complexity of general relativity boiled down to the equation E = mc2.

So what is the defining equation for politics? We know to “follow the money,” and that “all politics is local.”

But these are like adjusting your grip on your 5 iron — relevant, but not the central issue.

No, in politics the central equation is 50 + 1 = law (pronounced, “majority rules”).

What’s interesting is how people have come to define “majority” so as to make “majority rules” conform to their personal beliefs.

Despite the belief by Democratic leadership in Olympia, the majority that rules is the majority of the residents, which is why initiatives by the people are generally held sacred.

While one can debate the reasons that a majority of voters select any particular candidate for public office, the stamp of approval by a majority of citizens on a single subject initiative is difficult to misinterpret.

But those whose world revolves around taking money from the public in order to “do the right thing” with it find it inconceivable that the majority of Washingtonians do not approve of their plans.

So now they’re making a second run to try to put the courts in the position of deciding whether the majority of citizens can put restrictions on what the majority of legislators can do.

I, for one, don’t believe that a direct democracy is the best operating system for a society.

But that is the reality of our world, with electronic communications allowing any private citizen to weigh in on the most arcane of legislative issues.

To those who are asking the court to decide against the majority of voters and in favor of a majority of legislators, consider whether you would like to return to the Electoral College system as originally envisioned, where the population elects knowledgeable representatives to go forth and select the nation’s chief executive.

Do you really want to vote for a delegate, or do you want to vote for the  presidential candidate?

If you’re prepared to promote the ability of a majority of legislators to overrule a majority of voters, then I would presume that you’re also fine with your Electoral College delegate voting for the other guy because they exercised their own best judgment.

There’s only one message that majority Democrats have sent by giving House Bill 2078 52 yes votes.

That message is, “We’re out of touch with those whom we represent.”

The court and the voters would be best served by the court refusing to be drawn into the fight.

Erik Smith is news editor and staff writer for the Washington State Wire.

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