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EDITORIAL

Breathtaking new concept -- voters will get to decide

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 12:01 am

And legislators are actually being asked where they stand.

Eric Miller, founder and executive director of the conservative group Advance America, says Indiana legislators are being asked to answer a survey saying where they stand in the fight over putting a same-sex marriage ban in the state constitution. The responses will then be made “available to citizens around the state,” who then can base their voting decisions on those stands.

Meanwhile, the newly formed Freedom Indiana Coalition, backed by Eli Lilly and Co. and Cummins Inc., among others, will inform Hoosiers about which legislators support the coalition’s efforts to stop the amendment and its negative effects on “their lives, families, friends, businesses and the state.”

Goodness. Legislators will be asked how they stand, and they will be held accountable for their stands! Why, that almost sounds like the legislative process, doesn’t it?

You remember the legislative process. That’s how we used to make laws in this country before Washington decided it was easier to rule by bureaucratic fiat, executive orders and Supreme Court decisions. Legislators engaged in something they called “debate” over ideas they called “proposals,” then citizens would weigh in and legislators would decide, and the citizens, who were also called “voters,” would kick out the rascals who didn’t please them.

You remember citizens. Those are the people who used to run this country until the political ruling class decided they couldn’t be trusted with self-government. “Of, by and for the people” – what nonsense. “The people” don’t have committees and consultants and polling firms – how can they begin to make important decisions without such essential tools?

Being one of the people doesn’t mean what it once did. We are supposed to just pick out the people who run this, then go away and leave them alone; nothing to see there, move along, move along. But once in a while, ordinary voters actually have a say on something. We get consulted!

And in the case of the gay-marriage ban, we have even more of a say than usual because – you might want to sit down for this one – there will be a referendum. Even if legislators take a vote on the constitutional ban, they will just be voting to put the ban before Hoosiers, who will decide whether they really want to amend our governing document that way.

Yes, you read that right. Hoosiers will actually get to decide on a constitutional provision that will affect Hoosiers’ lives! Kind of takes your breath away, doesn’t it? Guess we shouldn’t brag about it, though. The idea might catch on in other states; then what would our legislators do?